Say hi to Mosul Eye

The AP has an incredible story about an Iraqi man named Omar Mohammed who courageously chronicled the savagery of the Islamic State as an undercover blogger, using the moniker Mosul Eye:

For nearly two years, he’d wandered the streets of occupied Mosul, chatting with shopkeepers and Islamic State fighters, visiting friends who worked at the hospital, swapping scraps of information. He grew out his hair and his beard and wore the shortened trousers required by IS. He forced himself to witness the beheadings and deaths by stoning, so he could hear the killers call out the names of the condemned and their supposed crimes.

He wasn’t a spy. He was an undercover historian and blogger. As IS turned the Iraqi city he loved into a fundamentalist bastion, he decided he would show the world how the extremists had distorted its true nature, how they were trying to rewrite the past and forge a brutal Sunni-only future for a city that had once welcomed many faiths.

Working at Mosul University when the city fell in June 2014 to the extremists, he decided to start gathering information:

By day, he chatted with Islamic State fighters and vendors, and observed. Always observed. By night, he wrote in his native Arabic and fluent English on a WordPress blog and later on Facebook and Twitter. The city turned dark, and Mosul Eye became one of the outside world’s main sources of news about the Islamic State fighters, their atrocities and their transformation of the city into a grotesque shadow of itself. The things IS wanted kept secret went to the heart of its brutal rule.

As you’d imagine, the IS thugs weren’t too happy about the Mosul Eye:

When the only Mosul residents left were fellow Sunnis, they too were not spared, according to the catalog of horrors that is Mosul Eye’s daily report. He detailed the deaths and whippings, for spying and apostasy, for failing to attend prayers, for overdue taxes. The blog attracted the attention of the fanatics, who posted death threats in the comments section.

Spoiler: he makes it out OK, but read the whole story to learn about a modern hero.

DDC 290-299: Like the ending of LOST

A Teach Me How To Dewey production

This Is How We Dewey:

  • 290 Other & comparative religions
  • 291 Comparative religion
  • 292 Classical (Greek & Roman) religion
  • 293 Germanic religion
  • 294 Religions of Indian origin
  • 295 Zoroastrianism (Mazdaism, Parseeism)
  • 296 Judaism
  • 297 Islam, Bábism & Bahá’í Faith
  • 298 No longer used—formerly Mormonism
  • 299 Other religions

As acknowledged back in DDC 220-229, the 200s have been overwhelmingly biased toward Christianity. But don’t fear, every other religious person reading this: your time has come! The Lords of Dewey have deigned the 290s the “Oh Crap We Forgot All The Other Religions” section. Hence Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and every other possible religious -ism bunched together in the caboose for a SparkNotes tour through ancient and modern religion and spirituality. Certainly not adequate space for the plethora of writing out there, but it’s the best Dewey is willing to do at this point.

Time for an #OccupyDewey campaign? Only the people can decide. Meanwhile, we’ve concluded what has to be the most contentious section in all of Dewey. (What’s that? The 320s are Political Science?)

The Dew3:

Buddha or Bust: In Search of Truth, Meaning, Happiness and the Man Who Found Them All
By Perry Garfinkel
Dewey: 294.3
Random Sentence: “Like any tourist, I was eager to visit what has been dubbed the Disneyland of Buddhist monasteries.”

Bring Me the Rhinoceros: And Other Zen Koans That Will Save Your Life
By John Tarrant
Dewey: 294.34432
Random Sentence: “Why can’t clear-eyed Bodhisattvas sever the red thread?”

Heaven on Earth: A Journey Through Shari’a Law From the Deserts of Ancient Arabia to the Streets of the Modern Muslim World
By Sadakat Kadri
Dewey: 297
Random Sentence: “Shafi’i’s vision, as amplified by later generations of students, was destined to prevail.”