>>“As a proud Austrian woman primarily, and then as an Assyrian of Iraqi origin, I appeal to you to direct particular attention to the horrific ethnic and religious cleansing and the dreadful genocide which is being perpetrated, especially at this very moment, against Christians in Iraq and Syria.
The studious silence, inaction and failure to face this for what it is, speak for themselves, throwing the utter bankruptcy of media, activists and officialdom alike into high relief. Not only in the wider world, but in our own region. END“This systematic mass murder is being committed by radical Islamic holy warriors whose leader a few weeks ago proclaimed a new caliphate, presently called IS, or the Islamic State.
“It is very sad to have to look on as Austria … scarcely reacts to the horrifying events. The ignorance in the face of the gravest human rights violations unfolding before our eyes, and at the gates of Europe, is beyond me.
“It is mass murder that one of the most ancient peoples in the world, with their thousands of years of culture, representing a global cultural inheritance, is being annihilated.
“The Christian minority in Iraq is one of the most ancient Christian communities, having been in existence since the first century. Today they are on the point of being abandoned to massacres, executions and everlasting oblivion.
“Only a few weeks have passed since the violent advance of ISIS paralyzed Iraq, sent hundreds of thousands of people to their deaths and drove another 100,000 out of their homes.
“A month ago, the Islamic State captured large swathes of Iraq with breathtaking speed and overran its second-largest city, Mosul. Nineveh is the Assyrian name for the city of Mosul; it is more than 2,000 years old. This city was home to a Christian community in Iraq that was once the country’s second-largest community.
“However, the advances of this jihadist group did not stop with the taking of Mosul. A few days ago they conquered the city of Qaraqosh, where 50,000 Christians lived. The refugees fleeing from Mosul had tripled this number.
“It was in Qaraqosh that the Christians from Mosul and surrounding villages … had found safety. The adherents of the Islamic State issued an ultimatum to the Christians: they painted the Arabic letter N (ن) on the houses of Christians in order to identify them as unbelievers marked for execution, just as the Nazis had marked Jewish properties with the Star of David.
“The Arabic letter ن stands for ‘Nazarene,’ the Quran’s disparaging term for Christians. In addition to the letter ن, the jihadists wrote: ‘This property belongs to the Islamic State.’
“The holy warriors gave the infidels the following alternatives:
“That is exactly what the Quran prescribes for dealing with Christians and Jews. The militants told the Christians to leave the city, even using loudspeakers attached to the minarets of the hundreds of mosques in the city.
- “Convert to Islam;
- “Pay the jizyah tax on non-Muslim religions, which is set unaffordably high;
- “Move out and leave everything behind;
- “Die by the sword.
“The time-limit within which Christians had to decide was fixed at 24 hours. Anyone who failed to make his mind up by that time was brutally executed. It took the fanatical jihadists just 24 hours to expel all Christians from a city where Christians had lived for 2,000 years.
“An entire people is being murdered and violated today to the cry of Allahu Akbar. An entire religion is being stamped out.
“Anyone who does not belong to the religion of these jihadists is simply beheaded. Christian, Yazidi, Shabaks, Shiites and even Sunni, any infidel, is brutally killed.
“In the name of humanity, rescue these people and these minorities. At this moment, 100,000 Yazidi are barricading themselves on Mount Sinjar, without food and water, and 25,000 children have died in agony from hunger and thirst.
“In the meantime, 150,000 Christians have fled to Arbil. The churches, and the houses of other Christians in Arbil, are already so overcrowded that there is no more room for new arrivals.
“The people are living in inhumane conditions. Some are sleeping on the streets. Children and infants scream from hunger and fatigue. They feel hated and rejected. They have been made foreigners in their own land.
“By the degrading and inhuman actions of these jihadists, the human dignity of non-Muslims is being literally trampled underfoot.
“Today, in the 21st century, women and infidels are being sold as sex slaves by the radical Islamic jihadists. Their men are being beheaded before their eyes, their children violated.
“This is genocide without parallel. It is happening right now.
“Even Arbil is no longer secure; on Friday Aug. 8, 2014, I spoke with my cousin there by telephone. He told me that on that very evening, having already packed their suitcases, they were going to make their way along the escape route in the direction of Diana [a village in northern Kurdistan with a substantial Christian population].
“There is no longer a life for Christians in Iraq. They are in very great danger. To avoid beheading, they will try to flee into Iran, the only remaining escape route out of Iraq . . . .
“Please use your influence to help us to organize relief supplies. Let us be generous in accepting amongst us refugees from Iraq and Syria, a persecuted people to whom the foremost preference must be given.
“Please also make representations at the international level. Our country must join the political and military campaign against the Islamic jihadists. Civilization is in danger. Do not wait until the jihad arrives on our own doorstep. Thank you.” >>