Bookmark this site

  Christians of Iraq
 Contact

Historical articles

 Historical pictures

 Photos of Bombed Churches

 Home  

Only this link has access to all News articles

 

Bring a Smile to a Child in Nineveh
2005 Christmas Drive

 

Democracy in Iraq or Ethnic cleansing of the Christians?

Dec. 21, 05

By William Warda

For the last 100 years Kurds through wars and rebellions against their neighbors have driven the Christian Assyrians out of their land and have occupied it. The Christian Assyrian history is replete with massacres inflicted on them by the Kurds who lived primarily in the Zagrouz mountains north of Mosul, bordering between Iran and Turkey. Form there they descended into the valley to plunder the Christians who were unable to defend themselves because as Dhimmi's they had been prohibited from bearing arms since the invasion of Mesopotamia by the Moslem Arabs in the 7th century AD. They lived as subservient to the Islamic laws and were not allowed to defend themselves even when attacked by Moslems.

The major Kurdish massacres of the Assyrians (including Chaldeans and Syriacs) happened between 1828 -1833 in northwest Iran, the plain of Nineveh in Iraq, and southwest Turkey. The Baderkhan massacres between 1843-1847, the Assyrian and Armenian massacres in Turkey between 1895-97 and the massacres of the Assyrians during world war one when two third of their population, amounting to more than half a million people was wiped out.

In 1933 some Kurdish tribes participated in the Massacre of Semail where more than three thousand Assyrians were killed. Kurdish rebellions in Iraq and Turkey during the 20th century caused the destruction of Assyrian villages in the two countries and the driving out of their inhabitants who were not allowed to return. The number of Assyrians killed during the 19th and 20th centuries by the Kurds or in cooperation with Turkey is estimated at one million.

Since world war one Kurds in great numbers have migrated from the Kurdistan mountains and Iran into northern Iraq displacing the Assyrians who because of massacres had been reduced in number. The Barzani tribe lived in the Harkkari mountains before descending into Iraq. During world war II Mostafa Barzani and his fighters moved to Iran where he became commander of the army for the Kurdish Republic of Mahabad in that country where the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) was organized. The Kurd's flag in Iraq is a slightly modified Iranian version. The wars between the Kurds and the Iraqi government during 1960 to1990, the first invasion of Iraq by the US in1991 which provoked Saddam's persecutions of the Assyrians, Kurds and the Sheites, and finally the 2nd invasion of Iraq by the US which incited terrorism against Christian has resulted in driving out more than a million Assyrians out of their homeland in northern Iraq making it possible for the Kurds to claim it as Kurdistan.

Recent report by the United Nations' High Commission for Refugees, reveals that almost half of the 500,000 Iraqi refugees in Syria who have asked for temporary asylum through the UN refugee agency are Christian Assyrians even though christians constitute 5% of the population in Iraq. Tens of Thousands of Iraqi Christians are stranded in Jordan also.

The reasons for the Iraqi Christian flight was explained by Halfath Hamama an Iraqi refugee in Syira as follows : "Our children, wives, and family members are kidnapped every day.  They send us a note telling us to give them fifty thousand dollars or they will kill our family.  They send us their fingers or toes, pictures of them beaten and bruised, and tell us we bring this on our head because we are Christians and collaborate with the Christian Americans," Muslim terrorists in Iraq threaten to abduct or kill people whose families refuse to pay amounts ranging from $100,000 to $150,000 for Mafia-style protection. Families must beg for cash, sell their homes and belongings, leave the country or face death.

More than a quarter of million have left their homes, businesses, jobs and have fled to the neighboring countries. In one neighborhood of Mosul alone 30 Christian houses remain abandoned because their owners fled. Muslim religious leaders instigate violence and extortions agianst the Christians hoping to drive the entire community out of the country. They have also advised their followers not to buy Christian property so that they can own it for free when they flee.

Those who were forced out brought with them only what they could carry, they live in terrible conditions because neither the Iraqi nor other governments have shown any interest in helping them. The United Nations reported if their numbers increases beyond 250,000 the results could be catastrophic for the region. Since they have been driven out of their homeland they may need a safe heaven as soon as possible.

While millions of American dollars were spent before these elections to bring the Kurdish refugees to northern Iraq including others from Iran,Turkey and Syria not a penny is allocated to do the same with the Christian refugees. How can these elections be considered equitable to the Christians if hundreds of thousands of their people have been driven out of the country. Most did not participate in Iraq's out of the country elections because they have lost all hope of being able to return to their homeland. Given such facts Assyrians can not be faulted for considering the recent elections as another opportunity for the Kurds to dispossess them of their rights and land.

The IECI has received hundreds of complaints, accusing the Kurds of not allowing others to vote in the recent elections, they inflated their voting numbers by bussing voters from other cities , multiple voting and other fraudulent practices.  In two previous elections Kurds openly prevented tens of thousands of Assyrians from voting. In this election Kurds have been able to garner tens of thousands of Assyrian votes through intimidation and fraudulent practices. The election posters of the Assyrian Democratic Party were routinely defaced., The Kurdish political posters included pictures of the Cross and Assyrians in their traditional costumes to confuse the Christians voters in believing that they were voting for a Christian slate. One of their posters included the picture of the Assyrian slate leader's daughter falsely implying that she endorsed voting for them. Since the Kurdish military rules the region no one can stop or penalize them for illegal practices.

Preliminary reports indicate that Kurds have won about 70 seats in the Iraqi parliament which means 2,800,000 Kurds had to vote to make such number of seats possible [70 X 40,000 votes per representative], however since the population of Kurds is about 3,000,000 2/3rd of the population or 2,000,000 Kurds would have been eligible to vote since the other one third is under 18 years old let alone the fact that it would have been impossible for the hundred percent of the eligible Kurdish voters to have participated in the elections.

It is obvious that Kurds will continue their predatory practices to dominate the northern Iraq and drive out the none kurds from the region by any means possible. If there is any hope for the historically oppressed and dispossessed Christians of Iraq to continue to live in their historic homeland their voices need to be heard in the Iraqi parliament. Kurds so far have done everything in their power to prevent them from doing so. To overcome such oppressions Christians should be assigned a specific number of seats in the Iraqi Parliament otherwise how they can be assured of their rights in their homeland? Even in the Islamic republic of Iran Assyrians are allowed a seat in the parliament though their population is less than 20,000.

Election Marred By Kurdish Voting Fraud
----
      

Ashur TV -----December 2005 Schedule

 

Who are the Christians of Iraq? 

December = Canoon Gadmaya

Democracy in Iraq or Ethnic cleansing of the Christians? Dec. 21, 05

Concern expressed for Assyrian Christians in Iraq  Dec. 18, 05

Iraqis Vote in Historic Election toward Freedom, Democracy Dec. 17, 05

Turkmen Complain Kurds Cheated in Elections in Kirkuk Dec. 17, 05

Touch of Assyria in San Jose. Dec. 16, 05

Iraqi Christians flee to Jordan, Syria in response to increased persecution Dec. 16, 05

The Mid-East's beleaguered Christians Dec. 16, 05

Exiled Iraqi Christians Vote With Concern About Their Future Dec. 15, 05

Tension Mounting on Day of Iraqi Elections Dec. 15, 05

Iraqi Americans Cast Their Votes Dec. 14, 05

Information about Voting in Canada Dec. 14, 05

A vote for democracy 12, 14, 05

Iraqi expatriates to vote in elections, hopeful new government can end bloodshed Dec. 13, 05

Iraqi Americans Ponder Role in Homeland's Vote Dec. 12, 05

Iraqi-Americans ready for polls Dec 12, 2005  

The Latest information about Iraq's Out-of-Country Voting Dec. 12, 05

Between Iraq and a hard place, Iraqi Christians in Syria Dec. 12, 05

Half a Million Iraqi Assyrians (including Chaldeans and Syriacs) have taken refuge in Syria Dec. 11, 05

Assyrian Claims Discussed in Australian Parliament Dec. 11, 05

Iraqis here get voice in Baghdad's future Dec. 11, 05

Official Information about Iraq's out of the country voting Dec. 10, 05

Iraq's Voting in Canada Dec. 10, 05

Iraqi community to cast votes at fairgrounds in Pleasanton Dec. 9, 05

Fostering creativity in dangerous times Dec. 8, 05

Meet Miss World Canada 2005, Ramona Amiri Dec. 8. 05

IRAQ: KURDISH PRESIDENT OFFERS REFUGE TO CHRISTIANS  Dec. 8, 05

Iraq Establishes 8 Polling Centers in the U.S. 12, 8, 05

News From Iraq Dec. 8, 05

740 Stained with the blood of our Martyrs Dec. 6, 05

Kurdistan Democratic Party Stops Assyrian Group From Campaigning Dec. 6, 05

Campaign activity, insurgent violence rise in Iraq  Dec. 5, 05

Myths About the Situation in Iraq Dec. 5, 05

Competition for the best design of the Ancient Assyrian Costumes Dec. 3, 05

List of "Reported" Assyrians murdered in Iraq in 2005. Dec. 3, 05

Dylan's quest: Six-year-old needs blood matches Dec. 3, 05

Shades of voter apathy Dec, 2, 05

Holywood Tapestries Featuring Semiramis is on Auction  Dec. 2, 05

Iraq's Oily Referendum Dec. 1, 05

Iraqi Parliamentary Elections In California Dec. 1, 05

November = Tishrin II 

Burial pictures of the Two Assyrians Killed Nov. 30, 05

Two Assyrian Party Members Killed in Iraq, Two Wounded Nov. 29, 05

Iraq Election Coverage at Ashur T.V. Nov. 29, 05

Iraq's Elections Could Be 'Magnet' for Success, Adviser Says Nov. 29, 05

Assyrian Political posters for the upcoming elections Nov. 29, 05

Islamic reformers struggle to revise school textbooks Nov. 28, 05

Iraq's political-campaign season in full swing as violence continues Nov. 27, 05

The Crusades Remembered, a Different Perspective Nov. 26, 05

Iraqi Factions Seek Timetable for U.S. Pullout Nov. 25, 05

Dora:Baghdad's Neighborhood Becomes Trouble Spot Nov. 25, 05

Iraq: Election Official On Expat Voting Set Up Nov. 24, 05 

Prediction of a Better Future for Iraq Nov. 24, 05

Iraqi Kurdish leadership is more consumed with self-enrichment Nov. 23, 05

Early voting in Iraq's parliamentary election to begin December 12th  Nov. 22, 05

The Assyrian Church of the East Maintains Its Continuity Nov. 22, 05

Not all Middle Easterners are Muslim, Arab Nov. 21, 05

The Middle East Needs Lebanese Christians Nov. 21, 05

Academic Conference on Seyfo [genocide] Held in Sweden Nov. 20, 05

Anovel by Abdulsalam Nov. 20, 05 

Harbole": A documentary film Nov. 20, 05

Letter To the Hellenic Parliament  Nov. 20, 05

My Grandmother Heranus  Nov. 19, 05

Books About the Assyrians Nov. 17, 05  

A Moslem discovers the praise of Christian and Jewish scriptures in the Koran  Nov. 17, 05

Iran is behind the Badr Brigade who are accused of jailing and torturing the Sunnies Nov. 17, 05 

Democracy, the Kurdish Style.  Nov. 17, 05

Talabani Promises Pope Equality and Respect for All Religions Nov.16, 05

Assyrian Wedding Comes to Australian TV Nov. 15, 05

In Jordan, Chaldean Catholics help Iraqis Nov. 15. 05

Are you a Christian in the Middle East?  Nov. 14, 05

The Assyrian General Conference Election Platform for Iraq Nov. 12, 05

Old hotel may become home for Hurricane Katrina victims Nov. 12, 05

Iraqi leader affirms Christians' rights Nov. 11, 11, 05

Egypt's Christian-Muslim divide 11, 11, 05

Assyrian Family Attacked in Tikrit Nov. 11, 05

Ancinet Assyrian Style Citadel in Los Angeles Nov. 11, 05

Priests say Iraqi Christians now victims of extortion Nov. 08, 05

Iraq; International Religious Freedom Report 2005 Nov. 08, 05

Chaldean Synod to focus on Iraq and Liturgy Nov. 08, 05

Assyrian Killed in Kirkuk's Car Bombing Nov. 05, 05

Funeral of Grace Mgr. J. Y. Cicek Nov. 05, 05 

Witnesses Describe Ballot Fraud in Nineveh Nov. 04, 05

Chaldean synod should tackle Christian migration and evangelicals' proselytism,  11. 04, 05 

Unexpected Death of His Eminence Mor Julius Yeshu Çiçek Shocks Assyrians & the Syrian Orthodox Church Nov. 03, 05  

Three Christian schoolgirls beheaded in Indonesia Nov. 03, 05

On the trail of stolen Iraqi art Nov. 03, 05

Lost in the Sunni Triangle Leaders of Baghdad church presumed dead.  Nov. 03, 05

Who is Killing the Iraqi's and the Americans?   Nov. 02, 05

What Next in Iraq?  Nov. 02, 05

An American's View of Iraq's Assyrians  Nov. 01, 05

October = Tishrin I

New Coalitions Emerge for Parliamentary Elections in Iraq10, 31, 05

Should the U.S. Withdraw? Let the Iraqi People Decide 10, 31, 05

Those Who Voted Against Constitution Are Terrorists: Iraqi President 10, 30, 05

An Assyrian Engineer Killed by the Kurds in Kirkuk 10, 30, 05

Kurds Reclaiming Prized Territory In Northern Iraq 10, 30, 05

Dwyer: Most Iraqis want a constitution - and want U.S. troops to leave 10, 30, 05

The oldest lense 10, 28, 05

Westminster Hall debate on Iraqi Kurdistan  i.e. northern Iraq 10, 25, 05

Iraq constitution approved  10, 25, 05 

Assyrian and Babylonian medicine was surprisingly advanced 10, 24, 05 

What's in a Name? 10, 12, 05 

Draft constitution denies equal rights, say Iraq's Christians  10, 22, 05

Rejection of Iraqi Referendum Possible as Nineveh Vote Fraud Reviewed 10, 21, 05 

Rosie Malek-Yonan's Schedule of The Crimson Field Book Tour 10, 20, 05

TURKEY DECRIES the Assyro-Chaldean MONUMENT IN FRANCE 10, 20, 05

Vote Figures for Crucial Ninveh Province Don't Add Up 10, 19, 05

Iraq Constitution: Bad news for Christians  10, 19. 05

Assyrian students unite 10, 19, 05

Iraq bishops ready to seek help from Pope  10, 19, 05

Charter vote resonates with Valley Iraqis Likely passage gives many hope 10. 18. 05  

Dividing the Chaldeans from the Assyrians by the Iraqi Constitution  10, 18, 05

A monument in France dedicated to the Remembrance of Assyro-Chaldean massacres by the Ottoman Turks. 10, 17, 05

Swing state' of Nineveh may be moving in favour of constitution 10, 15, 05 

Iraq votes for the Constitution and for its future 10, 14, 05

Forgotten victims - Iraqi Christians who speak the language of Jesus  10, 14, 05

Mgr Sako: people in Kirkuk have not read the constitution but will vote  10,13, 05

Terrorism strikes all Iraqis, says Patriarch 10, 13, 05

Assyriska a national football team without a country  10, 12, 05

Referendum: 'Yes' in Kurdistan and Southern cities and 'No' in Kirkuk, al Anbar and Diala 10, 12, 05

Chaos depriving Towns from Voting - The Minorities Fear the Domination of Islamic Parties10, 12, 05 

Bas-reliefs of winged goddesses discovered in western Iran 10, 12, 05

Immigration of Iraqi Chaldeans Abroad Passes through Jordan 10, 12, 05

Baghdadis tell their stories  10, 12, 05

Assyrialogist Henry Saggs Dies at 84 10, 10, 05

Letter by Ms. Jacqueline Zomaya The Assyrian representative to the Iraqi National Assembly 10, 10, 05

The Kurds are "cleansing" their domain ­ and provoking a civil war in Iraq  10, 09, 05

Nestorian label "imposed unjustly upon the Assyrians"  10, 08, 05

Iran's Assyrian MP-Felicitation to the Supreme Leader  10, 8, 05

Syriac Manuscripts from the Vatican Library: Volume 1 10, 08, 05

Sunnis Threaten Referendum Boycott if Rules Not Changed  10, 05, 05

Helping the Iraqi refugees in Jordan  10, 04, 05

Final Draft of Iraqi Constitution  10, 03, 05

Two More Assyrian Children Orphaned  10, 02, 05

Discoveries of the Assyrian antiquities in Syria 10, 01, 05 

Sectarian Strife tears apart Baghdad's Neighborhoods 10, 01, 05

 

 

 Archives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

web counters