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World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Chaldean Refugees Arrive in Germany
By Sabah Hajjar :: 53140 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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Iraq Becoming Islamic State Hostile to Non-Muslims
By Amer Hedow :: 71568 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

London, UK – Lord Alton called for the government in the north of Iraq to return land that had been seized from minority groups.  "The Kurdish Regional Government needs to ensure a swift and complete return of Christian homes, land and property that has been misappropriated ­ which includes 58 Christian villages taken by Kurds.

"How The Kurdish and Iraqi authorities treat their minorities ­ including Christians, Yezidis, and Mandaeans ­ will be a test of their determination to create a tolerant society respectful of difference."

Around 90 people packed into a House of Lords' committee room to attend a hearing about the crisis currently facing minorities in Iraq.

A statement from the Syriac and Chaldean Churches read out at the meeting similarly sounded a note of caution about the direction the country was taking: "It seems that Iraq is one step closer to becoming an Islamic state intolerant to non-Muslims".

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Chaldeans Overwhelmingly Plan to Vote YES on California Prop. 4 & 8 and NO on Michigan 1 & 2
By Sam Yousif :: 54300 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

California, USA – Chaldeans in California and Michigan are eager to vote on their state ballot initiatives.  In California an effort to prohibit or allow homosexual marriage is on the ballot as proposition 8. In Michigan, the statewide ballot is asking voters to either allow or reject the use of marijuana (proposal1) and embryo research (proposal 2). 

“Chaldeans in California and Michigan should understand that all three of these issues are very important.  The cost to Chaldeans and America is very high if gay marriage is allowed, embryos are killed for research, or drugs are made legal,” says Ann Bodagh, of El Cajon.  “Chaldeans need to work together to prevent America from slipping even further.”

Bodagh’s opinion is the majority, but liberal corporations, like Apple computers and Levi Straus jeans are throwing big money to help fund the passing of proposition 8.  In Michigan, drug companies, the DNC, and Planned Parenthood are hoping marijuana use and embryo research get passed. 

We examine all three propositions.

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Can A Difference Be Made By Chaldeans Calling for Action?
By Mary Esho :: 72232 Views :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

 California, USA – An unlikely duo seem to breaking through the information blackout of Iraq’s desperate situation.  Contrary to news coverage that Iraq is healing, few if any major media outlets are covering Iraq’s minority persecution. 

Chaldean Catholic Cardinal Emmanuel-Karim Delly of Baghdad, Iraq, expressed sadness over what he viewed as a chronic lack of concern and concrete action to stop the violence and protect all of Iraq's citizens.  Greater attention and pressure are needed so that the Iraqi government can "be just and fulfill its duty toward its citizens," he said.

Echoing the Cardinal’s call urging everyone to help call attention to the injustice, Chaldean star rapper Timz, winner of the Hollywood Film Festival's "Video of the Year" and nominee for the MTV Video Music Awards' "Video of the Year," releases another hip-hop masterpiece titled “Do Something.”  A powerful call to action that begins with a hypnotic beat mixed with middle eastern flair beginning with a message from Timz himself to “Change the world, not the channel.”

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Chaldean Protest Raising Awareness
By Amer Hedow :: 51721 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Mosul, IRAQ— Shocking the conscience of anyone who would dare pay a few minutes of attention, Christians are being mowed down in Mosul.  Community activists in Australia, England, US, Denmark, and Germany are begging world governments to do more than talk.  Activists are protesting in front of city halls, holding meetings, getting petitions signed, attempting any and all efforts to raise the awareness and conscience of world leaders, turning a blind eye to the genocide of Iraqi Christians. 

Nearly 10,000 Christians — roughly half the city's Christian population — have fled this month because of organized and targeted threats and attacks, according to Iraqi officials.  Christians in Iraq are fast losing faith and trust with the Iraq government.  Few Iraqi Christians are returning to the restive city of Mosul despite government pledges of financial support and protection, officials said Wednesday.

Attempts to bribe families back into the city have fallen on deaf ears. The prime minister offered every Christian family that returns to Mosul 1 million Iraqi dinars — about $865, said Jawdat Ismaeel, a local migration official.  But less than a handful of Christians have returned, he said.

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Chaldean Scholar Awarded Catholic Woman of the Year
By Rita Abro :: 122613 Views :: Career & Education, Community & Culture, World News & Odds 'N' Ends, Chaldean Churches

London, UK – Chaldean scholar, author, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Dr. Suha Rassam was named as one of the four Catholic Women of the Year at a reception in London this past week.  The founder of the charity Iraqi Christians in Need (ICIN) was honored among an assembly of some of the world’s most notable leaders and in the presence of the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Faustino Munoz.

Dr Rassam is originally from Mosul in northern Iraq. She is a medical doctor and professor of Medicine in the University of Baghdad. Arriving to England in 1990 she worked in London hospitals until her retirement when she took an MA in Eastern Christianity at the school of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London.

Dr. Rassam, author of the book 'Christianity in Iraq' set up ICIN  last year with a group of fellow Iraqis, to provide financial and spiritual support to Iraqi Christians both in Iraq and in countries such as Syria and Jordan, where many are now refugees.

Earlier this year, she visited Iraqi refugee families in Syria to assess how best ICIN could help them. In Aleppo, she met with Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo of the Chaldean Catholic Church and Bishop Yuhanna Ibrahim of the Syrian Orthodox Church.  Since then her impact in helping Iraqi refugee families has been remarkable. 

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Last Safe Haven for Iraqi Christians Taken by Al-Qaeda
By Guest Reporter :: 92572 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends, Chaldean Federation of America

Mosul, IRAQ - "Now the last safe haven for Christians is gone," said Canon Andrew White, the vicar of St. George's church in Baghdad. During the past week, twelve Christians have been killed and more than 3,000 have left the city of Mosul, once considered a safe zone for persecuted Iraqi Christians.
 
Mosul, on the plain of Nineveh in northern Iraq, has long been home to one of the largest remaining Christian communities in the nation. Furthermore, in recent years the city has been a destination for persecuted Christians.

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Iraqi Christians in Mosul Victims to Intense Violence
By Amer Hedow :: 68848 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Mosul, IRAQ - Despite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki pledge yesterday to protect Christians in Iraq after mass killings in the northern city of Mosul, thousands of Chaldeans flee as Islamic radicals turn-up the violence. 

Proving the weakness of Maliki’s government and the vulnerability of Iraqi Christians, a music store owner was shot to death in the northern city of Mosul.  Police sources said on Monday gunmen entered the store late on Sunday and shot dead the Iraqi Christian store owner and his nephew, who was wounded.

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Kill Christians! Islamic Fundamentalists Chant in Iraq After Murdering Three
By Amer Hedow :: 69277 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Mosul, IRAQ – Another tragic killing of Christians in Mosul today.  Al Qaeda militants gunned down Chaldean Jalal Moussa, 38, and three other Chaldeans in front of their homes in the neighborhood of Noor.  Islamic militants have been terrorizing the city with shouts and nailing posters urging attacks against Christians, threatening more slaughter and violence and urging U.S. military to leave. 

Little has been covered by world media as major news outlets refuse to cover the ongoing Christian attacks.  In less than seven days, nine Christians have been murdered because of their faith.  Asia News reveals an organized campaign is underway to drive Christians out of the region.  The news reports a car with a loudspeaker went around the streets in the neighborhood of Sukkar, ordering the Christians to leave." "Christians out of the city," the people on board were shouting, "otherwise you will be victims of more attacks."

On Monday, October 6, Ziad Kamal, a disabled 25-year-old shopkeeper in the city, was shot to death. The young man's store was in the neighborhood of Karam.  Before him, armed groups assassinated Hazim Thomaso Youssif, age 40. The ambush took place in front of his clothing store in Bab Sarray.  On the same day, 15-year-old Ivan Nuwya, also a Christian, was killed. The young man was shot to death in front of his home in the neighborhood of Tahrir, in front of the local mosque of Alzhara.

The Christian community lives in panic as the slaughter continues "to the indifference" of the media, which "do not even report the crimes that are committed."

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Despite Criticisms of Alienating Christians Iraq Presidency Approves Provincial Election Law
By Amer Hedow :: 84659 Views :: Law & Order, Community & Culture, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Sulaimaniyah, IRAQ — Today, Iraq's three-member presidency council approved a delayed provincial election law, amidst strong criticism of legally marginalizing Christian representation in the country.  “Again, Iraqi Christians are dealt a devastating blow,” says Issam Najed.  “America’s revolution was ignited over taxation without representation.  In Iraq, Christians are given no representation in the direction of their country.” 

"I think that some political groups are pushing the remaining Christians to leave Iraq," worshipper Afram Razzaq-Allah said after services at a Catholic church in Baghdad. "They want us to feel that we are no longer Iraqis."   Native Americans can empathize with the indigenous people of Iraq.  Iraq's leaders feigned seeking safeguards for small religious communities in this mainly Muslim country as Christians protested parliament's decision for minority representation on provincial councils. 

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Iraq Presidency Agrees on Polls Law
By Amer Hedow :: 65728 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghdad, IRAQ -Iraq's presidential council has agreed on a law which paves the way for US-backed provincial elections to be held by the end of January, a spokesman said. Al-Ani says the panel led by President Jalal Talabani decided to approve the law on Monday but did not sign it due to Islamic holidays.

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Chaldean Activism Once Again Proves Powerful
By Amer Hedow :: 67114 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Mosul, IRAQ – The outcry of Iraqi, American, and European Chaldeans for fair representation have given Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki pause.  The Iraqi Prime Minister openly announced on Sunday that he has sought safeguards for Christians and other minorities who have complained that they have lost guaranteed seats in provincial councils under a new election law.

Chaldeans who took the time to voice their concern may have helped the future of Iraq’s minority population.  “We are grateful to the Chaldeans across the world that sent e-mails, called their representatives, and sent letters to Iraq’s Prime Minister,” says Raad Abdel.  “God will forever bless these wonderful Chaldeans who spoke out against such injustice.”

After Iraqi legislators scrapped a clause known as article 50, that would have guaranteed seats for Christians and other minority sects, online news sites and e-mails quickly covered the expressed outrage.  However, the bill in its current form must be approved by a presidency council consisting of President Jalal Talabani and his two vice presidents before it becomes law. Christian leaders have expressed hope that it can still be amended to guarantee their seats.  “With the help of our Chaldean brothers and sisters reaching out to representatives this may still be possible,” adds Abdel.

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Chrisitan Iraqi's Stripped of Minority Electoral Rights In Order To Keep Them Oppressed
By Amer Hedow :: 67344 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

BAGHDAD — After months of negotiation, Iraq's parliament passed a crucial election law Wednesday, but only by setting aside for future debate the most divisive issues and stripping away most all minority rights. Iraqi Christians protested on Thursday against the absence of a clause determining their quota of provincial coucil seats in a new provincial elections law adopted the day before in the Iraqi parliament

The Students Federation of Chaldean Christians in Iraq objected to the secret removal of a clause in the old law that reserved provincial council’s seats for Christians and other religious minorities.  The new law could clear the way for provincial elections to take place in much of Iraq early next year with no voice for the indigenous people of Iraq.  The deletion of the law now leaves Iraqi Christians 'disenfranchised,' the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency quoted the group as saying.

Iraqi and U.S. officials moved aggressively to get the law passed.  Both U.S. and the U.N. ignored to challenge why minority clauses were stripped by Iraqi parliament, leaving minorities vulnerable to ongoing oppression.   Secretary of the Chaldean National Council, Daiaa Boutros, said that removing the clause was dangerous in an Iraq that was moving towards democracy, as the country had to preserve the rights of minorities.

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Iraqi Christians Form Security Patrols to Protect Villages
By Guest Reporter :: 55364 Views :: Law & Order, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Tel Asquf, IRAQ - Controversy continues to swirl over the establishment of the first Iraqi Christian Militia enforce.  Frustrated over the lack of protection or justice, Iraqi Christians have decided to protect their town.  With Kalashnikovs slung over their shoulders, members of Iraq's first Christian militia share one simple rule on the border of this little village: "Anyone not from Tel Asquf is banned."

A member of a Christian militia stands guard outside the St. George church in the village of Tel Asquf in northern Iraq's flash-point Nineveh province, which is often targeted by Sunni and Shi'ite fighters. The militia members man checkpoints at the village's four entrances. "If we don't defend ourselves, who will?" asked militia leader Abu Nataq.  "The terrorists want to kill us because we are Christian. If we don't defend ourselves, who will?" Abu Nataq, says.

This village in northern Iraq's flash-point Nineveh province, frequently targeted by Sunni and Shi'ite fighters, has taken security into its own hands with armed patrols and checkpoints at the village's four entrances.

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More Iraqi Christians Killed by Religious Fundamentalists
By Amer Hedow :: 65238 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Mosul, IRAQ - The Chaldean community in Iraq remain vulnerable victims of kidnap, torture, and murder by  Islamic fundamentalists twisted by hatred.  News of the torturous death of a 65-year-old doctor, Tariq Qattan, kidnapped recently by a terrorist group is being released by AsiaNews.   “The family paid a $20,000 ransom, but it was not enough to free Tariq,” say sources. 

Tariq Qattan is one of the many Iraqi Christians kidnapped by fundamentalists for extortion.  For the family of Nafi Haddad the outcome is just as unbearable.  Haddad was also kidnapped and killed.

Despite assurances by the Iraqi government Christians remain vulnerable targets.  “Iraqi police continue to ignore investigating or prosecuting those involved,” says relatives of the Haddad family close to the matter.  

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