The recent attacks by extremist insurgents against Christians in Iraq including the usage of improvised explosive devices is completely repugnant.
Besides the targeting of any civilians being totally unacceptable, the attacks against Iraqi Christians are even more repugnant because of Iraq’s soci0-political landscape. Unlike Shi’i Arabs or Kurds (majority Sunnis), Assyrians and Chaldeans do not have armed militia groups to protect them. They are at the complete mercy of the protection of the under-equiped and corrupt Iraqi security forces.
Armed extremists have been and continue to undermine any discussions of power sharing in light of talks in the Iraqi parliament in which Nouri Al-Maliki lacks credibility and authority in the minds of many Iraqis. As Christians have been targeted in the past week, visiting pilgrims from Iran were also recently targeted in the Iraqi cities of Karbala and Najaf by those who seek instability.
What is going on now is just a continuation of years of religious and ethnic cleansing of neighborhoods in a number of cities, not just Baghdad. Many mosques over the years have been attacked and Imams have been killed. Keep in mind that since the war started, the majority of the millions of Iraqi refugees in Syria and Jordan are Sunni Muslims.
In the wake of former President George W. Bush’s book defending his call to invade Iraq based upon bogus intel, it is sadly ironic that Iraqi Christians were exponentially more safe under Saddam Hussein’s regime’ than under Al-Maliki’s. In fact, Hussein, who actually received the Key to the City of DETROIT during the late Coleman Young reign and helped fund an Chaldean Center of America off of East 7 Mile Road, was jokingly called Saddam “Nasrani” (The Christian) by many Iraqi Muslims.
Through all of the senseless violence that continues in Iraq, I pray that calm voices prevail here in Metro Detroit within the Iraqi American community. Some are making the mistake of turning the violence in Iraq into a referendum on Islam or blaming Islam for the violence against Christians. Iraq being supposedly ruled by “shari’ah” has nothing to do with the violence against civilians of any religion or school of thought in Iraq. All scholarly, authoritative interpretations of Islamic law call for the protection of civilians including women and children during times of conflict.
Thus, blaming Islam is counterproductive for reaching a true solution for the turmoil in which Iraqis have faced since the toppling of Saddam’s regime’.
I plan to make a special prayer for peace in Iraq for all during the blessed Day of Arafat during the Hajj season.