*Heavy sigh* “Yes, Father Bud?”
“I’m really sorry to bother you with this kind of thing again, but the Islamic State –”
“You mean ISIL?”
“Yes, ISIL. They’ve opened a market in Mosul to sell stolen Christian property.”
*Wearily* “Bud, the airstrikes are continuing –”
“Yes, Bishop Kevin, the next time you have a ‘dialogue’ meeting with Imam Mahmoud down at Masjid Aurangzeb, maybe you could bring it up.”
“Bring it up? What for? Mahmoud’s a terrific guy, and you know he hates how ISIL is hijacking his religion, but you know how touchy he is. I don’t want to ruffle his feathers — remember that time he harangued me for twenty minutes about the Crusades? Look, let’s just go next week, and smile, and reach out — reach out and get some of that hummus, Bud, it is positively mystical –”
“Bishop Kevin, I’m serious. I was thinking maybe we could craft a statement.”
“A statement? What kind of statement?”
“A statement denouncing the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and calling on Muslims to renounce all brutality and violence against non-Muslim minorities in Muslim countries.”
*Shaking his head* “Father Bud, if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times –”
“I know you’ve told me, Bishop Kevin, but I, well, I just keep hoping for a change.”
“Look, Bud. Nothing is going to change. Forget it. You know what happened the last time I asked for something like your statement. Mahmoud said he condemned all terrorism, especially state terrorism. Wasn’t that good enough?”
“Well, since you asked, no. It wasn’t. By that he just means that he is condemning America and Israel.”
“Bud. Don’t be uncharitable. Don’t be Islamophobic. He said he condemned terrorism.”
“Yes, but you don’t know for sure if he thinks the attacks on Christians even constitute terrorism.”
“Yes, I do. He told me so, and even if it wasn’t in his public statement, I know he’s a standup guy. And remember, Bud, he just got offended last time I asked him to condemn something that radical violent extreme extremists did. Remember: talk about extreme, militant Islamists and the atrocities that they have perpetrated globally might undercut the positive achievements that we Catholics have attained in our inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims.”
“I’ve heard that, Bishop Kevin. But the idea is not only to get him to condemn jihad terror and the persecution of Christians. The idea is to get him to start teaching in his mosque and the larger Muslim community that the terrorists’ understanding of Islam is wrong.”
“Bud, you’re just not being realistic. How would you feel if he came here and started telling me what I could teach here at St. Aethelred’s Cathedral?”
“Well, he did, Bishop Kevin. Remember? He gave you all the selected readings for the Qur’an Recitation we had for Outreach last month. And I still wonder why he refuses to reciprocate and have a Bible Reading at Masjid Aurangzeb.”
“Listen, Bud. You can’t push these people too hard. They’re very sensitive to racism and bigotry. You can’t ask them to go around teaching against terrorism and hosting Christian prayers in their mosques. Their memory of colonialism and imperialism is too strong. Heck, the Crusades are a living memory for them! We have to show them we’re not Crusaders. Not imperialists. That we love Islam and embrace it as part of the glorious mosaic of mankind. That we are not living in fear of radical extremist violent Islamist radical extremists. Heck — we have them among ourselves as well!”
“Well, Bishop Kevin, I don’t remember the last time that Christians drove Muslims out of an area, kidnapping women and selling them into sex slavery and then selling off the Muslims’ property.”
“It happens all the time, Bud. All the time. And in response, we need to adopt a posture of repentance, respect, humility and submission. Above all, we can’t keep nagging them about Muslim persecution of Christians! What would that do to the dialogue? I hope you’ll come with me to the mosque next week, Bud. You’ll see what a kidder Mahmoud is. And the hummus!”
(AINA) — ISIS has opened a special market to sell property it looted from Assyrian homes and churches in Mosul. The market, called “Spoils Of The Nazarenes,” sells televisions, refrigerators, microwave ovens and other electronic devices, as well as furniture and artwork. Prices range from 50,000 to 75,000 Iraqi Dinars ($42 to $63).
ISIS captured the city of Mosul on June 10. Almost immediately thereafter it began to drive Assyrians out of Mosul and destroy Christian and non-Sunni institutions. It imposed a poll tax (jizya) on Assyrians, ordered unmarried women to ‘Jihad by sex’, destroyed the statue of the Virgin Mary at the Immaculate Church of the Highest in the neighborhood of AlShafa in Mosul, as well as the statue of Mullah Osman Al-Musali.
On June 26 Kurds clashed with ISIS near Baghdede, an Assyrian town east of Mosul, forcing nearly 50,000 Assyrians to flee.
On July 8 ISIS removed the Cross from St. Ephrem Cathedral in the Shoorta neighborhood in Mosul, one week after the church was seized on July 1.
On July 18 ISIS marked Christian homes with the Arabic letter “N” for the word Nasrani, which means Christian.
On July 19 ISIS plundered Assyrians as they fled Mosul.
On July 22 ISIS and Kurds clashed near the Assyrian town Tel Kepe; 2000 Assyrian families were driven from Mosul.
On July 29 ISIS destroyed or occupied all 45 Christian institutions in Mosul.
On August 2 ISIS looted 8 million dollars from Assyrian farms.
On August 21 ISIS looted Assyrian homes, vandalized churches in Mosul.