Bravo, France! And shame on you, David Cameron!

A Iraqi protester carries a cross during a protest against the Islamic State (CNS)

France has offered asylum to the Iraqi Christians forced to flee from Mosul. The BBC reports this, and so does Al Jazeera.

There can be no doubt either that this offer is authoritative, as it comes from the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, and the French Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, in a joint statement. Moreover, they are not simply offering asylum, but taking practical steps to help these who may wish to come to France. The Al-Jazeera reports says:

“We are in constant contact with local and national authorities to ensure everything is done to protect them,” both ministers said.

So, these are not cheap words, or political posturing. Something is actually being done.

Bravo, France! You are a secular republic that sees, in true secular fashion, the human needs of people in distress, and wants to do something about it.

Bravo, France! You have form in this matter already. For France it was that received thousands of refugees from Russia in the aftermath of the revolution there, and also took in thousands of Armenians who survived the Ottoman genocide of 1915. Now, once more, you are helping those who need a safe haven.

Bravo, France! You have expressed outrage at the treatment of the Christians of Mosul, and you have not taken the line that these are merely one oppressed group among many: there has been no ‘universalise to minimise’ strategy here.

Italy and the Vatican acted over the case of Meriam Ibrahim; France is now prepared to act over the persecuted Christians of Mosul. (Entry to France may well give them entry to the entire European Union.) Over to you, David Cameron and William Hague.