(There is photographic evidence of ISIS’ various crimes against children, and humanity in general… but I couldn’t stomach them. If you want to see them do a simple Google search – but don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
Does it seem like a new story of ISIS atrocities makes itself known each new day? It feels that way for me. I am getting so tired of reading about all of the new and horrible ways ISIS is finding to torture and destroy humanity in the Middle East. In a very real sense they are torturing our planet, even as these real people in Syria and Iraq face the crushing blows of radical Islam.
Which is why I keep writing about it. And it’s why I hope that you’ll keep reading about it.
We can’t ever become inured to the horrors pouring out of Iraq and Syria because there are real people suffering very real and violent deprivations at the hands of these ISIS thugs. There is a scene from the movie Hotel Rwanda that really haunts me. It is one of the reasons I make a conscious effort to pay attention to the news every day, even though so much of it hurts to see.
In the scene Don Cheadle, playing Paul Rusesabagina, walks out to speak to Joaquin Phoenix, who is playing journalist Jack Daglish. Daglish apologizes for a recording that shows Rwandan Hutus brutally killing Rwandan Tutsis on the streets in the nearby city. Rusesabagina waves off his apology and says it is a good thing for the world to see… so they can respond. Which is when Daglish says something that is 100% accurate and 100% heartbreaking…
Jack Daglish: Hey, Paul. Listen, sorry about earlier. If I’d known you were in there, I wouldn’t um.
Paul Rusesabagina: I am glad that you have shot this footage and that the world will see it. It is the only way we have a chance. That people might intervene.
Daglish: Yeah and if no one intervenes, it still a good thing to show?
Rusesabagina: How can they not intervene, when they witness such atrocities?
Daglish: (shaking his head) I don’t know, I think, if people see this footage, they’ll say, “Oh my God, that’s horrible,” and then go on eating their dinners…
I don’t mind admitting that I get choked up every time I see that scene… because it’s just so true. I’m not attacking American empathy – our nation is the most generous nation to ever grace the planet Earth. The rest of the world can spit at us and revile us, but when they need money, medicine, food or help – who comes running to their aid? WE DO.
But in a larger sense, we have hardened our hearts to the pain of this world and we have got to soften our hearts even when it feels like we’re just hearing the same bad news over and over again.
All of that being said, the most recent news out of Iraq is very grim, my friends. The New York Times is reporting on a recently published UN report which shows that the evil villains at ISIS have been selling children as sex slaves to debauched and depraved animals clothed as men, as well as crucifying or burying alive other Iraqi children.
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has said that:
ISIL has committed “systematic sexual violence”, including “the abduction and sexual enslavement of children”, it said.
“Children of minorities have been captured in many places… sold in the market place with tags, price tags on them, they have been sold as slaves,” Winter said, giving no details.
Committee expert Renate Winter added that, “We are really deeply concerned at torture and murder of those children, especially those belonging to minorities, but not only from minorities. The scope of the problem is huge.
We have had reports of children, especially children who are mentally challenged, who have been used as suicide bombers, most probably without them even understanding. There was a video placed (online) that showed children at a very young age, approximately eight years of age and younger, to be trained already to become child soldiers.
The UN Committee also expressed outrage at “the systematic killing of children belonging to religious and ethnic minorities by the so-called ISIL, including several cases of mass executions of boys, as well as reports of beheadings, crucifixions of children and burying children alive”.
Oh, how our hearts should be breaking for these poor innocent people. We’ve developed a collective callousness when it comes to the Middle East (and other 3rd world areas where violence seems to be the rule rather than the exception). These are real people living in abject terror. This is no nightmare from which they can awake, this is the day to day reality of life… in 2015. We have ipods, ipads, iphones, and Smart TVs. We have Starbucks on every corner and 24-hour gyms when we want to work out. We have Netflix streaming movies directly into our wired smart homes, and the Xbox 1 on which to play our favorite video games.
Meanwhile in Iraq, millions of people are living, no scratch that, millions of people are surviving moment to moment just hoping that ISIS won’t catch up to them today. They are selling little girls as sex slaves! They are burying little boys alive! They are forcing mentally handicapped children to be suicide bombers! Are you even listening?
Is your heart breaking? I pray that it is.
I don’t know how to solve the problem of ISIS (or al Qaeda, or Boko Haram, or Hezbollah, or Hamas… or any of these other violent Islamic hate groups), but I do know that we must at the very least recognize what they are doing and resolve ourselves to fight against them.
If the most powerful nation the world has ever seen won’t stand against the Barbarians at the Gate when they are slaughtering our world’s weakest – what good is all that power?
Editor’s Note: My heart does break for these people in Iraq and at the same time, just as I know the author is aware, America sits mostly silent at the slaughter of millions of people inside their mother’s womb every day. We should first repent of this first and then be willing to engage those in other parts of the world.