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Why America is duty bound to help Iraqi Christians


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why-america-is-duty-bound-to-help-iraqi-christiansThe Week:

Why America is duty bound to help Iraqi Christians


Our war led to the destruction of their communities. We must offer them aid and assistance now.

By Michael Brendan Dougherty | July 22, 2014

Just 11 years ago, there were 1.5 million Christians living in Iraq. Since the U.S. war there, that number has plummeted to approximately 400,000 — and it is still falling fast. The chaos created by the U.S. invasion, occupation, and withdrawal, as well as the ongoing Syrian civil war and insurgent-fueled unrest in much of Iraq, has dramatically increased the persecution and pressure on Iraq's Christians and other religious minorities.


ISIS, the emergent Islamist terrorist group that spans from Syria into Iraq, has already taken over Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city. They painted signs on the walls of Christian homes, meant to indicate to all the presence of a minority they hate. They gave Christians a choice and a deadline: Pay an exorbitant tax, convert to Islam, leave, or be put to death. Most have fled after having their property confiscated. Five Christian families, according to The New York Times, had members too ill to flee to Kurdistan or Turkey, and so consented to a forced conversion to Islam. ISIS burned Christian churches, and dug up a shrine many Middle Eastern Christians believe is the final resting place of the prophet Jonah, along with another site said to contain the Biblical prophet Seth.


Reading these headlines and tut-tutting isn't enough. Scissors-32x32.png

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The Muslim who gave up his life for Mosuls Christians

Chaldean website ankawa.com says a university professor was killed after speaking out against anti-Christian persecution. Meanwhile, the Islamic State has set the jizyah at 450 dollars

Giorgio Bernardell



He refused to keep silent about the violence agaist Mosuls Christians who are forced to choose between converting to the Muslim faith, paying the jizyah (the Islamic tax for non-Muslims) or fleeing. Professor Mahmoud Al Asali, a law professor who lectures on pedagogy at the University of Mosul, had the courage to make a stand against this brutal duress which he believes go against the Muslim commandments. But he paid for this gesture with his life: he was killed by ISIS militants in Mosul yesterday.


Chaldean website ankawa.com - one of the news sources that offers the promptest updates on the inferno Christians are experiencing in Iraq announced the news. Amidst the ocean of tragedies currently being witnessed in the Middle Eastern country, the website did not want to let this act of great courage go unnoticed. Professor Ali Asali knew what he was risking: everyone in Mosul knows that in Raqqa - the Syrian city which the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant seized last year there are many human rights activists who have paid for their opposition to ISIS acts of intolerance with their own lives. But Al Asali was nevertheless unable to stand by in silence.


And so are many other Muslims, who have launched the I am Iraqi, I am Christian campaign in response to the letter Ns written on the walls of Christian homes in Mosul. Yesterday some of them turned up outside the Chaldean Church of St. George in Baghdad, with a banner displaying the slogan and posted a picture on Facebook.






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