There is only one 'solution': force. Intensify the surveillance, the patrols,
and the control to counter the violence against the Christians. To protect the
community in Mosul, the most dangerous area for the Iraqi religious minority,
the government is going to increase the security forces.
A dozen dead.
Prime Minister Al Maliki sees this as the only way to face the radical Islamic
groups, such as the Combatants of al-Qaeda or those of the Islamic State of Iraq,
who have used threats, attacks and murder to spread terror among the Christians
of Mosul. Between 13 and 15 Christians have been killed in the city over the last
few days, and several families have decided to flee to the north. Last February,
the Archbishop of the Chaldean community, Paulos Faraj Rahno, was kidnapped, and
his lifeless body was found weeks later.
The attacks have motivations that are both religious and political. Anti-Christian
pamphlets have surfaced in the city in recent days. Last Saturday, armed men blew
up three houses owned by Christians in the al-Sukar district. The houses were
empty: at least a thousand families have fled from Ninive province, an exodus
which, according to the governor Duraid Kashmulah, is destined to continue, if
not increase. "The responsibility lies with the men of al-Qaeda, - he explained
- they and their followers want to destroy the relations between the people of
Mosul, a city which is renowned for its religious tolerance". Some say that there
is an obvious political matrix behind the murder of the Christians. The community
protested vociferously when the Parliament approved a regional law that eliminated
the quotas for religious minorities. A Chaldean bishop, Gabriel Gordiz Toma, speculates
that these attacks also occur with the intent of weakening the community in the
run up to the elections. The bishop sustains that at least 350 families have sought
refuge in his dioceses, in Tilkef, and that 50 of them are forced to live in the
church. "If America really wants peace and democracy in Iraq, - the prelate states
- then first it must guarantee the safety of the civilians".
The worst hit by the persecutions. Muslims constitute 97 percent of the Iraqi population: 65 percent Shi’a Muslims
and 32 percent Sunnis. The remaining 3 percent is made up of Christians and other
minorities. Most Iraqi Christians belong to the Chaldean Church, which is descended
from the Church of the East and recognizes the authority of the Pope. Others adhere
to the Assyrian Protestant Church. Those worst hit by the persecutions have been
the Chaldeans (more than 120 victims), followed by the Orthodox Christians (over
40), then Catholics, Assyrians, Anglicans and Armenians.