Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The books always go first...

It would seem that ISIS is intent on reversing every hard won civilised norm from the last 500 years, burning people alive, beheading, slavery, genocide and to round off all that - now they're burning books. Apparently the public library in Mosul has been raised to the ground by a mob of these Islamist cult followers and the many rare books and manuscripts housed there are no more.

Despots throughout the ages have always done this, from the Christians at Alexandria to the Nazis on Kristallnacht; the more insecure your intellectual foundations then the more likely it is that you need to erase the learning of the past in order to inculcate your own dogmas. If ideas stand on their own two feet (i.e. they're good ones) and can be argued through reason and evidence then you don't need censorship, pogroms or apostasy to protect them, it's as simple as that.

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