ICC Note: A group of Iraqis met in Sydney to discuss the severity of ISIS’s takeover in Iraq and discuss measures to prevent further crisis. Many were particularly concerned with their Christian communities in Iraq. When ISIS first came to Mosul, they targeted Christians with severity. They gave Christians the option to convert, leave, or pay a tax for their faith. Those who did not choose one of those options have been met with extreme violence. Unchecked, this crisis could fuel more local violence, and even drive out the Christian community altogether.
ICC has launched a campaign to provide aid to the Iraqi church to assist those in need who have fled from the attacks. Go here to find out more and donate: Iraqi Crisis Response
By: Mohamed Taha
07/17/14 Iraq (ABC News) – Iraqis in Sydney have met to discuss measures to prevent the crisis in their homeland from fuelling violence locally.
About 80 members of Sydney’s Iraqi community met on Wednesday night in Mount Pritchard, south-west Sydney, to discuss the local consequences of the extremist insurgency in Iraq.
It was the first meeting of its kind in Sydney since parts of Iraq were captured by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an extremist Sunni Islamist militant group that is considered so violent it has been disavowed by its original sponsor, Al Qaeda.
Forum organiser Husam Shkara from the Australian Iraqi Forum said there were concerns of violence and tensions within the local community.
Loved ones terrorised by ISIS
President of the Chaldean National Congress Sam Yousif said Iraqi Christians in Sydney held grave concerns for their relatives and homes in the city of Mosul in northern Iraq.
“When ISIS first came to Mosul, the first thing they started doing was taking over Christian households and kicking the families out of their homes,” he said.
“I had spoken to the Bishop of Mosul on the phone.
“He told me that he had received a letter from ISIS giving all Christians three choices: convert to Islam, pay a poll tax or leave the city.”
Mr Yousif said a Sydney family recently discovered their loved ones were terrorised by ISIS militants.
“In the last few weeks, one of the families in Iraq was approached by ISIS to pay a tax but they didn’t have anything,” he said.
“So ISIS raped the wife and daughter and the father couldn’t do anything so he committed suicide.
These people [members of ISIS] are not Iraqis, they’re not related to Islam or Muslims, they are terrorists.”