In The Media

US Congress declares atrocities committed by ISIS to Christians is 'genocide'

by Christian Deguit (feat. Kyle Matthews)

Christian Daily
March 17, 2016

The U.S. House of Representatives, recently voted 383-0 on Monday in favor of a resolution to call the atrocities commited by Islamic State against Christians and other ethnic and religious minorites, as genocide. 

"Regardless of whether their conduct satisfies certain legal definitions, including genocide and crimes against humanity, the United States has been clear that our interest in accountability for the perpetrators remains undiminished," a State Department spokesman, John Kirby, said hours before the vote, as quoted in The Guardian.

This declaration comes in a bit late due to the fact that the European parliament has already backed a resolution to declare the Islamic State as guilty of genocide. a month ago. 

According to The Guardian, the Obama administration was a bit hesistant to make such a declaration as the 1948 UN convention obliges states to punish perpertrators in such cases. 

"If we call it something else – ethnic cleansing, mass atrocity – then punishment is not required under the law," Elisabeth Hope Murray told the Guardian, an assistant professor of security studies and international affairs at Embry-Riddle University.

The final verdict of whether the Islamic State's atrocities are "genocide" will be made by secretary of state, John Kerry. In addition, it should also be don this Thursday as Congress wrote a deadline into the omnibus spending bill which was passed last December.  

This decision also has an impact to the Obama administration's foreign policy, especially now that it is nearing the end of its term. 

Kyle Matthews, senior deputy director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia University. also told the Guardian that the resiolution will have "enormous pressure" on Obama and have a significant impact on how the debate on action against Isis is framed "and highlight to other governments around the world that the fight against Isis is not only a security one but also one based on international human rights".


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