By Palmer Williams
By now, most Americans have heard tales of the atrocities perpetrated by the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) against anyone who refuses to bow down to their radical Islamic caliphate. Christians, Yazidis, and moderate Muslims alike have all been captured, raped, and slaughtered en masse by ISIS.
Yet despite the mounting evidence of the ever-increasing brutality and influence of ISIS, very little is being done to stop their tide of evil.
Here are 5 reasons why it is imperative that the United States and its Western allies take the Islamic State seriously and stop their evil once and for all:
1. The brutality of the Islamic State knows no limits.
Mass beheadings of Christians, children burned alive in cages, and the latest reports of 10 men accused of apostasy in Afghanistan being forced to lay over bombs buried in the sand before the captors press the detonators – the scope of these jihadists’ terror knows no bounds.
And just when you think it can’t possibly get any worse, it does.
This week, the Catholic relief agency Aid to the Church in Need announced that “Christians have become a form [of] currency in this tragedy.” They report that many Arab Christians are being abducted and held for ransom as a means of funding ISIS. One priest’s family managed to scrape together the $120,000 ransom put on his head, but once they paid the sum, they were mailed his cut up body parts in a box.
This sort of brutality is inconceivable! These men are ruthless and cruel, and seem to have turned the torture and murder of their captives into some sort of sick sport.
If this is not the kind of evil that our government is established to stop, then one must ask what is.
This evil must be stopped!
2. The Islamic State has institutionalized a culture of rape and sex-slavery.
ISIS is waging a literal war against women.
It is well documented by survivors who have escaped and from ISIS internal documents that the women and girls ISIS captures are immediately forced into a highly organized system of sex slavery. As we previously reported, ISIS published a “price list” of Yazidi and Christian women available for purchase at ISIS sex-slave markets, even going as far as naming the price of girls aged 0-9 years old!
The New York Times recently reported that ISIS has now enshrined the rape of its female captives into its radical Islamic theology.
A growing body of internal policy memos and theological discussions has established guidelines for slavery, including a lengthy how-to manual issued by the Islamic State Research and Fatwa Department just last month. Repeatedly, the ISIS leadership has emphasized a narrow and selective reading of the Quran and other religious rulings to not only justify violence, but also to elevate and celebrate each sexual assault as spiritually beneficial, even virtuous.
“Every time that he came to rape me, he would pray,” said F, a 15-year-old girl who was captured on the shoulder of Mount Sinjar one year ago and was sold to an Iraqi fighter in his 20s. Like some others interviewed by The New York Times, she wanted to be identified only by her first initial because of the shame associated with rape.
“He kept telling me this is ibadah,” she said, using a term from Islamic scripture meaning worship.
It is estimated that thousands of Christian and Yazidi women are currently being held in warehouses, ready to be sold on the auction block and subjected to a lifetime of rape and torture. This evil must be stopped!
3. The Islamic State consistently and systematically defies international law.
Although ISIS claims to have set up a system of courts and government within their caliphate, they continually mock international laws and legal norms with almost every action they take.
It is undeniable that ISIS has perpetrated thousands of war crimes, including directing attacks against civilians, murdering and mistreating prisoners of war, and wantonly destroying entire villages and religious relics not warranted by military necessity.
They have also clearly perpetrated many crimes against humanity, as their widespread and systematic jihadist military campaigns are often directed at civilian populations.
Not to mention, their actions appear congruent with the very definition of genocide: “Genocide is the systematic elimination of all or a significant part of a racial, ethnic, religious, cultural or national group.” ISIS’s mindset and actions against the Christian and Yazidi religious minorities they have captured, raped, and murdered in Iraq seem to fit squarely within this definition.
Not only is ISIS murdering these groups and forcing them from their lands, but ISIS is also destroying all historical evidence of these cultures from the regions they conquer. If this isn’t the definition of genocide, I’m not sure what is.
And just this week, evidence has emerged that ISIS may be using chemical weapons. The New York Times reported:
The group responsible for monitoring adherence to the global ban on chemical weapons said Monday that it had contacted Iraq over reports of the possible use of such munitions there. A statement by the group, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, based in The Hague, came a few days after United States officials said Islamic State militants appeared to have used such munitions, possibly mustard gas, on Kurdish fighters in Iraq.
This is why we at the ACLJ are working on Capitol Hill and at the United Nations to ensure ISIS is fully brought to justice for all the international crimes they are currently committing. This evil must be stopped!
4. The Islamic State is gaining ground rapidly.
Despite President Obama’s insistence that there is no need for greater U.S. involvement with ISIS, these jihadists continue to gain more influence, money, and power. Every day, we see new accounts of Christians & Yazidis begin captured, women being enslaved, and mass murders being committed by ISIS.
Their scope now reaches beyond their primary battlefields in Iraq and Syria. A US General in Kabul told the Pentagon this week that ISIS is now making inroads into Afghanistan. They just reestablished their control of the Libyan city of Sirte. ISIS also reportedly released a hit list of US and British airmen in England, asking their allies abroad to target and kill those listed. And these are a few on the many advances they have made just this month!
These are not the actions of a military that is in retreat. These are the actions of an emboldened jihadist army that is on the offensive and whose numbers and conquests are growing daily. And this evil must be stopped!
5. The mission of ISIS is to annihilate all Christians and all people who do not bow down to the caliphate.
The express goal of ISIS is to extinguish all Christians and other religious minorities from the Middle East. The first western journalist allowed inside the ISIS regime reported that ISIS is “enthusiastic about killing hundreds of millions of people.”
And last December, an eye-opening documentary revealed very young boys pledging their allegiance to the Islamic State, saying they are joining the ISIS fighters “because they kill infidels and apostates.”
Radical Islam will not stop until everyone bows down to them or is extinguished. Genocide against Christians and others is the natural consequence of their radical ideology.
Even The New York Times realizes what is happening, recently publishing an article entitled “Is this the End of Christianity in the Middle East” which details how ISIS is “looking to eradicate Christians and other minorities altogether.”
Yet, for more than a year, President Obama has failed to appoint an Ambassador to lead a Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia.
While Christians and other religious minorities are decimated in that region, the Obama Administration leaves this vital position unfilled. This is why the ACLJ has urged them to fill this spot and will continue to do so.
We must help our brothers and sisters in Christ and all people who are suffering daily at the hands of pure evil. We cannot stand by and let our fellow human beings be tortured and exterminated.
As Dietrich Bonhoeffer stated, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
We must act. And we must demand that our leaders act!
At the ACLJ, we continue our work on Capitol Hill and around the world to not only raise awareness to ISIS’s genocidal reign of terror, but to urge our government to take the lead in ending this historic evil.