Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

7/27/2014 (3 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Convert to Islam, Flee, die or be enslaved

By now, everyone who is in anyway concerned about what is happening to Christians in Iraq has heard the horrific news. The madman who claims to be a descendant of Mohammed, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi - who in his delusion and grandiosity has taken to calling himself Caliph Ibrahim - issued an ultimatum this past Saturday.  Those who are Christians in that part of the former territory of Iraq and Syria which he now claims as an Islamic Caliphate, must convert to Islam, face the sword, flee the country or have all their property seized and pay the tax levied against dhimmis or non-muslims.
In other words, they will become indentured slaves, living under the boot of a violent Islamist regime.

(Pictured: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim) At first, Christians were ordered to gather in a central place to receive the directive from the self appointed Caliph. Understandably, given the track record of this maniacal tyrant, few did. So, the text of the statement was issued as a formal declaration to all Christians - We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.

(Pictured: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim) At first, Christians were ordered to gather in a central place to receive the directive from the self appointed Caliph. Understandably, given the track record of this maniacal tyrant, few did. So, the text of the statement was issued as a formal declaration to all Christians - We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/27/2014 (3 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Caliph Ibrahim, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, ISIS, Iraq, Christians in Iraq, Mosul, persecution, Dhimmi, Jihad, jihadist, Sharia, Deacon Keith Fournier


MOSUL, Iraq (Catholic Online) - By now, everyone who is in anyway concerned about what is happening to Christians in Iraq has heard the horrific news.

The madman who claims to be a descendant of Mohammed, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi - who in his delusion and grandiosity has taken to calling himself Caliph Ibrahim - issued an ultimatum this past Saturday. 

Those who are Christians in that part of the former territory of Iraq and Syria which he now claims as an Islamic Caliphate must convert to Islam, face the sword, flee the country or have all their property seized and pay the tax levied against dhimmis, or non-muslims.

In other words, they will become indentured servants, living under the boot of a violent Islamist regime.They will lose their freedom. 

At first, Christians were ordered to gather in a central place where they would receive the directive from the self appointed Caliph. Understandably, given the track record of this maniacal tyrant, few did so. So, the text of the statement was issued as a formal declaration to all Christians:  

"We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword." It was broadcast from loudspeakers. It was placed on the internet. The Christians had until midday Saturday to comply.

Christian homes in the City are now marked for seizure by the Islamist extremists who follow this self-proclaimed Caliph. Even though Christians have been in this ancient territory since the first century of Christianity, they are being forced to leave.

The violations of human rights, international law and justice are evident to all. Christian tradition traces the planting of the Gospel to the missionary efforts of the Apostle Thomas with the assistance of Thaddeus or Jude.  Christians have an undeniable claim to live freely on this land which precedes the very arrival of Islam.

So, the mass exodus of Christians is now being reported on many news sources. Perhaps the world is finally waking up. I have my doubts. The reports are only on those news sources who care about this evil. Sadly, not many Americans seem to be paying attention at all.

The Obama Administration does not seem to be all that concerned. Except for some poorly delivered statements, it is business as usual for an administration seeking to radically restructure the United States into something which resembles the worst social experiment in some time.

ISIS Jihadi thugs have already taken an axe to the tomb of Jonah, destroying it with a kind of gleeful and mad abandon. They ripped down the Cross from St. Ephrem's Cathedral and replaced it with their dreaded black flag.

Fortunately, the Holy See, Church leaders and even the leadership of the United Nations are speaking out strongly. Vatican Radio issued the following statement on Tuesday, July 22, 2014:

"Pope Francis has reassured the Patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church Ignatius Youssef III Younan that he is following news out of Iraq with concern, particularly the dramatic situation of Christians in Mosul who have been threatened with death and seizure of their homes by Islamic militants demanding they leave or convert to their form of Islamic belief. 

Christians have lived in Iraq's second largest city for nearly two thousand years;  there are few, if any, left now in Mosul.

"The Patriarch told the Italian Catholic news agency SIR (Religious Information Service), that Pope Francis called him Sunday 20 July to express his solidarity with Iraqi Christians." 

"During the 9 minute phone call, the Patriarch thanked the Pope and asked him to intensify his efforts to engage world leaders, putting them face to face with the facts on the ground: that in the province of Nineveh a massive religious "cleansing" campaign is underway to rid the region of those who do not share the beliefs of the new occupiers. "

"At the end of the call, Pope Francis bestowed his Apostolic Blessing upon all the eastern Christians with the assurance that he "will always keep them in his prayers for peace and security." 

"At his traditional Angelus blessing also on Sunday, the Pope offered prayers for Iraqi Christians who `'are persecuted, chased away, forced to leave their houses without the possibility of taking anything'' with them" and called for dialogue to resolve armed conflicts."

"Just recently, Patriarch Younan had denounced an arson attack by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) militants on the Episcopal headquarters of the Syriac-Catholic Church in Mosul."


We must wake up to what is actually going on. These Christians being forced from their home are our brethren! We are joined to them. We have an obligation to stand with them.

I have written numerous articles seeking to call attention to our persecuted Christian brethren in Iraq. Their plight has grown worse since the US intervention on March 19, 2003.

Before the intervention on March 19, 2003, I disturbed some colleagues and friends by publicly opposing intervention in what came to be called Iraq II.

I supported the first intervention in Iraq, after the Kuwaitis requested our assistance against an unjust aggressor named Saddam Hussein. 

However, in light of the teaching of the Catholic Church, and based upon my own efforts to inform my conscience by it, I opposed the Second Iraq War. I even contributed a chapter to a book dedicated to such opposition.

I concluded back then that the decision to engage in what was called a pre-emptive war with Iraq failed to meet the conditions, commonly referred to as the Just War theory, summarized in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2309):

"the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain; all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective; there must be serious prospects of success; the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated."

"The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the "just war" doctrine. The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good."

I determined that the very notion of a pre-emptive war was antithetical to this analysis. The determination as to whether any war can be justified is rooted in the broader understanding of self-defense.

I was not then, and am not now, convinced that the entry of the United States into Iraq on March 19, 2003 was a legitimate response to the horror unleashed against our Nation on September 11, 2001.

In spite of what some sincere Catholics - whom I respected - sought to say back then, the leaders of the Catholic Church were overwhelming in their unified opposition to beginning the Second Iraq war. They were unanimous in their conviction that no attack was imminent, and, as a result, war was far from justifiable.

Deep reservations were raised by numerous Bishops' Councils; then Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Cardinal Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State; Cardinal Martino, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; and most ardently by now Saint John Paul II, the Holy Father back then, who clearly stated that not only was war a human failure but that specific war was unjustified.

After the intervention, as time progressed, my opposition became moot.

The War had become such a debacle and the brave men and women of our heroic Armed Forces deserved our unflagging support.Those who initially supported the second Iraq war and those who opposed it, agreed that we could not abandon the Iraqi people in their great hour of need. The Holy See expressed its continuing concern for the people of Iraq after the intervention.

Since the US troops were rather hastily withdrawn from Iraq, the wisdom of our entire enterprise has been debated and will continue to be debated. If lessons can be learned, they should be learned. However, the current crisis in Iraq today requires a fresh analysis, in light of the situation being faced on the ground in July of 2014. 

We need to pray for an end to the evil assault upon Christians - and all of the other innocent people being persecuted by these Islamist thugs who have gathered under the banner of ISIS. In particular, we who bear the name Christian need to pray for the Christians of Iraq.

They are our brothers and sisters in Christ and we are joined in a special way to them in a band of solidarity which finds its roots in our common Baptism. 

We need to pray for the leaders of the United States - and leaders of all of the other Nations - who are evaluating how to respond to the current situation in Iraq. Action is required. We cannot sit idly by while a new form of religious genocide unfolds.

-----

Deacon Keith Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren, He serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, VA. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate. Deacon Fournier is a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Theology and Philosophy, BA), the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University (Theology of Marriage and Family, MTS), and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (JD). He has completed requirements for the PhD in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America and is writing the PhD dissertation on the teaching of St. John Paul II. He has spent his life and ministry in efforts to bring Christians together and heal the wounds of division in the Body of Christ. 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More U.S.

The Marriage Meme of Francis: What Did the Pope Just Say about Marriage and Family? Watch

Image of Pope Francis presiding at a marriage Liturgy at St Peters.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Pope Francis embraces the unchangeable truth about marriage as solely between one man and one woman, intended for life, open to life and formative of family as the sole Meme - using the word properly.  That is why you will not read much about the crystal ... continue reading


What is 'vape?' The Oxford Dictionary proclaims it the new word for 2014 Watch

Image of Even while media outlets, health organizations and scientific studies continue to debate the benefits and pitfalls of e-cigarettes,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What does the word "vape" mean? Before anyone jumps to negative conclusions and think that it means something untoward - rest assured: vape is both a noun and verb, according to the Oxford Dictionary. They've gone as far as to proclaim vape as their new word of ... continue reading


Meet the doll that's flipping the world upside down! Watch

Image of Lammily, is a new doll that is proportioned just like the average American 19-year old woman.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A simple art project by a graphic designer has become the most coveted toy for the 2014 Christmas season following its November 19 release. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nickolay Lamm made a doll he named Lammily, who is what Barbie would look like if she was ... continue reading


The Bloody Battle of Tarawa in 20 extraordinary photos Watch

Image of U.S. Marines advance while under fire from Japanese defensive positions.

By Robert Mullen (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Battle of Tarawa was one of the bloodiest and costliest battles to the U.S. in WWII in terms of men lost per time spent in combat. During the 76 hour battle from November 20-23, 1943, on that small Pacific Island, about 1,700 U.S. personnel were killed, and ... continue reading


What's the biggest danger to America? It's not nukes and it isn't terrorism Watch

Image of China is well known to have an extensive cyberwarfare program, and often utilizes civilian hackers as well as its own military personnel.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The head of the National Security Agency revealed to a Congressional panel that China and "probably one or two other" countries have the ability to shut down the nation's power grid and other critical infrastructures through cyberwarfare. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Massive collection of Catholic artifacts leave Italy for the first time in 700 years: Their destination? The Big Apple! Watch

Image of For the first time in 700 years, artifacts of St. Francis of Assisi will be removed from Italy. They will be put on display in New York during November, December and January.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An exhibit of medieval manuscripts and papal documents that have close ties with St. Francis of Assisi will be held at the United Nations in New York from November 17 to the 28. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The exhibition is titled "Friar Francis: Traces, ... continue reading


Obama gives amnesty while bracing for next 'surge' of illegals in 2015 Watch

Image of Children in holding facilities during 2014, a year where the surge of illegal children occurred.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While President Obama has revealed his plans to shield about five million illegal immigrants from deportation, he has federal agencies getting ready for another mass surge of illegal immigrants during the spring of 2015. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As ... continue reading


Obama declares all out war on Republicans over immigration reform Watch

Image of President Obama is expected to give a speech on November 20, outlining his plans to execute immigration reform via executive action.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Even after warnings from sitting and incoming House and Senate Republicans that unilateral action on immigration reform from President Barack Obama would not be tolerated, the president has gone ahead and outlined a plan to relax the rules and regulations of U.S. ... continue reading


Another black eye for Democrats: Obamacare architect makes off with $6 million in taxpayer money Watch

Image of New videos released in November show that the architect behind the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, holds nothing but contempt for the American people.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The architect of the fiasco that has been the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Jonathan Gruber, was paid about $6 million in taxpayer money between 2009 and 2014. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This is about 24 times what an average, full-time American worker would ... continue reading


See the list of MOST FREE countries in the world, the results will surprise you! Watch

Image of Land of the Free no more, Americans report a significant decline in personal freedom under the Obama administration.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

America is supposed to be the land of the free, so Americans themselves might be surprised to see that the United States actually ranks fairly low on the index of personal freedom when compared to other nations. Instead of occupying the number 1 spot, the USA has ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
11 "For the Lord Yahweh says this: Look, I myself ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 23:1-2, 2-3, 5, 6
1 [Psalm Of David] Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 25:31-46
31 'When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
20 In fact, however, Christ has been raised from the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 23rd, 2014 Image

Bl. Miguel Pro
November 23: Born on January 13, 1891 in Guadalupe, Mexico, Miguel Agustin ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter