Kurdish Christian Teacher in Northern Syria Could be Executed After Refusing to Give School to Islamist Group

Radwan Muhammad, a Kurdish teacher from Afrin, is being held by Turkish-backed militias, reportedly facing charges of apostasy. Photo: submitted to Rudaw

The headmaster of a school in the city of Afrin in northern Syria has been accused of apostasy and arrested by an Islamist group loyal to Turkey, which wants to punish him for refusing to convert the school into an Islamic educational institution, according to reports.

Forty-year-old Radwan Muhammad, a Kurdish Christian who teaches English, is being held at the headquarters of Failaq Al-Sham, an Islamist group affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, in Afrin, according to the U.K.-based group Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

“We are extremely worried about Radwan’s life and wellbeing,” Pastor Nihad Hassan, who leads a Kurdish church in Beirut, Lebanon, told CSW. “[T]hey may execute him.”

The group had ordered Muhammad to turn over his school so they could turn it into an Islamic educational institution, but the Christian teacher refused, saying, “I will hand you the building in one case only: if Jesus Christ comes down to earth again,” CSW reported. He was arrested on July 30.

Afrin was taken over by the Turkish army in March 2018.

Hassan noted, “Those Islamist groups and their Turkish masters are walking in the footsteps of IS (Islamic State). In fact, many of their fighters are former IS and al Qaeda members.”

CSW Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas called for his immediate release.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar

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