The evangelical humanitarian aid group Samaritan's Purse is helping save the lives of badly injured Islamic State fighters wounded during the liberation battle in the terror group's Iraqi stronghold of Mosul.
The organization's President, Franklin Graham, a leading evangelical and son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, took to his Facebook page Saturday night to explain 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 fighters but also the very jihadis they are trying to defeat.
Graham's post came in defense of President Donald Trump's Jan. 27 controversial and wide-ranging executive order 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.
"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."
As previously reported, the Samaritan's Purse field hospital opened up in early January about 6 miles (10 kilometers) outside of Mosul and became the closest medical facility to the front lines of the coalition's effort to push IS (also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh) out of its Iraqi stronghold, which began last October.
The coalition has cleared most of eastern Mosul, but the battle rages on in the western part of the city.
The need for medical aid is so dire that within the hospital's first few days of operation it had treated about 100 patients suffering from life-threatening injuries. The hospital is operated by paid doctors, surgeons and nurses from all over the world, many of whom have their own jobs and practices back home.
Dr. Elliott Tenpenny, the hospital's director, 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. 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," Tenpenny explained. "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 weekend Facebook post, Graham reiterated his defense of Trump's desire to make the United States more secure.
"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," Graham said. "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 U.S. 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," Graham asserted. "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."
Although the Trump administration maintains that the travel ban will help make the country more secure from terrorists by reviewing the refugee vetting process, the evangelical refugee resettlement agency World Relief has argued that the U.S. government's refugee vetting process, which takes a minimum of 18 months to complete, is adequate enough in keeping the country secure and changing it could possibly backfire.
Led by World Relief, over 100 evangelical leaders signed onto a letter published in The Washington Post last Wednesday that criticized the executive order. That same letter has since been signed by over 5,800 other church leaders across U.S. as of Monday morning.