Saturday, April 5, 2008

Concerning The Assyrian Genocide

One of the seldom told stories in Iraq and in the Arab middle east in general is the ethnic cleansing of Arab and Assyrian Christians. Some of the earliest converts to Christianity were Assyrians in Iraq , Syria and Lebanon. Some of them still speak Assyrian, (which is also known as Aramaic) in their daily lives. Since the war in Iraq began in 2003 , the numeric decline of the Christian population in Iraq accelerated even further.It is estimated that the current population of Christians in Iraq has diminished to less than a third of its prewar total of about one and a half million.
The murder of 40 year-old Father Youssef Adel, an Assyrian Orthodox priest in Baghdad , is the latest attack on the besieged Assyrian community. To invoke Islamic tradition to justify his murder is an insult to Islam as well as an attack on a peaceful minority. Islamic law recognises Christianity and Judaism as monotheistic faiths that are to be tolerated by an Islamic government.
The climate of fear that pervades non Islamic communities in Iraq is due to a mutation of Islam that clads itself in the garb and rhetoric of Islamic piety. It is far more likely that envy of material wealth in non Muslim communities is the driving force of this so called religious zealotry.
Religious Muslims in Iraq have a duty to speak up and extend to the Assyrian community the protections that Islamic law offers them. This latest attack is part of a long series of attacks against religious minorities in Iraq. Christians and others in America who care about human rights should speak out on this pressing issue. Aside from universal considerations of common decency , it should be noted that the Assyrians in the middle east are a living link to the climate in which America's leading faith was born. As a last resort, Assyrians who wish to come to America deserve top priority. Hopefully, their wish to live undisturbed in their homeland will be respected.
Copyright 2008 by Magdeburger Joe

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