“They Say We Are Infidels” was published earlier this year. This means some of the events in the Middle East, chronicled by the author, took place as recently as 2015. The narrative starts out with an incident in 2006, eight years before the rest of the world began noticing the serious crimes being committed against humanity by militant Sunni Muslims, known as ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) or Daesh
The book is an in-depth look at the root cause of the exodus of millions of people – men, women (some pregnant), and children – from Iraq and Syria into other parts of Middle East and Europe. At the core is an Islamic jihadist’s view of the world that theirs is the only legitimate religion. In their minds, anyone who is not a militant Sunni Muslim is an infidel. Those fleeing from jihadist cleansing include Christians, Shia Muslims, Yezidis, Shabak, and other minorities in the region.
Recent human history has plenty of examples of crimes against humanity on record, including genocides. Some of the major reasons criminal minds have used to justify these abhorrent acts include religion, race, ethnic group, national origin, and political beliefs. (In the United States, the current federal law prohibits discrimination based on most of these factors except for political beliefs. The Obama Administration, Democrat, blatantly discriminated against political opponents and harassed them through governmental agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Justice.)
Before reading this book, I was convinced that a World War III was imminent involving Christians who collectively revolt against all Muslims. By the time I finished reading it and did some additional research myself, however, I began to realize that the reality is not just Christians and other “infidels” that are against ISIS. There are plenty of those among both Sunni (King of Jordan, for instance) and Shia Muslims, too, that are against ISIS. It appears to me, therefore, that it is a matter of time before ISIS will be decimated. A Washington Post article, “ISIS: A Catastrophe for Sunnis” seems to support this prognosis.
Nevertheless, scars inflicted upon the victims by ISIS are deep. Here is a list of some disturbing quotes from the book:
- Behind ISIS was financial aid from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, said Richard Dearlove, the former head of Britain’s intelligence service MI6.
- Many elderly and disabled Iraqis, along with their caregivers, were trapped in the cities and towns overtaken by ISIS, beholden to the Islamists’ whims and cruelties.
- (In northern Iraq) Mosul’s remnant could attest to strict Sharia law, publicly enforced. Anyone caught stealing had a hand amputated. Anyone caught in adultery was stoned to death or thrown from a building. Enslavement of non-Muslim women and children was legal – in fact, the new decrees for slavery were posted on the walls of mosques throughout the city.
- Sexual slavery was far from clandestine under ISIS; it was more like a cottage industry. ISIS had killed or captured thousands of Yazidis and hundreds of Christians.
- A young Yazidi woman trafficked to Syria managed to phone activists working for a relief organization, Compassion4Kurdistan. “If you know where we are, please bomb us,” she begged. “There is no life after this. I’m going to kill myself anyway – some have killed themselves this morning.” The woman said she had been raped thirty times, “and it’s not even lunchtime.”
- At some point, ISIS banned its captive women from wearing head scarves, even though head coverings were required under Islamic law. Too many women and girls had used them to hang themselves.
- Those who marketed and sold abducted women had the backing of ISIS policy.
- Children made crayon drawings showing beheadings and rivers of blood. Four-year-old boys were frightened whenever a man with a beard approached them.
- “ISIS has and continues to demolish and bomb our churches, cultural artifacts, and sacred places,” she said. “We have realized that ISIS’s plan is to evacuate the land of Christians and wipe the earth clean of any evidence that we ever existed.”
- Human rights activist, Mark Lipdo, said: “The world’s reluctance in confronting ISIS in northern Syria and Iraq gave minority ethnic and religious people to a monstrous holocaust.”
The book also describes in detail heart-wrenching stories of two sisters and their mother, revealing what had happened to many women in captivity.
“They Say We Are Infidels” is the kind of book that can only be written by someone who has strong convictions as to why she does what she does. Until halfway into the book, I did not realize that the author, Ms. Mindy Belz, is a journalist. Just when I was ready to dismiss almost anything written by any journalist as useless propaganda, I came across this book. Ms. Belz and a few other journalists – such as Ms. Sharyl Attkisson, Ms. Kim Strassel, and Ms. Kirsten Powers who are courageous enough to say what needs to be said – are helping me regain faith in this country slowly but surely.