Persecuted Christians Join Yazidis in Iraq’s Fight Against ISIS
Jan 28 2015

Persecuted Christians Join Yazidis in Iraq’s Fight Against ISIS

by Dr. Phyllis Chesler
28 Jan 2015NYC0

The savage Muslim persecution of Assyrian Christians and Yazidi
(Zoroastrian/Hindus) by Sunni Muslims in the Middle East and in Shiite
Iran has reached fever-pitch. ISIS has systematically murdered,
tortured, captured, and enslaved Yazidi girls and women. They have
done likewise to the Assyrians in Syria and Iraq. Iran has persecuted
Assyrians as well.

In terms of ISIS in Syria and Iraq: It is important to note that
Western-born and Western-raised fighters have joined these barbaric
warriors. This is a dangerous phenomenon because these fighters are
choosing barbarism over civilization.

Last week, two Yazidi women managed, miraculously, to recently escape
their captors. Their information is very valuable. Through them we
learn the following:

Jihadists from Australia, who went to fight for ISIS in Syria,
captured and enslaved these two Yazidi women, raped them continually,
and threatened them with sale into sex slavery or even death if they
did not “marry” their rapists. These Australian-born Jihadists had
other wives and children who were being indoctrinated into a barbarian
Jihadist culture.

The point here is that these fighters obviously rejected Western
Australian values. Khaled Sharrouf, one of the Australian-born
terrorists of Lebanese origin, has a long history of mental illness
and criminality. His companion-in-Jihad, Sydney-born Mohamed Elomar,
also of Lebanese origin, was a championship boxer, until he became
radicalized about 10 years ago when he joined the Global Islamic Youth
Centre (GIYC) in Liverpool, Australia, where notorious hate-preacher
Sheikh Feiz Mohammad led prayers. Feiz was supposedly an inspiration
to one of the Boston Marathon bombers.

Assyrians are Christians. During World War I, 750,000 Assyrians (75%
of their population) were killed, along with 1.5 million Armenians and
500,000 Pontic Greeks, by Turks and Kurds. On March 10, 2010, the
Swedish parliament officially recognized the Assyrian genocide.
However, the current Swedish government has yet to adopt the
recognition and make it part of official Swedish politics in its
dealings with Turkey.

Therefore, on Sunday, January 25, more than 2,000 Assyrians marched
through six cities in Sweden, for genocide recognition. More marches
marking the centennial of the genocide are planned.

There are less than 20,000 Assyrians left in Iran, and they are
recognized officially as a minority group in parliament. In Iran,
Assyrian Christians are permitted to practice their religion in their
native language (a derivation of Aramaic). Ayatollah Ali Khamenei even
sent out Christmas Day tweets that called on people to “truly honor
Jesus’ birthday.” However, on Christmas, 2014, the Islamic Republic of
Iran’s Revolutionary Court raided the home of an Assyrian pastor in
Tehran and arrested everyone there. The guards, operating under Sharia
Law, separated the men and women, and confiscated Bibles, mobile
phones, identification papers, computers, and books. Iran’s Basij
(“morality police”) arrested nine other Christians on Christmas.

Today, I had the privilege of speaking with David Lazar, the
American-Iraqi chairman of the American Mesopotamian Organization, a
group dedicated to advancing the rights of Assyrians globally. Since
ISIS invaded northern Iraq’s Nineveh plain, Lazar has been in daily
contact with his people, monitoring and directing humanitarian aid and

Although the situation on the ground is fluid, complex, and highly
intense, David Lazar called for a “confederated Iraq with internal
borders.” He clarified that if “Iraqi Sunnis want to live under Sharia
law,” which will allow them to “marry their daughters when they are
nine years [old],” they can rule themselves–but not Christians or
others who want to live under “civilized laws.” He believes that
Swiss-style cantons can exist in a new Iraq, one that allows the Kurds
to have an independent state.

Lazar cautioned the Kurds against “independence, since that would put
them at the mercy of the Turks or the Iranians.”

Lazar described a new volunteer unit of Assyrian young men, nearly 600
strong, who are about to be trained by Iraqi and private Western
security specialists so that they can play a role in the spring
offensive against ISIS.

Lazar expects a “new Iraq” to emerge, with a “modified Constitution.”
He stressed that the Assyrians and the Yazidis have a long history of
peaceful co-operation in Iraq. “We have never killed each other, we
are peaceful, we have no issues,” he said.

He noted that Assyrians have not been receiving any of the necessary
aid that other groups receive, such as the Kurds or the Iraqi forces
fighting ISIS. Nevertheless, Lazar believes that a new Iraq will be
seen “after June 10th of this year.”

I asked Lazar about Assyrian women. I did not want to ask outright
about whether they had been kidnapped or sold into sexual slavery like
the Yazidi women. There is some evidence that this may be the case.
His answer was this:

Assyrian women are strong-willed, they are the backbone of the
household, most are educated, business owners, and professionals.
There will be women fighters as part of the Nineveh Province
Protection Unit (NPU) in the coming months if not weeks.”

This interview was arranged by the Endowment for Middle East Truth
(EMET) and I thank them for this opportunity.

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