Commentary: Christians Shut Out Of Election Process in Iraq!

By Ken Joseph Jr.

Baghdad, Iraq - Reports reaching the Assyrian Assistance Center in Baghdad indicate that a calculated effort is underway to deny Assyrian Christians representation in upcoming elections.

A 1,0000 member election commission is being chosen to represent the various constituencies from which elections will be ultimately carried out.

Reports reaching Baghdad show a grim picture of blatant discrimination agains the indigenous Assyrian Christians in the areas of Dohuk and Irbil.

`To date we have confirmed 51 Assyrian delegates out of the total 1,000` says Amir George of the Assyrian Assistance Center in Baghdad.

`The reports we are receiving directly from the area are telling us that that the names the Assyrian Christian Community  has turned in for inclusion in the election commission have all been rejected by the Kurdish Regional Government authorities. While we confirm the details we are calling upon freedom loving peoples worldwide to protest in the strongest way possible this blatant attempt to shut us out of the electoral process.` George continued.

The Assyrian Christians are the indigenous people of Iraq and Christians. They face blatant discrimination first because they are not Arab, then because they are not Moslem and again because they are seen as allies of the West.

`While we confirm the reports we are doing all we can to demand that we be accorded representation in accordance with our status as the indigenous people of Iraq` says Assyrian Christian activist Robert Isaac.

`During the time of Saddam Hussein the Assyrian Christian Population was given as 2.5 million. That should give us a minimum of 100 seats out of the 1,000 member assembly` he says.

`What is particularly worrying about these reports is that it appears they are trying to put their own people in our place instead of those chosen by our community.`

As details begin to be confirmed over the coming days there is expected to be a strong effort to have the plans reversed. has confirmed directly with Iraqi Government officials who flatly stated for the record that `the Assyrian Christians as the indigenous people of Iraq shall have the representatives of their choice and any difficulties they may encounter will be fought to the full extent of the law. Please give us the details so we can ensure that this important and historic Iraqi community can be part of the process` said the Iraqi official

If confirmed the attempt to deny the Assyrian Christians their voting rights will simply be a part of a long history of discrimination, ethnic cleansing and genocide endure by one of the last remaining Christian populations in the Middle East in an area that has seen non-moslem numbers fall from nearly 18% according to some figures a generation ago to now under 2%.

 `We call upon the international community to protest in the strongest way possible to their local Iraqi Embassy that the rights of the Assyrian Christians be protected.` says George.


Rev. Ken Joseph Jr. is an Assyrian and directs and is writing a book on his experience in Iraq entitled `I Was Wrong`.

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