July 18, 2024
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July 18, 2024
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While the world fixates on the conflict be­tween Israel and Hamas—and while most mainstream media demonize Israel for trying to survive amid a sea of Arab-Islamic hostili­ty—similar or worse tragedies continue to go virtually ignored.

One of the most ancient Christian commu­nities in the world, that of Iraq—which already had been decimated over the last decade, by Islamic forces unleashed after the ousting of Saddam Hussein—has now been wiped out entirely by the new “caliphate,” the so-called Is­lamic State, formerly known by the acronym “ISIS.”

As Reuters reported: Islamist insurgents have issued an ultimatum to northern Iraq’s dwindling Christian population to either con­vert to Islam, pay a religious levy, or face death, according to a statement distributed in the mil­itant-controlled city of Mosul… It said Chris­tians who wanted to remain in the “caliphate” that the Islamic State declared this month in parts of Iraq and Syria must agree to abide by terms of a “dhimma” contract—a historic prac­tice under which non-Muslims were protect­ed in Muslim lands in return for a special levy known as “jizya.” The amount of jizya-money demanded was $450 a month, an exorbitant sum for Iraq.

Hours after the demand for jizya was made, Islamists began painting the letter “n” on Chris­tian homes in Mosul—in Arabic, Christians are known as “Nasara,” or “Nazarenes”—signaling them out for the slaughter to come.

Most Christians have since fled. A one-min­ute video in Arabic of their exodus—wom­en and children weeping as they flee their homes—is a video that will not be shown by any Western mainstream media outlet, busy as they are depicting instead nonstop images of Palestinian women and children.

The Syrian Orthodox bishop of Mosul said that what is happening to the Christians of Mo­sul is nothing less than “genocide… not to men­tion the slaughters and rapes not being report­ed… Forcing more than a thousand Christian families out of Mosul, and turning Christian churches into Muslim mosques, is equivalent to genocide.” Of course, the word genocide means to kill or make extinct a people.

Others were not as lucky to flee. According to Iraqi human rights activist Hena Edward, a great many older and disabled Iraqis, unable to pay the jizya or join the exodus, have opted to convert to Islam.

Meanwhile, the jihadis continue destroy­ing churches and other ancient Christian holy sites in the name of their religion, and murder­ing any Christians they can find. Among other acts, they torched an 1800-year-old church in Mosul, stormed a fourth-century monastery— formerly one of Iraq’s best-known Christian landmarks—and expelled its resident monks. Most recently, in Syrian regions under the Is­lamic State’s control, eight Christians were re­portedly crucified.

The Islamic State’s call for Christians to pay jizya is not simply about money. It is about sub­jugation. Most Western media reporting on this recent call for jizya have failed to explain the accompanying dhimma contract Chris­tians must also abide by. According to the Is­lamic State, “We offer them [Christians] three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract—involv­ing payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.”

The “dhimma contract” is a reference to the Conditions of Omar, an Islamic text attrib­uted to the caliph of the same name that forc­es Christians to live according to third class cit­izen status.

In fact, several months back, when the Is­lamic State was still ISIS, it applied the Condi­tions of Omar on the Christian minorities of Raqqa, Syria. The Islamic group had issued a directive citing the Islamic concept of “dhim­ma,” [which] requires Christians in the city to pay tax of around half an ounce (14g) of pure gold in exchange for their safety. It says Chris­tians must not make renovations to churches, display crosses or other religious symbols out­side churches, ring church bells or pray in pub­lic. Christians must not carry arms, and must follow other rules imposed by ISIS… “If they re­ject, they are subject to being legitimate tar­gets, and nothing will remain between them and ISIS other than the sword,” the statement said.

The persecution and exodus of Christians is hardly limited to Iraq. In 2011, the U.S. Commis­sion on International Religious Freedom noted: “The flight of Christians out of the region is un­precedented and it’s increasing year by year.” In our lifetime alone “Christians might disappear altogether from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt,” all Muslim-majority nations.

Under Saddam Hussein, and before the 2003 U.S. “liberation” of Iraq, more than a mil­lion Christians lived in Iraq; Mosul had some 60,000 Christians. Today there are reportedly none thanks to the new Muslim “caliphate.”

In Egypt, some 100,000 Christian Copts fled their homeland soon after the “Arab Spring.” But even before that, the Coptic Orthodox Church lamented the “repeated incidents of dis­placement of Copts from their homes, wheth­er by force or threat. Displacements began in Ameriya [62 Christian families evicted], then they stretched to Dahshur [120 Christian fami­lies evicted], and today terror and threats have reached the hearts and souls of our Coptic chil­dren in Sinai.”

In late 2012, it was reported that the last Christian in the city of Homs, Syria—which had a Christian population of some 80,000 before jihadis came—was murdered. One teenage Syrian girl said: “We left because they were trying to kill us… because we were Christians… Those who were our neighbors turned against us. At the end, when we ran away, we went through bal­conies. We did not even dare go out on the street in front of our house.”

In the African nation of Mali, after a 2012 Islamic coup, as many as 200,000 Christians fled. According to reports, “the church in Mali faces being eradicated,” es­pecially in the north “where rebels want to establish an independent Islamist state and drive Christians out… there have been house to house searches for Christians who might be in hiding, church and Christian property has been looted or destroyed, and people tortured into revealing any Chris­tian relatives.” At least one pastor was be­headed.

One can go on and on:

* In Ethiopia, after a Christian was accused of desecrating a Koran, thousands of Christians were forced to flee their homes when “Muslim extremists set fire to roughly 50 churches and dozens of Christian homes.”

* In the Ivory Coast—where Christians have been crucified—Islamic rebels “massacred hundreds and displaced tens of thousands” of Christians.

* In Libya, Islamic rebels forced sever­al Christian nun orders serving the sick and needy since 1921 to flee and killed several Coptic Christians, causing that community also to flee.

* In Muslim-majority northern Nigeria, where hardly a Sunday passes without a church bomb­ing, Christians are fleeing by the thousands; one re­gion has been emptied of 95% of its Christian popu­lation.

* In Pakistan, after a Christian child was false­ly accused of desecrat­ing a Koran and Muslims went on an anti-Christian rampage, an entire Chris­tian village—men, women, and children—was forced to flee into the nearby woods, where they built a church, to permanently reside there.

Despite all these atrocities, exoduses, and even genocides, the mainstream me­dia seem to spend every available moment airing images of displaced Palestinians and demonizing Israel for trying to defend it­self. Yet Israel does not kill Palestinians be­cause of their religion or any other person­al aspects. It does so in the context of being rocketed and trying to defend itself from terrorism. On the other hand, all the crimes being committed by Muslims against Chris­tians are simply motivated by religious hate, because the Christians are Christian.

It is to the mainstream media’s great shame that those who slaughter, behead, crucify, and displace people for no other reason than be­cause they are Christian, rarely if ever get me­dia coverage, while a nation such as Israel, which kills only in the context of being self-de­fense, and not out of religious bigotry, is con­stantly demonized.

By Raymond Ibrahim http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4572/ christian-exodus-islamic-world

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