ISIS bans math, sport, social studies for children

DUBAI: Thousands of children in swaths of war-torn Syria, now controlled by dreaded Islamic State militants, can no longer study math or social studies under new diktats issued by the jihadists.

While sports is banned, the children will not be allowed to learn about elections and democracy.

Instead, the children will be subjected to the teachings of the radical Islamist group. And any teacher who dares to break the rules “will be punished.”

ISIS announced its new educational demands in fliers posted on billboards and on street poles, CNN reports…

In the letter, ISIS said alternative courses will be added.

It also said teachers must erase the phrase Syrian Arab Republic, the official name of Syria, and replace it with Islamic State.

Educators cannot teach nationalistic and ethnic ideology and must instead teach “the belonging to Islam … and to denounce infidelity and infidels.”

Books cannot include any reference to evolution. And teachers must say that the laws of physics and chemistry “are due to Allah’s rules and laws.”

The letter ends with a firm warning: “This is an obligatory announcement, and all violators will be punished.” …

Okay, can they go die now? I hope they are absolved and enter Purgatory, but I don’t want these ISIS guys to be alive anymore.

I find it hard to believe that Math would not be taught to children or anyone for that matter that is pro ISIS. 

 Mathematics was once a banned teaching in Europe as well, before the heresy of Martin Luther, as it was only taught in Latin. Because Latin was the language of the upper class. European cultures are not innocent of this either. from-- "The History of Pi" 

But, I would find it hard to believe that ISIS would want to ban mathematics completely as someone is going to have to calculate those Trigonometry Functions when aiming rockets at infidels. Its just to much of a necessity.

I don’t watch the news or TV for that matter. But I find it hard to believe 90% of what any news company would write. Really, its all about making money for any news network. I could very well make up a similar story , Who’s to say its not true in the USA ?

Its just like when senator Kelly was trying to paint all of those mutants as a danger to free society. They had to be registered. That is why Professor Xavier’s school for gifted youngsters was raided.


“Only accessible to people with the means to afford education” =/= “banned.” Not by a long shot. That’s like how many Protestants (falsely) say that the Catholic Church banned people from reading the Bible. Not many people could read, but that’s not the same thing, at all.

And Latin was a “lingua franca” after the fall of the Roman Empire - well-educated people knew it, yes, and used it to communicate with people from other places and in universities, but they weren’t using it to converse around the dinner table.

I have no idea what you are trying to say.

    I was trying to say that Western civilization is not innocent of keeping people ignorant either. That is what math was only taught in Latin.

The ISIS leaders will find a way to educate themselves as needed. It’s only the masses that they want to keep oppressed that they will keep in ignorance.

Honestly I wouldn’t mind having one of them on the board of education here in the USA.
Then someone would really speak up about the indoctrination and
agenda of reading to students in public school “My Two Dads”

Under multiculturalism doesn’t this have to be tolerated? :stuck_out_tongue:

The US helped this to happen by supporting the side that was fighting against President Assad. Meanwhile, Assad has been fighting ISIS, but Obama apparently wants to continue with the plan to topple Assad so that Syria can be destabilized. If Assad does get taken out, it will clear the way for ISIS to take the rest of Syria. If Obama really wants to destroy ISIS it makes no sense for him to want to take out a leader who has been fighting against ISIS especially when the only foreseeable result will be that ISIS will end up in control of Syria.


Oh these children have the right to be educated…

Probably science too. I know Newton wrote his Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica and other works in Latin, not because he didn’t respect the vernacular but because he and others like Kepler, St. Thomas More, Galileo, etc knew by writing in Latin, it would be seen as serious and immortal. The seal of the U.S. is entirely written in Latin, probably for the same reasons. Wasn’t designed to keep anyone ignorant.

Is this for real? Why would anyone want to ban math and sports?! I guess they want an uneducated population … easier to control? Gosh!

In addition to all the other wonderful health, and other benefits, team and fair play, sports help give a healthy outlet for any aggressive tendencies.

There will be little positive left to do when they’re finished.

I’m glad I don’t live there, but God help anybody who does.


Advanced mathematics, like other university subjects, were only taught in Latin, because then people who spoke different vernacular languages could share information and people were not limited to only knowing what was written by people in their own country. The intent was not to keep people ignorant, but to allow learning in universities to be “universal.”

The vast majority of people, then as now, had no interest in learning advanced mathematics and, unlike now, they were (for better or worse) not forced to do so. That isn’t anything like outlawing the teaching of math.

Basic math was taught to people all the time in the vernacular by parents, siblings, spouses, and so forth.


Newton wrote in Latin because at the time scientific and academic works were written in Latin. All educated people at the time read Latin fluently, regardless of their native language. If you only wrote in English (and there were different dialects of English at the time) only others who could read English could read it. So if you wanted to write for the greatest audience possible, you wrote in Latin.

I suspect you’re right that advanced math, at least, was mostly taught in Latin. But that wasn’t a Church effort to keep people ignorant. We have to remember that for a very long time in Europe, there were dozens, if not hundreds of dialects. Even in Chaucer’s era, you couldn’t go far from London without encountering dialects or languages that were unintelligible to you. That’s one of the reasons Chaucer is (by scholars at least) credited with “creating” the English language as we know it today. He didn’t create it, of course, but his literature was very popular and spread the London dialect.

So, if one was from, say, Wessex and wanted to study in London, it was Latin or nothing, and a lot of people knew Latin. It was the “trade language” of the time, and a lot more people knew it then than do now, by far.

But one also needs to realize math and geometry were well understood by a lot of skilled people. Stone masons could not function without a very serious command of both, for example. One could not assemble stained glass windows that could last a thousand years without a pretty serious understanding of both chemistry and physics, both of which require advanced math. One wonders whether our modern glass skyscrapers will last 100 years without falling apart.

The medieval guilds didn’t exactly teach “math” in the same way, but they taught very advanced arithmetic to the apprentices. You couldn’t figure out how much in Dutch gulden to pay for amber in Lithuania to sell in Venice for Italian florins to buy salt herring in Norway to resell in Calais for English pounds without having a pretty good command of arithmetic, weights and measures and currency conversion. You couldn’t build a trading ship without understanding math, and wouldn’t know how much you could load on it without knowing at least your arithmetic. And the millers who could figure how much drop of how much water would turn a wheel and stones of “X” weight. They had to know their math to do that.

And while the guilds were exclusive, they were not class-based. Talent, not nobility, and certainly not Church sanction, was what counted. And even those outside the guilds needed to know some pretty significant arithmetic. Undoubtedly there were many peasants who counted on their fingers. But trade in medieval Europe was very widespread. There were English merchants in Kiev and Moscow, Italian merchants in Poland and Lithuania, French merchants in London and Flanders. Flemish merchants in Alexandria and Aleppo. People got around much more than we often think.

That’s one of the reasons why knowledge of Latin was so widespread, and so was arithmetic. More advanced math was pretty much the preserve of scholars and highly skilled artisans, of course. But all of that predated Martin Luther.

CNN now has this disclaimer out:

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story contained reporting about ISIS and education. CNN has concerns about the interpretation of the information provided and we will update the story when we can verify what is happening.

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