By Theodore Shoebat
When ISIS Muslims invaded Mosul, they slaughtered and butchered the priests and the Christians, and it was an absolute horror. There was a 25 year old Christian, named Sarmad Ozan, who managed to escape. His brother had become a priest, and after his ordination his family received this threat:
We will kill the Christians, we will bomb your churches and kill every Christian in the city
His brother went to the UK and got asylum in 2010. Sarmad also reached England. But now, Great Britain is going to deny his asylum and deport him. This is an absolute injustice, and a total evil. Here is a recent video interview with Ozan:
According to the report:
When Islamic State seized Mosul in summer 2014, the Iraqi city’s Syriac Orthodox Christians were given an ultimatum: convert to the jihadists’ extreme Salafist Islam, pay the jizya religious tax, or die. Two years on, those who fled are still not safe.
Sarmad Ozan, a 25-year-old engineering graduate who was deacon of his church in Mosul before the Iraqi Army’s humiliating rout in the northern city, is now appealing a British Home Office decision to deny him asylum.
In a climate where Brexit and a series of terrorist atrocities across Europe have dulled public sympathy for refugees and emboldened anti-immigrant sentiments, Sarmad’s treatment is a damning example of the inconsistency and culture of disbelief that has developed at the heart of Britain’s asylum system.
In 2014, 10th of June, it was forbidden in these days for people to go out of their homes because [the Iraqi Army] said it is a state of emergency, don’t go out. But after a few hours they announced that ISIS had taken over Mosul.
“Everyone fled Mosul during the night. All the families drove their cars to the nearest city or anywhere. We went to a monastery near Mosul. We stayed there for about two weeks.
“ISIS had taken Mosul, but they didn’t kill anyone at that time. They said we will not kill anyone, our problem is just with the government. So we came back at that time, went back inside our house and stayed there.
“But in the next month, in July, they announced in the mosque three options for the Christians inside Mosul. They say you should convert to Islam, or pay jizya, that’s like a heavy tax, or be killed after this 24 hours. So every Christian family left Mosul that day.”
Despite the horrifying reality facing Iraq’s Christians, the Home Office has ruled against offering Sarmad asylum, claiming he can safely return to Kurdistan or Baghdad.
The decision is all the more astonishing as Sarmad’s older brother has already been granted UK asylum. As an ordained priest, who studied English in Britain, he was given refugee status in 2010 after bombs were planted outside the family home in Mosul.
“After he was ordained [and] it was advertised on the TV … we got a threatening letter to our house saying we will kill the Christians, we will bomb your churches and kill every Christian in the city, and they put his name as well in the threatening letter … After a few days, they put a bomb on the gate of the house.”
As Sarmad is an adult, and therefore not classified as a dependent, the British Home Office does not see the need to keep the brothers together, ruling he must return to his family in Erbil.
Sarmad graduated from the University of Mosul with a degree in engineering in 2013. After his arrival in Kurdistan he was awarded an Iraqi government scholarship to study his masters in the UK.
He moved to Britain in early 2015 to take English lessons before his course began. But as the violence intensified across Iraq, Sarmad’s state funding suddenly dried up. With no way to pay for his studies, and afraid to return to an increasingly hostile Iraq, he applied for asylum in Britain.
“I’m still appealing because it’s impossible to go back to a place with nothing. Our house is taken by ISIS. Everything taken by ISIS. Even our neighbors are now supporting ISIS. So how can I go to a place where they are all supporting ISIS? It’s like someone going back to die. That means if they want to send me back, they want to kill me.