Daniel Williams, a former human rights researcher and Washington Post correspondent, says the US Government is delusional if it thinks Iraq’s Christian refugees are going back to Mosul and other towns from which they fled ahead of ISIS. He’s been in Irbil this month talking to them. Excerpt:
It is not simply that these Christians have gone through tremendous trauma. It is not only because they lost everything, including their homes and businesses, and in some cases spent days and even weeks in detention while being badgered to convert to Islam, where they saw babies taken from mothers’ arms to be held for ransom and busloads of young people ferried off into the unknown.
Nor is it because their neighbors, in Mosul but especially in the countryside, welcomed and even joined fighters from the Islamic State, pointed out the homes of minorities and let them know which ones were wealthy.
No, it is because, for Christians in Iraq, the past three months have been the climax of 11 years of hell. We Americans have short memories (that goes for you, too, in the “Bush Was Right” crowd), but it’s worth noting that Christians began having serious problems within a year after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
You should read the whole thing. He details the kind of daily persecution Christians have suffered since the fall of Saddam, says that essentially, too many of Iraq’s Muslims hate them and want them gone. More:
So when I ask refugees their plans, it is unanimously to leave Iraq altogether. Enough is enough. This runs counter to the desire, expressed mostly outside Iraq, that a Christian presence be preserved in a land that has known Christianity for 2,000 years. It’s sad but true: Christianity in Iraq is finished. As one refugee told me, “We wanted Iraq. Iraq doesn’t want us.”
If the American government cared even a fraction as much for Iraq’s Christians, whose lives it helped to ruin, as it does about the region’s Muslims, it would treat them with the same concern and care as it did the Vietnamese boat people fleeing the communists.
Sometimes, I do not understand my country and its government. But I tell you this: I hope that my brother in Christ George W. Bush is thinking about those desperate Christian people, and that he will use what influence he still may have to help deliver them from their persecutors.