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Politics – Daesh genocide

June 2016

Genocide is happening against minority religious groups at the hands of Daesh, the House of Commons has at last agreed.

In a debate late in April, the Commons voted unanimously, with a vote of 278 to 0, that Christians, Yazidis, and other ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria are suffering genocide at the hands of Daesh.

Those voting also called on the government to make an immediate referral to the UN Security Council, with a view to conferring jurisdiction upon the International Criminal Court so perpetrators can be brought to justice.

This has been hailed as a significant victory by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief, coming soon after a debate in the House of Lords, in which the Lords quashed an amendment. Evangelical Times reported in May how the House of Lords had ‘turned a blind eye’ to the genocide being committed.

Earlier this year, the US had stated unequivocally that genocide had been carried out, with US Secretary of State John Kerry stating Daesh was committing atrocities against other religions in the name of Islam.

During the debate, in which the House of Commons overturned the House of Lords’ vote, MP Fiona Bruce said, ‘Recognition of genocide is not the only or the final action of the international community, but it is a crucial step’.

MP Stephen Timms, said, ‘This is genocide. And the UK should be doing more. The government should appoint a global envoy for religious freedom, who would report directly to the Prime Minister, and establish within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office a multi-faith advisory council on religious freedom’.

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