A looming humanitarian crisis threatening the lives of 200,000 or more is being ignored by the United States, according to activists trying to save the thousands of Christians facing extermination at the hands of ISIS terrorists.
“The U.S. has done virtually nothing to allow Christians to flee into the U.S., but they allow many Muslims to come to the U.S.,” said former terrorist Walid Shoebat. “If the U.S. wants to survive and prevent what we see in the United Kingdom, we need to bring [Christian] brethren to the homeland, the land of the brave and the free, the home for persecuted.”
Shoebat, who describes himself as a “radicalized Muslim willing to die for the cause of jihad” and member of the PLO until he converted to Christianity in 1994, announced an effort through his group Rescue Christians to save tens of thousands of Christians who fled to Iraq’s Kurdish territory when ISIS took over vast regions of the troubled nation.
Experts predict the Kurds will not be able to stop the advance of ISIS, which has grown to an army estimated at more than 10,000 soldiers, and the Christians could face extermination.
Shoebat told WND the Christian community in Iraq, where the language once was the Aramaic spoken by Jesus, has been virtually obliterated.
Some Christians have fled to Europe and other places already.
“I get emails [and other requests] from Christians wanting to come to America,” Shoebat explained. “I can send you to Cyprus, Italy, or to Spain, to France, maybe Germany. But I can’t send them to the U.S.”
He said it would take forces on the ground in Iraq to protect the Christians who have fled and possibly a major arming of the Muslim Kurds. But he noted the U.S. already knows what can happen when it helps Muslim factions.
“The problem with the West is they don’t recognize what the future holds,” he said. During the Reagan presidency, America helped the mujahedeen, which later became the enemy Taliban. Obama has aided the Free Syrian Army, from which soldiers have moved to join ISIS, the latest enemy.
Shoebat said arming the Kurds eventually would produce the same result – another enemy of America.
The Rescue Christians effort is far from accomplished but is well under way.
“Christians, once again, are facing genocide in some parts of the world. It’s hardly the first time in history this has happened. The persecution is increasing, especially where Islamist ideology is on the rise,” said Joseph Farah, WND founder and CEO.
He has set up links to raise $100,000 for the Rescue Christians effort. About $6,800 already has been raised.
“Personally, for me, this is the most pressing issue in the world today. We are gratified that an organization has stepped forward into the breach left by the United Nations, the U.S. and the civilized world. It is imperative that Christians and others of goodwill step forward and act. That’s why WND is supporting this effort,” he said.
The Financial Times reported that from just one town, Qaroqosh, an estimated 15,000 Christians fled when ISIS troopers stormed in.
The Christians are now behind lines of Kurdish military forces who have been active against ISIS. But analysts predict the Kurds ultimately will be no match for ISIS fighters who armed themselves with the latest U.S. military technology when Iraqi army soldiers fled and abandoned the U.S.-supplied equipment.
So the Christians can expect extermination when ISIS ultimately moves against Kurdistan, analysts warn.
“The Kurds, no matter how many weapons we give them, will be unable to stop this onslaught,” Davies told WND. “The West needs to provide tens of thousands of troops today but will not. The 200,000 Christians in Kurdistan will have no where to go but to face jizya (a tax on non-Muslim subjects), convert or die.”
He said the alternative to total destruction for a population that has lived in the region for millennia is to help them escape Iraq.
His strategy is to take the Christians by air from Kurdish territory to Um Qasr. From there, a ship would carry the refugees to other nations.
“There are far too many refugees for the Kurds to take them on a permanent basis. And they can’t go back to their homes,” he told WND.
He said about two-thirds of the Christians already had left since the persecution started in 2003. The remaining “diehards” have seen firebombings, shootings and kidnappings.
He estimates the cost at hundreds of thousands of dollars for jet services and more for a ship to carry Christians to safety. He said his fundraising campaign already is well along toward its goal, but more help is needed.
WND reported the government of France responded to a plea by Iraqi Christians for help as militant Muslims sweep across their nation.
Political commentator Kirsten Powers in a USA Today column asked whether anyone was listening to the calls for help.
“Since capturing the country’s second largest city of Mosul in early June, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has ordered Christians to convert to Islam, pay jizya taxes levied on non-Muslims, or die. The extremist Sunni group is also persecuting and murdering Turkmen and Shabaks, both Muslim religious minorities,” she wrote.
“For the first time in 2,000 years, Mosul is devoid of Christians,” she reported, noting that sources said ISIS took down Christian crosses, blew up the tomb of the prophet Jonah and turned a cathedral into a mosque.