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How do Mohammad's caricatures affect the Assyrians ?

February 6, 06

By Nuri Kino

In some of the media in the Moslem world they jeer at, or ridicule Jesus, Moses, Buddha or some other prophet almost every day. I have never heard that anyone spit on, trampled or burned the flags of Arab nations because of this. The religion that western society is based on urges us to turn the other cheek even when we are attacked without provocation. Islam, on the other hand, incites one to act and, by extension, threaten and kill. When they burn the Danish flag they also scream out anti-Christian propaganda. It is not only Denmark but the entire "Christian" west they are attacking.

It is not okay to blaspheme a prophet ­ because it hurts the feelings of those who believe in him. But I am grateful for Jyllands-Posten's provocation. I have nothing against Islam or the Muslims but I believe that the western world has no idea how Muslims think or feel.

The Mohammad's caricatures are an alarm clock. Perhaps now journalists and others in the west will understand why so many Christians are fleeing from an Iraq that is becoming more Islamified. In Sweden, for example, one has the right of asylum only if the state is the oppressor. If someone from Egypt, for example, is threatened and forced to flee because of the harassment of his neighbors due to his Christian faith, the Swedish Migration Department refuses to acknowledge this as a legitimate reason. They will be rejected since the Egyptian state is officially not the oppressor.

Why has none of the western media (except for a brief bulletin on Swedish TV) reported about the six churches that have been bombed in Iraq ­ where one person was killed ­ because of the Mohammad caricatures. Christians in the Arab world live under constant threat. It has gone so far that they have become accustomed to it and adjusted their lifestyle to this danger. They have to exist knowing that they do not have the same rights unless they convert to Islam. The western media should become aware of these conditions.

In Iraq a person lost his life because someone in a tiny land in the north published caricatures of Mohammad. If anyone, certainly the Jylland-Posten, should report on these conditions. Perhaps this newspaper lacks the information not only that also the Politiken, another large Danish morning newspaper (that, incidentally, belongs to the same concern). Several days ago a reporter from Politiken phoned me and asked if he could come in contact with Christians in Iraq. Now I wonder why they haven't written about this? Is it because it wasn't a Dane that lost his life?

The secular west does not want to understand religion's mechanisms and, therefore, cannot understand the repression of Christians in the Arab world. Another reason is that they think everyone is the same. This lack of understanding develops into pure prejudice. It then becomes difficult to comprehend that someone who belongs to another ethnicity or another religion has lost his life because of some drawings.

This entire story is bewildering. On the 31st of January the Swedish afternoon paper Expressen published a column that I had written where, among others, I wrote about the students in Mosul who had been assaulted. "You're out of your mind. Don't you understand that more students will be battered now! You're endangering others by reporting this. Their student union will be forced to openly disclaim your article", shouted an irate Iraqi Arab man to me on the phone. I became uncertain. Have I done the right thing? Think if this man was right.

In an interview with SVT on the first of February, Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson said that he felt that Denmark's prime minister was too defensive. "I should have gone on a diplomatic offensive and forcefully spelled out what is the Danish position". What remains is the question why so many Swedish newspaper have not done, what others in other countries did, published the drawings in their entirety. Perhaps Swedish newspaper editors have become accustomed to "turn the other cheek"? Perhaps they think of themselves as better than other Europeans? Perhaps they think of themselves as better than the Muslims? Perhaps they are frightened. Or, perhaps, they refuse to see reality and the world for what it is.

Nuri Kino

Journalist and Film maker

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Who are the Christians of Iraq? 

February = Eshvadt

How do Mohammad's caricatures affect the Assyrians? Feb, 6, 06

Protesters Torch Danish Mission in Beirut and ransacked the Christian neighborhood Feb. 6.06

Ongoing Hidden Persecution of Christians In Iraq  Feb 5, 06

Protests Over Muhammad Drawings Intensify Feb. 3, 06 

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Enough Is Enough - Six Assyrian Christian Churches Bombed in Iraq! Feb. 2, 06

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