ISIS Targets Christian Town, Killing Scores of People, Including Children – Amanda Casanova

ISIS Targets Christian Town, Killing Scores of People, Including Children

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Islamic State soldiers have reportedly killed “scores” of people, including women and children, in Qaryatayn, a town that was once predominantly Christian.

Syrian troops recaptured the city over the weekend, but found that ISIS had killed many civilians.

“These are people who don’t know God, they don’t know anything. They killed children and women with knives, they beat women, broke their arms,” a town resident said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

It’s unclear how many were killed. The Associated Press said 67 were killed, while Homs province Governor Tala Barazi told Reuters that “more than 60 were dead” and more than 100 are missing. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said some 128 people were killed.

Abdullah AbdulKarim, a former resident of the city, said the latest slaughter was revenge killing. His own uncle and two of his cousins were shot.

“They came into town with a hit list,” he said, adding that soldiers went door to door for weeks looking for people.

According to International Christian Concern, Qaryatayn was a predominantly Christian town until about 2015 when ISIS first captured the city.

The town has been recaptured and taken back between Syrian and ISIS forces many times. The town was finally recaptured again by ISIS earlier this month.

 

Written by: Amanda Casanova

Ethnic Cleansing in Myanmar has Become Full-Scale Genocide – Amanda Casanova

Ethnic Cleansing in Myanmar has Become Full-Scale Genocide

 

The Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, where thousands of people have fled the killing in the country, is “genocide,” said Azeem Ibrahim, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Policy.

Ibrahim, in a column for CNN, said while the crisis has long been described an “ethnic cleansing,” the situation has turned into genocide.

The United Nation’s 1948 Genocide Convention defines genocide as acts that are committed with “intent to destroy” in the whole or part of a national, ethnical or racial or religious group by killing, causing bodily injury or mental harm, imposing measures to prevent births.

“Though the Rohingya situation has met most of the above criteria for being described as a genocide under international law for a number of years now, the label has been resisted until now because we think of genocide as one huge act of frenzied violence, like the machete insanity in Rwanda or the gas chambers of Nazi Germany,” he said.

Ibrahim says in Myanmar that Buddhist monks are preaching that the Rohingya are reincarnations of snakes and insects and killing them is a sort of “pest control.”

“The duty of any good Buddhist who wants to maintain the national and religious character of Myanmar is to prevent the Islamist takeover, and thus to help remove the threat posed by the ‘vermin,’” he says.

Some 600,000 Rohingya have been driven out of Myanmar because of the violence and persecution.

“More than half of an entire population has been removed from their ancestral lands in just eight weeks,” Ibrahim says.

“Just like we did in Rwanda, just like we did in the Balkans, we are once again seeing a genocide happen before our very eyes,” he added. “And we will do nothing about it. We will bury our heads in the sand, and when our children will ask us why we let this happen we will plead ignorance. Once the final act of killing starts, it is usually too late. For the Rohingya, the final act is in full swing. And still we are in denial about what is happening.”

 

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Amanda Casanova