Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

The UNRWA is Hamas

by Daniel Greenfield on Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

This is article 1220 of 1231 in the topic International

The UNRWA is on the front lines of the Hamas War in Gaza. In the headlines, its schools are forever being fired on or found to be stockpiling rockets. If individual Gazans are being used as human shields, the UNRWA often seems as if it is one big organizational human shield.

But the UNRWA isn’t Hamas’ human shield. The UNRWA is Hamas.

The “UN” part of the UNRWA, the blue logos and symbols, fool us into thinking of it as an international humanitarian organization. But the UNRWA in Gaza functions as a large Palestinian Arab organization with a smattering of foreign supervisory staff.

And those foreign staffers often tend to leave during a conflict.

The UNRWA is not an international organization operating in the Middle East. Effectively it’s a local Arab Muslim organization funded and regulated internationally. Since the UNRWA classifies 80% of Gazans as “refugees”, it administers the biggest welfare state in the world on their behalf. Like the Palestinian Authority, the UNRWA’s welfare state is run locally and funded internationally.

The UNRWA is the biggest employer in the West Bank and Gaza after the Palestinian Authority and the vast majority of its employees are “locally recruited”. Varying figures place the share of local employees at between 90 and 99 percent.

Even though there are more Arab Muslims living in the West Bank than in Gaza, there are more “official” refugees in Gaza, which means that more UNRWA funding and efforts are directed there. The UNRWA only runs 96 schools in the West Bank, but it runs 245 schools in Gaza. It employs less than 3,000 education staffers in the West Bank, but over 10,000 in Gaza.

Why does Hamas, which is obsessed with brainwashing the next generation into martyrdom, allow a foreign organization to run an educational system for 232,000 pupils?

It’s because in Gaza, Hamas and the UNRWA are the same thing.

The UNRWA’s Gaza staff has its own union. In the 2012 election, a pro-Hamas bloc won the support of most of the union with 25 out of 27 seats on a union board.

When there was talk of reforming the UNRWA by removing Hamas members from its ranks, the editor of a Hamas paper wrote that, “Laying off the agency employees because of their political affiliation means laying off all the employees of the aid agency, because…they are all members of the ‘resistance,’ in its various forms.”

The official word from Hamas was that it and the UNRWA are the same thing. The UNRWA’s vast majority of locally sourced Gazans are part of Hamas.

The UNRWA does not see that as a problem.

“I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll,” a former UNRWA Commissioner General said, “and I don’t see that as a crime.”

“Hamas as a political organization does not mean that every member is a militant, and we do not do political vetting and exclude people from one persuasion as against another,” he said.

Also if the UNRWA fired Hamas members from its Gaza staff, it would have no one left.

Hamas control over the UNRWA in Gaza is reflected in the schools which promote Islamic terrorism. It’s unsurprising that UNRWA schools have repeatedly become flashpoints in conflicts between Israel and Hamas.

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Islamic Slaughters and Short Memories

by Alan Caruba on Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

This is article 1221 of 1231 in the topic International
By Alan Caruba
“We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.  That would change my calculus.  That would change my equation.”
Obama said that on August 20, 2012 in remarks to reporters. Realizing that he was close to having to engage in some kind of military action against Bashar Assad, Syria’s dictator, he was bailed out by the Russians who stepped in to remove the stores of poison gas and then, except for the “red line” gaffe, everyone promptly forget about it.
The insurrection against Assad began in March 2011 and by September 2013 there were an estimated 120,000 dead Syrians and a million or more refugees. The conflict turned from local to regional as the extremist Islamic State (IS) emerged. It is backed by Iran and Turkey, but only for the purpose of defeating Assad, not for declaring itself the new caliphate.
IS is now in control of much of Syria’s northern region and has taken control of central Iraq, challenging Baghdad as well as its Kurdish sector. On Sunday Islamic State fighters overtook the Lebanese city of Arsal where 100,000 Syrian refugees had fled. There were attacks in Tripoli as well. There is no accounting for how many have been slaughtered by IS at this point.
On August 4, The Daily Star, Lebanon, reported “The jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) group executed seven members of a single family from the Ismaili minority in the central Syrian province of Hama overnight, state media and an activist group said Monday. ‘An armed terrorist group committed a massacre in the Mzeiraa area near the town of Salmiya, killing seven people, including two aged 13 and 15 years old,’ Syrian state news agency SANA said.”
Three days earlier Breitbart News reported “The Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, told Palestine the terrorist group will join its fight against the ‘barbaric Jews’ but urged patience until ISIS is finished in Arab countries.”
So, according to the Islamic State, it is the Jews of Israel who are “barbaric” for defending themselves and their Arab citizens against rocket attacks from Gaza; land given to the Palestinians by Israel in 2005.
During the months when Hamas was firing thousands of rockets into Israel from Gaza there was a low level of coverage, but when Israel responded with Operation Protective Edge, it became front page news. Dead Palestinians always seem to be more important than dead Israelis even if they were forced by Hamas to serve as human shields for their rockets and their elaborate matrix of tunnels into Israel which exist solely to carry out its goal of destroying it.
Being Christian in the Middle East has proven to be deadly. When the Islamic State took control of Mosul, a city in which Christians had lived for centuries, they were given the choice of converting, paying a tax, or dying. The Islamic State has swiftly gained a reputation for murdering prisoners of war and anyone else they determine to be “hypocritical” or “apostate” Muslims.

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Friday Afternoon Roundup – Hamasbara

by Daniel Greenfield on Friday, August 1st, 2014

 

SUICIDE JOURNALISM

These tactics, born out of the Twitter age and the complete collapse of journalistic ethics, aren’t just a defense of Islamic terrorism, but they also borrow some of the tactics of the terrorists they defend.

Hamasbara is less dependent on developed stories and more on Tweets and blog posts. Its practitioners are just activists with a media forum. Their smear campaigns depend on quick hit and run attacks. They bring a story into being out of thin air and move on to the next attack just as quickly.

There is something of the Hamas suicide bomber in their willingness to constantly self-destruct their reputations, but journalistic credentials don’t mean what they used to. Activist journalists help manufacture a story that is picked up by second-tier media blogs and mainstream media outlets.

In a perpetual news cycle, smears are instantaneous, but they also vanish instantaneously.

Hamasbara and Media Terrorism

Hamas’ Giant Homicidal Chicken Dies in Israeli Air Strike – insert your own joke here

THE DEFINITION OF TREASON

Bill Clinton chose to let Al Qaeda kill 3,000 Americans. And now his wife wants the chance to follow that same policy for eight years

Bill Clinton Admits He Chose Not to Kill Bin Laden Before 9/11

National Jewish Democratic Council: Liberal Jews Worn Down Defending Obama

#WARONWOMEN

Well now that we’ve gotten gay marriage out of the way, next stop is polygamy station.

Obama is dramatically rewriting the reality of his Muslim family and the Luo tribe, which is about as feminist as Mohammed.

A woman in a traditional Luo context has no embedded right to inherit land from her deceased husband. Additionally a woman does not inherit land from her natal family, as only male children are obliged to inherit land. A family member, most of the time a brother of the diseased, inherits not only all property, but also the widows. Within the polygamous setting of the Luo society a man often has three and more wives. Inheritances can easily double the size of a family.

Yes, men inherit the “wives” in the literal sense of the word. It’s known as wife inheritance and has resulted in the spread of AIDS.

Widows often call their inheritors “terrorists” who make their life more dreadful.

Obama: My Muslim Family’s Polygamy was Empowering

SUBVERSION AND INFLITRATION

“We are faced with an enemy whose goal is to conquer the world by subversion and infiltration or, if necessary, by open war.”

The speaker was Senator John F. Kennedy and he was discussing the Communist Control Act that he had co-sponsored. The Act did what had been previously thought impossible; it outlawed the Communist Party.

The latest bill to fight an enemy whose goal is also to conquer the world by subversion, infiltration and open war doesn’t have a Kennedy co-sponsor. Instead it has the two members of Congress who have fought the hardest to expose the Muslim Brotherhood; Michele Bachmann and Louie Gohmert.

Patriots Take On the Muslim Brotherhood

Border Patrol Agents Brought Home Diseases to their Children – An unaccompanied child was hospitalized after being diagnosed with swine flu.

HAMASFOOT

Can someone please help out the New York Times?

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The Next Great War

by Alan Caruba on Sunday, July 27th, 2014

This is article 1216 of 1231 in the topic International
Al Qaeda on the march

By Alan Caruba

In the July 24 edition of The Wall Street Journal there was a commentary, “Wanted: Converts to Judaism” by the chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Arnold M. Eisen. I thought to myself that this was an extraordinary time to be suggesting conversion to a faith that is literally under attack in Israel and being attacked by the reemergence of anti-Semitism in Europe. Here in America we are witnessing the most pro-Islamic and anti-Semitic administration in the history of nation.
In the wake of the Holocaust following World War Two what anti-Semitism existed in the U.S. gave way to an era of good will toward Jews. In Europe open expressions of anti-Semitism were out of favor. Eisen’s concern is the extensive inter-marriage between Christians and Jews in which Judaism is often abandoned in our historically Christian society. The news about Jews in the post-war years was largely about the nation of Israel and the wars it fought to re-establish and maintain the Jewish state.
What those wars should have told us was that Islamic hatred of Judaism extends to Christianity as well.
For Americans that lesson was driven home on September 11, 2001, but even the memory of that event has begun to fade to such an extent that Americans have twice elected a President who has never hidden his admiration for Islam, whose father was a Muslim, and who spent part of his youth in the Islamic nation of Indonesia. In office, his antipathy to Israel has been in stark contrast to the decades of support for Israel that presidents since Harry Truman have demonstrated.
A curious trend has emerged in America that runs counter to its entire history. The celebratory elements of Christian holy days, particularly Christmas, came under attack with demands that holiday scenes of crèches and even crosses be removed from public areas. Being religious was not encouraged and the tradition of starting the school day with a prayer was banned.
It is not too far a reach to say that the West, America and Europe, has been abandoning the depth of faith that distinguished it as church attendance fell off and resistance to attacks on the practice of religion declined. Home to some of the most beautiful churches on Earth, those in Europe are too often virtually empty.
This has not been the case in the Middle East and parts of Africa where Islam has awakened from its passive existence due in part to the colonization that preceded and followed World War One. The riches that oil provided have played a role and today a nation like Qatar is funding the emergence of ISIS, the self-declared caliphate calling itself the Islamic State.
Other oil-rich Middle East nations have supported al Qaeda only to discover that they were among its targets. ISIS has turned on Muslims in the area between Syria and into northern Iraq whom they declare hypocrites and apostates.

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It’s Another "Death to the Jews" Weekend

by Daniel Greenfield on Saturday, July 19th, 2014

This is article 1208 of 1231 in the topic International

From Berkeley to Boston and from Paris to Sydney, the season is upon us again. Hipsters twirl  Keffiyahs from some Shanghai factory around their necks, don army surplus jackets and Decembrist t-shirts and head to the nearest Israeli embassy to scream about a new Holocaust.

Shiites and Sunnis temporarily put aside their blood feuds and entire families of Syrian Alawites and
Turkish Sunnis stand in London or Berlin screaming “Death to the Jews”.

Joining them are elderly Trotskyists and aging Stalinists, normally as mutually hostile as Shiites and Sunnis, who put aside their differences to feebly wave cardboard signs about the Zionist war machine.

Fake blood is everywhere. Aspiring art students who can’t draw try to figure out new ways of intersecting a Swastika and a Star of David. Latuff cartoons are printed out along with bloody photos  of dead people from Syria, Hollywood horror movies and on the rare occasion, Gaza, and shoved in everyone’s faces.

The organizers take a break from submitting angry Truth Dig articles about Brazilian cocoa exploitation and dive headfirst into a rally that, unlike all their other rallies, the media will actually cover. They prowl the police barriers like hungry hyenas looking for a reporter.

Any reporter.

On the last few struggling Pacifica affiliates, Amy Goodman invites Noam Chomsky to talk about the war. Chris Hedges phones in to promote his new book, which is only 90 percent plagiarized from a Hemingway novel he thought he once read. Max Blumenthal shows up to lead a Students for Justice in Palestine protest while shouting about colonialism. Then he tags himself on Instagram.

At the Israeli embassy, the hipsters imagine that they’re guerrilla fighters. They scream themselves hoarse about oppression, duck into a Starbucks, come out with a few cinnamon lattes and then begin screaming again. Recruiters for the International Socialist Organization, the World Revolutionary Front, the International Workers Fourth Front Uprising and the always popular Brotherhood of Revolutionary Workers and Peasants push smeared pamphlets into their pockets hoping for a bite.

Joseph Massad mounts the stage to explain that Zionism is the real Anti-Semitism. Muslims in the crowd begin chanting that Mohammed’s army is coming back. “O Jews, O Jews,” they scream. Rage Boy is somewhere among them. They are all Rage Boy now.

An old Trotskyist waves a sign quoting Marx’s slur that the god of the Jews is money. But he changed it to Zionists so it’s not anti-Semitic anymore.

Finally the puppets are raised up. They might be of Netanyahu or Rabin. Sometimes they do double duty as Harper or Cameron. Now their blood-soaked suits have been decorated with stars of David to avoid confusing anyone unsure of who the generic white male with vampire teeth might be.

An agent for the Iranian regime goes to the microphone to denounce the nuclear Apartheid that is preventing Iran from getting the bomb. Old CNDers who spent their twenties screaming about the madness of plunging the world into atomic death cheer him on. Quakers who are old enough to have stood in the Red Square holding up signs denouncing American militarism nod along.

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America, the bullied

by Lloyd Marcus on Monday, July 14th, 2014

This is article 194 of 194 in the topic Liberalism

Perhaps it is because as a child, I witnessed Zaggy torturing chubby Butterball every morning at the school bus stop. Consequently, I have an extremely low tolerance for Leftists bullying Americans into submission and getting away with it.

Fear caused Butterball to endure daily humiliating facial slaps, punches and extortion of his lunch money. Frustrated for Butterball, I asked, “Why don’t you hit Zaggy back?” Butterball replied, “He will beat me up”. My retort, “He is beating you up every day!”

One morning to the delight of us kids, Butterball, while crying his eyes out, went wild on Zaggy. Nothing seriously violent, but Zaggy was the one crying and afraid.

My fellow Americans, we are being bullied like never before by Leftists which include Obama and the MSM. We are being forced not only to tolerate, but embrace their liberal far-left radical socialist/progressive agenda. Their agenda is particularly hostile towards Christians, the unborn, American traditions and exceptional-ism. Noncompliance or opposing points of view are not tolerated; either total submission or suffer total destruction.

For example.

Christian twins, Jason and David Benham had their Home & Garden Television (HGTV) show, “Flip it Forward” canceled when the Left learned that the brother’s faith based views were not in step with the Left’s mandated thinking. Even though the twins proclaimed their love for all people and vowed never to discriminate, it still was not good enough for the Left. Every American is required to agree or suffer the consequences.

David Benham’s heartfelt statement: “We love all people. I love homosexuals. I love Islam, Muslims, and my brother and I would never discriminate. Never have we – never would we.” http://bit.ly/1uJs7mv

Despite HGTV canceling the TV show and withdrawing its financial support, the Benham brothers are still moving forward, renovating the homes for the families who would have been featured on their TV show. http://bit.ly/1ototH6

Like many Americans, my black brother is a low-info voter. He is not politically engaged and gets his news from the MSM. Consequently, he was not up to speed on the Hobby Lobby case. He was shocked to learn that the case was really about the Obama Administration attempting to bully the business into betraying its Christian faith. He was stunned learning that Hobby Lobby provides 16 of the 20 contraceptives mandated in Obamacare, only refusing to fund the four that kill babies. He replied, “Wow!”

I explained to my brother how the Left is scamming the public. The Left has launched a campaign to disguise its attack on religious freedom; claiming that Christians who refuse to be bullied into betraying their faith are engaged in a war on women. http://bit.ly/1kpRUZb

In the Left’s relentless efforts to “bully” a 175 year old order of Catholic nuns into betraying their faith, the National Organization for Women (NOW) which is an extreme Leftist group placed the Little Sisters of the Poor on its Dirty 100 list. http://bit.ly/1nij8FT

It is chillingly evil to call sweet humble elderly nuns who provide loving care for seniors in the late stages of life, “dirty.” Nothing could better illustrate the sick and depraved mindset of this vile organization. http://bit.ly/VhFM6N Like harden mercenaries, Leftist operatives take no prisoners. Furthering their agenda trumps common sense, compassion and decency.

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Sen. Patty Murray authors ‘Not My Boss’s Business Act’ to exempt O-care from law she voted for in ’93

by Doug Powers on Monday, July 14th, 2014

This is article 684 of 686 in the topic Healthcare

Band Aids for self-inflicted wounds

Sen. Patty Murray has written the “Not My Boss’s Business Act” as a “fix” to get around the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision:

Democrats and women’s health groups believe they have a powerful campaign weapon in pushing back on the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling that Hobby Lobby and other closely held for-profit companies don’t have to comply with the health law’s contraceptive coverage requirement if it violates the owners’ religious beliefs.

The bill was drafted by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), a longtime women’s health advocate, and Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who is up for reelection this year. Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat up for reelection in Alaska, joined them at the press conference to release the bill.

The Democrats’ bill would essentially exempt the Affordable Care Act from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the law that the Supreme Court said the contraception requirement violated.

Some Democrats have Wile E. Coyote’d their way into having to remove another obstacle of their own placing (to read more about this subject, search DADT and DOMA).

Dems, including Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer and Patty Murray, overwhelmingly supported the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 1993, and Bill Clinton signed it into law that same year. Now they’re blaming the Supreme Court for applying a law they helped put into existence. But how many MSM stories about this will point out that little detail?

If anybody finds the idea of politicians attempting to overturn the same laws they voted for a couple of decades earlier to be ridiculous, I suggest term limits.

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Deeply Disturbing: Clinton, Democrats Seek To Undue Religious Freedom For America’s Business Owners

by Austin Hill on Saturday, July 12th, 2014

This is article 182 of 184 in the topic US Constitution

614cba2f-1ef8-4f91-8e69-40e10567a99e“Deeply disturbing.”

That was, in part, how former First Lady / U.S. Senator / Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that business owners with religious objections can refuse to pay for health insurance policies that cover contraception.

“I obviously disagree” Mrs. Clinton told the crowd at the “Aspen Ideas Festival” in Colorado on Monday June 30th. “I disagree with the reasoning as well as the conclusion.”

Since that time, Democrat Senators Patty Murray (D-Washington) and Mark Udall (D-Colorado) have joined forces with Seante Majority Leader Harry Reid (d-Nevada) in crafting legislation that would – once again – force business owners to pay for coverage of abortions and abortion-inducing medications, even if aborting children violates a business owner’s religious beliefs.

Clinton and her fellow liberals have framed the dialog over the Supreme Court’s decision in very predictable ways: the decision was grounded in sexism; women will be left victimized without” healthcare as a result; and the decision makes no sense because “corporations are not people.”

Republicans (in the rare moments when they have actually engaged in the discussion) have largely responded by citing Clinton, to Clinton. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a law passed almost unanimously by Democrat majorities in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, provided the legal foundation with which the Hobby Lobby corporation successfully argued that their owners shouldn’t be forced to pay for things to which they religiously object.

It’s certainly worthwhile to remind Mrs. Clinton (and her fellow Democrats) of her husband’s work, and the fact that they are now trying to eliminate the religious freedom that was restored 21 years ago should be alarming to all Americans, and to people of all faiths.

But Americans who still love their liberty should also seek to reframe the discussion beyond Mrs. Clinton’s allegations of sexism and victimization. It’s difficult to imagine Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) or Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) articulating any salient points on the matter. Yet those of us who reside outside the hallowed halls of Congress can start right now to reject Clinton’s logical fallacies and falsehoods on religious freedom, and force the discussion to move in a more truthful direction.

As for Clinton’s falsehoods about the Supreme Court decision, consider this statement: “It’s the first time our court has said that a closely held corporation has the same rights as a person when it comes to religious freedom…” This was yet another part of the assessment she offered at the gathering in Aspen, and it’s not entirely true.

“Corporate personhood,” a legal theory stipulating that corporations can be recognized as individual persons in the eyes of the law, is nothing new (surely Mrs. Clinton, a lawyer, knows this). The recent Supreme Court decision over the religious liberty of business owners perhaps affirms corporate personhood in a new and different way, but the legal theory itself was a component of several previous Supreme Court decisions, including the 1886 Santa Clara vs. Southern Pacific ruling pertaining to federal regulations of railroads. In that Supreme Court decision, the court affirmed tha the equal protection clause of th 14th amendment imparts protections to corporations as well as individual persons.

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The Curse of Cain

by Daniel Greenfield on Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

This is article 240 of 241 in the topic Religion

After Cain killed his brother, the Lord told him, “A fugitive and a wanderer shalt thou be in the earth.”

But the natural order has been reversed, instead the Abels, if they survive, become homeless
wanderers and the Cains build their Caliphates on the tombs of their victims.

“Cursed shall you be from the earth,” the Lord said, and so it has been.

The earth under their feet may be cursed, it yields nothing but sand and thistles, but they are nomads, forgetting agriculture, remembering only their tradecraft of murder. They become worshipers of death dreaming of the green verdant fields of paradise which they can reach only if they kill enough men, women and children.

Leaving devastation behind them, dead lands, lost cultures, widows and orphans, they claw their way up to heaven on a ladder of bones.

Everything around them dies until the only green is on their flags. They are cursed from the earth and they curse the earth. Where they go, the world dies.

It is not murder that makes it impossible for Abel to live with Cain says the State Department, says the European Union and says the New York Times. It is Abel’s fields and houses that provoke Cain.

The PLO formed a unity government with Hamas and the loud voice of consensus, the voice of men who imagine that they become god when they speak in a single voice, is that it was the Israeli houses that were to blame. It is not Cain’s fault that he kills. It is Abel’s fault that he builds.

Of the three kidnapped and murdered boys, two Israeli and one American, Jodi Rudoren of the New York Times wrote, “Palestinians… see the very act of attending (school) yeshiva in a West Bank settlement as provocation.”

Abel is forever provoking Cain who rises up and kills him. And if only Abel hadn’t had so many sheep, if only he hadn’t built so well, if only he hadn’t made the desert bloom, if only he hadn’t won so many wars and if only G-d didn’t appear to favor him.

Cain sows fields of corpses of the innocent for the Lord and he still does not understand why his sacrifice is not accepted and why the earth he dwells on is cursed.

Abel does his best to appease Cain with gifts of earth, but the earth is useless to Cain. What good is cursed earth to cursed men? What can a man plant in the desert? What can he harvest when everything dies at his touch? All he can offer is a harvest of death.

That is what he brings to the faintly remembered Creator he calls Allah. From Iraq to Iran, from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia, from Nigeria to Somalia, from Pakistan to Indonesia, he holds up human heads and cries, “Allahu Akbar.”

As if G-d needs such petty proofs of superiority.

Cain cannot be appeased with earth. The earth is his curse. All that lives hates him and he hates all that lives. He tortures animals and raises dead crops. He kills his daughters and sisters, his mother, the source of his life and the source of his future, for the same honor that made Cain the first killer.

There is no use negotiating with Cain.

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Thousands of Christians flee ISIS bloodbath in Iraq

by Jim Kouri on Monday, June 30th, 2014

This is article 1196 of 1231 in the topic International

An estimated 10,000 Christian men, women and children from communities in northern Iraq are abandoning their homes and most of their possessions as a result of the violence and killing being perpetrated by the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to Friday’s report by theUnited Nations.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that a large number of Christian refugees fled to Iraq’s region controlled by the Kurds. It’s estimated that 300,000 Iraqis from Mosul and the nearby towns and villages have sought refuge with the Kurds.

“They fled by bus, car and taxi into Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region [beginning on] Wednesday night,” UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming told reporters in Geneva, Switzerland. “Many are women and children staying with families, relatives and in schools and community centres, mostly in Erbil. They tell us they fled in a big rush, and didn’t bring many belongings with them so that is a sign of how afraid they are.”

So far this year, an estimated 1.2 million Iraqis have been displaced by fighting, including Christians and Shi’ite Muslims from Anbar and Ninewa governorates, according to UNHCR.

In recent weeks Iraq has seen violent armed groups sweep through a number of provinces sending massive numbers of desperate people fleeing for safety.

“The most vulnerable and poorest families have already experienced their share of tragedy over the last few years,” said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin in a press release regarding her time in Iraq

She reported that she has met families who had escaped the bloody violence perpetrated in Mosul by ISIS. She also met with members of the de facto government of Kurdistan.

“Many [Iraqi Christians] are displaced in very harsh conditions. Lack of services, support and insecurity is forcing them to move around – in too many cases making these families difficult to reach,” Cousin stated.

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