Muslims in Tripoli torched a private library belonging to a Greek Orthodox priest because of a perceived insult. The library, opened up for locals to use freely, was the private collection of 72-year-old Farther Ibrahim Sarrouj who has overseen the Al-Saeh (Travelers’) Library in the Libyan capital since 1972.
There are conflicting reports about what caused the incident. The Daily Star, a Lebanese newspaper, reports that a fatwa or an Islamic legal pronouncement has been issued against Father Sarrouj because of an article he wrote which was published on a Danish website in 2010. The French news agency, AFP, has a slightly different story. Their account says a pamphlet was discovered hidden inside one of the books in the library. That pamphlet, considered blasphemous, triggered a scuffle which was followed by the burning of the library. Still other anonymous sources imply that the burning followed a long-term dispute between Father Sarrouj and a local businessman who had expressed an interest in buying the library building and grounds.
Of course such a barbaric act is far from unexpected in the Middle East where amidst growing civil war between the two main currents of Islam has been growing in intensity following events in both Syria and Iraq. However it is a disturbing act of intolerance and persecution in a world where it is dangerous to be a Christian.
However there is hope as the report continues:
Thanks to the blog Atheist Oasis for bringing this to my attention. They comment:
An act of persecution to all of us everywhere that love to read. Love to wander the aisles of good bookstores and libraries everywhere. To thumb through a book and smell the history of its pages through time. To wonder who else sat here and read the same words and were filled with wonder and joy.
The extremists are everywhere and have no such use for books. Yet they expect us to respect them for their “beliefs”. Forget it. They get zero respect from me. They are complete assholes, ignorant of their own ignorance.
People who burn books are barbarians and a threat against reason.
See what was lost here: http://eiwonder.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/a-universe-inside-library-al-saeh.html