After the EU and Council of Europe recognised the slaughter of Middle East Christians by ISIS as genocide, the US Christian campaigners American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) urged the UN and President Obama to follow suit.
Once the terror group’s 21-month vicious rampage through Northern Iraq and Syria is recognised as genocide, human rights agreements oblige participating governments to respond.
The vote in Strasbourg on 4 February came eight days after the Council of Europe, a legally non-binding human-rights consortium, adopted a largely similar resolution.
“Daesh (the local term for ISIS) is committing genocide against Christians and Yazidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities, who do not agree with the so-called ISIS/Daesh interpretation of Islam,” the resolution reads.
The resolution urges the United Nations Security Council to seek an International Criminal Court investigation of “violations committed in Iraq and Syria by the so-called ‘ISIS/Daesh’ against Christians, Yazidis and religious and ethnic minorities.”
The vote, which carries legal weight among EU members, calls upon all nations to heed the UN’s 1948 anti-genocide convention “to wholly fulfil their legal obligations under the convention and such other international agreements.”
Mid-March was the congressionally mandated deadline for President Obama to declare whether the US will “join the world in recognising the genocide” according to the ACLJ.
Similarly an online petition urged Secretary of State John Kerry to declare Christians in the Middle East victims of genocide at the hands of ISIS.
Signers of the petition “implore” Secretary Kerry “to speak up on behalf of these brutalised minority populations.”
Co-sponsored by In Defence of Christians and the Knights of Columbus, the petition was promoted by a new nationwide TV advert, which included endorsements by presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio. That position is supported by 55 percent of Americans, according to a 2015 poll.
As this paper has already reported in the last two issues, Christians in Iraq and Syria fear to enter UN refugee camps and, as a result, are then often excluded from immigration to the West.
This fact was related to a congressional subcommittee by Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson in December. He said: “Christians in Iraq and Syria have suffered injustice after injustice by being kidnapped, killed, having their homes and churches confiscated or destroyed, and being forced to flee for their lives.
“Because of hit squads, they fear to enter UN refugee camps and, as a result, are then often excluded from immigration to the West.
“These people deserve to have the US State Department call what has happened to them by its rightful name: genocide—just as the European Parliament, Pope Francis, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom and so many other prominent individuals and institutions have already done,” he said.