“There is a genocide going on, and most people don’t realize it.”
“Detroiters fear for Christian Iraqis,” by Niraj Warikoo for the Detroit Free Press, with thanks to Doc Washburn:
Alarmed by the increasing violence directed at Christians in Iraq, local Iraqi Americans are mobilizing to push for their protection.
Several Iraqi groups met Friday in West Bloomfield to discuss how to publicize the plight of Iraqi Christians, many of whom have close ties to metro Detroit. The Southfield-based Network of Iraqi American Organizations sent urgent letters to the Iraqi government, the White House and the United Nations. Others are planning to rally this month in Oak Park to bring attention to what has happened in the last month to Iraqi Christians, known as Chaldeans or Assyrians….
“The situation is very, very bad,” said Jacoub Mansour, a medical doctor from West Bloomfield. “We need them to protect us. We are part of Iraq, the first people of Iraq. … We want to stay there.”
As with most of metro Detroit’s sizable Chaldean population, Mansour — who was born in Iraq — has relatives there, and he worries about them.
About half of his cousins have fled Baghdad for northern Iraq because of threats. Three of his relatives were kidnapped a few months ago. One of them was beaten severely, he said.
“It’s so bad now for the Christians,” Mansour said. Other innocent people are getting killed too, but Christians “are the targets lately.”
Nabil Roumayah, who heads the network, fears that Iraq’s minority populations soon could disappear unless the Iraqi government acts quickly. “Take some action and enforce the law,” he said. “We need protection now.”
Roumayah said that some leaders have said they’re concerned about Iraq’s minorities, but no action has been taken to protect them or to invest in Christian areas….
“There is a genocide going on, and most people don’t realize it,” said Martin Manna, head of the Chaldean Chamber of Commerce, based in Farmington Hills. “They need to be protected.”