Christians in Iraq face imminent threat, refugees need help

1,800-year-old church in Mosul destroyed by ISIS in July, 2014.

1,800-year-old church in Mosul destroyed by ISIS in July, 2014.

The Islamic State (IS/ISIS) militants have bombed a catholic church in al-Arabi area of Mosul, according to a news bulletin posted by Rudaw.

The notorious ISIS militants have bombed several churches in the past, including a statute of virgin Mary. They have maliciously targeted Christians and non-Muslim minorities in areas where they have seized control.

These ongoing attacks, targeting of Christians, and destruction of their holy sites has caused outrage internationally. There is no doubt that within Islam the destruction of places of worship — churches, synagogues and mosques where the name of God is mention is prohibited (Qur’an 20:40).

In July, ISIS militants destroyed the Prophet Jonah’s tomb in Mosul, burning several churches and demolishing shrines as well.

Christian refugees have sought safety in Kurdistan Region, but the influx of refugees into the region has led to a humanitarian crisis.

What troubles me, at least personally, is the lack of Muslim leadership over the crisis ISIS militants have generated. Their lack of responses to these incidents is incredibly troubling. It’s ironic, when petty issues are met with dozens of Fatwas, while destruction of holy sites are ignored.

Moderate Muslim scholars should wage an ideological war on ISIS, and their ilk. There must be constant condemnation, and this is not vilifying Muslims or their leaders, but ensuring they are fulfilling the roles they have chosen for themselves. As religious leaders, a responsibility rests on their shoulders, to speak out against inhumane killings, and extremist groups such as ISIS.

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