Saturday, August 27, 2005

HERE'S ONE ASSYRIAN CHRISTIAN who is adamantly opposed to the Iraqi draft-constitution. He is especially concerned with women's rights and the rights of minorities. This WorldNetDaily piece is reprinted by AINA. Excerpt:
Iraq's forgotten minorities including the Assyrians from the ancient Assyrian Empire ("The men of Nineveh" referred to by Jesus Christ himself in the Bible and the one remaining people groups on Earth who can watch "The Passion" by Mel Gibson without subtitles since their native tongue is ancient Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke.)

Other non-Muslim and non-Arab Iraqi minorities include Mandeans and Yezidis, plus there are the often-forgotten minority Muslim groups such as the Turkoman and Shabak who are oppressed by Barzani Kurds. Although hardly mentioned in the major media, these ancient people have been fleeing Iraq in unprecedented numbers under persecution by Islamic militants and severe discrimination by the Kurdish Muslims, among whom many of these minorities live in northern Iraq.

And this New York Newsday article has more on Islamist persecution of Iraqi minorities and women, with a focus on Basra. Excerpt:
Not just the Christians, but many of the city's minorities - from obscure sects like the ancient Sabeans to the Sunni Muslims who used to run Iraq and still predominate in the rest of the Arab world - live in fear of the hard-line Shia religious parties and their militias that now rule Iraq's second-largest city.

Freedom has been curtailed for women, too. Several decades ago, almost no woman in Basra covered her head. Now, they all do, under fear of harassment or worse. Women working for foreign companies or governments, and those considered to have loose morals, have been marked for death by the militants - two Iraqi sisters who worked in the laundry at the American compound in Basra were assassinated last year.

For more on the Sabaean Mandaeans, go here.

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