July 19, 2014

IRAQ: ISIS Islamist Militants Threaten To Kill Christians In Mosul Who Don't Convert To Islam. ISIS Gave Christians A Saturday 12pm Deadline To Make Choice. Where Is The UN?!

written by JC Finley
Friday July 18, 2014

BAGHDAD -The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria distributed leaflets to Christian leaders in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul this week, threatening violence if they don't convert.

Christians who do not accept Islam or fail to pay extra taxes to the Islamic Sharia courts, the letters warned, will face "death by the sword."

Christians who do not agree to ISIS demands were also given the option to leave Mosul. According to a message from ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, non-complying Christians were permitted to "evacuate themselves only from the caliphate state" by 12 p.m. local time on Saturday or their "only option is the sword."

The warning comes as ISIS has reportedly withdrawn from parts of Mosul, replaced by another Sunni militant group, the Naqshbandi Army (also referred to as JRTN). Mosul governor Atheel Nujaifi told the Guardian that the ISIS "strike force" had relocated from the city to fight Iraqi armed forces in Tikrit. JRTN, he said, now controls the eastern half of Mosul.

There is some speculation that JRTN, led by Saddam Hussein-era Baathists, formed an alliance with ISIS that enabled the Sunni militant lightning offensive in June to seize control of key Iraqi cities.


written by Reuters staff
Friday July 18, 2014

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - 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.

The statement issued by the Islamic State, the al Qaeda offshoot which led last month's lightning assault to capture swathes of north Iraq, and seen by Reuters, said the ruling would come into effect on Saturday.

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.

A resident of Mosul said the statement, issued in the name of the Islamic State in Iraq's northern province of Nineveh, had been distributed on Thursday and read out in mosques.

It said Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, which the group has now named Caliph Ibrahim, had set a Saturday deadline for Christians who did not want to stay and live under those terms to "leave the borders of the Islamic Caliphate".

"After this date, there is nothing between us and them but the sword," it said.

The Nineveh decree echoes one that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, the former name for the Islamic State, issued in the Syrian city of Raqqa in February, demanding that Christians pay the jizya levy in gold and curb displays of their faith in return for protection.

The concept of dhimma, governing non-Muslims living under Islamic rule, dates back to the early Islamic era in the seventh century, but was largely abolished during the Ottoman reforms of the mid-19th century.

Mosul, once home to diverse faiths, had a Christian population of around 100,000 a decade ago, but waves of attacks on Christians since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein have seen those numbers collapse.

The resident of Mosul who saw the Islamic State announcement estimated the city's Christian population before last month's militant takeover at around 5,000. The vast bulk of those have since fled, leaving perhaps only 200 in the city, he said.

Breitbart news
written by Frances Martel
Tuesday July 15, 2014

Just one week ago, reports began to surface that residents of Mosul, Iraq – a town captured by the terrorist jihadi group Islamic State (formerly Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS) – had returned to normal life and were even happier with the jihadist leadership than the Iraqi government. Reports this week indicate otherwise.

According to outlets like NBC and Vice, life in Mosul had returned to a relative calm, and ISIS's ability to provide water and electricity was winning over the Sunni population of the city. Also under their control were the food and necessary goods of the city, as Mosul is fully controlled and surrounded by the terrorist group. 

In a report Monday, the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) notes that ISIS has begun using its rationing system against Christians and Shiites, denying them basic needs.

Their report, based on an Arabic report in the outlet Ankawa, claims that government workers in the city were explicitly told not to give rations to Christians and Shiites. One worker in particular told the outlet that he "was warned that if he gives rations to Christians and Shiites he will be charged and prosecuted according to sharia law."

ISIS has committed violent acts against Christians in Mosul before, particularly attacking and destroying the tomb of the prophet Jonah. It has also begun converting Christian areas of prayer into Muslim properties. AINA reports that the cross above the St. Ephrem Cathedral in Mosul has been removed, with photos showing that the cross is no longer visible on top of the cathedral's dome. St. Ephrem Cathedral is the seat of Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese in Mosul.

Christians have fled Mosul in droves, attempting to reach Kurdish territory, where they are accepted, or pass through the country's borders to other areas. One factor that may be triggering the denial of rations – which would essentially starve Christians to death – is the fact that Christians who fled are returning to Mosul. A report from Charisma News notes that many who fled the city have decided to return, finding no other suitable refuge. An organization working with Christians in Iraq tells the news outlet that, in speaking to Christian families, "some families mentioned it is better to die at home than staying on streets."

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