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Iraqi Christians protest the end of their representation in government

Sept. 28, 08

demonstrationBAGHDAD - Iraq's prime minister on Sunday sought safeguards for small religious communities in this mainly Muslim country as Christians protested parliament's decision to stop setting aside seats for minorities on provincial councils.

In Baghdad, meanwhile, a series of explosions struck mostly Shiite areas Sunday evening, killing at least 25 people and wounding 51, police reported. The attacks appeared aimed at reviving sectarian tensions that once threatened to the nation with civil war.

Parliament last week approved a new law mandating elections in most of Iraq's 18 provinces. But the law removed a system that reserved a few legislative seats for Christians and other religious minorities.

Lawmakers cited a lack of census data to determine what the quotas should be. But many Christians saw the move as an effort to marginalize their community.

"I think that some political groups are pushing the remaining Christians to leave Iraq," worshipper Afram Razzaq-Allah said after services at a Catholic church in Baghdad. "They want us to feel that we are no longer Iraqis."

In a letter sent to parliament Sunday, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki appealed to the legislators and the electoral commission to restore the quota system.

"The minorities should be fairly represented in the provincial councils and their rights should be guaranteed," al-Maliki wrote.

Hundreds of Christians staged street protests after Sunday church services in and around Mosul, a northern city where many of the country's Christians live. Some said the removal of the quotas is an attempt to force them to leave Iraq.

"This is an unjust decision and it affects our rights as Christians," Matti Galia, a local politician, said at a rally in Mosul. "We are original citizens in this country. The politicians' goal was to divide the Iraqi people and create more struggles. Indirectly, they are telling us to leave Iraq."

Iraq's Christians have been targeted by Muslim militants since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, with priests, churches and Christian-owned businesses attacked. The violence has led many Christians to flee the country.

Sectarian violence has receded since U.S. troop reinforcements were sent in last year. However, U.S. commanders have warned that extremist groups such as al-Qaida in Iraq are still trying to rekindle sectarian warfare to undermine the U.S.-backed Iraqi government.

The string of explosions in the capital Sunday began near sundown as Muslims were preparing for Iftar, the meal that breaks the fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

The deadliest blast occurred in the Karradah neighborhood, where a parked car loaded with explosives blew up in a commercial area about 7 p.m., killing 12 people and wounding 34, police and hospital officials said.

Iraqi police said that about 90 minutes earlier, two car bombs exploded nearly simultaneously in the Shurta Rabaa and Amil districts of west Baghdad, but the U.S. military said later that the car in Amil blew up due to an electrical fire.

Twelve people were killed and 35 wounded in the Shurta Rabaa blast, and one person died and two were injured in the Amil explosion, police said.

Also Sunday, snipers fired on an Iraqi army checkpoint, killing two soldiers and a civilian in the eastern Zayona neighborhood of Baghdad. A roadside bomb killed an Iraqi soldier on a patrol in Mansour, a mostly Sunni area in the city's west, police officials said.

Two civilians were killed in an armed attack in the town of Khan Bani Saad by a group believed tied to al-Qaida, a police official in Diyala province said. The town is near the provincial capital of Baqouba.

The same official said two Iraqi soldiers were killed and 10 wounded when a bomb targeted them in Balad Ruz, 45 miles northeast of Baghdad late Saturday. A medic at the Balad Ruz hospital said the wounded suffered burns and shrapnel wounds and were later taken by U.S. soldiers to a military base.

Also Sunday, an Iraqi official said the country signed preliminary deals with General Electric Co. and Siemens AG to upgrade the electricity grid, which has been ravaged by years of war, sanctions and neglect.

Electricity Ministry spokesman Aziz Sultan said GE will supply turbines to some of Iraq's power plants. He said Iraq has also signed a similar memorandum of understanding with a third company but he had no details about it.

Lengthy power outages have been common in Iraq, with some Baghdad areas getting as little as four hours of electricity a day. The problem has been a major cause of discontent during the summer when the heat is punishing.


Associated Press writers Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Bushra Juhi contributed to this report.

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Web masters comments:
Banners of a demonstration in the Assyrian town of Al-Gush in the Plain of Nineveh decry the tyranny of the undemocratic majority unmasked by the recent Iraqi legislators denial of right of representation for the non-Muslims in that country.

If these are the best, the brightest the just and fair minded Iraq can offer what can one expect from the fanatics? The Kurds and the Sheites railed against Saddam's dictatorship and the denial of their rights, but have no problem acting as he did but pretend to be democratic.

Iraqi Assyrians have been subjected to all kinds of persecutions by the Islamic fanatics. Thirty some of their churches have been bombed, their people have been kidnapped for exuberant ransom, killed, threatened and have been ordered to pay non-Muslim tax, convert to Islam or abandon all they posses and leave the country. Now that more than half a million of their people has been forced to escape to Syria, Jordan and Lebanon the remaining impoverished population is told they do not have sufficient population to merit representation in the governments of the provinces they live. Most Assyrians suspect that Kurds and Sheites have dispossessed them of their representation right so that they can easily confiscate the towns and villages where their fore fathers have lived and survived for thousands of years.

In 1912 when Soane passed through Mosul and the Plain of Nineveh In describing his journey to Mesopotamia in early 20th century wrote: after crossing the historic brook , Kauther, we passed by the Neby Yunis Mound and were upon the ground of the ancient Assyria. "No Muslims live here", he wrote, "it is inhabited by no other than the Caldean [Assyrians] and the Yezidies." This clearly shows that Muslims, including the Kurds did not live in the Plain of Nineveh until after World War One. This was the only region in Iraq where Assyrians had managed to survive despite all attempts to destroy them. Since World war One Kurds and Arabs in great numbers have arrived in the region forcing out the Assyrians and the yezidies to the point that they have become the majority of its inhabitants. Now they are penalizing the Assyrians for having been persecuted and driven out which has caused the decline of their population.









Help Iraq's
Embattled Christian

Tell Pres. Bush and UN Sec.Gen. Ban Ki Moon
"Christians are Facing extinction" in Iraq

Though the Security situation in Iraq has improved to the point that allows the Iraqi government and the US negotiate the withdrawal of the American troops from that county the systematic persecution of the Christians of Iraq by the Jihadists who are determent to impose on them the subservient Muslim Dhimmi statue or to drive them out of the country continues. see:
Iraqi Christians Face New Persecution

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Eilool = September

Iraqi Christians protest the end of their representation in government Sept. 28, 08

Article Guaranteeing Minority Electoral Rights Removed from Iraqi Electoral Law Sept. 27, 08

'If You Want to See Blood Come to Mosul' Sept. 22, 08

Assyrians call for unity in Iraq Sept. 22, 08

The Iraqi Police in Mosul managed to release the kidnapped Riyadh Batti Sept. 20, 08

First economic newspaper published in Mosul Sept. 18, 08

The Churches have a role to play in Iraq Sept. 18, 08

Turkey Attempting to Confiscate Assyrian Monastery's Land
Sept. 17, 08

Refugees Employment Assistance in Lodon Sept. 16, 08

Fresh violence in Mosul, two Christians kidnapped and killed
Sept. 16, 08

Assyrians in Northern Iraq Say They Will Not Return to Baghdad
Sept. 16, 08

Assyria, Art & Empire" treasures of Assyria from the British Museum Sept. 15, 08

`Yesterday's Children - Growing up Assyrian in Persia'. Sept. 15, 08

The 25th Worldwide AUA Congress Sept. 15, 08

A New Assyrian Cook Book Sept. 14, 08


Mandaean family murdered in Baghdad Sept. 12, 08

Kurdish Land Grabs Leave Assyrians Dependent on Food Aid Sept. 11, 08

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Iraq’s first Christian militia takes stand against Qaeda Sept. 8, 08

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Sept. 4, 08

Ab = August

Relations Sour Between Kurds and Central Government August 31, 08

A Half Million Iraqi Christians Among Refugees August 28, 08

Iraq archbishop speaks out as abductions increase August 28, 08

Kirkuk, the Little Iraq August 25, 08

Protest on the highest mountains in Australia in remembrance of the Assyrian Genocide August 25, 08

The Pot Calling the Kettle Black August 21, 08

Iraqi Christians: Round Trip to Death Street August 21, 08

In Kirkuk Christian and Muslim Leaders Pray for Peace in the Country August 20, 08

Torture Chamber, Bodies Found At Mosque in Iraq August 20, 08

Paul Batou at the ALLISON COREY Gallery August 19, 08

Ancient Assyrian Monumental Art Work Heralded at MFA Boston
August 16, 08

Famed singers celebrate the Assyrian culture at Gallo Center
August 15, 08

The Only Christian Assyrian member of Iraqi parliament touring U.S. August 14, 08

Iraq Press Roundup about Kurds and Kirkuk August 14, 08


Assyrian community in Canada marks Genocide Awareness Day
August 12, 08

Tammuz = July

Climbing the Rigi mountain to remember the Assyrian, Armenian and Greek Genocide of 1915 July 22, 08

Christians from Iraq need our help July 22, 08

Iraq's Shabak Accuse Kurds of Killing Their Leader July 16, 08

Western Christians can ‘Save Iraq Christians July 16, 08

Iraq's Mosul Struggles to Shake Off Al Qaeda July 16, 08

Iraqi minorities' long wait for freedom July 16, 08

YouTube: Simo Parpola about Assyrians; and their present plight
July 12, 08

Iraq's Persecution of Christians Continues to Spiral out of Control
July 11, 08

Iraqi Christians Face New Persecution July 11, 08

Assyrians: A Minority Between Genocide and Fear of Terrorism July 3, 08

Iraq: Islamist group threatens churches in Mosul
July 3, 08

Khziran = June

A Difficult Place for Christians: Believers in Iraq June 27, 08

EU Countries Move to Stop Flood of Iraqi Refugees June 26, 08

For Iraqi Christians, Money Bought Survival June 26, 08

Second Mysterious Fire Destroys Catholic Church in Cairo June 25,08

Christians in the Middle East Live'As in a Cage' June 24, 08

Another Surge Needed: Support the Christians in Iraq June 24, 08

‘Little Baghdad’ thrives in Sweden Sodertalje has taken in more Iraqis than U.S., is but mood changing June 24, 08

Muslims Attack Christian Homes and Businesses in Cairo June 23, 08

Informal meeting of the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East June 22, 08

Conversations with the Assyrians of Mardin June 22, 08

By Hon. David Clarke, At the Parliament of New South Wales Australia

European Parliament Conference Highlights Assyrian Suffering in Iraq June 14, 08

Dora Today June 12, 08

“Why Arab countries need them ? ” June 12, 08

The Latest Islamic Suicide Attack June 11, 08

Egyptian Writer: It's 'Open Season' On Egypt's Christian Copts June 10, 08

Rosie Malek-Yonan Joins Cast of General Hospital June 09, 08

Assyrian woman gets heart surgery at Mercy Gilbert June 08, 08

30 minute film by German TV Channel about the plight of Iraq's Chrisitan Assyrans June 07, 08


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