Skip to comments.Where Do Mosulís Christians Go Now? American Help Is Needed
Posted on 06/18/2014 3:33:42 AM PDT by markomalley
Over two days last week, every one of Mosuls thousands of Christians fled the Sunni Jihadi invasion and they are not going back. All their ancient and beautiful churches and monasteries there will remain closed, and a handful have already been desecrated. In effect, a targeted religious cleansing of Christians has taken place in Iraqs second largest city and one known through much of the past 2,000 years as Nineveh, Iraqs Christian center.
ISIS jihadists, reportedly with support from a sizeable segment of Mosuls overwhelmingly Sunni population, have declared the establishment of a caliphate under medieval sharia rules and the black flag of Islamist extremism.
Some of the Sunnis among the quarter of the Mosul population who left on June 9 are returning. I hope God supports them and makes them victorious over the oppression of al-Maliki, 80-year-old Abu Thaer, a Sunni resident of Mosul was quoted exclaiming about ISIS in todays press. His sentiment is not unusual within the strong Baathist pockets there. The rest of the citys overwhelmingly Sunni population will be intimidated into acceptance, particularly since June 12 when ISIS executed the Imam of Mosuls Grand Mosque, along with a dozen other Muslim imams for refusing to swear allegiance to them.
But for Mosuls Aramaic-speaking Christians, returning to the new caliphate is unthinkable. The new order, as established in an eleven-point charter, would curb Christian rights, burden them financially by arbitrary protection taxes, endanger their women and girls by the risk of abduction and forcible conversion, and put them at an insurmountable disadvantage by discounting their testimony in the sharia courts that are at the heart of their governing system. If the extremist takeover of Baghdads Dora neighborhood eight years ago is any example, their homes and properties would have been quickly seized by others and they would have no legal recourse. Instead, for now, they have chosen the uncertainty and hand-to-mouth existence of the displaced.
Of the mere 400,000 Christians who remain today in all Iraq, as many as half are in the north, the area including Mosul and the places to which the Mosul Christians fled. The newly displaced Christians have found temporary refuge in the ancestral Christian villages and towns of the surrounding Nineveh Plain and in Kurdistan, all of which are now being protected by the Kurdish peshmerga forces. Many of their communitys leaders are now thinking about ways to make their stay in these places permanent.
I met yesterday with Pascale Warda, a Chaldean Catholic who was the Immigration and Refugee Minister for Iraqs interim government and now runs Hammurabi Human Rights group in Baghdad. A survivor of five assassination attempts, in which four of her bodyguards were killed, Mrs. Warda is no stranger to persecution. Her family comes from Dawaiya, a Christian village in Kurdistan that was near those gassed by Saddam Hussein in the 1980s. She told me that if things heat up in Baghdad, she and her family may go back to the north.
Warda raised the urgent need for housing for the Christians of Mosul to enable them to remain in the Christian villages of Nineveh and Kurdistan.
Joseph Kassab, founded of the Iraqi Christians Advocacy and Empowerment Institute (ICAE), based in Michigan, agrees and emphasizes that American reconstruction and resettlement aid will be essential to this effort, in addition to immediate, generous humanitarian aid. Both Warda and Kassab reason that there is nowhere else for them to go in that troubled region, and the West wont be willing to absorb such large numbers all at once.
But whether Iraqs remaining Christians will be able to have a future in their ancient homeland will depend on Western help and policies.
The wave of persecution that has been directed at Iraqs Christians after 2003 has never received much attention by either President Bush or President Obamas administrations, but it has been a grave human-rights problem. The campaign against Christians has encompassed 70 deliberate church bombings and assaults, as well as assassinations, an epidemic of kidnappings, and other attacks against clergy and laity alike. In recent years, particularly since 2004, a million of Iraqs Christians have been driven out of the country by such atrocities. This can be rightly called targeted religious cleansing, and it is a crime against humanity.
The American administration and congressional leaders need to act to help the Mosul Christians with their unique plight. But the suffering of this minority community threatens to be obscured by surrounding events and overlooked once again.
Chaldean Catholic patriarch Louis Sakos searing words about the plight of the Iraqi Christians last December, hang in the air: We feel forgotten and isolated. We sometimes wonder, if they kill us all, what would be the reaction of Christians in the West? Would they do something then?
Having said that, unless this country is willing to do what needs to be done, elimination of the cancerous growth itself, anything that we would do would have little or no effect. Considering the pro-Islamist foreign policies of both Bushes, Clinton, and Øbama, I won't hold my breath.
That's because as time goes on, it becomes more obvious that toppling Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist government was one of the dumbest things the U.S. has done in decades.
have we forgotten so soon?
I wish conservatives who think it’s still December 2001 would wake up. I almost threw up last night listening to BOR and Krauthammer going on and on about how much to put back into Iraq - a little (BOR) vs. a lot (CK).
Here’s a clue - we’re not going back.
They won. We lost. Everything about the “war on terror” was misconceived (except for the brilliant SOF captures of KSM, Ramzi Binalshibh, and Abu Zubadayah - but once they were allowed to live, even that was wasted). Bad tactics, worse strategy, losses we could not afford, absolutely no plan whatsoever for victory.
We lost. This is what defeat in war looks like. This is why it sucks to lose.
And we don’t get a second chance.
“There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.”
Would you feel any differently if you learned that most of the victims of those abuses were the same people who are running ISIS right now?
Christians are regarded by this regime as disposable people. So long as Obama occupies the White House, America’s role is serving the interests of muslims. The unwillingness to help oppressed Christians will forever be a well-deserved black mark on this country’s history.
Yeah, “human rights” (please define for future discussion) sucked in Saddam’s Iraq.
So what? They suck all over sand-land. If THAT is what the war was all about, what strategy do you think could have been pursued (with the consent of the governed, a/k/a us) that could have improved the situation without making other things that are important to our national interest worse?
Three years of war in the region called by the British “Iraq” caused the consent of the governed to be withdrawn. Pursuit of war over the objections of the governed resulted in the enemy being installed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where he sleeps to this day.
If Bush had handled the war on America properly, job #1 would have been alliances with Saddam and his military plus India, who could have swept our actual enemies off the field, set in place occupation regimes with a proper understanding of the conquered peoples, and met up somewhere in Helmand Province by July 4, 2003.
“But whether Iraqs remaining Christians will be able to have a future in their ancient homeland will depend on Western help and policies.”
From whom? Most of Western Europe is so heavily populated with muslim invaders their wings if courage were clipped long ago. The only help that might come forth would something nominal from eastern euro countries whose populations remember life under a dictatorial jackboot.. but their resources are too limited.
That leaves America... but this country is now too politically fearful of its own shadow — and muslim ire — to offer any assistance beyond what individuals can do through private charities.
I agree on all points, distasteful as an alliance with Hussein would be.
But jackbooted tyrants are what those animals need to keep them in order. Self-governance is an impossibility for them.
It should be painfully obvious that an America that won’t lift a finger to protect its own State Department employees in Benghazi cannot be trusted in its word with respect to protecting the rights and lives of Christians in ANY Muslim-controlled country.
While there may be some few (and far between) actions that make it appear America will stand up for Christians, it can ALWAYS be counted on to renege or abandon that commitment. The last 6 years of ObamaDynasty have affirmed this.
The one thing Christians can be assured of, however, is that a Muslim American President will ALWAYS “..stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”
.ISIS jihadists, reportedly with support from a sizeable segment of Mosuls overwhelmingly Sunni population, have declared the establishment of a caliphate under medieval sharia rules and the black
If the writer would actually like this statement to be factual and honest it would read
ISIS muslims, repeortedly with the support from a sizeable segement of Mosul’s overwelmingly Sunni muslim population
But Western journalist and Government try desperately to make people believe this has nothing to do with islam or muslims. That is the BIG LIE..............
Just arm them.
Better to carve a Christian country out in the Middle East. Lebanon would be a good choice - was a large Christian population there until recently, it would be easy to support and would probably be welcomed as a neighbor by Israel.
Plus it would be fun to screw with Islam.
“Better to carve a Christian country out in the Middle East. Lebanon would be a good choice - was a large Christian population there until recently, it would be easy to support and would probably be welcomed as a neighbor by Israel.”
They'd better NOT rely on Egypt's horses and chariots!
The Obama doctrine is to help gay dissidents only...
No, rather what we should have done is to help put a Iraqi strongman in power, one who is willing to ruthlessly stamp out the Islamists. Yossef Bodansky said that there were Russian trained Iraqi Army officers who were willing to launch a coup to oust Saddam and his regime. We should have maybe used them.
Well that gives me a pretty broad paintbrush. "If I ruled the world" and I knew that there was a pretty good chance there would be a liberal Dem elected, I would have occupied Iraq in a hot flash on a scale not seen since post-WW2 Germany, 'conscientious objectors' drafted to tirechanging and cooks for those who did volunteer. But since this topic is on Christians in Iraq, I'll try to focus on that.
Keeping Sadaam in place gave us absolutely no guarantees that the region would remain stable in the future under Sadaam's 'iron fist'. Expecting India to align with Iraq was and is wishful thinking - India has long had internal problems with Wahabbi Sunnis.
Had Saddam remained in absolute power, with Zero at the helm of the events of the "Arab Spring" (Bill Ayers) with Christians already crushed under that 'iron fist', with an easily corrupted UN calling rules of engagement, the current regional situation would have been to Sadaam's benefit. He would have been lightening-quick to capitalize on the anti-western sentiment and Christian persecution occurring in Egypt, Syria and Libya. And his pocketbooks would be open to those launching attacks on the western world.
Removing Sadaam was a necessary and accurate call, in foresight and in hindsight. imo
>So what? They suck all over sand-land.
To various degrees. Some strongmen are better than others.
>If Bush had handled the war on America properly, job #1 would have been alliances with Saddam and his military.
Not Saddam himself. He was a supporter of terrorism. What we should have done was to get rid of him, and put in a autocrat that while not brutal as him, was still willing to do whatever it took to stamp out the Islamists.
A strongman, yes, but not Saddam. He was a supporter of terrorism himself.