EU calls IS attacks 'genocide,' Obama won’t

Sunday, February 7, 2016
Michael F. Haverluck (

After the White House recently explained why President Barack Obama won’t call the Islamic State’s mass slaughter of Christians and religious minorities genocide, the European Parliament declared the terrorists’ group’s murderous campaign nothing less than genocide.

A Closer Look"Daesh commits genocide," the European Union’s resolution passed on Thursday declared, according to World Watch Monitor. The word “Daesh” is the English representation of the Arabic acronym for Islamic State, and the resolution passed by a show of hands from representatives of the 28 member nations of the EU.

"It was high time that the EU responded to the undeniable evidence of this genocide," said ADF International Director of EU Advocacy Sophia Kuby.

Just over a week before the EU passed its resolution on IS, the legally non-binding human-rights consortium, the Council of Europe, adopted a similar resolution.

The EU’s resolution points out the Islamic State’s deliberate targeting of Christians and other religious minorities who do not submit to their god, Allah.

"Daesh is committing genocide against Christians and Yazidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities, who do not agree with the so-called ISIS/Daesh interpretation of Islam," the resolution states. "This therefore entails action under the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide; underlines the fact that those who intentionally, for ethnic or religious reasons, conspire in, plan, incite, commit or attempt to commit, are complicit in or support atrocities should be brought to justice and prosecuted for violations of international law, notably war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide."

The resolution is the product of numerous organization pushing European nations to formally recognize the terrorist assault sweeping over numerous continents.

“Religious freedom advocates have been lobbying Western governments to formally apply the term genocide to Islamic State's 21-month drive to impose a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam upon northern Iraq and Syria,” World Watch Monitor reports. “Under multinational human-rights agreements, formal recognition of genocide heightens the obligation of participating countries to respond.”

America not on board to call out terrorism?

While Europeans are toughening their stance against the atrocities of the Islamic State, the White House recently explained why Obama will not call the mass murdering of Christians by the terrorist group “genocide.”

After a reporter asked White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Thursday about IS’s murders in Iraq and Syria, “Why won’t the Obama administration call this genocide — Christian genocide?” Obama’s chief spokesman excused the president by saying that using the term “genocide” has “legal ramifications.”

“There are lawyers considering whether or not that term can be properly applied in this scenario,” Earnest replied, according to TheBlaze. “What is clear and what is undeniable and what the president has now said twice in the last 24 hours is that we know that there are religious minorities in Iraq and in Syria, including Christians, that are being targeted by ISIL terrorists because of their religion and that attack on religious minorities is an attack on all people of faith and it is important for all of us to stand up and speak out about it.”

While speaking at the Islamic Society of Baltimore and at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday, Obama condemned attacks on “people of faith,” implying Muslims were victims, as well.

Advocates of religious freedom have called the mass extermination of Christians by the Islamic State genocide.

“If they don’t think there is enough evidence of genocide against Christians and Yazidis, I’m not sure what they’re waiting for,” the Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty Travis Weber told TheBlaze. “This is based on a political fear. There is moral and legal weight behind calling it genocide. Under the treaty, parties must prevent and punish genocide. This is the reason for the Clinton administration’s reluctance to act in Rwanda.”

Weber went on to cite what defines “genocide,” according to the U.N.’s 1948 anti-genocide convention/treaty, insisting that the Islamic State more than fits this label.

“Killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group and; forcibly transferring children of the group to another group,” the religious rights advocate reiterated.

But Earnest insisted that Obama’s refusal doesn’t reflect his commitment to confront IS.

“This is an open question and one that continues to be considered by administration lawyers,” Earnest contended. “I can tell you that the president was quite blunt in talking about the responsibility that all people of faith have in standing up for individuals who are targeted for their faith, particularly religious minorities and particularly the people who are marginalized because of their minority status based on the religion they practice.”

To further justify Obama’s stance on the Islamic State, he told the media how the jihadist group also victimizes Shia Muslims and Yazidis.

“This administration has worked hard to try to protect religious minorities who are being victimized by ISIL,” Obama’s spokesman continued. “There is no doubt that Christians are among those who have been and are being targeted. As it relates to the specific use of this word — the decision to apply this term to this situation is an important one, it has significant consequences and it matters for a whole variety of reasons both legal and moral. But it doesn’t change our response. The fact is that this administration has been aggressive even though that term has not been applied in trying to protect religious minorities who are victims or potential victims of violence.”

Long overdue?

After witnessing years of torture at the hands of the Islamic State, the EU is now urging the United Nations Security Council to look into the atrocities.

“[An International Criminal Court investigation is urged to uncover] the violations committed in Iraq and Syria by the so-called 'ISIS/Daesh' against Christians, Yazidis and religious and ethnic minorities," the EU’s declaration reads. “[All EU members are obligated to observe the U.N.’s 1948 anti-genocide convention] to wholly fulfil their legal obligations under the convention and such other international agreements."

Kuby says the EU’s action is long overdue.

"It was high time that the EU responded to the undeniable evidence of this genocide which includes assassinations of church leaders, torture, mass murders, kidnapping, sexual enslavement and systematic rape of Christian and Yazidi girls and women, destruction of churches, monasteries, and cemeteries,” she proclaimed.


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