Neocon Iraq Policy Success
The mark of the Nazarene, above, "100 people lined up, all holding the Arabic letter nun, or 'N,' which the Islamic State painted on the homes of Christians in Mosul," a graphic visual to accompany "hard left" CounterPuncher Patrick Cockburn's stark reminder of "the greatest mass flight of Christians in the Middle East since the Armenian massacres and the expulsion of Christians from Turkey during and after the First World War" — Time Runs Out for Christian Iraq.
- The last Christians in northern Iraq are fleeing from places where their communities have lived for almost 2,000 years, as a deadline passed for them to either convert to Islam, pay a special tax or be killed.... Isis, which now rules an area larger than Great Britain, has already eliminated many of the ancient Christian communities of eastern Syria, where those who had not escaped were given a similar choice between conversion, payment of a special tax or death....
Mosul is one of the most ancient centres of Christianity and on the east bank of the Tigris river that flows through the city is a mosque housing the tomb of the Biblical figure of Jonah. This is now in danger of being destroyed by Isis, whose puritan and iconoclastic version of Islam is opposed to the worship of tombs, shrines, statues and pictures....
The Christians are mostly Assyrians, known as the Church of the East, or Chaldeans, an Eastern rite of the Catholic Church.... The church of Mary in Mosul, 225 miles from Baghdad, was closed by Islamic militants.... Christians were ordered by Isis to attend a meeting with them on 16 July, but they refused to go and a decree was issued the following day offering the three options of conversion, payment of jizia or special tax by non-Muslims or expulsion on pain of death.
Two Christian nuns and three orphans were kidnapped for 15 days when they stopped at a petrol station. Christian churches in Mosul have been progressively occupied and despoiled.... Chaldean Archbishop Nona told HRW that four cars had come to his archdiocese compound:
“Each car carried three gunmen, most of them with masks. They broke open the doors and took some small statues from inside the property and broke them outside. They took control of the premises and placed their black banners on the roof and entrance. They told neighbours, ‘this is our property, don’t touch it’.”