Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 25th 2014 Contents A40
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, July 25, 2014
BAGHDAD---The head of Iraq s largest church said
on Sunday that Islamic State militants who drove
Christians out of Mosul were worse than Mongol
leader Genghis Khan and his grandson Hulagu who
ransacked medieval Baghdad.
Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako
led a wave of condemnation for the Sunni Islamists
who demanded Christians either convert, submit to
their radical rule and pay a religious levy or face death
by the sword.
At the Vatican, Pope Francis decried what he said
was the persecution of Christians in the birthplace of
their faith, while UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
said the Islamic State s actions could constitute a crime
Hundreds of Christian families left Mosul ahead of
Saturday s ultimatum, many of them stripped of their
possessions as they fled for safety.
They formed the remnants of a community which
once numbered in the tens of thousands and traced
its presence in Mosul to the earliest years of Chris-
People of other faiths in the once diverse city, includ-
ing Shi ites, Yazidis and Shabaks, have also fled from
the ultra-conservative militants, who have blown up
mosques and shrines and seized property of fleeing
"The heinous crime of the Islamic State was carried
out not just against Christians, but against humanity,"
Sako told a special church service in east Baghdad
where around 200 Muslims joined Christians in sol-
"How in the 21st century could people be forced
from their houses just because they are Christian, or
Shi ite or Sunni or Yazidi?" he asked. "Christian families
have been expelled from their houses and their valuables
were stolen and...their houses and property expropriated
in the name of the Islamic State."
"This has never happened in Christian or Islamic
history. Even Genghis Khan or Hulagu didn t do this,"
he said. Hulagu Khan led a Mongol army which sacked
Baghdad in 1258, killing tens of thousand of people,
destroying a caliphate which lasted nearly 600 years
and leaving the city in ruins for centuries.
Muslims at the service held up leaflets declaring "I
am Iraqi, I am Christian", some writing it on their
Others marked themselves with an "N", the first
letter of the Arabic word for Christian, "Nasrani" or
Nazarene. The Islamic State has been putting an "N"
on Christian property marked out for seizure.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki condemned the
treatment of the Christians and what he described as
attacks on churches in Mosul, saying it showed "the
extreme criminality and terrorist nature of this group."
Iraq s security forces, which wilted under the weight
of last month s Islamic State-led offensive, have been
reinforced by Shi ite militia fighters and are trying to
push back the Sunni militants further south. So far
they have failed to take back significant territory from
Pope Francis said he was troubled by the Islamic
State ultimatum in his weekly public prayers on Sunday.
The Chaldeans are Eastern Rite Catholics in communion
One Christian who left Mosul last week described
how he fled with his family when he learned of the
Islamic State deadline.
"We gathered all our belongings and headed for the
only exit. There was a checkpoint on the road and
they were stopping cars there," 35-year-old Salwan
Noel Miskouni said.
When the militants saw they were Christians, they
demanded gold and money. The family initially said
they had none, one of the fighters took their four-
year-old son by the hand and threatened to abduct
"My sister emptied her entire handbag with our
money and gold and her ID. They let the car pass and
the child go," Miskouni said.
Catholic leader: Islamic state
worse than Genghis Khan
pray at Mar
the town of
"If the Islamic State leaves we will probably
go back but if they stay it s impossible---because
they will slaughter us." (Reuters)
"How in the 21st century could people be
forced from their houses just because
they are Christian, or Shi'ite or Sunni or
Yazidi?" he asked. "Christian families have
been expelled from their houses and their
valuables were stolen and ...their houses
and property expropriated in the name of
the Islamic State."
Links Archive July 24th 2014 July 26th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page