Some months back I warned about the racial objectives of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan when he betrayed Israel’s Mossad agents and appeared bent on creating an Axis of Muslim Power sweeping from Turkey through Iran. Many Turks fear Erdogan is using emotional foreign policy issues to divide secular and conservative Muslim voters. Erodogan hasn’t backed away from his earlier objectives one notch.
The Western world continues not to grasp the basic and fundamentally religious impulses behind the upheaval in the Middle East. Certainly Erodgan has personal objectives for power and wealth in his actions, but reaching out to incite conservative Muslims places him in the middle of the religious struggle.
In Iraq, the ISIS army invasion has already killed thousands in the name of religious cleansing of the country. People are buried alive, shot execution style, beheaded, etc., and that includes both sexes. In northern Iraq, hundreds of Yazidis are running for their lives. A small religious minority, these people have a religion that is neither Muslim or Christian. The Yazids practice a 4,000 year old faith rooted in Zoroastrianism. Tragically, this faith makes them apostates to ISIS and their lives become expandable. In this struggle, hundreds of women and girls are kidnapped to be used as bribes for jihadists. Their choice is simple: convert or die.
The isolation and desperation of these people fleeing into barren mountains has created the impetus for American President Obama to order food and water drops as well as attacks the advancing ISIS troops who are an extreme expression of Sunni Islam. The pressure is on to remove Prime Minister Nouri Malaki so a more balanced government can bring political stability to the country. The ultimate defeat of ISIS demands a political realignment.
In addition, Christians are equally in grave danger. Jihadists seized Iraq’s largest Christian town Mosul, sending thousands fleeing for their lives. The Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Kirkuk and Sulaimaniyah reported the towns of Qaragosh, Tal Kayf, Bartella and Karamlesh have been emptied of their original populations. The town of Qaragosh alone had a population of 50,000 Christians. In response to these overnight attacks, Pope Francis called on the international community to help protect Iraq’s Christian population. Without intervention, massacre is a certainty.
Last week ISIS laid down an ultimatum to Christians in Mosul to convert, pay protection money, or be executed. Of course, the town emptied. The reports of brutality, murder, and mayhem continue to mount in the name of Allah.
Patriarch Louis Sako heads Iraq’s largest Christian Orthodox denomination. Fr. Sako estimated that over 100,000 Christians had been displaced. He reported churches are taken over and their crosses destroyed as well as 1,500 vital and precious manuscripts destroyed.
Western democracies seem to find it impossible to recognize that radical Islam is waging a holy war. Tolerance in the West has kept governments from facing the conclusion that a religious group would commit genocide and murder in the name of their god. The time has come to take a second long hard look at what ISIS and its associates are about because more carnage is on the way.The West must recognize the extremes that these groups will go to in pushing their religion. Holy Wars are the most dangerous and deadly of all conflicts.
Make no mistake! The West is facing a frightening enemy.