Secretary of State John Kerry has said that the Islamic State is guilty of genocide against Christians, including other minorities in the Middle East region. The declaration comes after rights groups and politicians pressured the department and official to decide on the designation. What will happen next?
“In my judgment, Daesh is responsible for genocide against groups in territory under its control, including Yazidis, Christians and Shia Muslims,” Fox News quoted Kerry.
The designation came into fruition following the passing of the nonbinding resolution by the House. The vote was at 393-0 condemning the terrorist group of genocide.
“Daesh is genocidal by self proclamation, by ideology and by actions,” NBC quoted Kerry during a televised broadcast.
“We must recognize what Daesh is doing to its victims.”
“Naming these crimes is important but what is essential is to stop them,” added the official.
Furthermore, the declaration was a surprise to some in terms of timing, because a State Department spokesman claimed they will not make the mandated March 17 deadline for decision a day earlier. Nonetheless, the department was at the receiving end of heavy scrutiny which prompted Kerry to reach a decision proclaiming Christians, Yazidis and Shiite groups as genocide victims.
Kerry also highlighted the struggles of Kurdish minority, Yazidis. ISIS previously branded the group as devil worshipers with thousands starved and killed in the process. Furthermore, the secretary of state added that fortunately many were saved with the aid of the United States.
Nonetheless, this was “not before Daesh captured and enslaved thousands of Yazidi women and girls, selling them at auction, raping them at will, and destroying the communities in which they had lived for countless generations,” he claimed.
Shiites and Christians were also slaughtered and coerced to convert to the terrorist group’s extreme interpretation of Sunni Islam. Many Christian groups have lobbied and called out lawmakers to see to it that acts committed by ISIS against members of the group will be considered under genocide.