July 23, 2014
Paris Quiet on News Christians in Mosul, Iraq Expelled
I meant to get to this yesterday, but it's almost too depressing to read:
After being issued an ultimatum from ISIS in Mosul, some of the city’s last Christian families have fled, only to be robbed of their last possessions at ISIS checkpoints. Friday at noon was the deadline for Christian families to meet ISIS’s demands: Convert to Islam, pay an anachronistic Islamic tax for non-Muslims known as jizya, leave Mosul, or be killed. But the day before the final exodus, Christians were informed jizya was no longer an option. The order came to convert, leave, or die.Jesus wept.
Gathered along an unlit street on the edge of Hamdaniyah, a majority Christian town on the outskirts of Mosul, large, well-dressed families of refugees from Mosul shared their stories in their only remaining set of clothes, trying to make sense of what had happened. According to the Iraq-based Hammurabi Human Rights Organization, whose field office was receiving internal refugees in Hamdaniyah, 1,500 Christian families have fled Mosul in the last four days. They were the last of the last.
Those families leaving from the checkpoints on the eastern side of the city were harassed and robbed of their possessions but ultimately allowed to leave Mosul with only the clothes on their backs and possibly cab fare. All families who fled on the last morning reported having money, belongings, jewelry, and even documents stolen from them. Women had crucifixes torn from their necks.