Women hold small children as older kids run away from armed men. Piles of ashes and rubble dart the landscape as dust wafts into the air from remnants of loving homes. Crowds of displaced people huddle together without emotion. Steel glances peer into cameras documenting leathered faces that tell the story of the genocide committed by ISIS.
ISIS stands for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. ISIS is working to create an Islamic state by ruling the area through intimidation. Smuggling, kidnapping, and extorting are their calling cards. The militant group was formed by the infamous leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He is now known by his followers as Al-Khalifah Ibrahim.
The Assyrians are fed up with the abuse. They are banding together to form militias to protect themselves. The problem is that they don’t have the training and weapons necessary to form a defense that ISIS won’t penetrate.
This isn’t something new. In the year 1321, Muslim mobs destroyed Coptic churches in Egypt. According to historian Rodney Stark, these anti-Christian riots were carefully orchestrated throughout Egypt. The small-scale, anti-Christian attacks of arson, looting, and murder were consistent throughout the area. New Islamic converts in Mesopotamia, Armenia, and Syria persecuted Christians in an effort to uproot the church and kill the heads of the Christian congregations. Stark notes that by the end of the fourteenth century tiny remnants of Christianity remained in East and North Africa, nearly wiped out by Muslim persecution.
In response, the European Christians banded together to stem the anti-Christian tide of Is
lam from Africa. The European forces worked to take back the Holy Land. Muslim pestering, targeting Christians and minorites, called Europe to fight for Jerusalem after the city was under Muslim control for 460 years.
In a proverbial second act, Christians today are flying to Iraq and Syria from around the world. Retired servicemen are joining forces with Christians in the middle east to stem the rushing tide of Islamic extremism. The battles waged during the crusades are being replayed with modern technology, opposing the tenents of Islamic law and the call of the Quran to establish Islam as the chief religion.
American Keith Broomfield from Massechusetts was the first American killed in action from the volunteers signing-up to fight ISIS in the Middle East. Broomfield's sister said he joined the militia because, "God told him he had to go, and without a second though, he went."
Broomfield's mother didn't want him to fight in the militia, "I didn't have a choice in the matter. He turned his life over to the Lord and he decided it was God's will and God wanted him to do it." Broomfield's sister is taking to social media to communicate some reasonings behind her brother's volunteer service. She notes, "My brother died to defend my sisters who are being sold, raped, and murdered." A text from the last message Broomfield sent his sister is on Facebook. The message reads, "Sometimes you got to be a man whether you want to or not. I don't expect anyone to understand but I don't need anyone to either. I appreciate your concern and take it as kindness."
Broomfield's funeral is scheduled for Wednesday, February 17.