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Islamic Reactionaries Torch Lebanese Library

Yet another example of the rampant misology among fundamentalists of every religion. Muslim reactionaries in Lebanon set fire to a library owned by a Greek Orthodox priest of more than 80,000 books. Why? Either because someone found a pamphlet that “insulted” Muhammad or because the priest said something they don’t like on the internet.

“Two thirds of some 80,000 books and manuscripts housed there,” a security source told Agence France Press, referring to the items destroyed. The source added that the blaze was started after a manuscript insulting the Prophet Mohammed was found hidden in the pages of one of the library books.

A demonstration had been planned in Tripoli after the pamphlet was found but was reportedly called off after the library’s Greek Orthodox owner spoke with Muslim leaders. Lebanese news outlet Naharnet also reported that one of the library workers was shot and wounded Thursday night.

“The library owner, Father Ebrahim Surouj, met with Islamic leaders in Tripoli. It became clear the priest had nothing to do with the pamphlet, and a demonstration that had been planned in protest over the incident was called off,” the source said.

However, Ashraf Rifi, former head of the Internal Security Forces, told AP the attack had nothing to do with a pamphlet and was, in fact, triggered by speculation that Father Surouj had written a study on the internet that insulted Islam.

“This criminal act poses several questions [about] the party behind it that aims at damaging coexistence in the city and ruining its reputation,” Rifi told AFP. The Lebanese police have launched an investigation into the incident.

Whatever the reason, it’s exactly this kind of barbarism that must be opposed at every opportunity.


  1. says

    Now, look, everybody knows that God’s Messenger (PBUH) and God are sensitive. When people write mean things about them God’s Messenger (PBUH) and God run to their bedrooms, slam the door, throw themselves on their beds and cry all night. You should hear them. They’re inconsolable. It would break your heart.
    So, look, if those manuscripts didn’t want to get torched, they shouldn’t have had such mean things written on them. That’s just common sense.

  2. says

    One thing my dad liked to bring up when we discussed anti-intellectualism is, “What if the Library of Alexandria hadn’t been burned?”

  3. anubisprime says

    All religious fundies like a bonfire,…it makes them feel …errr!…safe in their delusion!

    Does not matter what is burnt…young girls, older girls, women, men, books, all is good to assuage the deep down fear that it is all bullshite!

    It is never done to honour their religion only to stop people questioning the ego driven pompousness they boogie by, because that is a frightening scenario where they have to justify them selves in the face of the unjustifiable!

  4. alanb says


    Obviously, you did not get the memo. Atheists are not supposed to attack Islam because otherwise how are we supposed to repress Christians. Or something. Actually, I’m not real clear on that part of the memo, but I think it has something to do with the fact that Muslims are out allies in the War on Christmas. Anyway, you’re only supposed to say nice things about them.

  5. dingojack says

    And Christians – just ask at the library of Alexandria.
    And let us not forget the famous ‘Bonfire of the Vanities’.

  6. Nick Gotts says

    You know who else like to burn books. Frankenberger! – colnago80

    Says the genocidal numpty who can’t even get Hitler’s name right, and wants to incinerate millions of people.

  7. thebookofdave says

    You know who else like to burn books. Frankenberger!

    I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I can’t shake the image of genetically modified patties sizzling over an open-book flame. And now, neither can you.

    Mmm…Frankenburger™: What’s your beef now?

  8. elpayaso says

    Frnakenburger sounds like a decent name for marketing lab grown meat, sort of like Guardian Angel ™ would be for the personal protection drones the 1%ers will all have within 10 years….

  9. colnago80 says

    Re Trebuchet @ #12

    This is a sample of what would happen in Canada’s southern neighbor if a Tea Party Rethuglican is elected in 2016.

  10. kevinalexander says

    Why do they have 80,000 books when only one is needed? God’s Messenger (please be onto him) gave us everything we need to know.
    In a language that no one understands so we have imams to tell us what it means. That can’t possibly go wrong.

  11. busterggi says

    Kind of like all those Christians burning Harry Potter books a few years ago. And D & D stuff before that. And rock & roll records before that. And it just goes on & on & on.

    Fundies are closet pyromaniacs.

  12. Trebuchet says

    @15, SLC: Much as I hate to agree with you, that’s more or less correct. Harper has been described as “Bush Lite”.

  13. thebookofdave says


    Thanks for the info, colnago. Turns out I had blamed Hitler for the whole mess. I hope he doesn’t have any hard feelings.

  14. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    I wonder if whoever found the pamphlet knew where to look for it because they’d put it there.
    There is a muslim precedent: after the muslim conquest of Alexandria the books in the famous library were burned to heat the baths.The caliph Omar allegedly said: “If those books are in agreement with the Quran, we have no need of them; and if they are opposed to the Quran, they should be destroyed.”

  15. freehand says

    Trebuchet – I am horrified. Another [insert religioun] mob burning a library of [insert religion] books is sad but common. A government destroying science libraries is beyond the pale. Harper is not “Bush Lite”; he is the next stage of barbarian.

    We can expect the same here if we elect another Republican president. But if we elect another Democrat, he/she will likely just defund them all, and carefully lock the doors. (“We can’t afford a staff to manage them until this current crisis is passed.”)

  16. Nihilismus says

    I know Google had wanted to scan all the world’s books. Maybe they should prioritize those books in libraries most in danger of being burned?

  17. dingojack says

    sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d – Nope, complete myth. But still, thanks for playing, you tried your best.

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