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Obama's Attempt to Please Everyone Backfires
By Chaldean Caucus :: Thursday, June 26, 2008 :: 56725 Views :: Government & Society, Chaldean Caucus

Michigan, USA - Obama’s relations with Muslims were further stressed as a private back-door meeting spiraled downward over Jewish support.    Among over 150 African-American community leaders and a handful of Arab-Americans were invited to the private meeting.  An argument ensued between Obama and  Osama Siblani regarding the presidential hopeful’s public support of Israel. 

“The more people learn about him the more they feel he is like any other politician,” says Husam Abid, a Chaldean business man in Detroit, Michigan.  “I was told that the Arabs at the meeting made it clear that they want Obama to return to his roots and stand against Jews.  Others feel Obama is purposely alienating Muslims to mask his heritage and show he would not favor Islam.”

Chaldean community leaders, like Ramzi Dalloo, of Troy Michigan  are hopeful that Obama’s efforts to reach out to the two communities are reciprocated.  Nonetheless, tension between Jews and Obama grows.  A website sharing Jewish frustration titled, is gaining national attention.  The site catalogs Obama’s anti-Jewish stance.  Danny Ayalon, Israel's former ambassador in Washington adds to the growing discourse in a published article in the Jerusalem Post.  Ayalon writes that the Democratic candidate wasn’t entirely forthright regarding Israel. 

The private meeting held less than a week ago in Michigan has Arab Americans gathering in Dearborn regarding the contentious issue and how the Dearborn Arab community should proceed.

Obama has been making his rounds privately with Muslims in America.  Prior to meeting with the Muslims in Dearborn Obama met privately last month in Macomb County with Muslim leader Imam Hassan Qazwini.

In other non-Arab communities, like the Chaldeans, Obama’s support is dwindling fast.  “More and more Chaldeans are not supporting him because he is far too left.  He believes in raising taxes, making people more dependant on the government, and his stance on abortion and gay marriage is appalling,” says Joseph Barrash.  “Chaldeans that support him are usually doing so because they follow whatever their union says or are bitter over the war and lack of support for Christians in Iraq.”

Barrash feels that McCain is winning Chaldeans over.  “He has impeccable character, experience, international wisdom, and is able to work with both parties.  He will get things done in Washington.  He has shown he can over and over.  He has been the only one in congress to be fair over how our tax money is used.  He is not self-serving.  Now Obama, who is able to get more campaign money from the people, goes back on his word.  Obama is hard to trust.”

Barrash claims that Chaldeans are feeling more like Senator Lieberman and what many of the union members are starting to feel.  “The Democratic party is leaving us.  They are supporting criminal illegal immigrants, abortion, gay marriage, and are becoming increasingly anti-military.  These are middle-America issues.  When Democrats support these issues they offend union members and Chaldeans."

St. Joseph, MI USA

St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church
2442 E. Big Beaver Rd.
Troy, MI 48083
Tel: (248) 528-3676
Fax: (248) 524-1957

Congregation Organizer:
Rev. Michael J. Bazzi

Church Constructing Pastor:
Rev. Sarhad Y. Jammo

Current Pastor:
Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Ayad Hanna

 Current Pastor: Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Msgr. Zouhair Toma (Kejbou) was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1947.  He was ordained a priest in Baghdad, Iraq in 1968, and accepted his first assignment to serve the community of Baquba.  The Monsignor’s leadership skills and organizational talents along with his mastery of theology were immediately evident.  He later assisted Sts. Peter and Paul in Al-Salehia, and St. George in New Baghdad.

In August, 1978 Monsignor Toma was called to serve the growing community of persecuted Chaldeans finding refuge in Australia.   Being the fist Chaldean priest to arrive in Australia he quickly established a parish for the Chaldeans in Sydney to serve their social and spiritual needs.  The parish was named after St. Thomas the Apostle and built a rectory. 

In 1989, for his incredible work he was granted the title of Monsignor, Chaldean Patriarchal Vicar for Australia and New Zealand.  Continuing his passionate work to serve the Chaldean community the Monsignor moved the Parish Center to a more accessible location and built a large church campus featuring a modern community center, residence quarters, and administrative offices in 1995. 

In 2003, Monsignor Toma added a magnificent church to replace the previous one in order to serve the fast growing community and also opened two other centers.  The first was Our Lady Guardian of Plants in Melbourne, and the second was Mar Addai the Apostle in Auckland, New Zealand.  Mar Addai in New Zealand included two very large churches along with rectories and community centers.  Overseeing the Patriarchal Vicariate for 28 years, he managed to inspire six more priests to help minister to the fast growing Chaldean community. 

In August 2006, Monsignor chose to assist the St. Thomas the Apostle Diocese in the U.S. as more Catholic churches were being built in America and address the growing need.  On October 2006, Monsignor was incardinated and appointed Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Troy.