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Intolerable crime in Iraq

· Organization of Islamic Cooperation firmly condemns Islamic participation in IS actions ·

The “forced deportation” of the Christians of Mosul is an “intolerable crime”. The atrocities and practices of the Islamic State (IS) “have nothing to do with Islam and its principles that call for tolerance and co-existence”. This was stated in a declaration by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which condemned “in the strongest terms” the violence by Sunni insurgents of the IS who last month took control of the second Iraqi city. According to the Misna news agency, in a statement released by the group of 57 Muslim countries, Iyad Madani, General Secretary of the OIC, indicated that the Organization was “ready to provide the necessary humanitarian assistance to displaced persons until they are able to return to their homes”.

For weeks IS extremists have warned that Christians in Mossul must convert to Islam or pay a special tax, otherwise they risk imminent execution if they do not leave the city, which is the capital of the province of Ninive. According to the latest U.N. reports, since the offensive by Sunni fighters began in Fallujah (west of Baghdad) last January, at least 5,576 civilians have been killed in Iraq, 2,400 of which occurred in the month of June alone, with another 11,662 wounded.

Meanwhile, Iraqi bishops who met in Baghdad in recent days are calling for concrete and courageous solidarity from everyone. “We have made an appeal to all the world”, declared Amel Shamon Nona, Archbishop of Mossul for Chaldeans, describing what has happened to Mosul's Christians as “a crime against humanity”. He indicated that they are also asking for “three important things”: protection for Christians and all other minorities; support for the families who escaped from the city of Mossul; and housing and schools for the families who have had to leave everything behind.

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