Wednesday, July 23, 2014
To my son Tommy,
In the middle east, religion and politics and foreign policy and freedom and chaos and death and whatnot constantly collide. This has happened for many years and each side considers themselves justified and are certain of their righteousness. You know how I feel about certainty. Normally I do not take the time to report on too many of the events of that region but you should know I do watch. I watch and I pray.
A new faction, which has been given the acronym ISIS or also known as the Islamic State, has gained momentum in the lands of Iraq and Syria. The reports say these are pretty hard line Sunni militants dead set on creating a caliphate which is a completely Islamic state run by an appointed successor to Muhammad. Even other hard line Islamic groups have condemned this group. At first, many in the area treated ISIS like liberators, because they turned back on the water and electricity and supplied the basic services that their current government evidently was not providing. It didn't take long, however, for their true face to start to show. I don't pretend to understand all the dynamics and intricacies of the group or their goals.
I do know that there are reports of this ISIS group marking Shiite homes with the Arabic letter "r" signifying rwafidh (which evidently means protestants or rejecters) and marking Christian homes with the Arabic letter "n" or "nun" signifying nasrani (or Nazarene which means Christian). This warns the homeowner to repent and convert to the Sunni religion or face the consequences. Many of course fled, but now there are reports that ISIS is pursuing them with extreme prejudice often leading to the death of the "infidels"
We have seen this before in history. We have seen groups come to power and mark people that are different than them and blame them for all their woes. We have seen groups heralded as the solution only to find too late that there is truly evil in their hearts. Yet the world seems to wait and watch in silence and do nothing, once again content to act too slowly. It is truly a sad state of affairs and my heart and prayers go out to all those living in fear and persecution in Mosul and the surrounding areas and around the world, no matter their religion. I am not sure what should be done but I know in my gut that something should be done. So I pray. I pray my "Nazarene" prayers and I pray for those persecuted and, true to my Christian Catholic teachings, I even pray for those who are doing the persecuting as well.
Sincerely with love from your dad,