BAGHDAD: France offers asylum to the Iraqi Christians forced to flee from their hometown Mosul by the Islamic militants ISIS.
According to the latest reports, the French government has offered asylum to the Christians of Mosul who were forced to flee from Mosul by the ISIS. The Frech government says,” it is ready to offer asylum to Iraqi Christians forced to flee by Islamist militants in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.” Two French ministers said, “We are ready, if they so desire, to help facilitate asylum on our territory.” This proposal was set forth in a joint message from French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. On Saturday, France’s far right opposition party the National Front organised a rally in Paris in support of Iraqi Christians.
Almost all the Christians fled Mosul after the Islamic State (IS) group which seized much of northern Iraq told them to convert to Islam, pay a tax or face death. Iraq is home to one of the world’s most ancient Christian communities. “We offer them (CHRISTIANS) three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract – involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this THEY WILL HAVE NOTHING BUT SWORD,” the ISIS statement said. In the face of this, it is feared that this 1600 years old ancient Christian community has vanished from Mosul. Patriarch Louis Sako a senior Christian cleric in Iraq claimed that,” according to his estimates before the advance of IS, Mosul had a Christian community of 35,000 – compared with 60,000 prior to 2003.”
Sarab Hazem, resident of Zehoor a neighbourhood of Mosul, said,” initially there were no attacks on Christians when ISIS took the city in a lightning offensive in June, though ISIS fighters did capture and take away police, security agents and soldiers. No one knows what becomes of them. Then, statues of Christ and the Virgin Mary were destroyed.” “They are savages,” he added.