Ryan Mauro/Clarion Project
by Edwin Mora
A national security expert and professor at Liberty University tells Breitbart News that, during his recent visit to war-ravaged Iraq, he found many Christians and Muslim Kurds who “openly” expressed their support for U.S. President Donald Trump as a form of protest against radical Islam and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).
“They see Trump as someone who is unconventional and therefore, won’t be bound by conventional limitations in fighting ISIS and the Iranian regime,” Ryan Mauro, a national security analyst at the Clarion Project and professor of counterterrorism at Liberty University, told Breitbart News. “The Kurds, the Kakai Kurdish minority, and the Christians directly and passionately asked me to relay a request to President Trump: for him to personally come visit with them and for the U.S. to provide political and military support. A safe zone for the persecuted minorities should immediately become an official objective of U.S. policy.”
“I was surprised by how openly pro-Trump many Christians and Muslim Kurds I met with were, and they expressed their support without me even asking the question. For them, the issue is standing up against radical Islam, of which ISIS is the deadliest manifestation right now,” he added.
Representatives from Iraq’s ethnoreligious minority community, including the Christians, Yazidis, Shiite Turkmen, and Shabak, have recently joined forces to urge the Iraqi government and the international community to allow them to form a semi-autonomous region in northern Iraq’s Nineveh Plain, once home to the largest concentration of minority group’s in the country.
Mauro learned from local Iraqi Christians that they would like “financial support and manpower” to support local Christian security units that would protect Christian lands in an established safe zone in the Nineveh Plain for all persecuted minorities.
Moreover, the professor noted that some Kurds also expressed acceptance of a safe-zone for Iraqi minority groups such as the Christians so long as the U.S. and international community allowed them to declare their region as an independent Kurdistan.
“I do see a future for the Christian community in Iraq, because they, after all, they’ve been through, see a future,” Mauro told Breitbart News. “The ones who I walked around Qaraqosh [once the largest Christian city of Iraq] with were adamant that their faith is even stronger than it was before and vowed to reopen the burned church and fill it with an even bigger crowd than before.”
“To them, God will use this hell they’ve endured to perform a miracle. They emphasized that ISIS’ urge to destroy Christian buildings was a sign of weakness and fear; insecurity about their own faith as if Islam, or at least ISIS’ version of it, can only survive by wiping out competitors,” he added. “On a few occasions, I heard the line, ‘We don’t worship a God of buildings. Our God is in here,’ while pointing towards their hearts.”
Professor Mauro noted that what keeps Christians, Kurds, and other ethnoreligious minority groups in Iraq awake at night is not a “falsely-described ‘Muslim ban,’” but rather what they can do in the moment to enjoy as much secular-democratic freedom as possible without being decapitated.
“Their primary concern is: not being beheaded and having whatever secular-democratic freedom is possible, so controversies we’re fixed on like the falsely-described ‘Muslim ban’ is of little consequence to them,” he continued.
The restrictions Mauro refers to are part of President Trump’s executive order limiting immigration into the United States from terrorism-linked countries to keep America safe.
Various leaders from the Christian minority and Kurdish communities in the Middle East praised Trump on winning the U.S. presidency in November, saying they are hopeful the new American leader will strengthen and support ethnoreligious minority groups across the Middle East, victims of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).
While campaigning for president, Trump, who identifies as a Presbyterian, vowed to defend Christians across the world.
“They’ve been horribly treated. Do you know if you were a Christian in Syria it was impossible, at least very tough to get into the United States? If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible,” President Trump told the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) in January. “And the reason that was so unfair, everybody was persecuted in all fairness, but they were chopping off the heads of everybody but more so the Christians. And I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them.”