By Raymond Ibrahim
“They were trying to kill us… because we were Christians.” — Teenage girl from Homs, Syria.
There have been house-to-house searches in Mali for Christians who might be in hiding, and people tortured into revealing Christian relatives. At least one pastor was beheaded.
It is to the media’s shame that those who slaughter, behead, crucify and displace people for no other reason than that they are Christian rarely get media coverage, while Israel, which kills only in the context of trying to defend itself from rocket attacks and terrorism, and not out of religious bigotry, is constantly demonized.
Paying jizya [special poll tax for non-Muslims] is not only about money. It is about subjugation.
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.”
“We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract—involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword,” the announcement said.
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 appears here—women and children weeping as they flee their homes—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 expelling its resident monks.
Most recently, in Syrian regions under the Islamic State’s control, eight Christians were reportedly crucified.
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