Iraq Press Roundup

By ALAA MAJEED (UPI Correspondent)

The Iraqi Christian minority is the target of the latest wave of violence in the country. Thousands of Iraqi Christians fled their homes in Mosul and other northern cities.
The daily Azzaman newspaper said Tuesday U.S.-inspired democracy only brought division and sowed hatred among the Iraqi people. The attacks on the Christians, the newspaper said, are due to a struggle for power in the war-torn country.

Expectations after targeting the Christians in Mosul

The political climate following the occupation of Iraq and the emergence of the “democratic system” encouraged many powers to act out against the process. Some of these players were not ready to deal with a democratic system and pushed their own visions for reconstruction.

These same powers, however, only defended one part of society while claiming to look out for the interests of the country as a whole. This practice led to sectarian and ethnically motivated violence throughout the country.

The greatest mistake the central government committed was removing provisions in the provincial elections law that established a quota for minority representation. Violence is only expected to continue as Iraq marches closer to elections in January, Azzaman said.

As attacks against the minority Christian population escalated, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki dispatched the national police force to “control” the situation. Meanwhile, several religious figures have called for an end to the attacks, stating the violence is an effort to drive the Christians from the country.

Others, however, point to Kurdish moves to annex parts of northern Iraq in the run-up to the provincial elections, blaming the Peshmerga militia for carrying out the attacks.


Al-Bayyna newspaper of the Iraqi Hezbollah Tuesday said many components in Iraq’s society are on edge from the sweeping calls by the government to implement “democratic” principles.

The national consensus between components of the Iraqi society

Negotiations and responsible dialogue are the only ways to resolve looming political issues and preserve the rights of minority religious groups. If these matters are addressed, more political energy could go into resolving disputes over sensitive issues like a timetable of U.S. troop withdrawal, the newspaper said.

Establishing a national consensus through negotiations is a key step toward settling the sectarian and ethnic disputes that are hindering national developments and a return to prosperity.

The Muslims and Christians, as well as other religious groups, have a responsibility to the nation to settle their issues in order to return the country to a peaceful and stable homeland for all Iraqis.

There are many factors to consider first, however. Iraq needs to put a national consensus at the top of its agenda, followed by settling disputes among rival parties in the government. Most importantly, the newspaper said, is moving forward with national reconciliation and ongoing negotiations in a way that sidelines the terrorist groups in the country.


The independent Kitabat newspaper commented on the fractured nature of Iraqi society and the ongoing demographic shifts that accompanied the U.S.-led invasion.

The Christians and assassination of the civilization of Iraq

The forced displacement of the Iraqi Christians is continuing in the same way the Jews were forced out of the country beginning in the 1930s.

The Israelis plotted attacks against Jews in Iraq in the 1960s in an effort to get them to resettle in their country, the newspaper said.

Iraq became a democracy under former civilian administrator L. Paul Bremer. Following his departure in 2005, however, Iraq — the first country with established laws — saw ethnic and sectarian conflicts boil to the surface. Encouraging this new division are the warlords from the weapons traders of the foreign occupiers, whose mission it is to remove the Iraqi national identity and destroy its religious diversity.

A new constitution written with Iraqi hands is required in order to encourage Christians, as well as Sunnis and Shiites, to return to their homes. There is a need to eliminate provisions in the current constitution that misrepresent the minority population. This is required to prevent further division and bloodshed in the country.