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Entries for September 2006

American House of Representatives Passes Measure on Religion Suits
By Ziad Bitti :: 11466 Views :: Government & Society

Califoria, USA -- Chaldean attorney, Kevin Najor reports that the House passed a bill yesterday that would bar judges from awarding legal fees to the American Civil Liberties Union and similar groups that sue municipalities for violating the Constitution's ban on government establishment of religion.

“Many of these organizations are simply trying to intimidate and use activist judges as a way to raise money for their personal causes.  Many attorneys are outraged at groups like the ACLU and other similar organizations that have become the strong arm of reckless causes.”

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More Attacks Against Chaldean Churches in Iraq
By Ziad Bitti :: 22 Views :: Religion & Spirituality, Law & Order, Government & Society

Mosul, Iraq –  Attackers launch rockets against the Chaldean Church of the Holy Spirit. No one is injured. The group that targeted the church is likely the same that fired shots at the building last Sunday.

Once again the Catholic Chaldean Church of the Holy Spirit is the target. This morning a group of men fired rockets against the building, whilst an explosive devise was detonated outside a usually unused entrance door, this according to local sources who also told AsiaNews that no one was killed or hurt in the incident. They also suggested that the attackers might be the same people who on Sunday fired some 80 shots against the church breaking some windows and causing minor damage.

For months, tensions have been rising in Mosul, a Sunni stronghold. Some people have suggested that the anti-Christian attacks are linked to the controversy caused by the Pope’s speech in Regensburg (Germany). In fact, some flyers making anti-Christian threats were distributed around town last Friday, calling on Christians to condemn the Pope’s remarks or be killed and see their churches burnt down.

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Radical Muslims Prove the Pope’s comments by Attacking Chaldean Churches
By Rita Abro :: 17 Views :: Religion & Spirituality, Law & Order, Government & Society
Baghadad, Iraq -- A Chaldean and Assyrian churche is attacked in Mosul and Baghdad by Muslim militias.  The fanatics have forced Christians to pin up posters condemning the words of Benedict XVI in Regensburg. But religious leaders, including al Sistani, have expressed their friendship with the Apostolic Nunciature. And the representative of the Iraqi Shiite leader would like to meet the pope.
 
The start of the month of Ramadan in Iraq was marked by violence but also by significant openness by al Sistani towards the Vatican. Yesterday, two churches, one in Baghdad and another in Mosul, were struck. Recently, the country has seen an escalation of attacks against Christians, thought by some to be the reaction of radical Muslims to the speech of the pope in Regensburg. However, religious leaders, among them al Sistani, have shown solidarity and understanding towards the Vatican. Moreover, the representative of the highest religious exponent of Iraqi Shiites has expressed the desire to be able to visit the Pope.
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Chaldean Widow Dies After Being Runned Over
By Ziad Bitti :: 69 Views :: Community & Culture

Sabria Yousif was killed at 10:52 p.m. on 14 Mile near Dequindre roads, according to Sterling Heights Traffic Lt. Alan A. Byrd. The driver of the Chrysler PT Cruiser that struck Mrs. Yousif is a 23-year-old female, Byrd said.

Police said the death appears to be accidental. Byrd said neither alcohol nor speeding played a part in the accident.

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Can We Talk? Hosni Mubarak should call Benedict XVI
By Guest Reporter :: 17 Views :: Community & Culture, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Guest reporter DANIEL HENNINGER of the Wall Street Journal reports:

Who says the world lacks leaders? After again expressing his "respect" for Islam, Pope Benedict XVI at his weekly Vatican audience two days ago moved one of his knights forward on the global chessboard of Islamic politics.

Amid amped-up security in St. Peter's Square, the pope said: "I trust that after the initial reaction, my words at the University of Regensburg can constitute an impulse and encouragement toward positive, even self-critical dialogue both among religions and between modern reason and Christian faith."

Setting aside the impeccable understatement of "the initial reaction"--churches torched world-wide--it is close to thrilling in a world of persistent confusion about the intentions of contemporary Islam to see the pope step forward, not back, and speak without apology on behalf of "modern reason."

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Freedom of Expression in Turkey Spared This Time
By Rita Abro :: 10 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

ISTANBUL, Turkey - A Turkish court has acquitted a prize-winning author of charges of insulting the nation in a book about the massacres of Armenians, Assyrians, and Chaldeans during World War I, saving the government from a fresh embarrassment in its bid to join the European Union.

 The acquittal of Elif Shafak came in the opening hearing of her trial Thursday, held in a cramped courtroom in central Istanbul under tight security in case of violence by nationalist protestors.

The judges based their decision on a lack of evidence to prove that Shafak, 35, "denigrated the Turkish national identity" in remarks by fictional Armenian characters in her best-selling novel "The Bastard of Istanbul" or "Baba ve Pic" (The Father and the Bastard) in Turkish.

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English: the Official Language of Hazel Park, Michigan
By Guest Reporter :: 13 Views :: Government & Society

Guest repoter Jeremy Adragna of CG News reports:

Michigan, USA — When Mark Samano moved to the United States from Iraq in 1980, he dedicated himself to learning 10 words in English every day. Within three months, he could speak the English language. Within six months, he was teaching math classes in English for Detroit Public Schools.

Samano heads the Hazel Park School District’s foreign language classes now, and said that every immigrant should take the time to learn English if they want to be an American.

“When we come to this country we have to master English,” said Samano. “If we don’t, forget it. You’re living in a Third World country.”

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Professor, Lawyer, and Author Gabriel Sawma Sets the Record Straight
By Gabriel Sawma :: 14 Views :: Religion & Spirituality, Community & Culture, Government & Society, Opinion and Editorials

Renown professor, lawyer, and author Gabriel Sawma who specializes in international law, mainly the European Union Law, the Middle East and Islamic Shari’a Laws offers insight in the current affairs of Muslims outraged over the Popes Comments.

Professor of Aramaic and a recognized authority on Islam.  Sawma is the author of a book titled, “The Qur’an: Misinterpreted, Mistranslated, and Misread. The Aramaic Language of the Qur’an”, available on amazon.com.  He has also authored many articles on the Aramaic influence in Biblical Hebrew and in the Quran.  Sawma speaks, reads, and writes Aramaic, Arabic, and Hebrew.

In a meeting with representatives of science in Germany on September 12, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI quoted a short segment of a dialog between Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian.

As a result, segments of Muslim community around the world demonstrated and demanded an apology from the pontiff. They argue that Islam did not use the sword to convert people. They also stated that Islam is a “peaceful religion”.  Some demanded that the pope be executed.

This article gives background about the Islamic conquest of the Middle East and parts of Europe.

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Chaldean Leaders Call For Calm and Reason
By Rita Abro :: 15 Views :: Religion & Spirituality, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Michigan, USA  -- "Poor uneducated Muslims are led blindly into ongoing violence and outrage is coached by irresponsible leaders," says Bashar Sitto.  “Moderate and modern Muslims seem to have lost control to the radical fundamentalists who have hijacked Islam.” 

For the oppressed minority Christians in the Muslim dominated governments, like the Chaldeans of Iraq, fear runs high as they remain vulnerable to potential acts of violence of fanatical Muslims stirred to act with hatred.

Supported by irresponsible media bent on sensationalizing the news and highlighting a Muslim-Christian divide even where one does not exist, only contribute to the grave state of sectarian relations in Iraq today.

The world remains stunned at the easy manipulation and hypersensitivity of Muslims, who refuse to accept the Pope’s academic discussion and focus on a quote taken out of context.  Iraqi religious scholar Abdel Hussam Hussain feels the Islamic governments are at risk as more fanatical elements gain control of interpreting Islam.  Hussain feels the threat of an eventual overthrow of current Islamic are in grave danger.

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Chanelle Shamoun Helps Notre Dame to Victory
By Rita Abro :: 30 Views :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment

California, USA -- The Warner Tennis Center hosted the girls’ tennis competition where Chanelle Shamoun won twice in doubles for Notre Dame. 

The major showdown brought Viewpoint and Notre Dame face to face in one of the seasons most anticipated girls’ tennis match-ups. 

“The girls’ tennis team put up an impressive performance against Viewpoint,” says Notre Dame fan Jill Ridell.  “I am a big supporter of the Notre Dame girls tennis team and it was an exciting match.  Both Brittany Peiffer and Chanelle Shamoun played fantastic.”

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Abductions of Iraqi Christians Hit Close to Home
By Rita Abro :: 21 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Guest reporter Kelly Thornton of the Union-Tribune reports:

 

California, USA -- B.E. was hoping for a call about a house-painting job. Instead, the Iraqi immigrant living in El Cajon heard his sister's voice, with terrible news from Baghdad.

A family member had been abducted by masked gunmen demanding a $30,000 ransom.

Kidnapping is nothing new in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, but lately there's a new twist: Some of the targets are Iraqi Christians likely to have family members in the United States or Europe who can pay to save them.

B.E. – who insists on anonymity because of concern for his family – began frantically seeking help from relatives and friends in El Cajon. Family members in Chicago, Detroit and Europe did the same

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Iraqi Ambassador Meets With Chaldean Community Leaders in the U.S.
By Sam Yousif :: 12 Views :: Community & Culture, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Michigan, USA -- Iraq's U.S. Ambassador Meets With U.S. Chaldean Community Leaders

Iraq's Ambassador to the U.S. is meeting with Chaldeans and other Iraqi-Americans in metro Detroit, urging them to support U.S. efforts in Iraq.

"It's important to persuade the American public and American government not to abandon Iraq at this stage," Ambassador Samir Sumadaie said in an interview Friday at the Westin Hotel in Southfield. "Abandoning it would turn it into a failed state and create a huge amount of terrorism and destruction in Iraq."

Sumadaie, a Sunni Muslim, met with Chaldeans, Iraqi Catholics, at a church in Southfield on Friday, and is expected to meet with Iraqi Shiite Muslims in Dearborn on Saturday.

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Merchant of Vino, Ed Jonna Turns into Plum
By Sam Yousif :: 30 Views :: Business & Finance

Michgian, USA - "There's over 100 growers within a two-hour drive from here ... we're talking about Michigan blueberries, peaches, apples and honey," he said. "Whenever we're able to support our local farmers, that's what we're going to do," says Mathew Jonna. 

Rebounding from their sale of the Merchant of Vino, the Jonna family has kept a low profile.  According to Matt Jonna, son of Merchant of Vino owner Ed Jonna and a managing partner in the family business, Whole Foods approached the Jonnas with an offer too good to resist: 1.03 million shares of common stock, valued at an excess of $40 million.

Many in the Chaldean community thought the family would embark on community philanthropy.  “It is well known that great business people find ways to help others.  Many thought the Jonna family would do just that, start scholarships, foundations, community centers, or help remove barriers holding other Chaldeans back,” says Jamal Aboud, financial advisor and banker.  “It seems they are not quite done focusing all their efforts on business.  It will be exciting to see what they come up with next.”

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Infant Formula Poses High Risk Health Dangers
By Rita Abro :: 13 Views :: Health & Fitness, Living & Lifestyle

Chaldean mothers ought to strongly consider the high risk of obesity, diabetes, and weaker immune systems for babies that are not breast fed.  In light of the ongoing research that shows synthetic chemical baby formula is riskier than breastfeeding the world trade health organization is challenging multinational companies to stop considering profit over health. 

The marketing efforts to get second and third world countries hooked on baby formula products have quadrupled.  However, some countries are not buying into the scam and putting pressure on the corporations. 

“Convenience, modernization, playing on ignorance and fear is the way they do it,” says Dr. Hannaa Bedawid, a Chaldean pediatrician.   “The companies are using marketing and trying to make it seem as if it is shameful to breastfeed your child.  I applaud countries like China, Malaysia, Israel, and the World Health Organization to standing up against corporate greed.”

Companies are being charged with illegal marketing, racketeering, vastly insufficient quantities of the essential vitamins, and suppressing studies and reports revealing the dangers of baby formula.  One of the larger corporations, Abbott Laboratories, has recalled hundreds of thousands of fake liquid ready-to-feed infant formula.

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Zaytoon Joins International Enclave
By Guest Reporter :: 25 Views :: Living & Lifestyle, Business & Finance

Guest reporter Molly Abraham of the Detroit News (Michigan, USA) reports:

Michigan, USA -- Zaytoon -- it means "olive" in Arabic -- is as fresh and appealing as that suggests. It opened this summer in an airy, high-ceilinged space that has housed several previous restaurants.

One of them -- La Fendi -- is a direct antecedent of the bright new Zaytoon. Brothers Tony and Raad Samona were partners in that Mideastern spot, as well as the original La Fendi in Lathrup Village. Both closed in 2003.

And so after another restaurant tried and failed in the West Bloomfield Township space, Tony Samona's son and daughter reclaimed the address in a strip mall that is pretty remarkable for its international array of restaurants.

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