Tag: Iraqi Christians

The Reality TV We Should Be Watching

  CNN has excellent footage of delivering food to the Yezidis in Iraq and rescuing some of them. People need to see this footage. This is how bad it it…

 

CNN has excellent footage of delivering food to the Yezidis in Iraq and rescuing some of them. People need to see this footage. This is how bad it it is for Yezidis and Christians. H/T The Daily Signal which has an excellent photo essay on this topic. Here’s a teaser. Do visit TDS for the whole series.

These are real people.

This is real suffering.

This is religious persecution.

The Vatican, through the Council for Interreligious Dialogue issued a statement enuntiating the need for a response to the plight of these innocent people whose only crime is to have different religious beliefs from the Islamic State (formerly ISIS):

The whole world has witnessed with incredulity what is now called the “Restoration of the Caliphate,” which had been abolished on October 29,1923 by Kamal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey. Opposition to this “restoration” by the majority of religious institutions and Muslim politicians has not prevented the “Islamic State” jihadists from committing and continuing to commit unspeakable criminal acts.

This Pontifical Council, together with all those engaged in interreligious dialogue, followers of all religions, and all men and women of good will, can only unambiguously denounce and condemn these practices which bring shame on humanity:

-the massacre of people on the sole basis of their religious affiliation;

-the despicable practice of beheading, crucifying and hanging bodies in public places;

-the choice imposed on Christians and Yezidis between conversion to Islam, payment of a tax (jizya) or forced exile;

-the forced expulsion of tens of thousands of people, including children, elderly, pregnant women and the sick;

-the abduction of girls and women belonging to the Yezidi and Christian communities as spoils of war (sabaya);

-the imposition of the barbaric practice of infibulation;

-the destruction of places of worship and Christian and Muslim burial places;

-the forced occupation or desecration of churches and monasteries;

-the removal of crucifixes and other Christian religious symbols as well as those of other religious communities;

-the destruction of a priceless Christian religious and cultural heritage;

-indiscriminate violence aimed at terrorizing people to force them to surrender or flee.

No cause, and certainly no religion, can justify such barbarity. This constitutes an extremely serious offense to humanity and to God who is the Creator, as Pope Francis has often reminded us. We cannot forget, however, that Christians and Muslims have lived together – it is true with ups and downs – over the centuries, building a culture of peaceful coexistence and civilization of which they are proud. Moreover, it is on this basis that, in recent years, dialogue between Christians and Muslims has continued and intensified.

The dramatic plight of Christians, Yezidis and other religious communities and ethnic minorities in Iraq requires a clear and courageous stance on the part of religious leaders, especially Muslims, as well as those engaged in interreligious dialogue and all people of good will. All must be unanimous in condemning unequivocally these crimes and in denouncing the use of religion to justify them. If not, what credibility will religions, their followers and their leaders have? What credibility can the interreligious dialogue that we have patiently pursued over recent years have?

Religious leaders are also called to exercise their influence with the authorities to end these crimes, to punish those who commit them and to reestablish the rule of law throughout the land, ensuring the return home of those who have been displaced. While recalling the need for an ethical management of human societies, these same religious leaders must not fail to stress that the support, funding and arming of terrorism is morally reprehensible.

That said, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue is grateful to all those who have already raised their voices to denounce terrorism, especially that which uses religion to justify it.

Let us therefore unite our voices with that of Pope Francis: “May the God of peace stir up in each one of us a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated by violence. Violence is defeated by peace. ” [Emphasis mine.]

Indeed, that is the question, what credibility will any religion have if its members do not promote and defend human dignity?

Watch some real reality TV and do whatever you can to help, starting with your heartfelt prayers and encouraging others to look reality in the face.

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Genocide. The Price of Leading from Behind.

Iraq. It’s not looking good. Earlier today, I posted: “Iraq. Genocide. ‘Never Again’ Should Cue Something More Than A James Bond Movie.” At that point, the WSJ was reporting that…

Source: www.news.va

Source: www.news.va

Iraq. It’s not looking good.

Earlier today, I posted: “Iraq. Genocide. ‘Never Again’ Should Cue Something More Than A James Bond Movie.”

At that point, the WSJ was reporting that the US Military might start to get involved, particularly with dropping supplies to the Christians and other religious minorities who are being forced out of their homes as the Islamic State advances.

Pope Francis made an urgent appeal today. Some bullet points –

  • The attacks are being waged upon “defenseless populations.”
  • He urges the international community to protect all those affected or threatened by the violence
  • And to guarantee all necessary assistance – especially the most urgently needed aid – to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others.

Meanwhile, very serious and detailed news from Iraq indicated ABSOLUTELY NO ACTIVITY on behalf of these persecuted people, even though various countries and the international community have the resources to mobilize quickly. After all, it’s not like they’re not in the area or nearby already…

“Daash is testing our defenses,” said Rosg Nuri Shawess, a top Kurdish military commander, pointing to two towns that had fallen to the Islamic State, Qaraqosh and Bartella, that were visible in the distance. “And if we don’t show them we are strong here, then we have lost Irbil.”

Shawess, who also is a member of the Iraqi government’s national security council, called the situation “extremely critical” as he examined the foremost strong point along the highway. He described the Kurdish military plight as “too much distance to protect, with too few men and not enough weapons.”

“The Americans keep saying they will help us,” he added as surveillance planes or drones, likely American, circled far above the clouds. “Well, if they plan to help they had better do it now.”

It was unclear if the United States planned to do anything to help fend off an Islamic State thrust at Irbil, where the U.S. also has recently expanded its CIA station and set up a Joint Operations Center to coordinate military activities with the Kurdish and Iraqi governments.

And here’s a very troubling piece of information –

Kurdish officials repeatedly have claimed that the United States and the Iraqi government in Baghdad have refused to send military aid and that they have only Saddam Hussein-era weapons and limited ammunition to counter Islamic State forces that are armed with advanced American weaponry.

“Armed with advanced American weaponry”? Now that should definitely demand some investigation from the U.S. and others.

But the biggest lesson so far should be that leading from behind doesn’t work. Iraq was invaded for the purpose of “democracy building.” What about military involvement when innocent people are being slaughtered and exiled simply because they have different religious beliefs than those in control? It’s fundamental human rights violation. It’s genocide.

I’m certain that I don’t have all the information. I can only go by what’s reported in the media. But we do know that a genocide is under way. In my previous post, I quoted Dan Hodges from The Telegraph. And I can’t think of a more appropriate way to close this piece:

For once, just for once, can we actually do something? The UN, Nato, the US and the UK. It doesn’t really matter whose umbrella its under. For once let’s demonstrate that the billions of pounds we spend on the most powerful military forces in human history can actually stand up to a bunch of petty hoodlums with machetes, or AK47s, or Toyota 4x4s.

Just this once let’s not wait. For the book. And then the film. And then the hand-wringing and empty pledges that “we will ensure this never happens again”.

Just this once let’s actually stop them being killed with their families.

Just this once. Stop leading from behind.

UPDATE:

DOHUK, Iraq

American military forces bombed at least two targets in northern Iraq on Thursday night to rout Islamist insurgents who have trapped tens of thousands of religious minorities in Kurdish areas, Kurdish officials said.
Word of the bombings, reported on Kurdish television from the city of Erbil, came as President Obama was preparing to make a statement in Washington.

ANOTHER UPDATE. Yes. No. Maybe so.

From HotAir, looks like supplies have been dropped. Military action is being disputed.

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Iraq. Genocide. “Never Again” Should Cue Something More Than A James Bond Movie.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that the U.S. military is considering airstrikes and emergency relief supplies to the religious minorities in Iraq who are being forced out by the…

never-say-never-again-original

The Wall Street Journal reports today that the U.S. military is considering airstrikes and emergency relief supplies to the religious minorities in Iraq who are being forced out by the Islamic State (aka ISIS).

Finally.

Patheos bloggers have been covering the story consistently. I wrote about it early on, including an email from a Dominican priest who was near Mosul and described the activities of then ISIS.

The situation in Iraq is very, very bad. Read Deacon Greg’s piece describing the exile of Christians as a via crucis (way of the cross). Imagine getting up and leaving your house in the middle of the night, with your family members, and only the goods that you can carry. If you have small children, you’d be carrying them instead of supplies. Imagine. But that’s reality for them.

Joan Desmond at The National Catholic Register has an excellent piece detailing the lack of U.S. response so far. Kurdistan has at least one million Iraqi Christian refugees, even to their own detriment since they do not know how long they can keep IS forces at best. But the Kurds also know what it’s like to experience genocide.

Some suggestions from Desmond’s article:

With IS amassing power, [Nina] Shea noted that the ongoing protection of Iraq’s vulnerable minority groups — those forced from their neighborhoods and those still in their homes — is a major concern. She proposed that the U.S., with its superior intelligence capabilities, should provide an “early warning system” that would alert Christians and others when IS militants pose an immediate threat.

Thomas Farr, the director of the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University, went a step further than Shea and called for the White House to “propose an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council in order to consider a resolution, to be offered by the U.S., authorizing the use of force in Iraq and Syria to mitigate the humanitarian catastrophe that is taking place and to prevent genocide.”

Speaking of genocide, Dan Hodges at The Telegraph discusses the IS persecution of the Yazidis, another religious minority in Iraq.
He writes:
The Yazidi wish to inform you that tomorrow they will be killed with their families. Actually, it may not be tomorrow. The 40,000 members of Iraq’s most ancient sect, who are currently huddling on the side of Mount Sinjar, might have a bit longer. If they stay there it will apparently take a few days, maybe a few weeks, before they die of thirst, malnutrition and sickness. If they don’t, their deaths at the hands of the butchers of Isis who have surrounded them will be quicker. Though not that quick.
His passionate conclusion should do more than make us think, it should lead to action:

For once, just for once, can we actually do something? The UN, Nato, the US and the UK. It doesn’t really matter whose umbrella its under. For once let’s demonstrate that the billions of pounds we spend on the most powerful military forces in human history can actually stand up to a bunch of petty hoodlums with machetes, or AK47s, or Toyota 4x4s.

Just this once let’s not wait. For the book. And then the film. And then the hand-wringing and empty pledges that “we will ensure this never happens again”.

Just this once let’s actually stop them being killed with their families.

Just this once.

Yes, the Bond movie is titled Never Say Never Again. And the grammar is ambiguous. But I think my point still stands. “Never Again” should really start to mean something, especially when it comes to genocide. If it doesn’t, I just may skip the movie Hodges predicts and watch the old Bond movie even if its depiction of women will probably make my skin crawl.

 

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