Islam forbids forced conversion — “There is no compulsion in religion” (Qur’an 2:256). However, what is considered “forced” is more elastic than the Western view. Muhammad is represented in a hadith as saying that Muslims should take up arms against non-Muslims who refuse to convert or submit: “Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war…When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them…. If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.” (Sahih Muslim 4294)
Thus when these children who refused to convert, the Islamic State jihadis fought and killed them, as per Muhammad’s instructions.
“British ‘Vicar of Baghdad’ claims ISIS beheaded four children for refusing to convert to Islam” The Independent, December 9, 2014:
ISIS have beheaded four Christian children in Iraq for refusing to convert to Islam, a British vicar based in the country has claimed.
Canon Andrew White, who is known as the ‘vicar of Baghdad’, told Orthodox Christian Network that the killings happened in a Christian enclave close to Baghdad which has been taken over by ISIS (formerly known as Islamic State).
Actually it is currently known as the Islamic State, and formerly known as ISIS.
He spoke of how ISIS has “hounded” the Christians out of Iraq, and how “they killed in huge numbers, they chopped their children in half, they chopped their heads off, and they moved north and it was so terrible what happened”.
He told the network that militants “came to one of our people the other day, one of the Christians”.
“They said to one man, an adult, ‘Either you say the words of conversion to Islam or we kill all your children’.
“He was desperate, he said the words. And then he phoned me, and said, ‘Abouna [Father], I said the words, does that mean that Yeshua doesn’t’ love me anymore?’ I said, ‘Yeshua still loves you, he will always love you”.
Canon White claimed that the children who were beheaded had refused to “follow Mohammed”….
“ISIS turned up and said to the children, ‘You say the words that you will follow Mohammed’.”
“The children, all under 15, four of them, said no, we love Yeshua, we have always loved we have always followed Yeshua, Yeshua has always been with us.
“They said: ‘Say the words.’ They said ‘No, we can’t.’ They chopped all their heads off. How do you respond to that? You just cry.”
Canon White said that ISIS were threatening to kill him, and that he is now living in Israel, following orders from the Archbishop of Canterbury to leave Iraq. He said that most of his staff are still in the north of Iraq trying to look after displaced Christians.