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Chaldean Business Leaders Say Apology Weak and Not Enough
By Rita Abro :: Saturday, October 27, 2007 :: 64759 Views :: Business & Finance, Government & Society, Chaldean Justice League

Michigan, USA - It has turned out to be a community call-to-the-test. Chaldeans in Michigan have taken a firm stance against Miller brewing company.  The South African company was recently put on notice by religious leaders to stop supporting hate groups.  South African Brewery Miller, also known as SABMiller or Miller beer has been giving nearly $100,000 annually to the San Francisco Folsom Street Fair which encourages and promotes Christian mockery and hate. 

A grassroots group of Chaldean community leaders have begun an active and aggressive campaign against Miller in hopes the multinational company will see the error of its way. 

“The Chaldean community has been deeply offended, and to add insult to injury many small business retailers in our community have long been partners in distributing Miller products.  After seeing what Miller is supporting store owners quickly began removing Miller off their shelves,” says Chaldean Justice League board member Remon Jiddou.  “We have teams of volunteers that are driving all through Southeast Michigan showing pictures of what the store owner is supporting when they sell Miller products.  They can see first hand the Christian hate.”

The Chaldean Justice League held a town hall meeting this past Tuesday bringing to light SABMiller’s support of the leather fetish and Christian hate fair.  Representatives from Miller brewing company and their local distributors stubbornly refused the Chaldean Catholic Bishop Ibrahim Ibrahim’s plea to stop supporting the fair and to genuinely apologize for the pain they caused. 

Guest speaker Mike Setto, who triggered the boycott after removing Miller from his convenient store, told the nearly 200 Chaldean Store owners to, “not be afraid.”  The passionate plea brought tears to the eyes of audience members as Setto shared the importance of his faith and how it carried him through his personal trials and tribulations.  “We have had family members gunned down and murdered selling their products.  We have given Miller our blood, sweat, and tears, and this is how they repay us; by attacking the core of what a Chaldean is,” says Robert Kakos, Chaldean Justice League board member and town hall emcee.  

“Our faith has kept us safe since Christianity began.  We have been chased, beaten, kidnapped, ransomed, and our daughters and sisters have been raped by those who hate Christians yet, we remain committed to Christ.   To this day our people are being killed and martyred. Our priest and nuns are being abducted, tortured, and killed for believing in Jesus.,” Kakos passionately speaks. 

Loud cheers and standing ovations rocked the church hall.  The group handed out pledge sheets asking business owners to remove Miller from their stores.  They also handed out signs letting their customers know of Millers despicable support of hate, a hot-line phone number to call and report stores that are selling or not selling Miller, and have published an online list of those who refuse to sell Miller and those who continue to sell Miller. 

The Chaldean Justice League has taken the campaign against Miller very seriously.  “We have volunteers calling and informing retailers of the boycott against Miller and encouraging them to remove Miller from their Shelves.  We also have teams of drivers helping them remove Miller from their shelves.  I was happy to get in their cooler and toss the Miller poison off their shelf,” says Athir Salem. 

Athir Salem praises King of Woodward convenient store, owned by Saad Shamasha just a few blocks down from ABA Market.  “I walk into King of Woodward and he has sign’s all over the place showing his customers the hate that Miller supports.  As soon as you walk into the store and on every cooler door he has a message for Miller to respect his religion.”

Shamasha says his business has increased as customers come to learn about Miller’s support of hate.  The store owner has made hundreds of copies of the letter and pictures explaining what Miller supports.  “I pass them out to all my customers and tell them to help get the word out about Miller,” says Shamasha.  Customers in parking lot of the store say they will be taking the letter and pictures to their local churches and asking their pastors to get involved.  

Attempting to counter the campaign, Miller distributors have begun passing out the initial apology letter released by Millers public relations office attempting to appease store owners.  

The Chaldean Justice League has received reports of distributors harassing Chaldean store owners for discontinuing Miller.  “These stupid drivers call us terrorists and say they will have us deported if we don’t sell their products,” says Kevin Dinkha. “They are scared if we stay together.  They know we will then have the power to stop them from taking advantage of us.”

"Chaldeans ought to be proud of the business leaders who have taken a strong stand for thier faith.  They have earned our respect and admiration," says Jiddou.

Sacred Heart Parish, MI USA

 

Sacred Heart Parish
310 W. Seven Mile. Rd.
Detroit, MI 48203
Tel: (313) 368-6214
Fax: (313) 891-0132

The parish was established by Rev. Jacob Yasso in 1973

Rev. Jacob Yasso

Rev. Jacob Yasso was born in the village of Telkaif, Iraq.  After completing high school he was recruited to Rome and Urbaniana University where he completed his Masters Degree in philosophy and Theology.  Fr. Yasso was ordained a priest in 1960 and served the Diocese of Mosul, where he worked in the public school system. Fr. Yasso was also asked by the Patriarch to teach at the Patriarchal Seminary in Baghdad, where he served as administrator, professor of philosophy and religious life, and rector of the minor seminary. 

In 1964, Fr. Yasso was appointed to the United States to serve the growing Chaldean community in Detroit.  There he served as the 4th Pastor of Mother of God Parish.  .  In 1972, the Patriarch charged Fr. Yasso with building a new parish for the Chaldeans in Detroit.  In taking great pains to care for the community Fr. Yasso accelerated the development of a new church and community center.  In 1975, Fr. Yasso completed the development of Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit and shortly thereafter he added the Chaldean Center of America in 1980, 

A few years later in 1982, Fr. Yasso was asked to assist the late Fr. Kattoula at St. Peter’s Church in San Diego, CA.  Before long, Fr. Yasso was once again recruited to Rome to study new Canon Law of the Church.  While in Rome Fr. Yasso completed his third Masters Degree in Church Law, making him the only Chaldean priest trained in Canon Law. 

In 1988, the Patriarch and Vatican authorities asked Fr. Yasso to travel to Canada and establish a parish and community center.  While there he served as a Tribunal Judge for the Archdiocese of Toronto.  Four years later Fr. Yasso returned to Sacred Heart church in Detroit to help care for the remaining Chaldean community residence in the Detroit area.  To this day, Fr. Yasso continues to serve as the parish pastor creating activities and advising the City of Detroit on community related matters. 

Fr. Yasso is a member of the International WYCLIF Bible translators, since 1975, and has completed the translation of the New Testament from Greek and Aramaic into Arabic and spoken Chaldean.   The publication of his scholarly work is set to be released soon.