On October 25, 2014 The Times of London reported that ISIS closed several academic departments at the University of Mosul, severely restricting subjects that could be taught. Earlier it was reported that ISIS had closed the School of Library and Information Studies at the university. Mosul University was the second largest university in Iraq and one of the largest educational and research centers in the Middle East
Here is the text of the article by Tom Coghlan:
"Isis bans text books in sharia campus clampdown
"Published at 12:01AM, October 25 2014
"People living under Islamic State rule have been banned from owning academic books as the jihadists launch a crackdown on learning that diverges from their world view.
"To herald the start of the academic year this week, Islamic State (Isis) closed university departments of law, political science, fine art, archaeology, sports education, philosophy, tourism and hotel management.
"Activists in Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, both controlled by Isis, also halted further teaching of 'democracy, cultural education, human rights and law (general courses)' for what it called 'the public good'.
"Teachers were told that they must have training in Sharia, as interpreted by Isis, and that exams should avoid certain subjects.
"There is a ban on 'forged historical events' — a term for the teaching of evolution and Darwinian principles — and on exam questions on patriotism, education and ethnicity 'which do not conform to Sharia law'. Isis’s rejection of the idea of nation states is reflected in a ban on “un-Islamic geographic decisions”. Teaching staff were also warned of punishments if 'legitimate standards of isolating males from females' were not followed.
"The radically altered curriculum, reminiscent of Pol Pot’s Year Zero edict in Cambodia in the 1970s, follows the disbandment by Isis of the ministry of higher education and imposition of its own 'chamber of education'.
"An activist inside Raqqa, contacted via the internet, said that many educated families were trying to avoid the bans by using paid private tuition in their homes.
"The source said that this was also under scrutiny from Isis, with a death sentence threatened if men were found to be teaching women. Searches were carried out for illegal books.
" 'I have books of philosophy and history,' said the source, who uses the nickname Abu Wart. He said that another family member had philosophy books, including works by Socrates. 'They are hidden,' he said. Books were removed and families warned if they were caught.
"Isis has sought to attract jihadists with technical qualifications to its flag, acknowledging that it needs skilled professionals and bureaucrats to run its self-styled caliphate. Andre Poulin, a Canadian jihadist killed in Syria last year, issued a video exhortation to potential recruits, promising a 'high station in the next life' for those with professional rather than fighting skills who joined Isis.
“We need engineers, we need doctors, we need professionals, every person can contribute something,' he said.
"Students from the University of Mosul were last week allowed to travel outside Isis-controlled areas to take final year exams in Iraqi Kurdistan in subjects deemed legitimate."