While I agree with 99 percent of what Mr. David Tolliday-Wright wrote on 28 Nov 2015 “Syrian priest painted grim picture of life under IS”, I was left disappointed by his misleading concluding remarks “how do you negotiate with people who are only obeying Allah?” when the barbaric actions of ISIS has everything to do with power and politics and absolutely nothing to do with religion.

Arab Christians, Kurds, Yazidis and Shias as well as their churches and places of worships have co-existed peacefully in Iraq and Syria for centuries. In fact before the civil war in 2010, this group of minorities accounted for 26 percent of the population. If Allah had indeed ordered Muslims to kill other non-Muslim Arabs 1400 years ago, there would not have been any minorities left in the region today.

Multi ethnic groups in the Middle East

To falsely claim today’s sectarian conflict is a continuation of an ancient religious divide is not only a misreading of history but a complete fabrication of it.

In fact for centuries non-Arab minorities have relished the opportunity of living in cities ruled by Muslims. This is true during the Crusades when crusaders recruited by quoting out of context verses from the Bible, as well as at the time of the Islamic golden age, when the international language of science was Arabic.

Furthermore, Sunni Muslims are the largest victims of ISIS a group that preposterously claims to be Sunni itself and yet not only do Sunni Muslims account for the largest victims and casualties but are also actively fighting the grotesque savagery of ISIS today, more than any other ethnic groups.

If it weren’t for the false intelligence, illegal invasion of Iraq, non-existent post-war planning and the disbanding of the Iraqi army in 2003 let alone the installation of a puppet government that unleashed a trans-border Sunni-Shia-Kurd struggle, ISIS and its spiraling descent of madness would not have been formed today.

ISIS, like other deviant Muslims and groups today, that account for less than a fraction of 0.5 percent of Muslims worldwide justify their actions by quoting out-of-context verses from the Quran but if they claim to be following their religion, what religion are the rest of more than 99.5 percent of Muslims worldwide following?

In the current culture of Muslim witch-hunting and blaming Islam let alone Allah for everything, this simple yet important question is worth reflecting on.