Aramean Organisations ask for protection of Aramean spiritual leaders in Iraq

The Aramean of Aram-Naharaim Organisation and the Aramaic Democratic Organisation have sent on 22-4-2008 a letter to the Iraqi government in which they raise their concerns about the insecurity, killings and casting Arameans out of Iraq and ask for a special protection programme for the Aramean spiritual leaders in Iraq. Please find below the letter


http://www.iraqichristians.org/English/ArameanOrganisations_Protection_leaders_Iraq_25_4_2008.htm

Nr.: 2008-04-22/03

Netherlands, 22nd of April 2008

Subject: Request for protection of Aramean clergy in Iraq against increasing threats and killings.

Republic of Iraq

His Excellency Siamand A. Banaa

Johan de Wittlaan 16

2517 JR Den Haag

The Netherlands

Your Excellency;

We, the undersigned, the Arameans of Aram-Naharaim Organization and the Aramaic Democratic Organization write to raise our concerns regarding the increasing threats and killings of Christian Aramean spiritual leaders in Iraq and humbly request for their protection by a special anti-terror unit.

The unthinkable has happened. We are now familiar with threats to our Aramean spiritual leaders; for with clock-like regularity they have to leave their residences for safer places and only after a while they return back to their congregation. In addition to this, our nation is plagued by relentless violence, insecurity, attacks, threats, killings and confiscation of their heart and home triggering them to leave the lands which they have inhabited for thousands of years.

Nonetheless, we still found it impossible to imagine that a bishop of the East- Aramean Chaldean Church of Mosul would be brutally killed, his body being found on 13th of March 2008. [1] We were indeed shocked by the killing of the West- Aramean Syrian- Orthodox priest Paulus Iskandar on 12th October 2006 [2] and the West- Aramean Isoh Majeed Hadaya on 22 November 2006. [3]

In disgust and horror we took note of the killing of the East- Aramean Chaldean priest Ragied Aziz Gannie, along with three deacons, on 3 June 2007. [4] However it was beyond our imagination that a peaceful minded person like Mgr. Paulus Faraj Raho who loved Iraq so much and was a preacher of respect, love, unity and solidarity would be targeted by those whose dictionary lacks these noble terms.

As our nation was not yet recovered from this paralysis and abomination, on Saturday 5th of April 2008 [5] our nation was rocked yet again with a new horror namely, the cowardly killing in cold blood of the West- Aramean Syrian Orthodox Priest of Baghdad, Yusuf Adel Abudi. Father Yusuf Adel Abudi was a shining example of a Christian spiritual leader working for unity, understanding and love between all Iraqis. Unfortunately this policy is not appreciated by those who have no interest in a stable and democratic Iraq and hence have implacably killed him.

Like we have stated in our letter of 29-8-2007 [6] to His Excellency President Jalal Talabani, his Excellency Prime Minister Nouri Kamal Al-Maliki and his Excellency Hosyar Zebari, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, we again reiterate our position that these shocking atrocities, which utterly paralyzed our nation, are certainly not committed by the peaceful minded vast majority of the Iraqi people. What the overwhelming majority of the Iraqi people want is peace, love and brotherhood for everybody in Iraq irrespective of faith, ethnicity and gender.

We were indeed strengthened in our cause by the overwhelming and heart-warming support, solidarity and sympathy demonstrated by Iraqis after the killing of Mgr. Paulus Faraj Raho, including participation in demonstrations by Islamic and non-Islamic spiritual and laymen leaders. The unambiguous condemnations and abundant expressions of horror and disgust by Islamic and non-Islamic spiritual leaders of all ethnicities in Iraq towards this cowardly killing, proves to us in no uncertain terms that these horrible atrocities, beyond the imagination of any sincere human being, could not possibly have been carried out by the Iraqi people who are thirsty for peace and unity.

On the other hand, we have the reason to believe that these horrendous acts not only against the Aramean indigenous nation of Iraq, but also against many peaceful and innocent Iraqi people are thought-out, fuelled, channeled and carried out under the supervision of outsiders who have no interest in a stable, prosperous and democratic Iraq with basic human rights standards and values. The main goal of this hatred, bloodshed and killing promoted by the outsiders is to create more chaos and anarchy, therefore preventing Iraq from becoming a shining example in the Middle-East where the law of respect, peace, love and brotherhood is applied in stead of the law of the jungle, preferred by those whose dictionary lacks words like respect, brotherhood and love.

Your Excellency,

We wish to underscore that we have no doubt about the willingness and efforts of the Iraqi government tot protect all her citizens, including the Aramean and Christian clergy in Iraq. Unfortunately, as we have painfully witnessed, these efforts are not sufficient, because they could not prevent the aforementioned heartrending and paralyzing atrocities. One important reason is because of the present state of chaos in Iraq, the government lacks the power and the scope to provide her citizens with the minimum protection. Another point is that in contrast to others, the various Aramean denominations do not have their own militia to protect themselves and hence completely depend on the Iraqi government for their safety.

For this reason, we believe that an extraordinary situation asks for temporarily exceptional measures. Therefore, we think that it would be worthwhile to consider the possibility of protection of the Christian clergy by a special anti-terror unit. Such a protection program could not only stem the tide of threat and insecurity but also positively facilitate a general feeling of safety among our nation in Iraq.

Facing the present unprecedented and difficult circumstances we believe, your Excellency, that the Iraqi government cannot handle alone such a protection program and could ask for assistance from United Nations or EU for realization of these temporarily necessary measures in protection of our spiritual leaders.

We wish to conclude our letter with the hope that you have noticed our sincere concerns and will urge the government to consider our humble request for the protection of the Aramean Christian clergies and others in Iraq who wish to build up an Iraq where everybody feels at home without being threatened, attacked, cast out or killed because of ones religion, ethnicity or political orientation.

  Respectfully yours,

 

Gabriel Sengo

Chairman

Arameans of Aram-Naharaim Organization

Gabi Gallo

Chairman

Aramaic Democratic Organsiation (ArDO)

 

Copy sent to: Secretary General of United Nations, European Union

Footnotes:

[1] http://www.iraqichristians.org/English/East-Aramean_Chaldean_Bishop_Killed_13_3_2008.htm

[2] http://www.aramnahrin.org/English/Priester_Iskandar_12_10_2006.htm

[3] http://www.aramnahrin.org/English/Isoh_Majeed_Haday_22_11_2006.htm

[4] http://www.aramnahrin.org/English/MurderRagiedAzizGanie_3_6_2007.htm

[5] http://www.iraqichristians.org/English/West-Aramean_YusufAdelAbudi_Killed_Iraq_4_5_2008.htm

[6] http://www.iraqichristians.org/English/Letter_Iraqi_Government_29_8_2007.htm