Catching Our Eye
Qaryatain Christians given 48-hour ultimatum
A month after Islamic State (IS) forces captured Qaryatain city in Syria’s Suweida province, the militants have ordered the Christians still living in the city to either convert to Islam, pay the per capita jizya tax required of non-Muslims living under Islamic law, or leave the city within 48 hours.
According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reliable sources confirmed on 2 Sept. that the IS jihadists have confiscated the Christian residents’ identity papers until they decide between the three choices handed down to them. Reportedly most of the Christian citizens want to leave the city after recovering their IDs.
Between 60 to 110 Christian hostages from Qaryatain, including women and children, are believed to have been transported to the IS fighters’ de facto Raqqa capital after the Syrian army was forced out of the city. No information on their fate has been learned since then.
The 5th century Mar Elian Monastery located on the outskirts of Qaryatain was demolished two weeks later by the jihadis, who declared the ancient monastery containing the relics of St. Elian was being worshipped instead of Allah.
500 days since Chibok girls’ kidnap
It’s been 500 days this week, since the radical Islamic group Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls from a secondary school in the predominantly Christian village of Chibok, in northeastern Nigeria.
Since then, little has been heard of their fate: some are presumed to have been forced into marriages, or used as suicide bombers, and only a handful have managed to escape.
#Bring Back Our Girls has launched a week of action, which includes notably prayers, meetings with the Chief of Defence Staff, and a candle light procession in Abuja, the capital.
According to Rev Samuel Dali, the President of the Ekklisiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), 176 of the kidnapped girls are from his denomination.
Speaking to local media, Rev Dali also said that over 8,000 members of his church had lost their lives and 70 percent of church facilities in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno States had been destroyed. Some 90,000 EYN church members are reported to have been displaced by the insurgency.
Source: The Guardian
ISIS’s humanitarian crisis continues
A year after the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights condemned the “appalling, widespread and systematic deprivation of human rights” by the Islamic State, the situation remains much the same, according to Rene Wadlow, President of the Association of World Citizens.
In a blog titled ‘The Continuing Humanitarian Crisis in ISIS-held Areas’, Wadlow adds that “the policies of ISIS leaders are deliberate violations of world law and ethical standards”, which have “increased religious sectarian attitudes”.
“World law as developed by the UN applies not only to the governments of member states, but also to individuals and non-governmental organizations,” he says. “ISIS has not been recognized as a state and is not a member of the UN. Nevertheless, the Association of World Citizens is convinced that the terms of the aforementioned declaration apply to ISIS and that its actions are, in the terms of the declaration, ‘inadmissible’.”