Profiling Mosul’s Extremist Celebrity: The Minister of Education, The Man With Two Horns
Since getting the job of reforming the education system, the Egyptian extremist who carries a German passport and goes by the mythic name of Dhul-Qarnayn – “he who has two horns” – has become somewhat of a celebrity in Mosul. He has changed the local school curriculum, separated male and female scholars and forced six-year-old girls to wear the veil.
Now he’s taking money from local schools to buy weapons because, as he told teachers, what’s more important: education or fighting infidels?
He has a strange name and people obey him when he gives orders. They call him Dhul-Qarnayn and he has been appointed the head of the so-called Ministry of Education of the Islamic State. In October his ministry issued a new set of instructions for teachers working in areas under the control of the Islamic State group, the extremist militia that has taken over territories in Iraq and Syria recently and declared itself a state.
And recently Dhul-Qarnayn issued another set of instructions. Standing in the courtyard of official buildings in Mosul, the Islamic State fighter spoke to all of the employees that ad turned up that day. “I swear to God that I did not want this job,” he said. “I don’t like to work in offices. I came here to fight the infidels.”
With statements like these, it is perhaps no wonder that the fighter known as Dhul-Qarnayn has become somewhat notorious among the Islamic State, or IS, group’s leaders in Mosul. The name means “he who possesses two horns” and in the Quran he is an ancient ruler who fought injustice and protected his people against infidels.
Some historians think that he may actually have been Alexander the Great but others dispute this. Dhul-Qarnayn was also considered to be a wise man who passed on a lot of his wisdom and educated his people about religion.