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On the Gateway Pundit, this claim by Chaldean-American businessman Mark Arabo is posted:

“There is a park in Mosul, where [ISIS] they actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick and have them in the park,”

Is this true?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 16 down vote accepted

There are multiple news outlets reporting ISIS has beheaded children quoting the same source, Mark Arabo, and there is one source (catholic.org) that shows disturbing 'evidence' that seems to be misattributed, actually stemming from Syria. There is reason to be skeptical, as the recent news about the call for female genital mutilation by ISIS and some other grand claims were wrong too.

CNN posted an interview with Mark Arabo who claimed the fact, also posted in a wider report.

If you feel like nobody would be capable of such acts, you could watch the VICE documentary about ISIS and be convinced otherwise within 9 minutes.

This report from catholic.org holds images that ChrisW in the comments showed to have been published before, and seem to stem from the civil war in Syria. The veracity of any report is hard to determine. I would urge you to consider before following them, as a picture will never hold the full contextual information (as has become obvious within the comments to this answer).

It does seem like ISIS modus operandi to behead. They did so in a widely reported action where 50 Lebanese soldiers were murdered and beheaded, a video of which emerged. Again, I advise caution gathering information on this subject, although this one seems quite trustworthy.

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Google image search of the "disturbing visual evidence" on the catholic.org site suggests those photos are all from Syria. –  ChrisW Aug 8 at 18:35
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The catholic.org page shows beheaded children. That's the only fact that can really be given. –  Spork Aug 8 at 18:36
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[Google image search of the 'beheaded girl' image](http:// tinyurl.com/m8bb2um) (Not Safe for Work) –  ChrisW Aug 8 at 18:45
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ISIS is definitely beheading people, that is not disputed. I can find one source that in Mosul children were beheaded structurally, but no confirmation (I have a nagging feeling a lot of very hurt people know for sure, though). –  Spork Aug 8 at 19:42
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That seems closer to closing yourself to the truth, not seeking it. There is overflowing evidence that ISIS does target civilians. washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/06/13/…, theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/18/…. –  Spork Aug 9 at 15:45

The mainstream news stories, reporting people who were there, are of Christians having been expelled from Mosul, not of Christian children being murdered there.


Chrétiens d'Irak : rester ou partir? says (italics are the original french, followed by my translation from French to English):

Le cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archevêque de Lyon, revient d'une visite en Irak, où il a rencontré des chrétiens récemment chassés de Mossoul par les djihadistes.

The cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon, returns from a visit in Iraq, where he met christians recently chased from Mosul by jihadists.

« Tout d'un coup, le prétendu calife de Mossoul a dit : "À partir du 18 juillet à 12 h, plus un seul chrétien dans la ville de Mossoul. Les maisons ne sont plus à vous, ce n'est plus votre ville, vous devez être partis". »

Suddenly the pretended Calif of Mosul said, "Starting from July 18 at noon, not a single Christian in the town of Mosul. The houses are no longer yours, it's no longer your town, you must be gone."

Les chrétiens ont fui à la hâte, emportant leurs enfants et leurs biens les plus précieux, explique l'archevêque. Cependant, aux postes de contrôle, à la sortie de la ville, « on a pris la voiture et on les a laissés partir avec le minimum de vêtements et rien rien rien dans les poches, rien du tout ».

The christians hurriedly fled, taking their children and their most precious goods, explained the archbishop. However at the control points, at the exit from the town, "the took the car and they let them go with the minimum of clothes and nothing nothing nothing in the pockets, nothing at all."

Le cardinal souligne que pas un seul chrétien n'a perdu la vie, contrairement aux chiites, qui ont été massacrés en grand nombre par les sunnites. « C'est très surprenant. J'ai vu le patriarche leur dire : "Arrêtez de vous plaindre; pour les musulmans chiites, c'est pire que pour vous." »

The cardinal underlines that not a single Christian lost their life, unlike the shiites who wre massacred in large numbers by the sunis. "It's very surprising. I saw the patriarch tell them "Stop complaining; for the shiite moslems, it's worse than for you."


This story gives an example of why the Christians left.

Tout ce qui est chrétien est détruit

L'EIIL multiplie les exactions dans sa conquête des villes irakiennes, et chaque jour apporte un lot de témoignages effrayants. Ainsi, Bassam, qui a toujours vécu à Mossoul, vient juste de se réfugier en Turquie. «Tout ce que je possédais, l'État islamique l'a pris», raconte-t-il. «Ils sont venus chez moi et m'ont dit : «Tu vois ta femme, on revient avec un couteau, on lui ouvre le ventre, et on tue le bébé». Alors j'ai pris ma famille et je suis parti tout de suite», raconte cet homme, qui vivait avec sa femme enceinte, ses deux enfants en bas âge et ses parents. «Ils détruisent tout ce qui est chrétien, même les cimetières».

ISIL multiples its exactions in its conquest of Iraqi towns, and each day brings frightening testimonies. Thus, Bassam, who has always lived in Mosul, has just come for refuge in Turkey. "Everything that I had, the islamic state took it", he said. "They came to my house and told me, "You see your wife, we're coming back with a knife, we open her belly, and we kill the baby." So I took my family and I left right away." tells this man, who lived with his pregnant wife, his two young children, and his parents. "They destroy everything that's christian, even the cemetaries."


As of today the only source for stories found on the first few pages of https://www.google.com/search?q=behead+children are quoting Mark Arabo, and he doesn't justify his statement on http://www.markarabo.com/ (he only provides a link to the same CNN interview) therefore IMO his specific statement quoted in the OP and question on CNN, i.e. that children are beheaded, systemtically or otherwise, in Mosul, is uncorroborated.

Furthermore, on his blog dated July 22, Mark Arabo wrote,

Recently, images have gone viral that show a "Red Death Stamp" being placed outside of the homes of Iraqi Christians. This stamp is a reminder to all Christians that once the Holy Month of Ramadan ends, ISIL knows who you are, and your life is in their hands now. Because of this, 95% of Christians have left Mosul with about 5% remaining as converts to Islam. The red badge shown carries echoes of the Holocaust and the yellow badges placed on the arms, and outside the businesses of Jewish individuals. It is a frighteningly clear omen of what the future carries for these marked Christians.

If his numbers are correct, that agrees with the previous assessment that no significant number of Christians were killed (instead, they were warned to flee, and they fled).

There's seems little doubt that people who didn't flee would have been killed. For what it's worth there is good evidence that they were systematically warned to flee instead of or before being killed.

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You seem to be very skeptical of one claim, but completely lost skepticism for your own claim of 'Isis killed no Christian'. Even going by mere statistics, that is untenable. –  Spork Aug 10 at 23:58
    
I don't understand your comment. Your comment has three clauses, and I understood none of them: Which claim do I seem very skeptical of? What is my claim, that I am not skeptical of? What is untenable even going by mere statistics? –  ChrisW Aug 11 at 0:05

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