The U.S. spokesman for the Iraqi-Christian community was on MSNBC with Jose Diaz-Balart to tell the world about the evils of ISIS. And boy did he have a lot to say...
JOSE DIAZ-BALART: From Martha’s Vineyard to California where the Iraqi community in this country is urging President Obama and leaders around the world to do more to help their suffering loved ones back in Iraq and that includes the second largest community of Iraqis in the U.S., just outside of San Diego in El Cajon. Let me bring in Mark Arabo. He is the national spokesman for Iraqi Chaldeans, the sect of Christians and the chief executive of the Neighborhood Market Association. Good to see you. Thanks for being with us, Mark.
MARK ARABO: Thank you.
DIAZ-BALART: Now you’re a leader in the lobbying effort to convince the president, his administration, to start air strikes in Iraq. What’s your reaction to the U.S. response so far?
ARABO: You know, we sounded this alarm from San Diego eight weeks ago and we’ve been clear as we are today: This is a full-blown genocide. Two weeks ago, myself and leaders from Michigan went to the White House and actually told Ben Rhodes we need a game-changer.
We need air strikes. We need humanitarian aid. We need something to help the Christians and the minorities. Right now, there are 400,000 Christian families that are dying. They’re targeted. They don’t have water. They don’t have food and what we’re asking for now is the world and America to follow France’s lead. Offer asylum. These are crimes against humanity that are taking place.
DIAZ-BALART: So, let me ask you about this issue because you say that the Christians are being targeted. In what way has that manifested? Give us some examples.
ARABO: Sure. Well, ISIS did a convert or die campaign. They eradicated all Christians from their villages. The reason why it’s a genocide? Two reasons: Targeted displacements and targeted killings.
They’ve taken away their passports, they massacred men. They’ve raped women. They’re displaced from their homes. They actually mark their homes with ISIS red death stamp of N, which stands for Nazarene and they’re systematically trying to wipe off the oldest Christians in the world.
DIAZ-BALART: And that’s so important because this is targeting Christians. This is a group that is killing, raping, maiming Christians for the act of being Christians. Is there something that the world should be doing in addition to what the United States has been doing so far?
ARABO: Absolutely. I think the whole world should join us hand by hand, shoulder by shoulder for humanity. This – these are crimes against humanity. Let’s work together with the United Nations to offer asylum, offer a home for these people.
Tonight – today I fly to New York and meet with the United Nations, myself and a few leaders in our community to ask Australia, to ask America, to ask Sweden, to ask Germany to do some type of visas to air lift these Christians out of there and for the sake of humanity, let’s offer them a home. They’re dying by the hour.
DIAZ-BALART: But Mark, are you thinking that they should be air lifting 400,000 people – from Iraq?
ARABO: Right now, we should do everything we can to save their lives, whether it be air lifting them, whether it be establishing a safe zone. Currently, there is no safe haven for Christians and they’re massacring them one by one. We’re getting hundreds of phone calls from Americans that have family in Iraq that are telling us the most horrendous stories and we have to act. As a world community, for humanity, we must act.