Pins pop up to show solidarity with people displaced by ISIS
By Miriam Raftery
August 23, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – After finding that the Islamic extremist group ISIS had an Instagram page for recruiting potential terrorists and next finding an ISIS Facebook page boasting of atrocities, Ben Kalasho of El Cajon set out to shut down ISIS online.
Kalasho, president of the San Diego East County Chaldean-American Chamber of Commerce, formed an online coalition for people worldwide to monitor social media sites and report ISIS activity. So far, he says, the coalition has succeeded in having three Facebook pages and two Instragram pages for ISIS removed, after Kalasho’s group flooded the social media companies with hundreds of e-mails.
“If we thwart off their means to recruit Muslim youth from all around the world using social media, then at least it’s one step in the right direction,” Kalasho states.
ISIS has demanded that people in Iraq convert to Islam or die. The removed sites contained graphic and disturbing images, including beheadings, mass executions, and a woman tied to two vehicles who was torn in half.
Kalasho indicates that 600,000 Christians have been displaced from their homes in Iraq. ISIS has also slaughtered even other Muslims from other sects, as well as other religious minorities including the Yezidis. ISIS, which now calls itself the Islamic State, has been spraying the Arabic letter “N” which stands for Nazareh, or Christian, to mark Christian homes. Kalasho has stated that this is eerily reminiscent of the Nazis, who forced Jews to wear gold stars of David on their arms.
Now he has set up a website, www.N-Pin.com , selling pins with the symbol and urging buyers to “wear it proudly.” The symbol now has a broader meaning of humanity, Kalasho believes.
The site indicates that some celebrities are now sporting the pins to show solidarity with Iraq’s persecuted Christians. Kalasho says funds will benefit Iraqis in need of food and medicine.
Out of Iraq’s 30 million people, at least 2.3 million are displaced within Iraq due to the violence and another 400,000 are externally displaced as refugees who have fled their homeland. According to the site.
Syria, where the ISIS invaders in Iraq originated, has 6.5 million of its 22 million people displaced internally and an estimated 2.8 million who are refugees outside of Syria.