A Nebraska Congressman says the international community must respond or religious minorities will be run out of the Middle East.
Congressman Jeff Fortenberry says the Islamic State has ushered in grave human rights abuse in the Middle East.
“So much so that we call it genocide,” Fortenberry tells Nebraska Radio Network. “This is a true genocide against Christians and other religious minorities. We’ve dropped a resolution in the House of Representatives, naming it such.”
The efforts of Fortenberry and others in Congress have drawn the attention of the Kurdistan Regional Government, which supports the bipartisan initiative denouncing the persecution of Yezidis, Christians, Turkmen, Shabaks and other ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq.
House Congressional Resolution 75 is sponsored by the Congressional co-chairs of the Religious Minorities in the Middle East Caucus: Fortenberry, a Republican from Nebraska, and Anna Eshoo, a Democrat from California as well as the co-chairs of the International Religious Freedom Caucus, Juan Vargas (D-CA) and Trent Franks (R-AZ). The resolution denounces the atrocities as “war crimes,” “crimes against humanity” and “genocide.”
Also known as ISIS and ISIL, the Islamic State has been systematically persecuting and murdering ethnic and religious minorities. Refugees have flooded out of the Middle East and into Europe. Some estimates peg the number of refugees at near two million.
The West has been slow to act. With European countries clashing over how best to respond.
Fortenberry points out Pope Francis has called the indifference of the nations a scandal of silence.
“This massive persecution going on against an entire group of people based upon their religious faith is wrong. It’s an affront to humanity. It’s an affront to civilization itself,” according to Fortenberry.
Fortenberry says non-Muslims have been told to convert, pay a tax, flee, or die.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]