Islamic State group issues new curriculum in Iraq

Written By kom nampultig on Selasa, 16 September 2014 | 08.20

BAGHDAD: The extremist-held Iraqi city of Mosul is set to usher in a new school year. But unlike years past, there will be no art or music.

Classes about history, literature and Christianity have been "permanently annulled."

The Islamic State group has declared patriotic songs blasphemous and ordered that certain pictures be torn out of textbooks.

But instead of compliance, Iraq's second largest city has a" at least so far responded to the Sunni militants' demands with silence. Although the extremists stipulated that the school year would begin September 9, pupils have uniformly not shown up for class, according to residents who spoke anonymously because of safety concerns.

They said families were keeping their children home out of mixed feelings of fear, resistance and uncertainty.

"What's important to us now is that the children continue receiving knowledge correctly, even if they lose a whole academic year and an official certification," a Mosul resident who identified himself as Abu Hassan told The Associated Press, giving only his nickname for fear of reprisals.

He and his wife have opted for home schooling, picking up the required readings at the local market.

The fall of Mosul on June 10 was a turning point in Iraq's war against the jihadi group that calls itself the Islamic State.

The US-trained Iraqi military, harassed for months by small-scale attacks, buckled almost instantly when militants advanced on the city. Commanders disappeared. Pleas for more ammunition went unanswered. In some cases, soldiers stripped off their uniforms and ran.

The city would come to represent the expanding power and influence of the extremist group, which was born in Iraq but spread to Syria, where it grew exponentially in the chaos of the country's civil war.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the group's reclusive leader, made his first video appearance in Mosul in July to announce his vision for a self-styled caliphate an Islamic state of which he would be the caliph, or leader.

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