The headline is “Iraq’s Christians run gauntlet of anti-US hostility,” and the article is also full of evidence that radical Muslims in Iraq are trying to reinstitute the legal provisions of dhimmitude, the institutionalized subjugation of Christians, Jews, and other non-Muslims.
“Before the war,” it says, “the Oro family ran a popular entertainment empire, serving alcohol in their restaurants and shops. Now, an Islamic fatwa declares that no one should trade in alcohol on pain of death.”
Why? Dhimmi Christians are, according to Islamic law (Sharia), “forbidden to openly display wine or pork” (‘Umdat al-Salik, o11.5(6)).
This is traditional law, which radicals are reasserting after years of relative secularism. The article continues: “‘Fifty years I was working with drink and now I have nothing,’ said David Younan Oro, the 70-year-old patriarch, his voice trailing off. ‘They drink like donkeys here. Business was good. I had a lot of restaurants and shops. Now my family tell me they want to kill me for keeping them here in this place.'” The radicals plan to turn the place into a mosque.
David Younan Oro’s son-in-law adds: “We had a very good situation until the fundamentalists began to appear and we were affected. They changed the idea of Christians among the people and from then on we have suffered. Because America and Britain are Christian countries, they blame us for the war. We are terrified. We really don’t know what the future will hold.”
“Ramadi,” says the article, “100 miles west of Baghdad, has long been a stronghold of a fundamentalist branch of Sunni Islam. Nonetheless, thousands of Christians were attracted to the area by the prospect of working as clerks, nurses, cleaners and launderers at the biggest RAF base in the Middle East, 15 miles out of town at Harbiniye.”
But now those thousands are gone: “Only 10 Christian families are left in Ramadi.”
Says Charlemagne Shmool, the fantastically-named parish priest: “The fundamentalists have put pressure on us as never before. Within 10 years there will be no Christians in this area. We will be finished.”