PM Barzani calls for ur­gent as­sis­tance to dis­placed Chris­tians

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

ISIS told Chris­tians they must con­vert to Is­lam, pay spe­cial tax or leave Mo­sul. If they did not, there would be noth­ing for them but the sword

A state­ment is­sued by the Is­lamic State in Iraq and the Le­vant (ISIS) was read out at the city's mosques.

It called on Chris­tians to com­ply by mid­day on Satur­day or face death if they did not leave the north­ern city.

ISIS has con­trol of large parts of Syria and Iraq and said last month it was cre­at­ing an Is­lamic caliphate.

The ultimatum cited a his­toric con­tract known as "dhimma," un­der which non-Mus­lims in Is­lamic so­ci­eties who refuse to con­vert are of­fered pro­tec­tion if they pay a fee, called a "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 ISIS state­ment said.

Most of the Chris­tian fam­i­lies started leav­ing their homes and took their way to Kur­dis­tan Re­gion es­pe­cially Duhok and Er­bil.

After the event, the Kur­dish Prime Min­is­ter Nechir­van Barzani, in a state­ment, asked the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to as­sist the refugees.

ISIS is­sued a sim­i­lar ultimatum in the Syr­ian city of Raqqa in Fe­bru­ary, call­ing on Chris­tians to pay about half an ounce (14g) of pure gold in ex­change for their safety.

Since 2003, when Sad­dam Hus­sein was ousted, Mo­sul’s Chris­tians, one of the old­est com­mu­ni­ties of its kind in the world, had seen their num­bers dwin­dle from over 30,000 to just a few thou­sand, but once ISIS swept into the city in early June, there were re­ports that the re­main­ing Chris­tians had fled.

Chris­tians are among several mi­nori­ties who are be­ing sys­tem­at­i­cally ex­pelled or killed by ISIS, ac­cord­ing to a United Na­tions re­port on civil­ian ca­su­al­ties in Iraq re­leased on Fri­day.

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