A holly jihadi Christmas in Iraq
Amid relentless persecution by Islamic supremacists — while the world looks the other way and whines about Swiss minarets and Geert Wilders. “Amid the carols and decorations, Iraq Christians fear extinction,” from The Times, December 19 (thanks to Kris):
[…] Behind the tinsel and carols lies a fear that Christians in Iraq are a community under threat of extinction. Proportionally more Christians are leaving Iraq than any other group.
Last week 100 Christian leaders and politicians of all religions held an emergency meeting just before fresh violence broke out in the northern city of Mosul, with attacks on churches and Christian schools. On Tuesday a baby was killed and 40 people, including schoolchildren, were injured in three simultaneous bombings. Two days ago a Christian man was shot dead as he travelled to work.
“It is terrible,” said Fadi, 26, an electricity worker from Mosul who asked that his real name not be used. “Most of the Christians are staying at home, or when they go out they watch their backs.” In late 2008, killings of Christians in Mosul by insurgent groups left 40 dead and 12,000 fleeing their homes. Fadi reeled off a string of recent, smaller-scale attacks against Christians, fearful that the same level of violence would return.
Christians in Kirkuk, also in the north, have been kidnapped in recent months and as tension increases before elections they fear the attacks will multiply.
Some blame the attacks on insurgents, including al-Qaeda, who are still active in Mosul, while others accuse Kurdish or Arab factions fighting over territory. Although they differ on who is responsible, almost everyone responds by fleeing. Gorgis Mettis, from the Yazidi ethnic minority, lives in Bartella, a Christian-dominated village near Mosul, and said that after a week of violence, many Christian families were seeking refuge in his town. “You cannot live in Mosul,” he said. “Every day you find Christians being killed.” He estimated that since 2003 three quarters of Christians had left Mosul, historically the centre of the ancient Chaldo-Assyrian Christianity practised in Iraq. “Very few are still going to church. The women have to wear hijabs. They send someone first in a car to check if there is someone outside the church,” he said….
The women have to wear hijabs. In Cairo last June, Barack Obama vowed to defend the rights of women who wanted to wear hijab in the West. Will he speak up for the rights of women in the Islamic world who do not want to wear hijab?
I won’t be holding my breath.