It’s hard to know where to begin this tale of depraved indifference and religious persecution out of Mosul, Iraq. So let’s start with the dying wish of a 12-year-old whose body was covered with fourth-degree burns after Islamic State terrorists torched her family home with her and her mother inside. As the cradled her daughter’s badly burned body, the girl asked for forgiveness for her killers.
Express has the chain of events that led up to this remarkable moment, but first the back story. That is the revelation that ISIS periodically extorts a Jaziya — or religious tax — from non-Muslims living in areas of the Muslim world that are under shariah law.
The terrorists were conducting their routine door-to-door threats when they issued an ultimatum to the unnamed child’s mother….
Jacqueline Isaac, a human rights advocate, said: “The ISIS foreign fighters were at her door and they told her ‘you have two choices, you are to leave now or you are to pay the Jaziya’.
“She said ‘I will pay, give me a few seconds, my daughter is in the shower’.
“They said ‘you don’t have a few seconds’ and they lit the house with a torch from the bathroom the daughter was showering in.”
The article’s author, Katie Mansfield, includes a reaction from the Christian charity Open Doors. A spokesman said:
Iraq is one of the most difficult places in the world to be a Christian, and thousands have been forced to flee their homes by the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
Sadly this is just one more example of the atrocities being committed by extremists in this region, but I regularly hear of incredible stories of faith like this where Christians forgive their persecutors.