Iraqi Christian Activist: France Leading Rescue Efforts

Thursday, 14 Aug 2014 08:02 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Major progress is being made to airlift Christians facing the threat of death from ISIS out of Iraq, according to Mark Arabo, national spokesman for the Iraqi Christian (Chaldean) minority.

"France is leading the way of the world right now. France has offered asylum. Yesterday, Australia joined and is now offering asylum. We met with Austria and Turkey,'' Arabo said Thursday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"We're talking to the United States, Canada, Sweden, and Germany. We want the world community to come together, to step up and offer a home for these people.''

Arabo, president and CEO of The Neighborhood Market Association, said the United States has a long history of providing humanitarian aid.

"In 1970, President [Gerald] Ford airlifted around 150,000 Vietnamese refugees and brought them to America through executive action. If the president wants to solve this situation as far as minorities and Christians, he can do so without combat troops,'' he said.

"What we need now is for them to airlift the Christians, minorities, and Yazidis that want to get out and offer them asylum in America … We have a moral obligation.

"On top of the moral obligation, we have to recognize that what's happening in Iraq today is a bitter consequence of the war in 2003. It's a bitter consequence on how this administration has handled the end of the war. We're trying to remove politics, both sides have blame. Right now, let's save these people's lives.''

Arabo said his group began sounding the alarm eight weeks ago that the sweep of ISIS through Iraq is "a genocide [of Christians] in slow motion.'' ISIS is slaughtering Christians in a bid to make a so-called caliphate state across Iraq and Syria ruled by one Islamic ruler.

This week, the group has been urging the United Nations to get involved.

"The entire Catholic Church was represented at the U.N. the last two days. We want to accomplish three goals: have them recognize this as crimes against humanity, have them recognize this as stateless people, and have them recognize this a genocide," Arabo said.

"We're moving fast; ISIS is moving faster. Right now, we still have around 400,000 Christians, minorities, and Yazidis in Iraq that face extermination … The world hasn't seen atrocities like this in generations. We need to act.''

Arabo said that Christians do not want to leave Iraq, "but if you're house is burning down, and no one is going there to put out the fire, you have to leave.''

He said when the United States entered Iraq in 2003, the country had about 1.4 million Christians. There are now fewer than 400,000.

Those who remain "are facing death either through massacres, conversions or because they don't have basic necessities like water, food, and supplies,'' Arabo said.

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