As the orgy of condemnation against Israel in the wake of the Gaza war continues, Christians in Iraq are doing their best to be heard above the din while they still have a voice.
The radical Sunni movement ISIS, now known simply as the Islamic State, has been happy to have the Gaza war as cover as it completes its conquest of northern Iraq. “We can do anything now the world is looking only to Gaza,” an Islamic State official reportedly said recently.
And Canon Andrew White, popularly known as the “Vicar of Baghdad,” lamented that “in reality that is true.”
In a single day last week, the militants of the Islamic State killed no fewer than 1,500 people in Iraq, nearly the same number of people that were killed in the entire month-long Gaza war. Christians are being systematically cleansed from the country. Most have been forced to convert, flee or have been publicly executed for their faith.
“It is as if hell has broken out here and nobody cares,” Canon White said in an impassioned plea published by the Anglican Communion News Service.
The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsák, acknowledged that in Iraq “religious minorities are being targeted and their members subjected to abductions, killings or the confiscation of their property by extremist groups.”
And yet, the world body continues to focus disproportionate (they like word) attention on Israel and its conflict with Hamas, a fact that had Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor fuming as he addressed the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.
“It might be too much to ask you to stand on our side in this battle between civilization and barbarism, but at least have the decency to swallow your selective outrage while Israel wages war against the extremist groups seeking to eradicate the values that we all hold very dear,” he said.
Prosor accused the UN of complicity in the slaughter taking place in Iraq and elsewhere thanks to its “allowing organizations like Hamas to continue to exist in the Middle East.”