03 February 2015, The Tablet

IS sells off stolen Christian goods and burns manuscripts

by Robert Ewan

Reports are emerging that Islamic State (IS) fighters have opened a market for selling household goods and materials confiscated from Christian homes and churches.

Eyewitness in Mosul said the jihadists called the market “Spoils of Nasara” (Spoils of Christians), according to the Assyrian, Chaldean and Syriac news website Ankawa.com.

Most Christians fled Mosul in June in fear of their lives, chased out by the advancing Islamists. In July the few who remained were handed an ultimatum: leave, convert, be killed or pay protection money.

The exodus of Iraqi Christians from Mosul last summer ended a presence that stretched back to nearly two millennia.

According to Ankawa.com, the market, located at the right bank of the city, has sparked a buying frenzy as furniture and household appliances are sold off at low prices.

IS jihadists have confiscated most of the homes of Christians, claiming the goods as "property" of the Islamic State. Photos emerged last summer of Christian homes marked out by IS fighters with an “N” for “Nassarah” or Christian.

Eyewitnesses also reported that IS jihadists have burnt a massive number of books and rare Christian manuscripts.

The militants invited local residents to throw books into the bonfire in the suburb of Almajmoaa al Thaqafia, north-east of Mosul last month. Among the hundred of novels and books of poetry hurled into the flames were rare Christian manuscripts looted from the churches of Mar Afram, Mar Paul and Our Lady of the Annunciation.

The jihadists declared that the books were counter to the ideology of the Islamic State and encouraged promiscuity and pornography.

Militants also stormed Mosul’s Central Library, breaking the locks that been fastened since the extremists overran the city in June, and removing some 2,000 books included children’s stories, poetry, philosophy, sports, health and cultural and scientific publications. They left behind only Islamic books, the Associated Press reported.

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