"Saddam Hussein, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Shiite Revivalism and Sunni Insurgency: Can Religious Pluralism Survive in Iraq?
"Saddam Hussein, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Shiite Revivalism and Sunni Insurgency: Can Religious Pluralism Survive in Iraq?
- First of all, I have to express my thanks and appreciation to Dr. John Eibner, CSI, and to all those in charge of this event, I’d also like to express my gratitude for being one of the speakers about an issue that continues to concern the international public while there are no results to be found for the people of this cause, I’m talking about the religious pluralism which mean also the protection of religious minorities, “minorities”, it’s a term that hides many characteristics of these indigenous components because the term “minorities” is derived from a digital numeric view, while in fact these components are large if we take into consideration that they are the original residents who lived and established an ancient civilization, in this regards, it’s enough to cite what UNISCO said about minorities in Iraq and Syria for example, especially Assyrians.
- Talking about the religious pluralism in Iraq and in the middle east calls for more clarification, which in order to complete requires the recognition of the following facts:
The First Fact:
what is being published in the media, of all types, in regards to the conditions of minorities in the middle east and the recurrent violations endured by them doesn’t reflect the tragic situation in which they struggle, it represents a tiny part of the reality, part of what is published aims to fuel certain interests, to show officials as real leaders who defend these components while the reality is bitter and indescribable, within which Iraqi minorities, especially Christians, since WWI and until this day, minorities were the victims of what was divided and shared in Sykes–Picot Agreement year 1916. Since the establishment of the Iraqi state in 1921 until this day, recurrent injustices against Christians and Ezidies is a fact that floats on the surface in certain occasions then goes back to disappear in others, but injustices do exist, within which you can find massacres such as Simele massacre in 1933, also known as (Assyrians’ massacre), when approximately 3,000 Christian Assyrian were killed, and the massacre of Sorya.
The Second Fact:
The majority of people introducing themselves as defender/protector of minorities’ rights, from the large components, practice this political orientation for goals linked to the interests of their components, and not because they dignify minorities, this double standard way of work, we can call this political hypocrisy, rules the political components you hear about everyday as keen to preserve the existence of minorities, and ready to coordinate with the international effort to support their rights and protect them, we can witness such trend in the Iraqi political and security environments, one of the samples of this political hypocrisy is that until this day we couldn’t change one law which targets the rights of non-Muslim minorities and especially Christians, Ezidies and Mandaean Sabians, while you hear all the fuss about defending minorities.
The Third Fact:
The international community is only marginally present in the Iraqi political scene, I’m not denying the efforts of the United National in caring for minorities’ rights, but I’m enquiring about the size of that compared to the dangerous violations undertaken by the large components with an obsessive authoritarian tendency, and where are the results which we could take pride in this field?!.
Also, the American and western presence in Iraq from 2003 to the end of 2011, although of its effective influence in the decision- making particularly in the political and security field in Iraq, didn’t pay a clear attention to minorities. Minorities from 2003 to 2015 were out of the American and western calculations in general, the attention was allocated only to Shi’ites, Sunnis and Kurds. While Non-Muslim minorities, especially Christians have paid the price of the American presence in Iraq, with American indifference to their dilemma.
The Fourth Fact:
the decline in the number of Christians in the middle east is due to a number of factors such as terrorism, armed violence, isolation and exclusion policies, decline in real jobs’ and educational opportunities for minorities, have taken part, in one way or another, in the reluctance to establish new families through marriage, it’s enough to point to a statistic from 2014, that in each 10 Christian girls only 2 have the chance to get married, while spinsterhood prevails among the others, we can also notice from the statistic that young Iraqi Christian men are reluctant to go through marriage and forming a family due to the economic and psychological conditions, in addition to the lack of opportunities of education, I’m talking in a manner of percentages, while I assure you that the waves of terrorism and violence which strengthened its grip of the Iraqi reality, greatly participated in making emigration and displacement the main solution for this dilemma suffered by minorities and especially Christians, therefore when we say that the rate of decrease in the number of Iraqi Christians have reached 70% compared to what it used to be, we are taking this fact from the field itself, we can also point here that the American existence in Iraq caused, the death of around 1,000 Christian citizens according to confirmed data.
The Fifth Fact:
This is in relation to the side-conflicts controlling minorities on the basis of each minority by itself, if people consider that having numerous organizations, bodies and civil and political institutions a sign of goodness that has a positive impact, then in the Iraqi case that doesn’t work because the number of these entities is based on personal and institutional benefits, normally covered with a religion, ethnicity or national race, therefore the patronage phenomena increased for certain political entities on the expense of having a united position, I’m quite sad to add that few clerics have played their role in this, therefore we had numerous and contradicting proposals submitting solutions to confront the present challenges. Meanwhile, the current situation helped the largest sectarian and territorial components and blocs to attract a number of minorities’ personnel therefore for these people, instead of being loyal to the rights of minorities, their allegiance have been given to the largest components, I think this is one of the reasons for the destruction that controlled the position of Iraqi minorities.
The Sixth fact:
This is in relation to the condition of disunity controlling minorities in the region, with the raise of regional and local different pressures which differ from country to other, we can understand that despite the lack of real bridges to a joint work that would preserve the Christian identity in the middle east, while putting into consideration that we watch, read and listen to proposals about the unity of the Christian fate in the middle east, I’m wondering while standing in front of you; doesn’t this detract from having a unified position and from the conditions necessary to confront the challenges we suffer from?
The Seventh Fact:
This one is in relation to the authoritarian rule of the largest components which dominate the situation within the area of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq KRI, and in the large swath of territory located under the authority of the federal government.
These components, unfortunately, have been seduced by power therefore couldn’t realize, until this day, that by trying to undermine minorities’ rights, and fueling authoritarian decisions and autocracy tendencies, they are putting themselves in a political vortex that would eventually greatly harm their interests because their presence will depend on endless bloody conflicts, through my analysis of the Iraqi situation, I find that the upcoming war will be in between these components because all minorities have been displaced and the country is their theatre only.
What governs the political mentality within these large components is a mix of ignorance, narrow benefits and tactical positions empty from any moral or patriotic deed, these large components deliberately forgot the importance of minorities, a forgetfulness that will offend the reality about the ancient civilized role of these minorities which had the honor to establish the Mesopotamian civilization since the days of Hammurabi going through the days of the Assyrian empire of which we are the real grandchildren, so how is the situation going to be fixed if their demographic roots are being removed?.
The Eighth Fact:
This is in relation to two views within the context of violations, the first view relates to lacking limits for the concept of power with the largest components in Iraq, therefore they act with complete freedom, according to goals fueled by dominating, controlling and containing the capabilities of minorities, the second view generates from this tendency which moves in the context of eradicating not only isolating and containing and both can’t find any power with the minorities to resist them, therefore the limits of minorities power are always infiltrated.
The Ninth Fact:
The reality indicates that the area is witnessing a fundamentalist Islamic expansion since the eighties and the early nineties, In Iraq, this expansion has become clear after the first gulf war and the removal of Saddam’s forces from Kuwait, that’s when the international embargo was imposed on Iraq, and the Iraqi people were punished for the acts of the head of the regime, as a result to the embargo, the Iraqi civil values changed, people took refuge in religion for salvation, which was taken advantage of by the dictatorial regime aiming to extend its rule, leading the tide by launching the Faith Campaign in 1994 calling upon people to reach out to God, the prophet and the Quran, as a result the sentence Allah O Akbar (God is great) was placed on the Iraqi flag using his hand writing, social clubs, night clubs and liquor stores were closed, children, employees and his security and military were taken to courses to memorize the Quran, and religious education was imposed. While the Ba'ath party was a secular party, Saudi Arabia exploited poverty northern Iraq as a result to the economic crisis in the nineties, so it offered support through Islamic aid agencies by building mosques and religious institutions and centers in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. This shift produced negative effects post-Saddam and the developments post-2003.
The Tenth Fact:
The protection of minorities can only be achieved in a country of law and institutions, the rule of law and the existence of a patriotic will for those in charge for co-living between the different components of the society, and equal citizenship, gives a guarantee and provides protection and comfort for minorities to stay and participate. Establishing a state run by certain ideological or religious tendencies in a religiously and racially diverse country must lead to discrimination. Therefore, the Iraqi reality exposes weakness within the rule of law and the presence of discriminatory laws against non-Muslim minorities, in addition to the presence of an authority that cannot control the economic and security capabilities of the country, but is subject to political and security tensions, chaos and the absence of the rule of law makes it subject to danger from the unrestrained armed groups, because minorities represent the weakest link. Therefore, minorities can only be served by the presence of a contemporary civil state with a decentralized democratic system that recognizes religious, political, ethnic and cultural diversity within the context of the regional unity of the country.
Mentioning these ten facts facilitates analyzing and debating how minorities survived in the era of Saddam Hussain, also in the second phase, meaning after overthrowing the dictator in 2003, then the rise of abuses committed against minorities in a wide-dangerous and open field which included numerous aggressive obnoxious abuses such as murder, captivity, abduction, property confiscation, coercion to change religious affiliation, destruction of civilized historical traditional symbols which distinguishes these Iraqi components in the fields of religion and civilization.
Minorities Under Saddam Hussain’s regime:
Diagnosing their conditions during the rule of that dictator doesn’t require a difficult research, everything was clear, Saddam’s regime practiced authoritarianism approach using security, political and mobilization organisms that crushed all the components of the Iraqi society using an ideology based on the preservation his regime by all means necessary, therefore, the authority was tyrannical by all means, adopting a policy aiming to change the priorities of Iraqi, instead of looking for democracy, development, opportunities and the guarantee of dignity, that dictatorial regime managed to achieve a fundamental change in these priorities by making the nation only think about survival from the abhorrent wars, a war with Iran lasting 8 years then the invasion of Kuwait followed by the Iraqi tragedy of murder, terrorism and hunger as a result of the embargo imposed by strict international resolutions, therefore, we can say that minorities, especially Christians, have suffered from organized terrorism, to explain that we say that Iraqi Christians were subject to violations because of being a religious minority living under the Faith Campaign launched by Saddam Hussein who used to pass and sign his decisions, messages and data in the context of this campaign “the believing God’s slave Saddam Hussein”. This campaign established a base for the development of religious extremism in the country against the other non-Muslim religions.
On the other hand, the security and military situation also reflected on Christians, compulsory military service for Christians as is the case for Iraqi youths where thousands of Christians spent their military service at the front line with the Iranian forces and during the Kuwait war, many were killed, according to statistics, more than 50,000 young Christian men were either killed, lost or captured during the 8 years’ war between Iraq and Iran, Christians also lost hundreds during the invasion war and liberation of Kuwait and the outcomes of that war.
The other package of violations was represented by crimes of Genocide carried out by Saddam in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, thousands of villages were wiped out, these villages were publicly announced as being Kurdish but in fact included hundreds of Christian Assyrian Chaldean and Ezidi villages, I can also add here that in Al- Anfal military operations launched by Saddam Hussein against the Kurds in 1988 hit the heart of Christians with more than 120 Assyrian Chaldean villages destroyed and its villagers displaced, as was the case for Kurds who fled to Iraq or Turkey, many Christian families left to these countries seeking a refuge, also the chemical attack in Halabja and other parts in North Iraq carried out by Saddam’s forces which is documented internationally included Christian victims.
During my academic research related to the protection of minorities, I discovered that Saddam’s regime destroyed more than 175 Assyrian Chaldean villages in Duhok and Nineveh during the seventies and the eighties, many churches and monasteries going back to the earliest centuries of Christianity were destroyed, such as Mar Moshi monastery in Barwari Bala which his history goes back to the sixth century AD, Mar Odisho monastery near Amadiya which goes back to the eighth century AD and Mar Qayooma monastery in Barwari Bala established in the seventh century AD. Saddam also killed a number of Christian clerics because they weren’t loyal to him, that includes patriarchs, bishops and priests, they were killed indirectly, using a venom placed in their drinks or food or by made up car accidents. Iran exploited these acts against Christians, they benefited from the escape of a Christian cleric who took refuge in Iran who help them by submitting his testimony about these acts in Geneva.
In this regards, I testify that I carried arms against the tyrannical regime of Saddam Hussein, I was leading the political and military activities of the Assyrian Democratic Movement, I was in charge in the provinces of Duhok and Nineveh.
One of the other violations endured by minorities is not being allowed to teach their languages, Christian Assyrians and Chaldeans weren’t allowed to teach their Syriac Aramaic language which is a national language spoken by not less than a million Iraqi, in addition to being the language spoken by Jesus Christ, this was the case for other minorities as well. One of the violations which also had criminal marks, was what happened to Iraqis due to the unjust embargo imposed on Iraq after the invasion of Kuwait which was exploited by the dictatorial authoritarian regime as an economic weapon for two goals; one to show that he is not responsible for the suffering of Iraqis and because it was the US that imposed the embargo with an international cover, while on the other hand the regime used this to strengthen its savagery in authoritarianism and control of Iraqis and forcing them to submit, whose followers used to cite a theory without shame which says “hunger your dog and he’ll follow you”, therefore, the fatigue that plagued Iraq was uglier and more tragic for Christians, Ezidies and others, related in one way or another to the closed economic and political horizons, one of the normal daily manifestations of this was the large percentage of beggars in the streets who had no safe place to stay including Christians, in this regards I have to mention the important role of the Iraqi church which adopted relief programs which included Christians and many other Iraqi components.
Iraqi Reality After the Change in 2003:
In this regards, I’m interested in reforming the type of understandings and views which prevailed post the arrival of the American and British forces in Iraq, what was suggested in the media is that the presence of these forces which comes from Christian countries will support Christians who shall benefit from the American existence, this cover, unfortunately, was believed by few Iraqi Christians but they realized later on that Americans and the British aren’t concerned with such a vision, the violations and the brutal terrorist acts carried out in Christian neighborhoods in the middle of Baghdad such as al-Doura neighborhood without any help from the American forces to stop them represented an evidence of their indifference, when they numbered about 160 thousand forces in Iraq, while many of the violations committed against Christians were within the view of the Americans, the majority of the Iraqi Christians were killed by terrorist groups as acts of revenge of the American presence, Hammurabi Human Rights Organization have also recorded the murder of 28 Christians at the hands of American forces.
Christians have paid the price for the American presence in Iraq while in return they benefited nothing, no protection, no political support or any support that could strengthen their capabilities or survival. If there was some support here or there but it is not reach cumulatively at all 5% of the level of suffering and needs of Christians.
We can also notice that in the political field with the Iraqi structure of the governing council which was supervised by the American civil ruler in Iraq which was only represented by a Christian while the other components got the share of the lion, and in such a situation, the series of violations against Christians and other minorities continues, a new series have begun represented by murder, abduction, displacements and forcing few to sell their houses cheaply, therefore Christian neighborhoods such as al-Doura have become almost cleansed from Christians whose percentage in other areas have decreased to 20% such as in the New Baghdad, al-Mashtal, al-Zayona, al-Karrada, Karaj al-Amana, al-Mansour and others, compared to what it used to be, 80% have had to leave, in addition to that, stores belonging to Christians and Ezidies were subject to extortion and burning when they refused to pay ransoms, and the terrorism series continues until this day, here’s a display of the number of Christians killed since 2003 after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime and until this day, according to HHRO’s statistics more than 881 Christians were killed since April 2003 to the end of 2015, including 668 according to their identity by unknown assailants, 16% were academics or people of expertise, 1.6 Clerics, 14% women , 4% children and 4% elderly.
One of the priorities of Hammurabi Human Rights Organization, something that’s always on the table of HHRO’s activities is related to the seizure of Christian houses by people claiming to be part of this or that religious organism, threatening and terrorizing minorities demanding their rights with the absence of the state and the spread of militias and armed groups which in certain places are stronger than the authority of the government, HHRO revealed a list of a number of seized houses which belongs to Christians, the list was presented to the Iraqi Judicial Council, there’s also a committee linked to the office of the prime-minister seeking to solve this issue, according to resolution No.101 issued by the Council of Ministers which ordered clearing all seized Christians’ houses using a special force dedicated for this goal, but the issue lies in threats forcing Christians with seized houses to stop defending their rights fearing death and assassination.
This continued since 2003 with such acts carried out by terrorism and the outlawed armed groups and gangs, using religion as an excuse for their criminal acts which have costed hundreds of innocents lives in different areas in Baghdad, Mosul, Basra and Kirkuk, while taking over Christian properties, considering it as spoils they have the right to collect according to different explanations and excuses, as was listed in numerous threats sent to Christians and other non-Muslim minorities, such practices had disastrous results on the future of the Christian existence in Iraq and especially in the south and the center, full neighborhoods have been cleared out of Christians in Baghdad with the number of Christians going doing to less than 150 thousand in Baghdad itself, after being more than half a million. Diala, Ramadi and Habbaniya have been cleansed from Christians with the presence of Christians in these areas being rare, most of the ones who left Baghdad or the south went to the areas of the Nineveh plain and the cities of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and other neighboring countries aiming to emigrate and to go abroad. In this regards, attacks carried out by extremist Kurds in 2011 in the Kurdistan region which resulted in burning stores, hotels, casinos, natural treatment halls and female hairdressing salons, these attacks disappointed Christians aiming to have a safe haven in the KRI, and they began thinking about emigration which was an imposed decision they had to consider, despite being a bitter decision in their point of view, but remains the best compared to facing the danger of terrorism and losing their lives.
It’s unfortunate that what Christians have suffered from, whether it’s displacement or murder which was widely practiced against them in Mosul in 2008, and in other areas such as al-Doura neighborhood in Baghdad and other locations in Baghdad but also in the province of Basra, acts which could be easily identified as terrorism. Despite the fact that extreme groups have testified of carrying out such acts, but many of the large events similar to the Genocide in Mosul in 2008 or the massacre of the Church of Our Lady of Salvation in 2010 are still recorded against unknown assailants, despite the formation of investigative committees, the results of these investigations remain vague and the decisions taken are unknown without any publication, that’s despite the numerous demands to reveal the results by the public led by Hammurabi Human Rights Organization, the majority of these crimes, if not all, are recorded against unknowns where the perpetrators escape the punishment.
And so on, despite the decrease in the level of targeting Christians in 2012, murder, abduction and threat have never stopped, although the percentage of such practices decreased in 2015 compared to the previous years with the percentage of killed Christians representing 0.2% of ( 881)persons killed since 2003 till 2015, and 2% of them killed in 2014, and 11% of those in 2010, 25% in 2004 , 19% 2007. Baghdad recorded the largest percentage of murder which reached 58% of the ones killed in the period ( 2003- 2015), followed by Nineveh with 29%, the majority of the killed where youths and children, HHRO monitored 72 cases of attacks on Churches and monasteries until the end of 2013, but this number have increased drastically since the invasion of the Islamic State and their seizure of Mosul and the Nineveh Plain, when hundreds of Churches and monasteries in the center of Mosul and the Nineveh plain were subject to desecration at the hands of the terrorist groups.
- I indicated earlier, I wasn’t guessing or predicting but according to facts, that the presence of Christians in Iraq is vanishing, and the religion pluralism is in danger, that’s if the current situation continues, where the state is weak and political and security conflicts exist between different parties aiming to seize authority and rule, in addition to the presence of diverse armed militias and the presence of different indicators that the country is going to divide into small states or federal systems.
- There is much talk and demands for a minorities’ governorate, the idea is logical, constitutional and enticing for minorities, but it doesn’t serve the interest of Christians in the current time, because prior to the invasion of the Islamic State, Christians’ percentage in the Nineveh Plain was 22-23%, while in our estimations, after the liberation, it won’t exceed 10%, so eventually the governorate will not serve the interests of Christians because they won’t represent an effective percentage in the policy making process in that governorate, but if the government intended to be established is only for Christians and Yazidies then maybe that could be quite a positive move but challenges remain in regards to identifying its geographic borders and how to solve the issue of the towns and sub-districts of other components such as Shabak, Turkmen, Kaka’is and others, which exists in that same region.
- There are parties that are pushing Christians, willingly or unwillingly, and to some extend Ezidies as well, to demand the formation of a governorate for them, this encouragement by outer forces, for unknown reasons, probably aims to combine their governorate to the suggested regions scenario, such as the Sunni and the Kurdistan region, and other regions such as the one provided by the intellectual Sayar Jamil titled the Mosul Region/Nineveh, which includes 6 governorates including the Christian lands in the Nineveh Plain.
- In our opinion, there’s a way out without demanding a governorate, which is to keep the old administrative structure while developing the autonomous aspect by holding new elections for the sub-districts’ and districts’ councils after the liberation, and to adopt the system of towns’ councils (city councils) for these councils to have the right to veto any decision taken by the governorate’s or the district’s council in case it doesn’t serve the interest of the population of their towns. The towns’ councils will be formed through elections, for example, Karemlesh to have its own council, and the center of Hamdaniya to have its own council, and the same for Ba’shiqa, Tel-Kief, Batnaya … etc. thus Christian, Yazidi and Shabak towns could preserve its religious, ethnic and linguistic privacy, in addition to being protected from demographic change. This process should be accompanied by establishing new administrative sub-districts for the neglected Shabak and Yazidi territories which didn’t experience development, such as the town of Bazwaya which used to be a sub-district and then was cancelled during the previous regime.
- In light of the current situation, the indifference shown by the international community towards the size of the tragedy and the lack of interest by the west and the United States of America as key and influential players in the issue of minorities, the minorities have no cards to play but to escape the bitter reality imposed upon them, choosing emigration as a solution, although minorities recognize that emigration is one of the bitter solutions. I stressed this issue during a long dialogue I had in a conference organized by the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Iraq on 26/03/2014 about the future of diversity in Iraq, and during two seminars held in Bartella city in the Nineveh plain on 23,24 of May 2014, and also during a comment I gave at the Iraqi house of representatives on the 27th of January 2014, I also talked about this last year at the US ministry of Foreign Affairs and in a number of US congressmen’s offices.
- Dear Friends, the information I just cited are enough to cause great panic within minorities, then what would happen if things escalated and the percentage of such acts doubled reaching unprecedented levels which happened with the horrible crimes carried out by militants of the Islamic State after invading vast Iraqi territories, beginning with the Nineveh province.
- I’m not trying to give final numbers about what happened to minorities such as Ezidies, Christians, Shabak, Kaka’is and others, but it is enough to refer that the information adopted by the American Congress were quite enough for the declaration of Genocide and what was issued by the United Nations was in the same direction.
That thousands of Christians and Ezidies have disappeared, their fate remains unknown, and that the number of deaths exceeded thousands, that more than one million citizens from minority communities have left their cities, villages or towns in the Nineveh plain because they were threatened of being killed, captivated, or forced to change their religious beliefs, I’d also like to stress that there’re no remaining Churches or temples which belongs to Christians, Ezidies or others which hasn’t been subject to bombing, destruction or desecration, these events are documented with videos and images, so with all of this continuing to happen who could convince these civilians living in sadness and expecting a vague future not to think about emigration or to look for a safe haven, can you imagine a city like Nineveh, the heart of Iraqi Christians with dozens of Churches and monasteries, haven’t heard the sound of a Church bell in three years, and that its believers haven’t celebrated Christmas in their homes for the same period of time.
I said the same thing during a conference held in Prague about emigration, also Ms. Pascale Warda, the president of Hammurabi Human Rights Organization, has documented testimonies given in front of the US congress three times and in front of the UN Human Rights Council located in Geneva, and in conferences and meetings held in Geneva, Roma, Madrid and many other European Human Rights fields, where she warned about the danger of the violations committed against Christians which all aims to cleanse Iraq from their existence.
No doubt, we had waves similar to ISIS which struck our territories but the survival of Christians in these countries have been subject to the mood of the rulers and not according to a clear stable strategic Islamic ideology.
- I’m also honored as the president of the executive Board of the Alliance of Iraqi Minorities network to point to the danger of demise threatening Iraqi minorities in general.
A Finishing Conclusion:
- When I talked about the violations carried out against minorities in Iraq, that carries a temporal privacy meaning that it has a clear historical depth, also events taking place in the other countries also had its fingerprints on minorities, what is happened in Syria against Christians is due to the universal war carried out against this country while putting into consideration that it wasn’t an environment for tragedies such as the ones suffered by Iraqi minorities, it was the other way around, Christians in Syria, from a belief point of view, didn’t feel the authoritarian pressure of the government, but they had influential personnel in the government and in the general bodies of the Syrian society, but the dangerous injustice they suffered from was in the context of the security and political crisis striking Syrian since 2011, therefore the killing, displacement and rights confiscation they had to suffer from were carried out solely by fundamentalist Islamic movements. In regards to Lebanon, Christians are part of the ruling authority and their presence have been subject to what is known as the Taif Agreement after the civil war in 1975, in this context, the weakness of the Lebanese Christians lies in the compromises they had to offer in that agreement, while they have the opportunity to emphasize the charter upon which independent Lebanon was established, therefore we can say that the Lebanese Christian struggle comes from their participation in the current sectarian regime, although they represent half the Lebanese community, a fresh evidence of this is that until this moment, they haven’t been able to agree on a candidate who could represent them all, but they fell victims to the regional political conflict. Christians in Egypt, although they represent 15% of the population, but their existence is embargoed by Islamic fundamentalism which finds many ways through the governing authorities, to the extent that the Coptic church can’t renovate a Church until they receive proper permission with a political nature. Anyway, minorities in the middle east, especially Christians, are the victims of the domination of the large components and the conflicts amongst them, as much as this subject is connected to the future conditions of Christians in this heated area which has been, with strategic calculations, the permanent universal crisis zone. I think I’m not permitted to go through any recommendation but about the Iraqi situation and I see that the following is required in this regards: -
- To have a clear decisive international stand to stop Islamic extremism and terrorism phenomenon, represented by the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations, I say decisive because all the previous movements of the international coalition were based on containing these groups despite the crimes of Genocide carried out at their hands against minorities in Syria and Iraq.
Cleansing the densely populated areas of minorities from terrorism and from the organized violence groups (militias) as a basic step to restore hope in the return within minorities which have been forced to leave.
This move also includes other logistical measures, for example; to cut off sources of funding for these armed groups and to expose those accused of funding and harboring their leaders, I suggest issuing a resolution by the International Security Council in this regards according to the seventh chapter where there could be sanctions against states, bodies or organization that refused to abide by.
- Making sure that the Iraqi state abide by the rights of its citizens according to the Universal Declaration for Human Rights and to have binding legislation in each state which requires the respect and preservation of these rights, while activating the constitutional texts which includes a number of articles guaranteeing rights for every component.
- To stop the double standards policy adopted by countries with strong international influence, which continues to depend on contradicting measures and criteria when assessing Human Rights principals because it has relations, unfortunately, with countries which lacks the simplest Human Rights principals while using the same card against other countries.
- For the United Nation to reconsider its current policies in regards to helping with the development of Iraq, I find it compelling to have the experts of the international organization serving development policies based upon sustainable human development which is absence in Iraq, I find it necessary for the International Security Council to interfere by issuing resolutions with economic orientations serving sustainable human development based on justice, equality and equal opportunities and being binding according to the seventh chapter of United Nations charter.
- Implementing these recommendations would require the United Nations to reconsider its policies, currently it interferes after an event has taken place but the escalating situation in Iraq requires deterrence measures not treatments or cure measures, while the event have taken its share from the safety and security of these indigenous Iraqi components.