ISIS Threatens Iraqi Christians in Mosul
Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) — Extremists occupying large swaths of Iraq and Syria have issued a threat to Iraqi Christians in the city of Mosul: accept Islam, pay extra taxes to Islamic Sharia courts or face “death by the sword.”
The letters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, were distributed in recent days to leaders of the dwindling Christian minority in Iraq’s second largest city.
The message added that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has agreed to allow them (Christians who do not agree to convert or pay extra taxes) to leave the embattled city by noon Saturday (5 a.m. ET). After that, the message said, “the only option is the sword.”
Militant ISIS jihadists, a Sunni-dominated al Qaeda splinter group, have overrun large parts of Iraq and neighboring war torn Syria over the past months in a violent Islamist insurgency. The militants want to establish an Islamic state, or so-called caliphate, across Sunni areas of both countries.