Friday, 31 December 2010

Bombings in Iraq Target Homes of Christians

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Iraqi ChristiansFollowing the October 31 massacre at Our Lady of Salvation church in Baghdad, the dwindling Christian community in Iraq decided to cancel public observances of the Christmas season, in the hope of avoiding further bloodshed at the hands of their Muslim neighbors. Although Muslims attacked churches in Nigeria and the Philippines, it seemed as is the Iraqis might have some respite from the horrors of Jihad.

However, any such hopes were dashed Thursday night, as a series of attacks on Christian homes in Baghdad signaled that no sanctuary remains for the persecuted remnant in their native land.

An Associated Press article (“Iraq Christians bury their dead after more attacks”) gives a sense of the calculated brutality behind the most recent attacks:

At least four Christian homes in Baghdad were hit Thursday night in the first string of attacks since al-Qaida-linked militants last week renewed their threats of violence against Christians in Iraq. ...

Father Mukhlis, a priest at Our Lady of Salvation church, the target of the October siege, said as many as 12 violent incidents occurred against Christian homes across the capital Thursday night.

Police officials confirmed seven attacks against Christian homes. In the deadliest attack, two people were killed when a bomb exploded outside a Christian family's house in Baghdad's eastern neighborhood of al-Gahdir. Three people were injured in the blast, police and hospital officials said.

Six other people were wounded in four separate bombings across the capital on Thursday night, police said. A sounds grenade that landed inside a Christian house in the Dora district in southern Baghdad, injured three others.

One person was wounded when a rocket hit a Christian home in downtown Baghdad Thursday evening, police said Friday.

Hospital officials confirmed the casualties.

The coordinated character of the attacks, and the decision to target the homes of Christians, marked a deadly development in the war against the Christians of Iraq. The Baghdad massacre clearly signaled that militant Muslims would allow no place for Christians in post-occupation Iraq other than in a state of ‘dhimmitude,’ being relegated to a permanent status as second-class citizens. Attacking both the churches and the homes of Christians signals that, as far as the Jihadists are concerned, there will be no place for private or public expressions of Christianity in the new Iraq.

At the same time, even emigration is not guaranteed to deliver Iraqi Christians from persecution — as the publication of an al-Qaeda “death list” of 200 Coptic Christians recently made clear. Copts residing in Canada and Austria are among those targeted by Jihadists — over one hundred of those included on the “death list” reside in Canada, and may have lived there for decades. As militant Islamists grow bolder, there is no reason to believe their rage against other emigre groups will be any less brutal.

The martyrdom of an elderly Christian couple gives a sense of the savagery of the Jihadists. According to one press account,

The latest bloody attack on Iraq's Christians was brutal in its simplicity. Militants left a bomb on the doorstep of the home of an elderly Christian couple and rang the doorbell.

When Fawzi Rahim, 76, and his 78-year-old wife Janet Mekha answered the doorbell Thursday night, the bomb exploded, killing them, Mekha's brother told The Associated Press on Friday. Three other people, apparently passers-by, were wounded.

Clearly no one could view such a couple as a ‘threat’ to Islam; rather, in the words of Fr. Nadhir Dakko, the priest who presided at their funeral: “Today, we stand next to two martyrs whose crime was that they preferred to stay in their country.” And the priest bravely addressed the plight of the Church in Iraq:

"The Christians in Iraq are always targeted because they do not have militias and they do not believe in the power of weapons," said Father Nadhir Dakko, a priest at St. George Chaldean Church, who performed the funeral service for the slain couple.

Speaking to reporters after the service, Dakko railed against what he called the government's inability to "establish peace and security" for all Iraqis, Muslim and Christian. All Iraqis are suffering, he said, but the situation is harder for Christians because they are a minority.

"Iraq is bleeding every day," he said.

Iraq is bleeding every day, and it is bleeding because of the myth of “moderate Islam.” The West imagined it could meddle in the politics of Iraq and fashion a country in its own image, while ignoring the fundamental beliefs of the majority of the people residing in that nation. The political correctness of America’s political elite has led to a decade of hunting for the unicorn of “moderate Islam.” Thus a mythological worldview appears to reign in both major political parties because the post-Christian mindset which prevails among the intellectual classes of Western civilization cannot imagine that anyone takes his religious beliefs seriously. The most brutal atrocities of the 20th century were undertaken by atheist or neopagan socialist ideologues from Germany and Russia, from China and Cambodia — the savagery was an example of atheism in action, and in every case, Christians were among the tyrants’ targets — often the primary targets.

Now, another, more ancient, tyranny is regaining its global influence. The ideology which was halted by the Battle of Tours, which marched to the gates of Vienna, and which slaughtered the Christians of Armenia, is flexing its might. What remains to be seen is whether the nature of the threat will be recognized in time.

Photo of mourners carrying the coffin of a slain Iraqi Christian: AP Images

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