Skip to comments.Iraq's Mandaeans 'face extinction' [Muslims savages burn Christian child in Iraq]
Posted on 03/09/2007 2:08:20 PM PST by Posting
The Sabian Mandaeans - one of the oldest religious groups in the world - are facing extinction, according to its leaders.
They claim that Islamic extremists in Iraq are trying to wipe them out through forced conversions, rape and murder.
The Mandaeans are pacifists, followers of Adam, Noah and John the Baptist.
They have lived in what is now Iraq since before Islam and Christianity.
More than 80% have been forced to flee the country and now live as refugees in Syria and Jordan.
Even there they do not feel safe - but they say western governments are unwilling to take them in.
There are thought to be fewer than 70,000 of the Sabian Mandaeans spread across the world - only 5,000 are left in Iraq.
Nine-year-old Selwan likes watching cartoons and playing football.
But he is too scared to leave his flat. The other children tease him.
He has burns all down the side of his face and on 20% of his body.
He was kidnapped by Islamic militants who forced him to jump into a bonfire - because he is Mandaean.
Now his family lives in a tiny flat in a slum in Damascus.
I meet Luay. He is too scared to be identified and does not want to use his full name.
He was dragged off the street by armed men and forcibly circumcised - a practice not allowed in the Mandaean religion.
He is 19 and is now unlikely ever to find a bride from his own faith.
Worse, he was forcibly converted. That means in the eyes of those same extremists, if he now declares himself Mandaean he is apostate.
To the extremists, that makes him a traitor to Islam, who may be murdered. He says he will not be safe in any Muslim country.
'Convert or die'
Then there is Enhar, raped by a gang of masked men in front of her husband - because she would not wear a veil.
Mazen used to be a prosperous jeweller. Now he lives in a cramped flat, with his wife and children. Water drips through the ceiling.
His legs are peppered with machine-gun wounds, he can barely walk.
Shoaki wears a Manchester United hat and shows me the scars where a gang beat and cut him with a knife - he watched his brother murdered in front of him.
Mandaean elders use words like annihilation and genocide - they believe Islamic militants, both Sunni and Shia, offer them two choices - convert or die.
"Some will not consider us people of the book... they see us as unbelievers, as a result our killing is allowed," says Kanzfra Sattar, one of only five Mandaean bishops left worldwide.
'Wait in line'
He believes they are a litmus test for modern Iraq - in a secular state these doctors, engineers and jewellers would thrive.
In the country as it is without law and in the grip of religious extremism, he fears they will be destroyed.
"We are small in numbers, we ask all the governments of the world to extend a hand of help," Kanzfra Sattar says.
He says he wants the West to accept his people as refugees.
I ask him what will happen if they do not - he replies simply: "Our ethnic minority and our ancient religion will die off."
The UN's refugee agency, the UNHCR, says there may be as many as a million Iraqis who have fled to Syria.
"The numbers that will be resettled are tiny compared to the very large numbers that are here," says Laurens Jolles, the head of a UNHCR team.
He acknowledges that the Mandaeans will just have to "wait in line", with other vulnerable groups.
Roughly two million Iraqis have fled to Syria, Jordan and Turkey. But there are no plans to welcome large numbers to the West.
The US has offered places to 7,000, while Britain says it will consider every case "on its merits".
So the Mandaeans wait in line.
Shoaki puts it more simply: "Here, we live in despair."
"followers of Adam, Noah and John the Baptist" - so what makes them Christians? Not to denigrate the horrendous suffering they're undergoing, but the bracket says a Christian child was burned, and that appears incorrect.
"So the Mandaeans wait in line."
Sorry...we only let drug dealers and human smugglers into the US.
The islamic religion has declared war on Jews and Christians and anybody who is not Islamic, yet our government chooses not to call it what it clearly is - a religious war.
They are probably Noachides, not Christians, but so what?
Warning! This is a high-volume ping list.
"Sorry...we only let drug dealers and human smugglers into the US."
Pedophiles...you forgot the pedophiles and rapists.
The Mandeans are not Christians. Which doesn't mean they should be persecuted.
Yes, the bracket is incorrect. The Mandeans regard John the Baptist as the promised Messiah.
So the ideology of death and destruction lives up to its name.
Misery & death what you get when you go head to head with Islamists while only practicing pacifism . Yes you can die if you fight but to at least have the oppurtunity to take some of the savages with you.
Well, what can we say? We keep electing governments and representatives to Congress who tell us that Mohammedanism is TROP. And idiot Americans believe it because the President and the Speaker and the Sec. of State tell us so.
Maybe with a little luck I won't live long enough to be asked to convert or die! Its going to happen here, mark my words, unless America wakes up!
Thank god Islam is a religion of peace. Otherwise these folks would be in real trouble.
This is the future for all secular folks in the future if Islam is allowed to spread. Death.
Iraq is full of religious minorities: the Mandaeans (who regard John the Baptist as the messiah), the Yezidi (a Doctor Who episode waiting to happen!), and Old Canendar Assyrian Nestorians among them.
They're not Noachides either. They're a small religious group who believe John the Baptist was the messiah.
What part of John the Baptist words "Behold the Lamb of God that take away the sins of the world" in reference to Jesus did the Mandaeans miss?
Legitimate conclusion. Standard M.O.
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