Mosul, IRAQ – Christian churches in Iraq continue to receive threatening notices foreshadowing potentially violent attacks against the non-Muslim religious centers. In the northern Iraqi city of Mosul parishioners fear the worst after a letters were received asking them not to cooperate with US forces.
“We don’t cooperate with anyone. They use this as an excuse to attack, torture, hold for ransom, and kill innocent people,” says Khalid Bunni, a parishioner in the region.
Concern is growing that The Batallion of Just Punishment, Jihad Base in Mesopotamia which strongly opposes Christians entering the Iraqi police force, have begun an aggressive campaign to force Christians from the region once more.
The letter stated, "We caution and warn anyone who tries to rob us through dealings with the Americans or through the spreading of American forces and/or police to protect the Holy Shrines in the Islamic Republic of Iraq, that these shrines would remain target of the freedom fighters.”
The letter made clear that non-Muslims would remain under oppression and forced into the Muslim Dhimmi system. "We remind the dhimmi people [Jews and Christians] that Iraq is for the noble Iraqis and not for how you are now."
Community leaders in the region suspect the letter actually originated from Ansar Al-Islam, a Kurdish Islamist group affiliated with al-Qaeda. Muslim Kurds who have squatted on Christian lands in the North are collaborating with al-Qaeda to keep Christians out of the Iraq Police Force and increase tension in the region.
“The Kurds benefit as long as there is fighting going on. The Kurds remain ally of the coalition forces. This wins them favor, gains them support and money, and makes it easier for them to finally gain their own autonomous region in northern Iraq and southern Turkey. All that land was legally owned by Christians until Kurdish rebels began using the mountains as their place of operations to attack Iraq and Turkey, knowing that they could easily push Christians out of the region. Fearing that Christians on the police force will begin to uncover many of the corrupt efforts, they are being attacked and warned to leave the region and not join the police,” says Bunni.