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Sectarian attacks in Iraq and Christian Church bombed in northern Nigeria

Sectarian attacks in Iraq and Christian Church bombed in northern Nigeria

Walter Sebastian and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Islamists once more have killed innocents during the religious period of Eid al-Adha, including a bomb attack which killed several children near a play area in the capital of Iraq. In Afghanistan worshippers were killed while praying inside a mosque and in Syria several terrorist attacks have taken place. Meanwhile, in northern Nigeria a Christian church was hit by a bomb attack. Therefore, religious zealots within the Sunni Islamic faith have been going on a killing spree like usual during this holy period for Muslims.

The Iraqi authorities clearly understand the mindset of Islamists because security was tightened. However, despite greater precautions, it is abundantly clear that little can be done to stop determined terrorists from spreading death, hatred and sectarianism. Even laying bombs near a school playground during Eid doesn’t concern Sunni Islamist fanatics who are being indoctrinated by Islamist clerics.

Sadr City in Baghdad is overwhelmingly Shia and the double-bomb attacks left at least 13 people dead. Whereas the attack in the Bawiya area of the same city, killed seven people including the lives of three children who just wanted to play. The death toll may increase further but clearly Muslims and non-Muslims can’t even rest in peace during holy periods. This is because of the hatred of Islamists who lack any notion of morality.

In northern Nigeria the same Islamists which seek power and control by fear, hatred, violence and spreading sectarianism, have once more attacked a Christian church. Sometimes, the same Islamists attack Muslims for desiring peace with their fellow Nigerians. Therefore, just like in Syria, nobody feels protected in certain parts of northern Nigeria from religious zealots which seek to spread chaos, sectarianism and fear. The same menace is now turning against Sufi strands of Islam in northern Mali and Libya, just like hatred is widespread towards the Shia, Ahmadiyya Muslims, Christians, Hindus and others in Pakistan.

It must be remembered, that some Islamist clerics are demanding the slaughter of Alawites and the Shia in Syria. Christians are also attacked by the same religious fanatics who recite the Koran while beheading people and torturing in unbelievable cruelty. Mainstream Sunni Muslims face the same wrath in Syria if they support a united Syria based on the mosaic of this nation.

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, referred to the need that “all churches in the Arabian Peninsula must be destroyed.” Similarly, the same nation is exporting hatred within the educational curriculum and for this reason monitoring is essential. Therefore, it is clear that something is wrong within certain branches of Islam which seek to rule by fear. After all, they have no qualms in killing Muslims and non-Muslims alike in order to fulfill their hatred and spread sectarianism.

Currently it is known that seven people have been killed by a suicide bomber against a Christian church in Kaduna, northern Nigeria. Christians in this church, just like Muslims in the mosque in Afghanistan, were praying to the God of Abraham. However, for Islamists, you have no sanctity to either life or holy places – therefore, both holy places were attacked during Eid.

Several months earlier in June over 50 people were killed in the same part of northern Nigeria after three Christian churches were attacked. This reality meant that security officials in northern Nigeria, just like in Iraq, knew that during Eid that Islamists would try to ferment more hatred. The desire of Islamists is to spread fear in the hearts of all people, irrespective if Muslim or non-Muslim, in order to rule by fear. Likewise, the other objective is to spread sectarianism therefore Shia Muslims are frequently killed and attacked in several nations.

Baseem Mohammed in Bawiya, Baghdad, told AP news that “Nobody expected this explosion because our neighborhood has been living in peace, away from the violence hitting the rest of the capital….We feel sad for the children who thought that they would spend a happy time during Eid, but instead ended up getting killed or hurt.”

The Shabaks in Iraq were also killed in Mosul in the northern part of this country. This minority fully understands religious hatred because many attacks have happened against the Shabaks after the US led invasion of Iraq.

Other attacks by Sunni Islamists in Iraq have also killed Shia Muslims from Iran who were on a religious pilgrimage during Eid. This reality means that mosques, churches, pilgrims, children and so on – are not free from Islamist hatred even during holy Muslim periods like Eid and Ramadan.

 

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

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Iraq’s Jewish identity faces extinction

Iraq’s Jewish Identity Faces Extinction

By Lee Jay Walker
THE MODERN TOKYO TIMES

 
Ur of the Chaldees in southern Iraq: About 6,200-6,500 years ago there existed a civilization located between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers near the Persian Gulf. The area was known as Mesopotamia and the city was called Ur.

In the West I have read daily accounts about the plight of the Palestinians at the hands of the state of Israel. This article is not about the rights or wrongs of the state of Israel; instead, it is about the forgotten history of the destruction of Judaism in the Middle East outside of the state of Israel.

However, instead of focusing on the entire region I will solely concentrate on the extinction of Judaism and the ending of the Jewish legacy in Iraq. Reut R. Cohen, a journalist and researcher ( www.reutrcohen.com ), states that
“The Iraqi Jewish population once numbered at 150,000 in 1947. Today there are 7 Jews living in Iraq who hide their Jewish identity and live in fear. The community has been totally ethnically cleansed and destroyed.”

This in itself is very alarming and disturbing because we are talking about a community which thrived in this part of the world well before the onset of Islam. Yet even more alarming, is how this tragic story and others are being whitewashed before they have even been told to the general public.

Yes, information about the destruction of Judaism and the Jewish legacy will be widely known in Israel and in certain American circles; but for people like me, brought up in the United Kingdom, I can not recall this brutal and tragic reality. Therefore, I am very grateful to Reut R. Cohen and other distinguished writers who are informing me about a history which is being neglected within the mass media in general.

Also, if we ignore the “ethnic cleansing” of Judaism in Iraq then we are going to enable the ongoing “ethnic cleansing” of other minorities in Iraq. For sadly, in modern day Iraq the endless persecution of Christians, Shabaks, Mandaeans, Yazidis, and other minorities, is taking place. Therefore, the destruction of Judaism is important because the ongoing destruction of other minorities is happening and Assyrian Christianity and others are facing the wrath of Islam in modern day Iraq.

Turning back to the Jews of Iraq then I will focus on the article written by Reut R. Cohen who wrote an article called “The Persecution of Jews in Iraq” which was published on her website on January 26, 2009.

In her article she states that the “Iraqi Jews take pride in their distinguished customs till today. The Iraqi Jewish community is among the oldest in the world and has an incredibly rich history of learning and scholarship. Abraham, the father of the Jewish people, was born in Ur of the Chaldees, in southern Iraq. Jews had prospered in what was then Babylonia for 1200 years prior to the Muslim conquest in 634 AD.”

Therefore, we are talking about a community with a rich and cherished history and one which runs deep within the veins of Iraq itself. For just like the Assyrians, we are talking about two ethnic groups which were part and parcel of a great civilization and both ethnic groups have a rich history but both suffered deeply after the Islamic conquests of Iraq.

Today, you only have 7 Jews left in modern day Iraq and apparently they have to hide their Jewish identity because of Islamic intolerance. Meanwhile, Assyrian Christians and other minorities are being persecuted in modern day Iraq and just like the Jewish legacy which is being dismantled brick by brick in Iraq; the Assyrians face the same fate but the world remains mainly silent.

Turning back to history once more the Islamic conquest enforced dhimmitude on all non-Muslims and Christians, Jews, and others, were forced to accept their dhimmi status or face the consequences of slavery or death. Others chose to convert to Islam in order to escape such open discrimination and during harsh times the tax levies on non-Muslims gathered in further converts to Islam because they just wanted to escape their endless misery.

Endless numbers of massacres took place over the centuries against all non-Muslims and much depended on the ruler because despite open discrimination which was based on dhimmitude, it is clear that persecution ebbed and flowed. For example, when the Turks re-conquered Iraq in 1638 it is claimed that around 10% of the Ottoman army was Jewish. However, in time the Ottoman Empire would also lead to brutal times and pogroms and systematic persecution took place against Jews, Christians, and other minorities.

The twentieth century would turn out to be the final nail in the coffin for Jews in Iraq. Reut R. Cohen in her article adds a tragic and sad personal dimension because she states that “My paternal grandfather vividly recalled his experiences living as a Jew in Baghdad and the Farhud in 1941 which took place during the traditional Jewish harvest festival holiday of Shavuot. I learned from my grandfather (pictured on the left with me in 1987) that the Farhud literally translates to “pogrom” or “violent dispossession” in Arabic. This was a Nazi pogrom coordinated with genocidal leaders like the Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini and Rashid Ali. In a two-day period Arab mobs went on a rampage in Baghdad and other cities in Iraq. Nearly 150 Jews were killed and more than 2,000 injured; some 900 Jewish homes were destroyed and looted, and hundreds of Jewish-owned shops were robbed and destroyed.”

Reut R. Cohen continues by stating that older members of her family witnessed harrowing scenes. This applies to pregnant Jewish women being raped and then mutilated. While her great-grandfather had to pretend to be Muslim in order to safeguard his entire family.

She also adds that the British “did not intervene or seem to care about what was happening to the Jewish community.” This also brings back memories of how Western powers ignored the Armenian Christian and Assyrian Christian genocide in 1915 in modern day Turkey. The same period also witnessed the Greek Orthodox tragedy and Syrian Orthodox tragedy because the genocide of Christians in Turkey embroiled the entire Christian community.

In 1950 and 1951 the Iraqi parliament allowed the government of Israel and the Jewish Agency to airlift approximately 110,000 Jews during Operations Ezra and Nehemiah. 18,000 Kurdish Jews were part of these operations and a further number of Jews were smuggled out of Iraq via Iran.

For Jews left behind their dwindling numbers did not help because 11 Jews were hanged in public in 1968 and new anti-Jewish measures were taken. It was abundantly clear by now that the Jews of Iraq were nearing the end and it is now estimated that only 7 Jews remain in modern day Iraq.

However, for some Islamists this is not good enough and now Ezekiel’s tomb at Kifel is in the process or being completely Islamized under “allegations of renovation.” It would appear, however, that renovation applies to dismantling all Jewish traces and this reminds me of the destruction of all Buddhist monuments in Afghanistan.

The article by Reut R. Cohen also relates with ongoing events today. After all, the tragedy that struck the Jewish community in Iraq is now happening with increasing force against all non-Muslims. Therefore, the rich history of Assyria and Assyrian Christianity is under threat and the same applies to other minorities, notably the Shabaks, Mandaeans, and Yazidis.

LEE JAY WALKER

leejayteach@hotmail.com

http://www.leejaywalker.wordpress.com

http://islamicpersecution.wordpress.com

 http://themoderntokyotimes.wordpress.com

 

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