To Protect Iraqi Universities and Academic Institutions Against the Criminal Terrorist Onslaught

Iraqi universities and other academic institutions are going through an extremely difficult period as a result of the occupation by dark and terrorist forces of some areas of Iraq that have become outside the control of the government. Professors, scientists and students in these areas are increasingly exposed to persecution, threats and even death, while curricula and study programmes have become distorted and erratic. At the same time, the academic life of students is being destroyed, and campuses are exposed to intrusion by government military forces as they fight against the onslaught of the terrorist forces, as was the case with Salahaddin University and other scientific institutions and places that have become targets of such practices. Those who are keen on protecting Iraq’s scientific, cultural and religious heritage are deeply concerned by the demolition and destruction being inflicted on it.
Our Association has learnt from various sources, including journalists and eye witnesses at the university of Mosul, that a delegation representing the leader of the terrorist organization “Isis”, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, met on 19 July 2014 with university officials and told them of various decisions regarding education. The sources added that “the instructions received by the presidency of the university include the closure of the College of Law in Mosul, once and for all, and complete separation of male and female students in the university.” The sources pointed out that “the delegation also confirmed that a committee will be formed to sift through all the university curricula, and may decide in the coming days the closure of some colleges.”
Proceeding from our scientific, professional and national responsibilities, the Association of Iraqi Academics in the UK is calling upon all those who are concerned with preserving the independence of universities and academic freedom to confront this vicious criminal onslaught against our history and scientific and cultural heritage. We demand that the Iraqi government, the relevant institutions of the Arab League and international organisations take a firm stand against these practices in order to protect Iraq’s heritage and the traditions of Iraqi universities, respect their academic curricula and maintain professional and academic standards, while safeguarding the lives of lecturers and students.
Iraqi Academic Association in the UK