'ISIS Is Not Dead' Says Priest Who Documented Ongoing Genocide Against Yazidis
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For more than a decade, a French Catholic priest has investigated the murder of some two million Jews in mass shootings during World War II.
Father Patrick Desbois has devoted his life to researching the Holocaust, fighting anti-Semitism, and furthering relations between Catholics and Jews.
In recent years, Desbois turned his attention to Iraq's Yazidis, a religious minority that has been ruthlessly attacked and targeted for genocide by ISIS. Desbois says ISIS uses the same tactics the Nazis used against the Jews during the Holocaust.
Desbois is the author of The Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest's Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews, Winner of the National Jewish Book Award, and the recently released The Fabrication of Terrorists: Into the Secrets of Daesh, based on his investigation of the Yazidi genocide in Iraq.
"They Know Us. We Don't Know Them."
"ISIS will know our enemies, but we know much less about them. They know us, we don't know them," said Father Desbois. "That's why we have to wake up. We have to have open eyes, we have to believe in God, to see the reality in front. Otherwise, we can be any day a victim."
Father Desbois is President of Yahad-In Unum, a global humanitarian organization he founded in 2004 dedicated to identifying and commemorating the sites of Jewish and Roma mass executions in Eastern Europe during World War II.
Evidence ISIS is Not Dead
He has interviewed nearly 300 Yazidis who recounted stories of rape, executions and other vicious crimes.
Father Desbois said, "Everyone says ISIS is dead. But with my team, when we go to Iraq, we still meet Yazidis who just escaped from them. Recently, we met a girl, she has been sold 25 times to 25 persons."
Father Desbois says ISIS is an efficient "killing machine," operating almost scientifically, much the way Hitler did when the Nazis methodically killed Jews during the Holocaust.
He and his team interviewed nearly 6,000 witnesses, reconstructed thousands of massacres and identified nearly 2,500 previously unknown execution sites.
ISIS Uses Nazi Tactics Against Yazidis
He says ISIS uses Nazi tactics, such as public executions and enlisting local help in their murders.
Father Desbois said, "They arrive in the morning to a village let's say in Russia or Ukraine. They say to the Jews 'don't worry, don't worry, we go to Palestine. We deport you to Palestine.' They arrive in a Yazidi village say, 'don't worry, don't worry, convert to Islam, put a white flag, nothing will happen.'"
But he says like the Jews at the hands of the Nazis, the Yazidi victims often end up that same night in mass graves, many times buried alive.
Father Desbois said it's the same system, the same methodology, the same evil.
Training Children to Become Terrorists
But what makes ISIS more dangerous is that boys from ages seven to 11 are sent to camps to be turned into terrorists.
He says their days are filled with Islamic prayers, terrorist training, and learning the Koran.
He adds each night they're exposed to videos of beheadings and crucifixions.
"They Stole My Brain"
"They say to the children we will all die. We will die in Mosul, we will die in Iraq. But you, the small children, will survive and you have a mission," said Father Desbois. "One boy told me, 'they stole my brain.' I never heard anyone say that: they stole my brain."
Father Desbois' organization is now helping the kids find their souls at the Yahad Center in Kurdistan, Iraq.
Volunteers teach the children about Jesus, along with His love and forgiveness.
While the women learn skills such as sewing to support themselves.
Father Debois says it's important to not just prove murderous acts took place, but to prove such killings are not an unstoppable, global force and with God change is possible.
Father Desbois is also a Professor at Georgetown University, where he is on the faculty for the Center for Jewish Civilization.
He also served as director of the Episcopal Committee for Catholic-Judeo Relations from 1999 until 2016, under the auspices of the French Conference of Bishops.
He is the grandson of a WWII French prisoner held in the Rawa Ruska camp on the Poland-Ukraine border.
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