“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” — Koran 9:29
“Scholar: Christians Fighting More Than Iraqi State: Archbishop Says Social System Is Root of Persecution,” by JesÃºs Colina for Zenit, November 17 (thanks to John):
ROME, NOV. 17, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The problems faced by Christians in Iraq are not caused by the state, but the very social system, says one representative of the Catholic community there.
Archbishop Jules Mikhael Al-Jamil, procurator of the Syrian Catholic Patriarchate in Rome, presented this analysis at a press meeting organized at the Italian Chamber of Deputies.
The prelate, 71, said that in Iraq’s social system, Christians have no supports to defend themselves, thus becoming easy victims of common criminals or terrorist groups.
He said their situation can be called a “religious persecution” caused by a social system that is inspired by a view of the Quran, according to which Islam and its followers must dominate and regard believers of other religions as citizens with fewer rights.
The archbishop, expert in Arab culture and literature, explained that according to the Quran, Islam is a religion that is above all others.
In the past in Iraq (and some still hold this view), “Christians who were under a Muslim regime or doctrine were free to believe in Islam, to leave their land, or to pay a tax to live in peace,” he said.
Nevertheless, Archbishop Al-Jamil noted, Christians used to be a quite influential minority. They made a decisive contribution to the country’s culture in, for example, the creation and development of the first University of Baghdad. These contributions, the prelate explained, allowed them to “enjoy respect.”
“But this doesn’t mean that they enjoy the same rights” according to certain interpretations of the Quran, he continued. “A Christian cannot rule over a Muslim” in a Muslim regime. “A general of the army cannot be a Christian.”
Now that Christians have lost their political weight and social influence, and many have abandoned their land, they suffer the persecution of a dominant social system that keeps them defenseless, Archbishop Al-Jamil said….