Influential Muslim Group Condemns Christian Treatment by Islamic State in Iraq

Influential Muslim Group Condemns Christian Treatment by Islamic State in Iraq

The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) spoke out against the Islamic State’s (IS) expulsion of Christians in Iraq. The group includes Sunnis, which is the sect IS claim to be a part of.

“The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) condemns the forced expulsion of the Christian brothers of Iraq from their homes, cities and provinces,” the group said. “These are acts that violate Islamic laws, Islamic conscience and leave but a negative image of Islam and Muslims.”

The group thinks Islamic State is “too extreme” and “its doctrine contradicts the true teachings of Islam.” The radical Islamists declared a caliphate in Iraq and Syria, but IUMS does not recognize it since it “can only be made after enough legitimate representatives of Muslim peoples have pledged their allegiance.”

Islamic State (formerly ISIS) forced thousands of Christians out of Mosul over the weekend. The Christians were told to convert to Islam, pay a protection tax, or die. The majority decided to leave, but many were robbed of belongings at checkpoints on their way out. ISIS marked Christian homes and businesses with the letter “N” for “Nazarene.” Christians and Muslims lived peacefully with each other in Mosul for almost 2,000 years, and last Sunday was the first time Mass was not celebrated in the city. The IS also shut off water to other Christian and Kurd communities they do not control.

“They (Christians) are native sons of Iraq and not intruders,” IUMS concluded. “The aim must be to bury discord, unite the ranks and solve Iraq’s problems, rather than thrusting it into matters that would further complicate the situation.”

IS is slowly reaching Baghdad. On Saturday, five car bombs exploded in the city, mainly in Shi’ite neighborhoods, and killed 21 people. The deadliest occurred at a police checkpoint that killed nine people and wounded 19. 

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