Wednesday, July 23, 2014
The Islamic terrorist group ISIS has recently rebranded itself (in Western fashion) as the Islamic State. We mustn't let this self-promotion lull us into any illusions of legitimacy, however. This terrorist organization has declared war on the Christians of Mosul. The Christians in Mosual must convert to Islam, pay vast fines, or be killed -- or, in one last indignity, be robbed (of their crucifixes) as they flee for their lives. The story is here
Pope Francis has repeatedly condemned this persecution, and the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has declared it a crime against humanity. What the terrorists known as the Islamic State are accomplishing in Mosul is without a doubt genocide within the meaning of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which was signed in 1948 and took effect in 1951.
Yet where is the White House in all of this? Why has President Obama not condemned *this* genocide?
President Obama needn't start by calling it what it is, that is, genocide. He could start by, say, actually acting to enforce the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. Yes, yes, I recognize that "religious freedom" doesn't do conceptual justice to genocide, but "religious freedom" doesn't itself do justice to the essence of true religion, yet nearly everyone in the West seems to be on board with "religious freedom," at least nominally. And so, when will that great champion of "religious freedom," the USCCB, bestir itself to condemn this epochal violation of religious freedom and perhaps even call the Catholics of the United States to prayer and penance in solidarity with their persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ?
The Syrian Catholic Archeparchy in Mosul was burned to the ground the other day as a part of the ongoing purge. What traces of ancient Christianity will be left in Iraq when U.S. (and other Western) foreign policy has run its course there? I think the terrorists there know the answer, which no doubt emboldens them still further.