ISIS is winning. I say that with the utmost regret, but it is true. Bullets have not stopped it, nor have bombs or ground troops. States around the world have denounced ISIS's radicalism from afar, but words are meaningless without any action. At a time when ISIS enslaves people, a new movement is determined to stop their cruelty once and for all.
The Genocide Initiative has launched a petition on change.org that calls on political powers to unite and proclaim the crimes being committed by ISIS as acts of religious, cultural, and ethnic genocide. While political entities such as the United Nations have proclaimed ISIS's activities as "crimes against humanity," few organizations or institutions have labeled the group's actions for what they truly are: genocide.
Started by Islamic scholar Dr. John Andrew Morrow, poet Charles Upton, and Bishop Francis Kalabat of the Eastern Rite church, the Genocide Initiative is a coordinated interfaith effort to urge nations and human rights groups to stand up for Christians, Yazidis, Kurds, Sufis, and other religious groups facing genocide because of ISIS. The Initiative's petition demands that local, regional, and international powers act to neutralize ISIS by cutting off their legs from under them. The plan is to systematically dismantle their networks, whether ideological, financial, political, or religious. Only a multi-faceted and comprehensive method of action will prevent ISIS from gaining more ground in the Middle East.
The Genocide Initiative is inspired by Dr. Morrow's book The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. Muhammad's treaties with Christians state that Muslims are not to attack peaceful Christian communities, but defend them "until the End of the World." Morrow's book directly appealed to all Muslims to condemn the violence against Christians in the name of Prophet Muhammad himself.
Morrow and his colleagues challenge international organizations, human rights groups, intelligence agencies, national security agencies, law enforcement agencies and military forces "to coordinate their efforts to locate, arrest, indict, try, and convict any and all parties responsible for supporting ISIS." By signing the petition, these groups and organizations put pressure on elected officials and other representatives to stand against the evil of Takfirism -- the latest heretical perversion of Islam. People of all religious backgrounds, as well as no religious backgrounds, must tackle Takfirism.
Christians and Muslims have signed the petition to fight the darkness of radicalism with solidarity and unshakable resolve. Once the petition has enough signatures, the Genocide Initiative will present the petition to world leaders, U.S. governors, human rights organizations and others to lobby for the request to categorize ISIS's actions as genocide.
It is imperative that world leaders declare the actions of ISIS as genocide. Joining the Genocide Initiative and signing the petition is taking one step closer to ensuring that groups in the Middle East have a place to call home in the future.