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What about Iraq’s Christians? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The story here is not about the surprising attention that is being paid to the Christians in the east, as some claim these days, particularly with regards to the biased propaganda being put forward about protecting the minorities in Syria, as in reality this is nothing more than a desperate attempt to rescue Bashar al-Assad. Indeed, this is my third article, or more, about the Christians in Iraq. Therefore, the question that must be asked today is: what about Iraq’s Christians, following the withdrawal of US troops from the country?

In the midst of the talk of the fears about the minorities in the region, and particularly Syria, and attempts to deceive everybody and portray al-Assad as the defender of the minorities, particularly from the Iraqi government, the issue of the state – and future of – Iraq’s Christians following the US withdrawal must also be raised. Last week, for example, an attempted kidnapping of a young Iraqi Christian occurred, however you did not, of course, find anyone raising awareness about this story, not even on Facebook or Twitter, or even on the part of the activists in the region, or those who call themselves human rights activists. Even the inflammatory media, which today has suddenly and surprisingly emerged as the champion of minorities rights in the region, failed to take notice of this. The reasons for this are clear, of course, namely that defending the human rights of Iraq’s Christian community will not grant one popularity, or media coverage, particularly from the passionate Iranian media, nor will this guarantee funding!

Questions here must be asked of the Iraqi government, and some of those in Lebanon, for so long as they claim to fear for the minorities with regards to possibility of the Salafists coming to power in Syria should the al-Assad regime collapse, shouldn’t they also show some sympathy with regards to what is happening to Iraq’s Christians, particularly as those that rule Baghdad are not Salafists, but rather are hostile to anything that is hostile to the interests of Iran? Of course Iraq’s Christian community cannot be defended in the same, by those in Iraq or Lebanon, as they are defending al-Assad. This demonstrates that all their talk about their fears for the Syrian minorities following the collapse of the al-Assad regime is nothing more than false propaganda serving sectarian objectives and intended to respond to the appetite for sectarian rule. In reality, they do not care at all about what happens to the Syrian people, whether the majority or the minorities, rather the most important thing is to defend the interests of revolutionary Khomeinist Iran, even if the death toll in Syria now exceeds 5,000, and regardless of the number of people who have been arrested or have disappeared.

Therefore the talk of some in Iraq and Lebanon about protecting Syria’s minorities, and their fears for them should the al-Assad regime collapse, is nothing more than false propaganda. Unfortunately even some of Lebanon’s Christians have not said a word in defense of Iraq’s Christians; they have not asked al-Maliki – who is no Salafist – to protect Iraq’s Christian community following the withdrawal of US troops. It is truly shameful that even Saddam Hussein protected Iraq’s Christian community, indeed he even appointed a Christian Foreign Minister [Tariq Aziz], who for his part is being threatened with execution by the al-Maliki government. As for the current Iraqi regime, it is threatening to displace this same Christian community!

Therefore, the latest defense of al-Assad, under the pretext that the collapse of his regime will raise fears about the rights of Syria’s minorities, is nothing more than false propaganda serving sectarian interests, otherwise where is their concern about Iraq’s Christians community? Why did Iraqis protest about Bahrain, but are silent about Iraq’s Christians?

Therefore we say: enough sectarianism, and enough lies!

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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