Rev. Franklin Graham, President of Samaritan’s Purse, has said the humanitarian aid organisation is helping to save the lives of ‘badly injured’ Islamic State fighters outside Mosul in Iraq.
The leading evangelical wrote on Facebook over the weekend that medical staff at the Samaritan’s Purse field hospital just miles outside of the war-torn city have extended compassionate care to not only residents and injured Iraq-led coalition soldiers but also ISIS jihadists.
Graham’s post came in defence of President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order issued on January 27 that suspends refugee resettlement for 120 days, refugee resettlement from Syria indefinitely and temporarily halts travel of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days.
Earlier this month, amid widespread opposition to the order – including from a range of Christian campaigners – it was blocked by a federal judge.
‘At Samaritan’s Purse we work in over 100 countries and have worked in most of those on the banned list, so I feel I have something to say about this issue,’ Graham wrote. ‘For example, right now with our Emergency Field Trauma Hospital outside Mosul, Iraq, we are treating Muslims, wounded civilians — men, women, and children — many of whom were shot by ISIS snipers as they fled Mosul.
‘At the same time, we are treating badly wounded ISIS fighters,” he added. “Our medical teams take them in, perform surgery, bind up their wounds, and give everyone the same compassionate, Christian care — helping them in Jesus’ Name.’
The Samaritan’s Purse field hospital opened in early January about six miles (10 kilometres) outside Mosul and became the closest medical facility to the front lines of the coalition’s efforts to remove ISIS from its Iraqi stronghold.
While the coalition has cleared most of eastern Mosul, the battle rages on in the western part of the city.
There is so much need for medical aid that within the hospital’s first few days of operation it had treated about 100 patients suffering from life-threatening injuries, according to The Christian Post.
The hospital’s director, Dr Elliott Tenpenny told The Christian Post last month that the hospital plans to stay open for at least six months.
‘We live and work in a difficult place,’ she said. ‘You wake up and go to sleep with the sound of artillery and gunfire around but we are protected by our security that is here. There is no specific incident that has made me fearful, but we are sitting close to a war zone and we hear the war going on behind us and we know what the people are going through in those areas.’
In his post written on Saturday night, Graham added: ‘We are working to help thousands of refugees every day in different countries. Like the Good Samaritan Jesus told about in the Bible, we help those who have been hurt along life’s road. But that doesn’t mean we don’t need to make the borders of our own country secure. We shouldn’t be naïve. Just because we give medical care to ISIS fighters doesn’t mean I would want to allow any one of them to immigrate to the US That would be crazy. Taking time to vet who we’re allowing to enter America isn’t too much to ask – we need to know who they are.
‘God does tell us to help the stranger and those in need; but God doesn’t tell us to expose our cities, homes, and lives to hostile people. Remember, Jerusalem had walls and gates, and when they had a threat, the gates were closed. Many Muslim groups have made no secret of their deep and deadly hatred for this country’ he said.