Monday night, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution labeling the Islamist slaughter of Christians in the Middle East “genocide.”
The non-binding resolution, sponsored by Nebraska Republican Jeff Fortenberry, passed 393-0 and included 229 Republicans and 164 Democrats. The resolution states:
Those who commit or support atrocities against Christians and other ethnic and religious minorities, including Yezidis, Turkmen, Sabea-Mandeans, Kaka’e, and Kurds, and who target them specifically for ethnic or religious reasons, are committing, and are hereby declared to be committing, “war crimes,” “crimes against humanity,” and “genocide.”
Advocates for Middle Eastern Christians are frustrated that the Obama administration has so far refused to use the word “genocide” when describing the deliberate and systematic elimination of Christian communities wherever the Islamic State is dominant. Nina Shea of the Hudson Institute told a press conference last week there is not a single operational Christian community in ISIL-controlled territory.
A massive report released last week by the Knights of Columbus and In Defense of Christians details horrific crimes committed by Islamists in Iraq and elsewhere–whole communities massacred, women enslaved and raped, crucifixions, and much else.
The Fortenberry resolution details “mass murder, crucifixions, beheadings, rape, torture, enslavement, the kidnaping of children, and other violence deliberately calculated to eliminate their communities from the so-called Islamic State.”
The resolution argues these and other actions qualify for the definition of “war crimes,” “crimes against humanity,” and “genocide” under international law.
The resolution says that “all governments, including the United Sates, and international organizations, including the United Nations and the Office of the Secretary General, should call ISIL atrocities by their rightful names: war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide” and calls for a coordinated campaign to stop the slaughter and punish those committing these crimes.
The resolution praises Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq for sheltering and protecting those fleeing the violence of ISIL.”
The resolution will increase pressure on the reluctant Obama administration to do something about the ongoing slaughter of Christians in the land of the religion’s birth.