I’ve been overwhelmed with a desire to do something to help the victims of persecution in Iraq, at the hands of the vicious new Islamic State. The Islamic State, led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed leader of the entire Muslim world, has moved quickly and brutally, and has taken control of large portions of Iraq and Syria. They’re now focusing on Lebanon and on Jordan, while making it clear to the world that Jerusalem is always the end-goal.
To compare this organization to Hitler and the Nazis is not too extreme. They plan to destroy anyone and everyone whom refuses to submit to their radicalized version of Islam, and they do it with a kind of media savvy that is unlike anything the world has ever seen. Their beheadings are recorded and put on Facebook and Twitter as a way to recruit the next generation of directionless Mujahideen.
What I’ve been wondering recently is simple: what is the responsibility of the world community? does the rest of the world respond to such a blight on the face of humanity?
It appears that while the world, for the most part, recognizes that the Islamic State “has it wrong,” they’re unwilling to put much skin in the game.
I’m so thankful that President Obama reacted to the humanitarian crisis of the Yazidi minority, as they sought refuge from the Islamic State on Mount Sinjar. But he ended the mission before it was over. So the crisis continues. And it will keep going until we say “enough is enough,” and demonstrating our commitment to eradicating the Islamic State from the face of the earth.
But who has the guts to do it? It appears that few have it. But while we wait, more are executed each day. The Yazidis are being exterminated. The Assyrian Christians are being killed. Shia Muslims are being destroyed. Anyone who refuses to declare allegiance to the Islamic State is killed in grand fashion for the whole world to see.
We must quickly act to do three things:
1. Build a coalition of countries willing to do whatever it takes to soundly defeat the Islamic State, even if it requires ground troops. While I understand the desire to avoid another ground war, it seems inevitable: now or later. I guarantee that later will be more difficult.
2. Create a safe haven for all of the persecuted minorities in Iraq. No one should have to live the way they are “living.” These are true crimes against humanity and must be dealt with with extreme prejudice. Nuri Kino (@nurikino on Twitter) started an organization called “A Demand for Action,” and is asking for help in lobbying President Obama and the United Nations Security Council to quickly create a safe haven for the persecuted.
3. Use social media for GOOD. One of the great things about social media is that we can get a united message out to millions of policy makers and the influential, simply by sharing a compelling message and a call to action. Please tweet for good. Use this message to get started:
Please join me in urging @barackobama to create a safe haven for the persecuted in #Iraq. #demandforaction
Please join me in getting this message out to the world. Don’t allow complacency to control you any longer.