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Government & Society

Is Defending Marriage About Defending Religious Freedoms?
By Sam Yousif :: 36630 Views :: Religion & Spirituality, Government & Society

California, USA – Perhaps the older Chaldeans have trouble grasping the threats we face, but the first and second generation Chaldeans know it all too well, says Ann Bodagh.  The Californian community activist says that America’s immune system is under attack.  “American values are our country’s immune system.  Values that teach us that lying, stealing, killing, and adultery are wrong are being torn apart.  Now it is okay to routinely lie, steal worker’s pensions, kill the unborn or elderly, or sleep with anyone.  These sorts of behavior are bankrupting America, financially, morally, and socially.”

Bodagh says you can see the social virus make its way to our countries value centers.  “They have already taken over our public schools and now they want to close churches and silence religious teachers.  America is becoming a socialist communist nation if we don’t fight back.  All the Chaldeans that fled from countries that would not let you speak out when the government is doing something wrong better wise up.  Otherwise you might as well by another plane ticket and choose your next country to run to.”

Bodagh says California is fighting back.  The citizens of the golden state recently voted to cut spending and become more fiscally conservative.  Citizens also voted to amend the state constitution to protect marriage between a man and a woman.  “California has long been considered the land of fruits and nuts sees the writing on the wall.  We are trying to clean-up the moral pollution.  Unfortunately, the pollution is also growing in other states.”

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Chaldean Teacher Namir Gourguis Freed
By Amer Hedow :: 26965 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Kirkuk, IRAQ – The disputed lands of Kirkuk continue to foster hostilities as the three major factions of Iraq pound Christian minorities in order to seize property and lay claim to the oil rich lands.  Although Iraq is the native home to the Chaldean Catholic Church, one of the oldest Christian churches in the world, hundreds of thousands of Christians have been forced to flee since the US-led invasion of March 2003.  “Our people are easy targets.  Iraqi Christians are the Tibetans of the Middle East.  We are peaceful,” says John Anwya.  “These cowards attack Iraq’s native people.”

In northern Iraq a Christian missionary and teacher Namir Nadhim Gourguis, has been freed after just over a week in captivity, according to the Catholic missionary news agency Asia news.

Gourguis was well known in the community and loved.  Mediation by tribal chiefs and local imams led to Gourguis' release just over a week after he was abducted by a gunmen last Thursday at an elementary school near the northern oil city of Kirkuk.

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Chaldeans Worry Over UN Altercation of Iraq Refugee Guidelines
By Huda Metti :: 26481 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

California, USA – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) this week revised its guidelines about Iraqi refugees, scaling down the categories of Iraqis that it says should be granted asylum in all cases.  Central Iraq remains unstable, and refugees from those provinces should be granted asylum, the UNHCR said. Those provinces include Baghdad, Diyala and Ninevah.

Andrew Harper, who leads the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees operation in Iraq, says Chaldeans and other ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq should receive asylum from Western countries. 

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Chaldeans4Life Shining Light on Planned Parenthood Move to Pontiac
By Angie Yono :: 17622 Views :: Government & Society

Michigan, USA – “Isn’t it curious that they always move into areas where there is a high population of African Americans and the poor.  They don’t care about helping families.  They care about making sure that those they consider the leeches of society don’t reproduce,” says Mary Khami a member of Chaldeans4Life in Southfield.  

Planned Parenthood opened two new centers in minority dense areas of Detroit and Warren and now wishes to add a third center in Pontiac Michigan.  Planned Parenthood continues to face challenges after internal workers and undercover investigative reporters’ revealed Planned Parenthoods bias towards targeting the abortion of minority babies.  

www.BlackGenocide.org states on their website that “Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America. 78% of their clinics are in minority communities. Blacks make up 12% of the population, but 35% of the abortions in America. Are we being targeted? Isn't that genocide? We are the only minority in America that is on the decline in population. If the current trend continues, by 2038 the black vote will be insignificant. Did you know that the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was a devout racist who created the Negro Project designed to sterilize unknowing black women and others she deemed as undesirables of society? The founder of Planned Parenthood said, "Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated." Is her vision being fulfilled today?”
 
Khami is outraged that Planned Parenthood is attempting to move into another minority dominated impoverished city in Michigan.  “They prey on weak minorities who are unable to defend themselves.  They spend a significant amount of money on buying politicians and spend practically nothing on offering alternative options to abortion.  This is a modern day holocaust.” 

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Chaldeans Fighting to Help Refugees Ignored By Government Agencies
By Amer Hedow :: 32409 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Jaramana, SYRIA – The conditions in Iraq are vastly improving, but ignored in the up-beat news of Iraq’s road to recovery is the struggling plight of Iraqi Christians that remain targets and disenfranchised minority.  Iraqi refugees throughout the region have become increasingly desperate. Despite a decline in violence in Iraq, only a small number have gone home, often because their resources are exhausted. Of those who returned to Iraq, many found their property occupied and suffered secondary displacement.

The international community has been largely in denial over the disastrous humanitarian situation in Iraq, and has until recently seen Iraq through the prism of reconstruction and development, and failed to address urgent needs. Only recently has the United Nations issued a common humanitarian appeal for Iraq, recognizing the nature of the situation and the need for all agencies to address humanitarian needs. Nonetheless, the call by the U.N. remains largely ignored.

The vulnerable displaced Iraqis who have fled their homes for safer locations are unable to access their food rations and often unemployed, they live in squalid conditions, have run out of resources and find it extremely difficult to access essential services. “The US, the government of Iraq and the international community must begin to address the consequences of leaving Iraqis’ humanitarian needs unmet,” says Talal Lazar, a Chaldean advisor to the Jordanian embassy on Middle Eastern Christians.  

As a result of the vacuum created by the failure of both the Iraqi Government and the international community to act in a timely and adequate manner, individuals will play a major role in providing assistance to vulnerable Iraqis.

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The Slaughter After The Pull-Out in Vietnam War May Happen To Iraqi Christians
By Sam Yousif :: 28821 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghdad, IRAQ – What many Chaldeans have feared in the U.S. Presidential debate has come true.  “We know if America leaves they will come and kill us.  They think we have something to do with them and they think we have money.  The Iraqi government is happy if all Christians leave.  They say they want us to stay, but they don’t mean it.  If they mean it, then they would protect us more,” says Masoud Gallozi. 

In the past few days Iraq Christians have been targeted for slaughter.  The murder of four Christians across Iraq in just two days is raising concern among churches there that another round of religious cleansing has begun. 

Chaldean Monsignor Sako warns that US troop pullout is likely to plunge the country in a “civil war.” Between 31 March and 4 April five Christians are murdered in Kirkuk, Baghdad and Mosul. The prelate calls on the faithful to pray during Holy Week so “that the blood of our martyrs may restore peace.”

Chaldeans in America are frustrated over President Obama’s handling of the Middle East issues.  “There were many Chaldeans fooled into believing the new administration would pressure the Iraqi government to get serious about properly protecting Chaldeans.  These Chaldeans sent an e-mail of a letter by Obama and his people showing he was concerned.  It was just another lie from this man.  A lie that is leaving our people vulnerable.  Those who supported him are partly to blame,” a frustrated James Selmu declares. 

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Chaldean Refugees Arrive in Germany
By Sabah Hajjar :: 27563 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

GERMANY - Germany has long fought for the protection of war refugees and has taken their cases to the EU on numerous occasions.  Germany has agreed to resettle 2,500 Iraqi refugees, said the Amman office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday, March 10, adding that 2,000 would come from Syria and 500 from Jordan.
 
The first batch of refugees will be soon leaving Jordan for resettlement in Germany, Dana Bajjali, a spokeswoman for the UNHCR office in Amman told DPA news agency without indicating the precise date of their departure. Around 120 Christian refugees from Iraq arrived in Germany on Thursday in search of a better and safer future away from the turmoil of their home country.
 
Amnesty International's Julia Duchrow explains that the successful asylum applicants have a clean criminal record and can not have been members of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's Baath party.  Single mothers, those suffering from post-traumatic stress and people with ties to Germany also had a greater chance of having their application for asylum approved, she added. 

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Chaldean Family in Michigan Harrassed by Their Homeowner Association for Having Virgin Mary Statue
By Huda Metti :: 43227 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society, Chaldean Justice League

Michigan, USA – “In Iraq if you show any Christian religious symbol in front of your home they send you a letter or take you to court.  How is this management company any different than those that threaten and oppress Christians in third world, communist, and fascist countries,” says Andrew Abdel.

Abdel is incensed at the Tolgate Woods Homeowners association in Novi who has sent a letter asking the Samona family to remove a virgin statue from their front lawn.  A statue that has adorned the home since 2004.  The Samona family is well known in the Chaldean community.  Farouk Samona is a deacon (Shamasha) at the Chaldean Cathedral in Michigan and both his wife and son are active parishioners in women and youth ministry. 

This is the second time the family has been harassed by the homeowner association for their faith.  The first time was back in 2004 during Christmas when the family was sent a letter demanding the removal of their nativity scene. 

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California Chaldean Store Owners Are Feeling Safer
By Sam Yousif :: 35448 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society

California, USA – Local convenient store owners in the El Cajon and the San Diego area feel safer.  Jeda Athra, a mother of three teenagers works long hours with her husband at a corner retail store says she is happy to see the police and prosecuting attorneys taking a stronger stance against crime.  “They need to clean-up the criminals from the streets and let everyone know that holding-up a store in our town means you will go to jail.”

Athra’s husband adds, “Our state is bankrupt which means more crime and more problems.  We need police to scare bad people away from here before they kill anyone else.  Look at those two evil criminals that now face the death penalty.  It does not pay to hurt people in our city.”

The convenient store couple refer to the Thanksgiving bandits.  Franko “Dopes” Bernal and Samuel Thomas “Tommy” McCauley, 21 face a death sentence or life in prison for gunning down store workers in 2006.

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Iraqi National Museum Reopens With Christian Art Hidden Away
By Neda Ayar :: 39924 Views :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Community & Culture, Government & Society

Baghdad, IRAQ - Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki attended the inaugural re-opening of Iraq’s National Museum.  “The opening is another sign of Iraq’s stabilization,” says Thair Yatooma, of the Iraqi Citizen Council of Art, an advisory group of the National Museum.  “The opening of the National Museum in Baghdad is a message from the government to foreign tourists: you are welcome." 

The Prime Minister cut the ribbon at the official reopening saying, "We have ended the black wind (of violence) and have started the reconstruction process." This morning, the first tourists entered the museum: for now, only guided tours for groups are allowed; it will take time to reopen the museum to private citizens.

However, some say the Museum must bring the Christian history of Iraq back into the light.  The National Museum had a long standing policy of prohibiting any display of Christian art to the general public.  The section dedicated to the Christian community could be visited only by foreign tourists; it was not accessible to Arab Iraqis. “The Christian presence is profound, deeply grounded, setting down roots over centuries; Saddam Hussein may have protected it, he always concealed it from the eyes of ordinary citizens" says Yatooma.

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Killer Pleads Guilty for Criminal Negligence
By Ziad Bitti :: 28109 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society

Toronto, CANADA – “The tragic irony is that the Chaldean families leave a country of death, persecution and oppression hoping for a better life for them and their children.   Sadly, so many Chaldeans are being killed in their place of work or by being in the wrong place at the wrong time as in this situation,” says Alvin Sako.

Sako is referring to the death of Mark Shaba, 19, of Rexdale, runned over on Oct. 21, 2007, in a dispute in the parking lot of Arizona Bar and Grill on Carlingview Dr. The court preceding concluded with the electrician apprentice Gagan Deep Singh, 26, pleading guilty to criminal negligence causing the death. 

Singh ran over the only Son of the Shaba family, a teenage kitchen cabinet painter, with a Ford Explorer after a dispute outside the bar. 

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Iraqi Christian Minority Trapped Without a Voice in Provincial Elections
By Amer Hedow :: 27545 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society

Mosul, IRAQ – “We have to go vote.  Our love for our country makes us go and vote,” says Ibtissam Bazzi, an Iraqi Christian woman eager to cast her vote.  Christians in Iraq remain an oppressed minority and a group still under constant threat.  With the provincial elections underway, Iraq’s Christian minority find themselves between a rock and a hard place.

The Iraqi natives have faced centuries of violence.  From conquering Arab armies, the first world war genocide of the Ottoman empire (present day Turkey), to mass killings from al-Qaida in Iraq and other Islamic extremists.  Including the Kurds who have been slowly and systematically attempting to take and control land once owned by Christians.  

In the northern city of Mosul and surrounding areas the Kurds have been using their own militia to sieze more of Iraq into their semiautonomous region.  The issue came to the fore in Saturday's vote for members of ruling councils in most of Iraq's 18 provinces.

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CoEd Dorm Rooms at University of Chicago Cause Stir
By CE&CC :: 51292 Views :: Living & Lifestyle, Career & Education, Government & Society

Illinois, USA – The University of Chicago joins a handful of other colleges in their effort to create a cohabitation campus.  The college will now allow a male student to sleep in the same room with an unrelated female student.

Amy Batuo says the school has essentially become a whore house and is considering transferring.  “I am not going to pay them to help students hook-up. There is going to be so many reputations and lives ruined.  They have gone way into left field on this one.”

This is not the first time the school has sent shock waves for its stance on sexual promiscuity and promotion.  The campus Student Health and Wellness Fee, which all registered students pay, covers regular contraceptive items like condoms and lubricants.   All are available at its Student Care Center including what the center calls "Emergency contraception.” 

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Obama Full Speed Ahead on Terminating Babies with Tax Dollars
By Huda Metti :: 29812 Views :: Health & Fitness, Government & Society

California, USA – “Chaldeans who voted for him should be ashamed of themselves.  When will people learn that what goes around comes around?  Like the Nazis who supported eugenics and the killing of the useless and unwanted, so too goes America with this President,” says Ashley Bashi. 

Barack Obamaa has plans to reward the allies that helped him topple Hillary Clinton and seize the presidency by making total unrestricted abortion in the United States his number one priority as president.  Nonetheless, some Chaldeans think abortion is a religious issue or only a disagreement to overlook with the controlling Democrat party. 

 “It is sad that some in the Chaldean community think abortion is a religious issue.  Our entire society is based on morals and values.  If we don’t value the innocent, the old, unproductive, weak, or poor of our society, how much longer before we begin to make decisions to eliminate them,” says Dr. Hiba Hannou, a leading Chaldean medical researcher in reproductive science.  “How much longer before we say those that are not smart or unproductive must also be killed.”

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Chaldeans in Baghdad Celebrate The First Ever Public Christmas Event
By Neda Ayar :: 19491 Views :: Government & Society

Baghdad, IRAQ – “You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet,” says Nadine Hemra, of Chicago Illinois. The light at the end of Iraq’s tunnel seems to be getting brighter.  Hemra is delighted at the news that the Iraqi death toll has dropped below pre-Saddam era, income for professionals has increased 400 times, utility services are becoming more reliable, and non-Muslim religious tolerance is growing. 

When challenged as to why her friends were unwilling to give Iraq a chance Hemra says, “My friends are weak and afraid of having to sacrifice for the good of others or the future.  The media has led them to believe there was no hope in Iraq.  I believe Iraq will rebuild itself into one of the strongest nations in the Middle East.  Then my friends will have to admit Bush did the right thing in liberating the country.  America lost many good people in the fight to be free from England.  Wouldn’t you say, as the benefactor of the revolution that the fight was worth it?”

It would have been unfathomable only a few months earlier.  However, this past Saturday floating in the sky above Baghdad glides along a huge multi-colored hot-air balloon bearing a large poster of Jesus Christ. Below it, an Iraqi flag.

Santa and his helpers stand under palm trees at Baghdad's first public Christmas festival.

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