Newborns with Down syndrome are the target of Islamic State’s new fatwah

By @vitthernandez on
Down syndrome Baby
Gammy, a baby born with Down's Syndrome, is held by his surrogate mother Pattaramon Janbua (not seen) at a hospital in Chonburi province August 3, 2014. According to Pattaramon, his Australian parents, through a local surrogate agency, asked her at her 7th month of pregnancy to terminate it because of his Down's Syndrome but she refused and kept the baby. The Australian parents instead took with them Gammy's twin sister who was born healthy. More than 3 million Thai baht ($93,360) was raised through an online campaign in Thailand in less than a day for the medical treatment of Gammy who suffers from potentially life threatening heart conditions and a serious lung infection, local media reported. Reuters/Damir Sagolj

Using lethal injection or suffocation, the Islamic State (IS) has killed 38 children suffering from Down syndrome or born with disabilities. The infanticide had victims who were only one week to three months old.

The carnage was done in Syria and Mosul as part of a fatwa or decree issued by religious authorities such as the Daesh. The reason behind with infants born with Down syndrome were targeted was out of the belief among IS leaders that these children were sired by foreign fighters with Iraqi, Syrian or Asian women, reports the New York Daily News.

Saudi Judge Abu Said Aljazrawi issued the fatwa, according to the Mosul Eye. He is part of the Sharia Board of the Daesh, says the Iraqi watchdog blog.

An extra chromosome is responsible why some people have Down syndrome which is a genetic condition and not a disease or ailment. Instead of having only 46 chromosomes, people with the syndrome possess the extra chromosome 21, also known as trisomy 21, bringing their total chromosomes to 47, explains Downsyndrome.org.au.

Despite knowing how it happens, the question why people have the condition is still unknown. Daesh’s blaming of foreign fighters who sired children with certain ethnicity of women is unfounded since the syndrome, which occurs when the child is conceived, hits all ethnic and social groups and parents of all ages. There is no known cure and it is a permanent condition.

About one in every 700 to 900 babies born across the world have Down syndrome, although in Australia, the rate is lower than the global average.

People with the condition have some level of intellectual disability, caused by delay in development and a level of learning difficulty. Speaking clearly could also be difficult.

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