Aug 7 2009

The Genocide of Iraqi Christians

August 07, 2009 12:01 AM EDT

The oppression of the Iraqi Christians started when Arabs occupied the
land in the seventh century. Their method of wiping out Christianity
from the region involved the implementation of a simple rule; either
convert and follow the Islamic banner, or pay heavy taxes (which many
Christians could not afford) or war.

Looking at more modern history, the first genocide of the 20th century
began on April 24, 1915. By 1918, 2.65 million Christians including
750,000 Assyrians, 1.5 million Armenians, and 400,000 Greeks were
killed by the Ottoman Empire and the Kurds. The Assyrians called this
genocide â??seyfoâ?? which means sword. In 1933, the
massacre of Semel, in Northern Iraq resulted in the death of 3000
Christians at the hands of Kurds and the Iraqi Army. This was the
first atrocity committed by the new Iraqi state under Prime Minister
Bakir Sidqi, after gaining independence from the British in 1932. My
village Tin, in Northern Iraq, shared a similar fate in 1961.

The American occupation in Iraq did not end the struggles of the
native Christians. Under the watch of our Democratic government and
the newly established Iraqi government, Christians continue to face
persecution. Here is a list of some of the acts f violence committed
as reported by the Assyrian News Agency:

-A two month infant was kidnapped, beheaded, roasted, and returned to
his parents.

-14 year old Ayad Tariq was considered a â??dirty Christian
sinnerâ?? and decapitated.

-Fr. Paulos Iskander (Paul Alexander) was kidnapped, beheaded and

-Five priests were kidnapped and released after ransom was paid. Five
other priests and three deacons were murdered.

-59 churches were attacked or bombed since June 2004: 40 in Baghdad,
13 in Mosul, 5 in Kirkuk and 1 in Ramadi.

-At least 13 young women were abducted and raped, causing some of them
to commit suicide.

-Female students were targeted in Basra and Mosul for not wearing
veils; some had nitric acid squirted onto their faces. Elders of a
village in Mosul were warned not to send females to universities.

-Mahdi Army circulated a letter warning all Christian women to veil

-Christian businesses were targeted. 95% of liquor stores were
attacked, defaced or bombed. 500 Assyrian shops in a Dora market were
burned in one night

-Children were kidnapped and forcibly transferred to Arabs and Kurdish

Property was confiscated by Kurds in the North and in the south by
Shiites and Sunnis.

-Kurdish authorities forced public works projects to divert water and
other vital resources from Assyrian Villages to Kurdish villages.

-While the Arabs protest for one Muslim killed in Europe, they are
silent for what happen to the Christians of Iraq, the people of
Darfur, or the Coptic in Egypt.

Yes Mr. President, I did like your message to the Arab world in
Cairo. I am not against your action of praising Islam or the Quran,
but you failed to address their oppression against non-Arabs or
non-Muslims who live in the Middle East. We build 12,000 Mosques in
the United States, and many thousands more in Europe, yet not one
church is allowed in Saudi Arabia. Mr. President , you failed to ask
why. I know the answer, because we are infidels and forbidden in their

I know we are a democratic and civilized nation and they are not. I
know we are strong and forgiving while they are weak and loud. We
should not have to improve our image to the Middle East, for we have
freedom that millions of Arabs and Muslims enjoy and take advantage
of. I have lived in Iraq for 33 years; I know how they treat their
people in the streets and in the prisons. Their prisons are many times
worse than what occurred in Abu Ghraib. In your message you try to
build a bridge to the Islamic world, but you left the non-Muslims in
the middle easy angry and alone. They deserve your support, they love
freedom as much as we do, and now they face extinction. Fifty percent
of the Christian population has left Iraq with the other half face the
continuation of a long bitter genocide and it will be under our
watch. An Islamic nation without Christians, a Middle East without
diversity will only become more radical.

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