Update on Christians: Y-News Translation

 

An article from “Y-News – Baghdad”

July 21, 2014:

I am Christian-A message from Iraqi Muslims against violence

In the al-Ghadeer region east of Baghdad, dozens of Muslim civilian activists gathered at Saint George’s Church in solidarity with Iraqi Christians. These Christians have been forcibly displaced by ISIS militants acting in the name of a so-called Caliphate State. Entering the church on Sunday, one could not differentiate between Christians and Muslims.  Everybody gathered focused only on speaking of peace.

The atmosphere in the church sent a message to the world saying that there is no difference between Christians and Muslims in this country: Iraq belongs to us; there is no place for terrorism in it. Christians and Muslims stood together, the former reciting verses from the Bible while the latter recited Surat Al-Fatihah from the Quran. The Bible and the Quran were wrapped with the Iraqi flag, the Iraqi Flag was mediating the audience, who stood in the courtyard of the church. Attendees’ faces mixed together, reflecting the unity of Iraq. The Christians at the Church welcomed their supporters with smiles for their solidarity.  Civic activists placed a banner at the entrance of the church, reading “No for displacement any Iraqi, I am Iraqi…I am Christian.

Mr. Yousif Al-Tamimi, organizer of this solidarity activity with the Christians, said to “Y-News”: “This solidarity demonstration expresses the discontent of Iraqis regarding the forced displacement faced by the Christians in the northern city of Mosul. We are a group of civic activists who insist on our Iraqi citizenship and nothing else. We have left all other affiliations behind us.”

 

He added that “the suffering that the Christians are facing in Mosul embodies the ugliest pictures of violations against humanity.  The aim of ISIS is to return back the situation in Iraq to the days of ancient tribal judgments.”

When he gave his speech during Sunday mass, the Patriarch of the St. George’s Church expressed his gratitude towards the civil activists for their support, and said: “Just as you raised the banner that said ‘I am an Iraqi…  I am Christian,’ so will I say ‘I am an Iraqi…I am Muslim.’”

He also said that “Iraq is undergoing a dangerous time now…where some entities are trying to disturb the unity of our society.  And those who are displacing the Christians now do not represent Islam at all. True Islam is what you have come with.  It is when you expressed your rejection for any human rights violation that may affect any Iraqi, where Islam is a religion of love and peace.”

The Patriarch addressed the youth civilian activists who attended the church, saying, “You are the hope of Iraq, you will build this country, your message is a humanitarian one, devoid of any affiliations, where Iraq have gathered us all together.  I thank you for your support, which will remain known through history.”

This was followed by a statement from the civil activists’ representatives, in which he condemned the forced displacements against the Christians in Mosul, while indicating that the government must take responsibility for protecting the Christians. Finally, he described the role of civil society organizations as resisting what the suffering of the Christians.

–Mustafa Saadoun

Translation by Iraq Foundation staff

 

Additional Reading:

Muslims show solidarity with Iraqi Christians in Baghdad rally

Concern and Support for Iraqi Christians Forced to Flee Mosul

Iraqi’s Waterless Christians: The Campaign to Expel a Religion

 

Comments are closed.