Recognising IS genocide will hasten its fall

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The season of goodwill has been improved by Iraq liberating Ramadi from so-called Islamic State, or Daesh as it is known in the birthplace of religion.

The Kurds recently captured Sinjar where Daesh enslaved women and murdered others. Taking Sinjar cut a vital supply route between Daesh occupied cities in Iraq and Syria. Its oil trade is also being curbed.

Defeating a movement that combines medieval barbarity with modern methods, including social media, is vital for religious freedom and pluralism. I recently joined parliamentarians in urging the prime minister to recognise the genocide perpetrated by Daesh against Christians, Yazidis and other vulnerable groups.

There is clear evidence that this includes assassination, mass murder, torture, kidnapping for ransom, sexual enslavement and rape, forcible conversion to Islam, destruction of churches, monasteries, cemeteries, and Christian artefacts, and theft of lands and wealth.

Genocide is the systematic killing or seriously harming of people because they are part of an identifiable group. Recognising this sends a message to those organising this slaughter that they will eventually be caught, tried and punished.

It hastens the day that Daesh is consigned to history. We can then join others in helping religious minorities thrive again. Let’s wish them all a peaceful and prosperous new year.