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Archive for April, 2009

Archbishop Louis and Three Caskets

Archbishop Louis and Three Caskets

By: FA ME / Special Report

 

Writing again to report another crime committed against Iraqi Christians in their own land, but this time in the oil rich city of Kirkuk, when 2 families were attacked yesterday by unknown gunmen, and 3 people were killed in this attack.

 

According to a credible source in Kirkuk police, the attack was carefully planned against the two families in the city, resulted the death of one male and two females (Yousif Khoshaba) who inhabited the 1st of Huzayran Neighborhood, and the other two females (Muna Bana Dawood) and (Suzan Latief) who inhabited the area of “Domez”. In addition to the 3 victims, some other family members were injured during the attack and immediately were transferred to the hospital and they are in a stabilized condition now.

 

 

Injured Family Member

Injured Family Member

 

The local government of Kirkuk summoned the best of its investigators to find out who is behind this terrible attack! Worthy to mention that the city of Kirkuk now is dominated by Kurdish Militias, as well as some Police Forces whom were sent by central government to maintain security in this city which has seen many of recent ethnic tensions.   

 

In the same time, others have analyzed the cause of these attacks due to some remarks of the Archbishop of Kirkuk, Louis Sako, who did not promote the Autonomous Zone for Christians, and called for integration of Iraqi Christians inside the communities where they live together with other sects and religions: “A good thing for the Christian community of this country is to encourage national unity, democracy, peaceful coexistence, a pluralistic culture, mutual recognition as humans with dignity, as well as cooperation with everyone to build a better society based on the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as guaranteed by the nation’s constitution and international law” Archbishop Louis said.

 

But the remarks of his Eminence, Archbishop Louis, don’t really solve the problem of Iraqi Christians. Since 2003 Iraqi Christians are becoming reachable targets, easy to be hunted, they have become preys for local and regional agendas that are trying to force them to leave their country. That is really what Mosques in Mosul were calling for during the campaign against Christians in 2008: “Don’t Buy or Sell for Christians, Their possessions will be yours once they leave the city!!” while others were justifying the blood of Christians, saying its “Halal” legitimate for everyone who wants to kill.

 

 

 

 

Iraqi officials in Cathedral

Iraqi officials in Cathedral

 

The bodies of the three Christians were buried this morning in Kirkuk, in Heart of Jesus Cathedral, many clergymen and officials participated in these ceremonies. The local government of Kirkuk denounced the terrible crime; the governor and the chief of Police have promised to bring the criminals to justice as soon as possible.

 

 

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Archbishop Louis Sako
Archbishop Louis Sako

 

BY: FA ME

 

The Archbishop of Kirkuk Louis Sako has recently stated some remarks regarding Autonomous Zone for Iraqi Christians in Nineveh Plain which sparked the anger of many Christian politicians and other clergies who call for Christian Autonomy. The remarks of the Archbishop Louis Sako were published in AsinNews.com, as results for that, dozens of articles and responses were addressed to criticize such statements that discourage such historical attempt for Christians to govern themselves inside Iraq.

 

The Archbishop of Kirkuk comes out against a plan promoted by Iraqi political and religious leaders leaving abroad to set up a Christian enclave in the Nineveh Plain. The idea is meant to “save Christians” from attacks and violence, but it runs against Iraqi history and Christians’ mission and could accentuate the ongoing ethnic and religious confrontation in the country.

 

Nineveh Plain: a ghetto for Iraqi Christians is an illusion

 

LOUIS SAKO*

 

Kirkuk (AsiaNews) – Some political, intellectual and religious leaders from outside of Iraq have recently called for an autonomous zone, a “safe heaven”, for Christians.1 Now that the idea of an autonomous region in southern Iraq is no longer being discussed this interference will create serious problems. I express here my concerns as a pastor, not a politician.

Those who back the plan for Nineveh Plain live in relative security whilst we Iraqi Christians are exposed to terrorist attacks and death. Perhaps their noble intent is to help us but in fact they are acting without consulting us to determine our fate and future. Thus they pretend to decide on our behalf without any mandate.

The future of Iraqi Christians must be examined first and foremost by Christians who live in Iraq—Chaldeans, Assyrians, Syriacs and Armenians—through the mediation of competent and disinterested political leaders called to take a clear position on the future of Christians.

Diaspora Christians can help us by maintaining awareness about our fate in world public opinion, but they should not take our place. We need to be helped so our right to determine our destiny can be recognised. Anyone who acts as our guardian in the end helps those who want to keep in a minority state.

In today’s Iraqi context the demand for a Christian enclave is a dangerous political game. It will be exploited by others and will be used against us. We must be objective, realistic and prudent. A Christian ghetto can inevitably lead to endless sectarian, religious and political clashes. Our freedom will be reduced.

We Christians are a fundamental component of the history and culture of Iraq. We are a significant presence in the social and religious life of the country and we feel Iraqi. We have resisted threats and persecution and have found ways to continue to live and bear witness to the Gospel in our land without ceasing being loyal citizens even at the cost of the lives of our fathers, brothers and sons.

Today we want to continue to be present and bear witness in all of our land, in the whole of Iraq. Demanding the creation of a ghetto is especially against the Christian message which sees us as the salt and yeast in the dough of humanity.

A good thing for the Christian community of this country is to encourage national unity, democracy, peaceful coexistence, a pluralistic culture, mutual recognition as humans with dignity, as well as cooperation with everyone to build a better society based on the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as guaranteed by the nation’s constitution and international law.

*Archbishop of Kirkuk

1. The plan to set up an “Christian ghetto” in the Nineveh Plains is strongly backed by the Christian Diaspora in the United States, which is exercising great influence on the Patriarchate of Baghdad, by Evangelical Christians, and by Kurdistan’s Finance Minister Sarkis Aghajan, who in the last few years has provided large funds for the reconstruction of many villages and churches in the north. The Vatican has never taken an explicit position on the issue but its Secretariat of State has been against the idea. Last January Benedict XVI, during the ad limina visit by Chaldean bishops, insisted that Christians must build ties of understanding “between Christians and Muslims’ and offer a “disinterested witness of charity without distinction of origin and religion.”

 

 

 

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Damaged Alcohol Store

Damaged Alcohol Store

By: FA ME

 

 

A device was detonated today in “Bartella” a village located 13 miles to the east of Mosul targeted Alcohol Store that is owned by Christians. The Store was totally damaged by the device, and there were no casualties, but the explosion triggered panic among the civilians who are living there.

 

The store is stationed near the high-way between the two cities Mosul and Erbil, and “Bartella” is one of the nearby villages that received huge number of Christians who escaped violence in Mosul and Baghdad.

 

Damaged Store Picture 2

Damaged Store Picture 2

 

 

This is not the first time Christians’ businesses are being attacked, the early wave of violence in Baghdad and Mosul against Christians in 2004 and 2005 started by targeting Churches as well as Alcohol Stores and other Shops like “Women Hair-Dressers” for example, since such merchandise is incompatible with Islamic Law!

 

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Aziz who was murdered in Mosul city by terrorists.

Aziz who was murdered in Mosul city by terrorists.

By: FA ME   

 

On 5th of April a Christian man killed in Mosul city, in his work place, when a group of terrorists entered his place and killed him. Aziz Elias Aziz is a Christian man with 3 kids, they have been living in Mosul city since hundreds of years, his fathers and forefathers are descendants of very well known Christian family.

 

Christians around the world and in Iraq denounced this act, they were upset of this non-human act, where a soul of an innocent man had been stolen, his family is homeless now, and his kids are orphans.

 

 

Prayer in Australia for Aziz

Prayer in Australia for Aziz

Iraqi Christians in Australia, have remembered the late Aziz by praying in the churches there, the vice Syriac Patriarch of Australia and New Zealand his Eminence mar Malatyous Maliki along with big crowd of friends relatives of the late Aziz’s family were all gathered to remind the world of the great adversity Iraqi Christians are living, and how hard their situation is, especially where no one can protect them.

 

Vice Syriac Patriarch and other Fathers in Australia

Vice Syriac Patriarch and other Fathers in Australia

During the prayer which was conducted by Father David Matti Sharaf (cousin of the Victim), he expressed his deep condolences and sorrow for what happened to Aziz, and for what is happening in Iraq in general.

Father David (cousin of the victim)

Father David (cousin of the victim)

The Consul General of Republic of Iraq in Australia and New Zealand and many other organizations and associations also participated in the ceremonies and expressed their condolences to the family of the victim.

 

The Consul General of Republic of Iraq in Australia and New Zealand and many other organizations and associations also participated in the Prayer

The Consul General of Republic of Iraq in Australia and New Zealand and many other organizations and associations also participated in the Prayer

May his Soul Rest in Peace, May God Forgive Those Who Took His Soul!!     

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Jasim, pictured here with Gen. David Petraeus, is an Iraqi translator who served heroically with the U.S. Army but whose life is at risk after being denied a U.S. entrance visa.

Jasim, pictured here with Gen. David Petraeus, is an Iraqi translator who served heroically with the U.S. Army but whose life is at risk after being denied a U.S. entrance visa.

Source: Fox News.com

An Iraqi translator who has earned commendations for risking his life repeatedly to save the lives of many American soldiers in combat has been denied a visa to live in the United States because of nonviolent actions he took to overthrow Saddam Hussein — at the same time the U.S. government was calling for regime change in Iraq.

 

Jasim, whose name is being withheld for his safety, has received strong support from the U.S. military, and the Department of Homeland Security approved his application for a visa. But the State Department has denied Jasim a visa because he was arrested in 1996 for actions against the Saddam dictatorship.

 

Some of Jasim’s supporters, however, believe the real reason he’s been denied a visa is that he has become a “nuisance” to State Department personnel at the Baghdad Embassy. The State Department, citing privacy concerns, declined to discuss Jasim’s case.

 

Because Iraqi translators are seen by jihadists and former Baathists as “traitors,” Jasim’s life is at greater risk the longer he stays in Iraq, according to multiple State Department and U.S. military officials. A number of translators and their families have already been tortured and/or murdered.

 

Jasim said his stepbrother, in fact, was captured in the fall of 2007 and was tortured to death in an effort to get to him. The U.S. Army officer who received and processed the report on the murder, Major Leslie Parks, told FOXNews.com that Jasim’s stepbrother was tortured with an electric drill through his eyes.

 

U.S. military officials familiar with Jasim’s case believe that he will be in even greater danger after U.S. forces withdraw from most of Iraq next year.

 

The State Department, meanwhile, has told Jasim that he must wait three more years before he can apply for a waiver of its visa rejection.

 

When he applied for his visa, Jasim feared it might be denied by an overworked consular officer on the basis of his arrest, so he attached a letter explaining the full circumstances.

 

Jasim wrote that his hatred of Saddam was formed at a young age, as the regime murdered five of his relatives during his childhood. Barely into adulthood, Jasim joined the Peshmerga, a largely Kurdish group whose primary goal in the 1990s was to overthrow Saddam — an objective supported by the Clinton administration.

 

The Pehmerga assigned Jasim to obtain documents and eavesdropping equipment that were in the possession of Saddam’s ruthless son, Uday, and Jasimn said that he stole Uday’s car in order to retrieve the documents and equipment.

 

Soon after, he was arrested, and he was sentenced to life in prison. For the next six and a half years, he was routinely tortured, he said.

 

On the eve of the Coalition invasion in 2003, Hussein released many prisoners as a “goodwill” gesture, and Jasim was among them.

 

A year later, he joined the Iraqi Special Forces. Though officially allied with Coalition forces, the Iraqi military suffered at the time from ethnic and religious divisions, as well as corruption. Jasim came to believe that they weren’t fully behind the cause of freedom, so he signed up as a translator for U.S. forces.

 

During his three years as a translator, Jasim has exposed himself to enemy fire in the course of saving American lives. Three different Americans who served with him in Iraq told FOXNews.com that they are alive today because of Jasim.

 

“The only reason I am here today is because of Jasim,” said Elisabeth Keene, a U.S. Army specialist who serves in a combat unit. “He saved the life of everyone in my unit.

 

“On several occasions while our guys were putting rounds down range, Jasim put himself in harm’s way to pull the wounded out and treat them,” Keene said. “Jasim is a hero to everyone he has ever met.”

 

“I owe my life to Jasim … hands down,” said Master Sgt. Jason Krieger, who went on over 200 combat patrols with Jasim. “I consider him a brother, not only in arms, but in love as well.”

 

Those who have worked with Jasim are astonished at the decision to deny him a visa. FOXNews.com has obtained numerous letters submitted by U.S. Army and Marine Corps personnel supporting his application. Each letter praises his heroism in glowing terms and strongly recommends issuing a visa.

 

 

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Ahmed Ahmad, left, and his friend Faisal Fathiel visited the University of Utah Friday looking for ideas on jobs. Both are Iraqi refugees who were resettled in Utah. Ahmad's entire family went back to the Middle East because his father couldn't find a job in his field in Utah. (Al Hartmann / The Salt Lake Tribune)

Ahmed Ahmad, left, and his friend Faisal Fathiel visited the University of Utah Friday looking for ideas on jobs. Both are Iraqi refugees who were resettled in Utah. Ahmad's entire family went back to the Middle East because his father couldn't find a job in his field in Utah. (Al Hartmann / The Salt Lake Tribune)

Source : THE  SALT LAKE TRIBUNE

As more Iraqi refugees return to the Middle East disillusioned about America and defeated by unemployment, many of those who remain in Utah are increasingly angry. Recognizing their sacrifices and the growing dilemma, the state refugee office is fighting for additional federal funds to alleviate their painful transition.

“We started this war,” said Gerald Brown, director of the Utah Refugee Services Office. “These people are a direct result of federal policy.”

More than 300 Iraqi refugees are expected to arrive in Utah in 2009, pushing the state’s community beyond 500. Many have been tortured, threatened or lost members of their family — often due to their association with Americans. They have acted as interpreters, assisted with security and watched their country unwind in chaos after the U.S. invasion.

At the request of the state refugee office, Mara Rabin, medical director at Utah Health and Human Rights Project, recently summarized her concerns in writing. She urged changes large and small — from increasing mental health services to ensuring an appropriate welcome and expression of thanks to arriving refugees who helped the U.S.

It’s what she’s tried to do as she’s heard their stories. “I have now said, ‘Thank you for what you have done,’ ” she said.”I’m sorry you had to leave your homes.”

The Iraqis are a unique group: Often highly educated professionals, they left behind middle-class lifestyles and assumed they would re-create their lives here. Instead, they have arrived at one of the bleakest economic times in the past century, leaving many unemployed for months. The jobs they can find often make little or no use of their skills and degrees.

Most new arrivals do not have a network of family or friends already in Utah, which is not the case in areas with established Iraqi communities, such as Detroit.

“I do have a staff that does their best to try to do everything [refugees] need,” said Tawfik Alazem, director of U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants in Dearborn, Mich. But “at the end of the day, there is a sister or a brother or a father or somebody that is giving them advice, support.”

To help create a softer landing in Utah, the state hopes to secure federal funds to hire staff at nonprofits for additional counseling and orientation.

  for full story and details : http://www.sltrib.com/ci_12074289?IADID

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blood_cross

blood_cross

A Christian man killed today in Mousl by a group of gunmen who entered into his workshop in Mosul where he deals with Generators and big engines. The man and his name is (Aziz Elias Aziz) is married and he has 3 kids one of them is handicap and his wife is pregnant with her 4th child.

 

The gunmen entered into his workshop, and shot him with their AK47 with two bullets, on of the bullets entered his stomach side, and the other went directly through his heart. According to what his co-workers said in the place. And none of them could do anything; otherwise they would have been the next victims.

 

Worthy to mention, that Iraqi Government promised during the campaign against Christians in 2008, promised to protect Christians inside the city, from the outlaws and the terrorists who have been working on eradicating Christians from this city. But experts on the other hand say that the campaign against Christians is very well organized and supported by regional governments including Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.

 

By: Fa Me

 

   

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