Syriac manuscripts stolen by ISIS from churches and monasteries in Nineveh Governate returned to Syriac Orthodox Bishopric

TEL KEPE / NINEVEH, Iraq – 23 ancient Syriac manuscripts which were stolen by ISIS when it occupied Mosul, the Nineveh Plains, and larger parts of northern Iraq between 2014-2017 have been returned to the rightful owner, the Syriac Orthodox Bishopric of Mosul. The 23 manuscripts from the city of Mosul were returned by Iraqi security forces to Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Mosul Mor Nicodemus Daoud Matti Şaraf at the Office for Counter-terrorism of the Nineveh Governate, Tel Kepe district.

The stolen manuscripts represent ancient Syrian heritage and Christian civilization in Beth Nahrin (Mesopotamia).

In the extremist Sunni Islamic ideology of ISIS, this – and all archaeological remnants of Antiquity for that matter – was an heritage and civilization which needed to be obliterated from past and present. In Islam, Christians, Jews, and Sabians are recognized as ‘People of the Book’ and often interpreted in Islamic scholarly history as inferior to Muslims and considered to have to pay a special tax, the Jizya.

In Mosul, Shengal (Sinjar) and the Nineveh Plains, the Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian and Yezidi peoples suffered greatly and experienced firsthand ISIS extreme savagery and genocide.

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