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Commentary: Four Assyrian Christian Churches Bombed In Iraq in Long Predicted Attack!

Plus: Terrorist Statement on Arabic Website (translated)

By Ken Joseph Jr.

Baghdad, Iraq - In a long predicted series of attacks,  four Assyrian Christian Churches - three in Baghdad and one in Mosul were bombed on Sunday afternoon just as worshipers were leaving.

"We have warned and warned that this was going to happen" screamed Assyrian Christian  Amir Warda who asked that his name be protected.

"We have begged for help, from the International Community,  we have begged for protection but nobody would listen.  Maybe finally they will realize that what we have been saying is true." he continued.

The Al Najat Church, the Al Mansour Church and two more Churches were targeted,  and with the timing and number of worshipers present serious death and injuries are being predicted.

The four bombings follow a long string of bombings of Assyrian Christian owned businesses, homes - a particularly gruesome killing involved two Children aged 6 and 16 gunned down in cold blood in their home.

Further difficulty happened days ago when the Assyrian Christians were completely shut out of election preparations for their two most populous areas in Northern Iraq.

Entitled to a minimum of four seats out of 28 for the upcoming National Congress to prepare for Iraq Elections, the Assyrian Christians received no seats.

Another individual at the scene who asked not to be named related what happened immediately after the bombing.  "American troops immediately circled the area and visibly angry soldiers nearly lost control as they watched and attempted to do all they could to help the worshipers as they struggled out of the Church" he said.

"They were screaming they were so angry at the people who would bomb a Church as people were leaving the service.  Frankly,  I can't repeat some of what they were saying but it was very clear they were deeply affected by this brutal act."

Another individual involved in the efforts, who to asked that his name not be used for fear of reprisal put it more succinctly.  "Maybe this will finally alert the public to what the situation is. We call specifically on the US Congress to attach a rider to the appropriations bill for Iraq.  The Assyrian Community is demanding protection and needs specifically four things - resettlement to their original villages,  repair of the villages destroyed by Saddam Hussein,  autonomy in Assyria as provided by Article 53 of the Iraqi Constitution and voting rights."

"The only way we can remain in Iraq is if we can have a protected area in our original homeland. Without this we must tell our people to leave.  With all due respect we do not believe the American people fought a war and liberated Iraq to have it become a radical Moslem state.  It is we - the Assyrian Christians who love the Americans and will be eternally grateful for what they have done. This the true feeling of the majority of the Iraqis. Now is the time for the Americans to help their friends and insist that the Assyrian Christians have an autonomous area in their homeland so they can live in peace."

Experts predict a continuation of the violence against the Assyrian Christians until either they leave the country en masse or the Assyrian Regional Government is set up as provided for in ther Iraqi Constitution next to the similar Kurdish Regional Government, seen by many as the only long term solution for the estimated 2.5 million Assyrian Christians in Iraq.

Predicting much of what is happening, EU Parliament Member Albert Jaan Maat had weeks earlier issued a report to the European Union saying "Is the Commission aware that the Assyrian Christians are systematically excluded from the distribution of aid by local leaders?"

Maat went on to speak of clear cut religious discrimination saying further "International aid is mainly distributed through regional and therefore Moslem leaders and seldom or never reaches the Assyrian Christians." according to Assyrianchristians.com a website devoted to the Assyrian community worldwide.

Reflecting the widespread lack assistance to the minority community including the Assyrian Christians,  Yazidis and other non-moslem communities some view the whole situation as another example of  ethnic cleansing in a more subtle way.

"This is our last cry for help" says Warda "If the world will not listen to us now then they do not care.  Where are the Christians of the world when we need their voices and help? Why should we have to leave our own homeland where we were the first people to accept Christianity and where we have practiced our faith and lived in peace for 2,000 years?"

The bombings are expected to increase as more and more responsibility is handed over to the interim Iraqi Government and the move toward elections proceeds.

 

The Islamic terrorists responsible for bombing five Iraqi churches issued a statement in Arabic on an Islamic website.

The following is a full translation of that statement.

A declaration from the Committee of Planning and Follow Up in Iraq

In the name of God the most merciful,

Thanks be to God the supporter of his faithful, prayers and peace be upon him who was sent with the sword at these times as a mercy for human beings. He who believes in him and upholds his methods will gain paradise and he who denies him and sways away from his methods will lost forever.

O! Muslims wherever you live...

The war today in Iraq and Afghanistan is un doubtedly something that two Muslims wouldn't argue about, that it's a hateful Crusades war targetting Islam and Muslims and that the United States and its allies[1] didn't ever delay or spare an effort to fight God's religion with all the power that they have and with the blessing of the (Pope) before whom the leaders of America[2] stand like slaves.

O! Believers in one God...

America didn't only occupy and invade militarily the Islamic lands but they also founded hundreds of Christianizing [Tanseer[3]] establishments, printing false deviated books and distributing them amongst the Muslims in an effort to strip them away of their religion and Christianize them. The Crusaders are one nation even if they differed in their ideas.

The American forces and their intelligence systems have found a safe haven and refuge amongst their brethren the grandchildren [Iraqi Christians] of monkeys and swines[4] in Iraq.

The graceful God has enabled us on Sunday, August 01, 2004 to aim several painful blows at their dens, the dens of wickedness, corruption and Christianizing. Your striving brethren were able to blow up four cars aimed at the Churches in Karrada, Baghdad Jadida (New Baghdad) and Dora while another group of Moujahedeen[5] hit the Churches in Mosul.

As we announce our responsibility for the bombings we tell you, the people of the Crosses: return to your senses and be aware that God's soldiers are ready for you. You have wanted a Crusade and these are its results. God is great and glory be to God and his messenger. He who has warned is excused".

Prayers and peace be upon our prophet Muhammad, his kin and companions[6].

The committee of planning and follow up in Iraq

14/Jamadi I/1425[7] -- August 01, 2004

International Islamic Information Centre.

 

Notes:

1 In the Arabic version the word is "tails" instead of alliesm which connotes subservience and humiliation.

2 America: Arabs refer to the United States as America.

3 Tanseer: A word used by muslims to denote Christianizing.

4 Quran: Soura Al Ma'idah 5 verse 60 .

5 Moujahedeen: An arabic word describing Muslim men who fight a "holy" war.

6 Companions: The first four Caliphs who succeeded Muhammad following his death.

7 One of the twelve months of the islamic calendar.

Arabic statement: CLICK HERE


Rev. Ken Joseph Jr. directs Assyrianchristians.com and reports from Baghdad

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