Christian minority attacked by Islamists in Syrian city

 

29-10-2013

 

ARA News

Raqqa, Syria− Activists in the city of Raqqa told ARA News that the al-Qaeda affiliated group of the Islamic state in Iraq and Sham (ISIS) called on burning the holy Bible wherever found in the city. 

The group and its supporters started last week burning a number of Bibles in front of the Bishara Church in Raqqa.

“Supporters of ISIS group collected a number of Bibles in front of the Church of Bishara and burnt them in public,” said Daniel Mohammed, an activist in Raqqa.

“Unfortunately, the al-Qaeda linked extremists are trying to ignite the spirit of sectarianism and hostility among civilians in Raqqa,” Daniel told ARA News

In a linked context, Mustafa Jaradi, an Arab resident in the city of Tel Abyad/Girespi, said that the Islamists are carrying out similar practices in Tel Abyad.

“The Islamic factions attempt break down the Syrian social fabric by spreading distinction between the different coexisting components and enhancing hatred,” said Jaradi. “Dividing the community and weakening it is the only way for Islamists to facilitate their domination.”  

According to Jaradi, most of the residents of Tel Abyad and Raqqa −where Islamists enjoy considerable power− are “resisting any offensive practices towards religious beliefs or ethnic groups in the area”. 

“We stand against anything that implies offensive behaviour towards sanctities or ignites hostility among civilians,” Jaradi told ARA News. “The Bible represents our Christian brothers with whom we lived for thousands of years, and the ISIS behaviour doesn’t represent the Syrians but a foreign agenda that intends to damage the social structure in Syria. What happened in Raqqa last week was merely a barbaric and immoral act by the members of ISIS.” 

The al-Qaeda affiliated group of the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham took over the city of Raqqa and various areas in north-east of Syria after fighting against the brigades of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Kurdish forces of the Popular Protection Uints (YPG). The Kurds-Islamists struggle continued over the last few months for control in Syria’s Kurdish areas.

According to observers, the behaviour of the Islamist fighters serves the Assad regime as these fighters declared conflict with all different armed groups in Syria except the Syrian pro-Assad army.

Activists said that members of the ISIS have burned several churches earlier this month in the city of Raqqa and its suburbs. 

 

Source: ARA news

 

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