Below the big blaring headlines about Middle East turmoil, there is growing and systematic elimination of Christians being undertaken by Islamists.
It is difficult to accurately gauge the extent of the actual number of executions by crucifixion or displacement of families — but the Christian community is being decimated from areas from North Africa through Iraq.
Whether we want to admit it or not, the Arab dictators that the United States supported during the Cold War were non-secularists and supported their nation’s minority Christian communities. The Arab Spring’s evil genie has been released and not only is Israel facing the consequences, but the Christian slaughter and “relocation” may be the most long-lasting result.
In my mind, there is nothing comparable to the Holocaust by Nazi Germany — though some are making that reference.
When U.S. troops invaded Iraq in 2003, there were at least 1.5 million Christians in Iraq. Over the last ten years, significantly in the last few months with the emergence of ISIS, that figure has dropped to about 400,000.
In a region where Christians predate Muslims by centuries, over one million Christians have been killed or have had to flee because of jihadi persecution, while America is basically standing by and watching. This is the sad news that Breitbart’s National Security Editor and one of the world’s leading experts on asymmetric warfare, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, brought to Breitbart News Saturday.
Dr. Gorka explained that “in the last 48 hours, ISIS, which is now called the Islamic State in Mosul, has painted the letter “N” for Nazarene on the houses of all the surviving Christians in the city. ISIS has basically given an ultimatum to all the Christians left: You can either flee or convert to Islam, or we will kill you.”
ISIS was painting Christian-identified homes in Mosul, Iraq, with the red marking in the photo above. The black Arabic lettering next to it was a brave show of support by local residents — “We are all Christians.”
The last Assyrian Christian family left Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul on Saturday. Assyrians have lived in Mosul for over 6,000 years, becoming one of the first communities in the world to convert to Christianity at the dawn of the religion.
Again, the headline referencing the Holocaust — in my mind — is inappropriate. It is all too easy these days to equate every atrocity to Nazi Germany. But it should not hide what is a fundamental truth — the Christian community in the Mideast is collapsing by the force of Islamic terrorists and Islamic-run nations.
This is the future of Christians living in the new “Islamic State” — submit or be executed.
IS fighters took control of Mosul and swathes of north and west Iraq in a sweeping offensive that began last month. Their leader has since then declared a “caliphate” straddling Iraq and Syria.
The group claims its goal is to return the lands they conquer to a state approximating that of early Islam, in which Jews and Christians who did not convert had to pay a “jizya” tribute to their Muslim rulers.
“From one old woman they took $15,000 (11,100 euros). She asked for just $100 of it so she could reach Dohuk. They told her that these are the funds of the Islamic State, and we cannot give it to you,” Fadi said.
Robbed of their cars and cash, many Christians were forced to walk to safety.
Some of Mosul’s Christians might be able to afford to pay the jizya, but they appear unwilling to take their chances living under the thumb of rulers notorious for executing and crucifying their opponents.
ISIS already decimated the Syrian Christians for siding with President Assad over the Islamic terror group. Syria once held one of the largest Christian communities in the Middle East. The ISIS terror campaign against them has resulted in over 800,000 Christians having to flee Syria or give up their property to ISIS.
For over 200 years, the United States has always tried to stand up the “little guy” — the underdog — throughout the world. Though maybe too slowly, we have garnered international support to stop genocide in Kosovo, Africa, Southeast Asia, South America and even helped nudge the Middle East toward liberal democratization. We have been Israel’s staunchest and sometimes lone ally as a fellow democracy and nation that respects all religions.
So what is our nation doing while one of history’s “big guys” — Christians — are being systematically hunted down and massacred? Practically nothing.
This inaction is probably yet another shock for Ahlam, a Christian mother of two boys, who had to flee Mosul this weekend for fear of death by ISIS.
She described an exodus of hundreds of Christians walking on foot in Iraq’s searing summer heat, the elderly and the disabled among them.
“We first reached Tilkkef in a state of exhaustion. We hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for a whole day,” she said, referring to a town some 20 km (12.4 miles) north of Mosul where volunteers are picking Christians up in their cars.
“My husband and I were carrying our children on our shoulders the whole way.”
Many Christians are making their way to the relative safety of the city of Dohuk in Kurdish autonomous territory further north.
“I left my home in Mosul, that my family built decades ago. And it was taken away in an instant,” Ahlam said with tears in her eyes.
“Everything’s gone, all our memories. Our home has become property of the Islamic State.”
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