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Entries for September 2008

Chaldean Activism Once Again Proves Powerful
By Amer Hedow :: 93745 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Mosul, IRAQ – The outcry of Iraqi, American, and European Chaldeans for fair representation have given Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki pause.  The Iraqi Prime Minister openly announced on Sunday that he has sought safeguards for Christians and other minorities who have complained that they have lost guaranteed seats in provincial councils under a new election law.

Chaldeans who took the time to voice their concern may have helped the future of Iraq’s minority population.  “We are grateful to the Chaldeans across the world that sent e-mails, called their representatives, and sent letters to Iraq’s Prime Minister,” says Raad Abdel.  “God will forever bless these wonderful Chaldeans who spoke out against such injustice.”

After Iraqi legislators scrapped a clause known as article 50, that would have guaranteed seats for Christians and other minority sects, online news sites and e-mails quickly covered the expressed outrage.  However, the bill in its current form must be approved by a presidency council consisting of President Jalal Talabani and his two vice presidents before it becomes law. Christian leaders have expressed hope that it can still be amended to guarantee their seats.  “With the help of our Chaldean brothers and sisters reaching out to representatives this may still be possible,” adds Abdel.

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Chrisitan Iraqi's Stripped of Minority Electoral Rights In Order To Keep Them Oppressed
By Amer Hedow :: 93891 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

BAGHDAD — After months of negotiation, Iraq's parliament passed a crucial election law Wednesday, but only by setting aside for future debate the most divisive issues and stripping away most all minority rights. Iraqi Christians protested on Thursday against the absence of a clause determining their quota of provincial coucil seats in a new provincial elections law adopted the day before in the Iraqi parliament

The Students Federation of Chaldean Christians in Iraq objected to the secret removal of a clause in the old law that reserved provincial council’s seats for Christians and other religious minorities.  The new law could clear the way for provincial elections to take place in much of Iraq early next year with no voice for the indigenous people of Iraq.  The deletion of the law now leaves Iraqi Christians 'disenfranchised,' the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency quoted the group as saying.

Iraqi and U.S. officials moved aggressively to get the law passed.  Both U.S. and the U.N. ignored to challenge why minority clauses were stripped by Iraqi parliament, leaving minorities vulnerable to ongoing oppression.   Secretary of the Chaldean National Council, Daiaa Boutros, said that removing the clause was dangerous in an Iraq that was moving towards democracy, as the country had to preserve the rights of minorities.

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Iraqi Christians Form Security Patrols to Protect Villages
By Guest Reporter :: 77001 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Tel Asquf, IRAQ - Controversy continues to swirl over the establishment of the first Iraqi Christian Militia enforce.  Frustrated over the lack of protection or justice, Iraqi Christians have decided to protect their town.  With Kalashnikovs slung over their shoulders, members of Iraq's first Christian militia share one simple rule on the border of this little village: "Anyone not from Tel Asquf is banned."

A member of a Christian militia stands guard outside the St. George church in the village of Tel Asquf in northern Iraq's flash-point Nineveh province, which is often targeted by Sunni and Shi'ite fighters. The militia members man checkpoints at the village's four entrances. "If we don't defend ourselves, who will?" asked militia leader Abu Nataq.  "The terrorists want to kill us because we are Christian. If we don't defend ourselves, who will?" Abu Nataq, says.

This village in northern Iraq's flash-point Nineveh province, frequently targeted by Sunni and Shi'ite fighters, has taken security into its own hands with armed patrols and checkpoints at the village's four entrances.

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More Iraqi Christians Killed by Religious Fundamentalists
By Amer Hedow :: 90975 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Mosul, IRAQ - The Chaldean community in Iraq remain vulnerable victims of kidnap, torture, and murder by  Islamic fundamentalists twisted by hatred.  News of the torturous death of a 65-year-old doctor, Tariq Qattan, kidnapped recently by a terrorist group is being released by AsiaNews.   “The family paid a $20,000 ransom, but it was not enough to free Tariq,” say sources. 

Tariq Qattan is one of the many Iraqi Christians kidnapped by fundamentalists for extortion.  For the family of Nafi Haddad the outcome is just as unbearable.  Haddad was also kidnapped and killed.

Despite assurances by the Iraqi government Christians remain vulnerable targets.  “Iraqi police continue to ignore investigating or prosecuting those involved,” says relatives of the Haddad family close to the matter.  

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