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Rona Ambrose speaks out against Liberal stand on ISIL
submitted by MP Ben Lobb

June 13, 2016
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This past June 6 was the 72nd anniversary of the D-Day landings in Nazi-occupied Normandy, France. Canadians will always remember the sacrifices made that day by the brave members of the Canadian military. Our troops fought valiantly for Canada, but they also fought to put an end to the horrors that were being inflicted across Europe by the Nazi regime through the Holocaust. This act of genocide was one of the darkest chapters in human history.

Since the end of the Second World War, humanity has committed itself to never forget, and to never again allow such evil to occur.

And yet that is precisely what is happening. Let there be no doubt whatsoever that the brutal, jihadist terrorist regime known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is systematically exterminating Christians, Assyrians,
Yazidis, Shia Muslims, and other countless religious minorities in Syria and Iraq. They have tortured and beheaded children. They have raped women and sold them into sexual slavery. If this is not genocide, I do not know what is.

Stories from Iraq are chilling. ISIL has set up “sex-slave markets,” where girls literally have their teeth checked before being sold. ISIL terrorists bid on captured Yazidi girls as if they were cattle. The girls are regularly beaten, whipped, burned, and raped. This is disturbing and heartbreaking. In 2016, it cannot be tolerated.

Not only is ISIL committing unspeakable crimes against humanity, the jihadists have deliberately destroyed dozens of historical religious sites and looted their artifacts. Irina Bokova, director-general of UNESCO, has called this despicable vandalism “cultural cleansing.”

These are not the actions of a mere “criminal organization,” as the Liberal government suggests. ISIL has much larger aims than criminal enterprise or personal profit. Its stated goal is to create a new caliphate across the Middle East and beyond, to impose Shariah law on all its territories, and to wage war against the West, including Canada.

Yet Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, Stéphane Dion, has avoided calling these actions genocide. He has said in the House of Commons that he wans to “investigate” whether or not genocide has taken place.

While Dion stalls, Canada’s allies have responded. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said that ISIL “is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control.” On March 15, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously declared that genocide was taking place in Iraq and Syria by ISIL. The House of Commons in the United Kingdom followed suit and voted unanimously to recognize that Christians, Yazidis and other ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria were suffering genocide at the hands of ISIL.

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 Furthermore, United Nations investigators have accused ISIL of committing genocide. Their evidence clearly suggests that ISIL intends to “destroy the Yazidi as a group.” In just one example, the UN found that ISIL fighters rounded up hundreds of Yazidi men over the age of 14 and summarily executed them.

The previous Conservative government also recognized the actions of ISIL as genocide. In 2014, prime minister Stephen Harper said that ISIL was “committing genocide against people they see as different.” The foreign minister at the time, Rob Nicholson, also stated that the actions of ISIL were clearly “genocide.”

Tragically, Canada, under this Liberal government, is once again sitting on the sidelines. Not only has the government withdrawn our CF-18 jets from the fight,despite the will of Canadians, it is steadfastly refusing to learn the lessons of the past and call ISIL’s actions what they are: genocide.

As leader of the Official Opposition, my duty is to hold the government to account. This is why I have tabled a motion in Parliament calling on the House of Commons to declare that ISIL is responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity against ethnic and religious groups, namely, but not limited to, Christians, Yazidis and Shia Muslims in Syria and Iraq.

Now is the time for all 338 members of the House of Commons to stand up and be counted on, including members of the Liberal Party. I am asking that they do the right thing and vote in favour of this motion.

The least we can do for the victims of ISIL is to acknowledge what is happening. Only then will the phrase “never again” be more than just words on a page.

Originally published in the National Post, June 9, 2016 Rona Ambrose is the leader of the Official Opposition and interim leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.


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