Islamic State, the radical Islamist militants and al Qaeda offshoot, seeks to establish an Islamic “caliphate” that straddles Syria and Iraq, at least for the time being. As part of their governance, they impose a 7th century view of Islam in society. In the northern Syrian town of Tabaqa in the province of Raqa, the jihadists accused and convicted a woman of adultery, and stoned her to death last Thursday. The stoning took place in a public square in the town’s market area. The unnamed woman was reportedly in her thirties, and was sentenced to death by a “religious” court. The woman’s family did not know that the sentence was going to be carried out. Many residents are terrified of the Islamic State jihadists, but fear the consequences of reacting to and criticizing their harsh methods.
In the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, now also controlled by the jihadists, the Islamists have issued an ultimatum to the few remaining Christians to either convert to Islam, pay a religious tax, the infamous “jizya,” or be executed. (Interestingly the status of Christians as dhimmis was abolished during the Ottoman reforms in the mid-19th century.) The order went into effect this past Saturday. The order said Christians who remain in the “caliphate” must agree to abide by terms of a “dhimma” contract. Under the status of dhimmitude, non-Moslems who were either Christians or Jews were “protected” in Moslem lands in return for a special tax known as “jizya.” (Think of it as a protection racket.) The announcement by the jihadists said that Christians were offered “three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract – involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.” A resident of Mosul said that the statement, published in Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh, was issued in the name of the Islamic State and distributed last Thursday, and read in mosques on Friday and broadcast through automobile loudspeakers. A Saturday deadline was set for Christians who did not want to stay under those terms “to leave the borders of the Islamic Caliphate.” The terms were announced by the jihadist group leader Caliph Ibrahim, or as he was formerly known, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Fewer than ten years ago, the city of Mosul had more than 100,000 Christians living in the city, but today, estimates are that there are fewer than 200 Christians.
Some of my readers may be unaware that the Koran teaches Moslems not to make friends or allies with Jews and Christians (Koran 5:51), and that Moslems are to fight Christians and Jews “until they pay the jizya with willing submission” (Koran 9:29), and to kill the disbelievers wherever Moslems find them (Koran 2:191). The Koran further teaches that all those who disbelieve in Islam shall go to hell (Koran 5:10), even though Moslems are given no assurance of eternal life in Islam. Further, all non-Moslems are najis (broadly defined as filthy and impure) (Koran 9:28), and Moslems are ordered to fight non-Moslems until no other religion except Islam is left (Koran 2:193). Of course, much more could be said to show that Islam is not really a religion of peace notwithstanding the assertions of some in the United States and other Western nations. Sadly, I don’t expect to hear President Obama or Secretary of State John F. Kerry say anything to oppose the horrors of jihadist rule in the pretend caliphate. It is stunning to me that they don’t, but then again, perhaps they don’t see Islamist rule negatively. The irony is that President Obama and his supporters say nice things about Islam and refuse to criticize Islamists other than in the most inane twitters (“Bring Back Our Girls”). Yet they seem quite blind to the true desires of what some Moslems, including the jihadists, want: world domination and the destruction of everything you and I believe and hold dear.
Jihadists have no problem killing any of us (in the same gruesome way that they did with Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl), raping our wives and daughters, and then stoning them to death, and then taking our children from us for not raising them in their special way. What will the leftists and secularists do when Islamists tell them to pay up, get out, or get killed? I am not convinced that President Obama cares, as he might be focused on enjoying his holiday in Martha’s Vineyard in August. It must be lovely though to be there to get away from the cares of a deeply fallen and dangerous world. For our part, please continue to pray for the Christians throughout the Middle East, and for the repentance of the jihadists.