Another Deplorable Attack Against Chaldean

Christians in Iraq




October 7, 2003 Mosul - Iraq (CNA) In another sign of the rising tide of Islamic fundamentalism in Iraq and its drive to dictate by force its agenda, a Chaldean Christian was killed last week in Mosul, in northern Iraq when his shop was attacked by an RPG grenade. The reason for the killing of Mr. Safa Sabah Khoshi and critically injuring his cousin Mr. Meyaser Karim Khoshi is the ownership of those two Chaldeans of a liquor store.

Since the fall of the despotic regime of Saddam Hussein, Islamic fundamentalists have been engaged openly in widespread terrorist acts throughout Iraq threatening the Christian owners of shops selling alcoholic beverages with death if they do not close their businesses.

Having been locked out of gaining meaningful governmental and military positions as well as receiving large business contracts,  Iraqi Chaldean Christians put their energies and talents into the "services" sector of the Iraqi economy. Actually, Chaldeans were the first to start modern management of hotels in Iraq.

Since Islamic teachings prohibits the consumption of alcohol by its adherents, the different Iraqi governments encouraged Iraqi Christians to enter that market, and to satisfy their Muslim fundamentalists they went as far as restricting the issuing of the licenses for this "dirty trade" to Christians only. Over time, thousands of Iraqi Chaldean families became dependent in their daily living on the proceeds they receive from their honest and hard work.

As if it was not enough to discriminate against Chaldeans because of their unique ethnicity and Christian religion, the different Iraqi governments continued to use them as their pawns in their political struggle with Islamic fundamentalism. That is by satisfying the hatred those groups garner against non-Muslims by introducing decrees that restrict the selling of alcohol (as Saddam Hussein did in his last years in power) or by forcing the Christian children of divorced parents into Islam whenever one of the parents converts, willingly or forcefully, into Islam.

So far and since the fall of Saddam Hussein, tens of targeted attacks were carried out against Iraqi Christians across Iraq. Last May, 2003 in Basra, southern Iraq, two Chaldean liquor owners were killed when their shops were attacked with machine guns. Also, two more Chaldeans were killed in Baghdad and for the same reason. Add to that, the burning down of many liquor factories and shops in the Greater Baghdad area which were all owned by Chaldean Christians.

Not only did those heinous crimes result in the loss of innocent lives, but worse they have created tremendous hardships for those Chaldean families whose very livelihood were attacked. With lack of alternative jobs, many of them are currently living off the charitable contributions of the local Chaldean churches.

Despite the many pleads by Chaldean religious as well as political leaders with the Coalition Provisional Authority as well as with Muslim religious clerks, those attacks seemed to continue unabated. Without correctly addressing this problem and bringing to justice those Islamic terrorists, Iraqi Chaldeans will continue to be an easy target for such criminal thugs who are bound to impose their distorted version of Islam by force.


 Chaldean News Agency