About 10,000 Christians left Mosul. Nothing like this has happened since the Armenian genocide in Turkey about a hundred years ago.
This is the first time that Mosul’s Christian population has been driven out of the city and is the largest forced displacement since the Armenian genocide. Nevertheless, there are people who still believe in returning despite a Western and Arab failure to act.
Until last week, ISIS was just a “joke” or a “boogieman created by the Syrian regime to scare minorities and keep them by its side.” That is why kidnapping the two bishops, Boulos al-Yazigi and Youhana Ibrahim, near Aleppo a year and a half ago did not serve as an adequate warning of how serious and extremist these fundamentalist movements are.
The occupation of Maaloula and the burning of its churches did not change anything in the Syrian scene and the kidnapping of the nuns was not met with a response proportional to the crime. All this passed in absolute lightness as some Lebanese politicians scoffed at the fundamentalist danger: this is the people’s revolution.
Iraqi and Mosul’s Christian families have fled to relatively safe areas in Iraq. Most of them today are housed in schools or are simply out on the sidewalks as they wait for refugee camps to be built or to be transferred to decent housing. According to those present, there are no armed Christian groups except those guarding villages and cities.
This is the first time that Mosul is emptied of its Christians amid fear that ISIS might reach other areas in the Nineveh province. In the end, they issued a message to the Lebanese media: “Mosul deserves a united news bulletin like Gaza.”