A 12-year-old Christian girl who was burnt to death in her home by Isis urged her family to forgive them with her dying breath.
The girl’s mother described how jihadi fighters had set fire to the family home in Mosul, northern Iraq, after they failed to pay a religious tax on time.
The tax, known as the Jaziya, is imposed on all non-Muslims in Isis controlled territories and is calculated according to their estimated net worth.
The unnamed mother described how “foreign” Isis fighters had arrived at her door and said she had two choices, either “you are to leave now or you are to pay the Jaziya”.
Human rights advocate, Jacqueline Issac, said the mother told them she would pay, but asked for a “few seconds” as her daughter was in the shower.
The jihadis reportedly refused to wait and lit the house with a torch immediately.
Both the mother and her daughter managed to escape the burning house, but the child died from her fourth degree burns a few hours later.
Ms Issac told the Daily Express: “The daughter had fourth degree burns and the mother took her daughter, scrambling, doing anything to save her.
“She rushed her to the hospital and her daughter died in her arms.
“The last thing her daughter said was: ‘Forgive them’.”
Last week, a leading cleric in Baghdad said the country’s ancient Christian population could disappear within five years because of the Isis threat.
Father Martin Hermis Dawood said he used to advise members of his congregation who were contemplating fleeing the country to stay strong, but since the emergence of the terror group two years ago he had told them to go.
Iraqi Christian leaders estimate the total number of Chaldean Catholics, Syrian Orthodox and members of the eastern Assyrian church – the main denominations in the country – has declined from 1.3 million people 20 years ago to just 400,000 today, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Father Dawood said: “We are in the middle, we have seen it. When newspapers published cartoons about the Prophet Mohammed, it was in Europe, but gangs tried to assault Christians here. Something happened in Belgium or in Holland, I paid here.
“We know very well that not every Muslim here is a terrorist, but there is a culture rising, not only here in Iraq, but in the Middle East. There’s a struggle happening in the whole world and we will be burned in this fire in the future.”
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