Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Use peaceful means to end the Islamic State’s violent war crimes
The Sunni rebel group known as the Islamic State has overtaken much of northern Iraq and Syria, espousing a radical ideology and using violent and disturbing tactics to achieve it. Urge leaders around the world to enforce an arms embargo, economic sanctions, and travel ban on the militant group to dissuade it from further action.
Formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, the Islamic State’s extreme violence has even alienated its former ally, Al Qaeda. Over the past few months, the Islamic State has grown exponentially, quickly seizing large areas of land and cities, stealing money and weapons as they go, and allegedly murdering at least 5,576 Iraqi civilians along the way. The group now stands accused of war crimes ranging from committing mass executions of non-compliant leaders, teachers, and health workers, recruiting child soldiers by force, and raping women. Their violations have also included destruction and plundering of cultural and heritage sites, robbery, and kidnapping.
The leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, wants to restore a medieval Muslim caliphate to govern the area. The Islamic State hopes that Muslims worldwide will join with them to wage a large-scale holy war against secular Western countries, but neighboring predominantly Muslim nations denounce their actions and radical viewpoints. The Shi’ite-led Iraqi government can do little to quell the rebel group without inciting further retaliation grounded in religious and ethnic differences.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called upon the international community to respond to the Islamic State’s crimes against humanity with an arms embargo, economic sanctions, and travel bans. Urge President Obama, and other global leaders, to heed his call to use non-violent tactics to convince the Islamic State to cease its violent atrocities.
Dear President Obama,
The horrific war crimes of the Islamic State against Iraqi civilians reflect an imminent human rights crisis in Iraq and Syria. The rebel group’s violent actions must be stopped before more innocent people are killed in the name of its radical ideology.
The United Nations recently investigated the allegedly violent acts of the Islamic State in northern Iraq. What they found constituted mass-scale war crimes. They report that the extremist group has murdered over 5,500 civilians since January including health workers, teachers, and religious leaders, raped women, and forced children to join their forces.
I urge you to enforce economic sanctions and an arms embargo against the Islamic State to try to end their actions peacefully as well as send humanitarian aid through whatever channels possible to help the suffering civilians of northern Iraq.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Victor falk at English Wikipedia