Muslims Standing With Christians Who Fled Mosul, Iraq

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(above: a 2010 Christian demonstration in support of persecuted Christians – in light of the ongoing “Christian cleansing” of much of Iraq, is it too late to help?)

Last week, Christians in Mosul, Iraq were given an ultimatum by ISIS:

convert. . .pay the tax. . .or. . .die.

BBC reported:

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.

The New York Times reported:

On Saturday, to meet a deadline by the ISIS militants, most Christians in Mosul, a community almost as old as Christianity itself, left with little more than the clothes they were wearing.

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Some went on foot, their cars having been confiscated; others rode bicycles or motor scooters. Few were able to take anything of value, as militants seized their money and jewelry.

Some — just a few, and because they were not healthy enough to flee — submitted to demands that they convert to Islam to avoid being killed.

“There are five Christian families who converted to Islam because they were threatened with death,” said Younadim Kanna, a Christian and a member of Iraq’s Parliament. “They did so just to stay alive.”

But. . .the New York Times also reported something positive in the midst of all this:

A day after Christians fled Mosul, the northern city controlled by Islamist extremists, under the threat of death, Muslims and Christians gathered under the same roof — a church roof — in Baghdad on Sunday afternoon.

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(above: Iraqi Christians and Muslims attended a Christian church service in Baghdad on Sunday to show support for Christians forced to leave Mosul)

In the pews Christians – and Muslims – held signs that read, “I’m Iraqi. I’m Christian.”

A Muslim woman sitting next to a crying Christian woman reached out and whispered:

“You are the true original people here, and we are sorry for what has been done to you in the name of Islam.”

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PostScript: At a time of such chaos, violence, and loss – at a time of “Christian cleansing” by extremists in Iraq – this kind of compassionate (and courageous) love by Muslims in that church in Baghdad is a true expression of what Isa – Jesus – said:

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”

(The Injil, the Good News According to Matthew, chapter 7 verse 12 & chapter 22 verse 39)

Shukran – thank you – to every Muslim who loves like this. . .

10 thoughts on “Muslims Standing With Christians Who Fled Mosul, Iraq

  1. I wrote this in another place too that no Muslim who even has a small understanding of religion would ever support the actions of ISIS. They have their own agenda, or i should say what they do, they do for themselves. I bet they would’nt even offer Salah.

    I want to say to all the Iraqi Christians that I am sorry. Please don’t let the actions of a bunch of mad men make you think bad of all the Muslims.

    • Sarosh,

      What kind words. I cannot thank you enough. Shukran!

      I will not allow the actions of extremists to affect my love for Muslims. God is greater than the mad men, greater than the chaos and destruction and pain we see in Syria, Iraq, and Gaza. I trust Him and again. . .I thank you.

  2. Of course we stand with our Christian brothers and sisters ISIS is just a terrorist organisation they don’t represent us or Islam their goal is dividing us but in sha Allah they won’t do it because we are one they kill Muslims and Christians there even our Muslim scholars are against them

  3. Fadi H. (response to my post from “The Truth- Muslims, Christians and Jews Together for Palestine” facebook page) on said:

    Mark never ever happen that before these ISIS not Muslim and what they doing not Islam I am sorry for all Christians wow have been hurt by these people

  4. Zai M. (response to my post from "The Truth- Muslims, Christians and Jews Together for Palestine" facebook page) on said:

    hmmm they 3 choices to live in iraq.. In the days of the prophet s.a.w, no one was forced to convert, they converted on their own. Co-existing peacefully with non muslims was practicesd by the prophet s.a.w.. U are supposed to invite people to convert not force them by giving them 3 ridiculous choices. Islam means submission to Allah by your free will.. They want to kill non muslims coz they not good enough as they are but da non muslims Money is more than good enough to take!!! Absolute crap. These people need their heads checked..

  5. Malika K. (response from "The Truth- Muslims, Christians and Jews Together for Palestine" facebook page) on said:

    As a Muslim woman I’m ashamed that these men are behaving like so they can’t of have read any chapter of the Quran or Hadith for our religion is anything but this brutality, they not represent me Or Islam my since apology our Christian Arab sisters and brothers.

  6. Salaam Sarosh,

    Thank you for this lovely piece. Please let me know what more can we as Muslims do to really reject what ISIS is doing? i love here in the U.S. and I hear horrible stories. People here also get really angry at the Muslims and I didn’t know about this what you wrote about (Muslims and Christians in the same Church). I keep hearing that Sunnis (which I am also) are loving ISIS. But all of those in my circle and family are disgusted and know that this isn’t the way of Islam at all! I have lovely Jewish and Christian friends and I have known them since I was a girl. What can we do? What other ways can we fight and speak out? Please let me know. Thank you so much. May Allah send his love, support and mercy to all of the oppressed in Syria, Iraq, Palestine and all over the world. Ameen

    Wa Salaam,
    Asma

    • I’m so sorry, Sarosh and Mark and *anyone* who wrote or is in charge of this site and article? If you could answer my question above I would really appreciate it. My sincerest apologies I didn’t see who was exactly in charge. My eyes deceived me. Thank you anyone.

    • Asma, it was my blog post (Mark).

      Yes, I know that many Sunni Muslims absolutely do not support ISIS in their terrorism and evil actions to minorities. I really thank you for your very kind comments – for speaking out! In my blog and Facebook pages, I try to make it clear that Muslim leaders all over the world are denouncing ISIS. I speak a lot in churches and repeatedly tell Christians that they must not look at all Muslims through the actions of ISIS or other groups like them.

      As for you, keep speaking out also! On Facebook, on blogs like this, to your friends and neighbors. Wherever you can. If enough Muslims speak out against ISIS, the world will have to take notice and really listen. It will help to bring peace.

      God bless you, Asma!

      Isa al Masih – Jesus – said in the Injil (Matthew, 5:9),
      “Blessed are the peacemakers. . .”

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