The treatment reserved by the Islamic State to the Christian minorities is indicative of the type of relationship that the “Caliphate” enters into with its own ideological points of reference: apparently an intransigent application of sharia but, in reality, a selective and sometimes delirious interpretation that is directed at presenting itself as the absolute and eschatological alternative to the West, in keeping with the purest of “friend-enemy” dialectics. Medieval theocracy espouses modern totalitarianism and gives itself over to the will to power.
There is little doubt that the violence unleashed by the Islamic State in the area straddling Syria and Iraq – to the detriment of non-Sunnis and “deviant” Sunnis, above all – has assumed monstrous forms and proportions. In November 2014, i.e. five months after Mosul was taken, a report by Amnesty International was already speaking of an “ethnic cleansing on a historic scale” and stating that “the Islamic State has systematically targeted non-Arab and non Sunni Muslim communities, killing or abducting hundreds, possibly thousands, and forcing more than 830,000 others to flee the areas it has captured since 10 June 2014.”1 During the same period, a United Nations report used the eloquent expression “rule of terror” to describe life in Syria under ISIS.2
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1Amnesty International, Ethnic cleansing on a historic scale. The Islamic State systematic targeting of minorities in northern Iraq, p. 4. The document is available at bit.ly/1FMMBDz
2United Nations, Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, Rule of Terror: Living under ISIS in Syria, bit.ly/1j5nVMB
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