Sunday Detroit Free Press published the Letter I sent to the Chief Editor for Detroit Free Press News Paper
Sunday. May 21, 2017
U.S. must demand that Iraq protect minorities
While the world is focused on the genocide caused by ISIS, a leading Iraq Shi’te imam, Ala al-Musawi, the head of Shi’ite Endowment of Iraq, this month described Christians as infidels who should be killed if they refuse to abide by rules for non-Muslims in a Muslim country.
The U.S. government must demand that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi denounce Ala al-Musawi’s statements. At their meeting in March, President Trump and al-Abadi “agreed that the United States and Iraq will pursue a long-term partnership to decisively root out terrorism from Iraq,” a White House readout from the talks said. If this agreement is to have any meaning, al-Abadi must speak out in support of the Christians and other minorities.
The Iraqi constitution, which establishes Islam as the country’s official religion and the basis for its legislation, should be amended to encompass all religious in Iraq. Despite guarantees of religious freedom for minorities in the constitution, sectarian leaders treat minorities as second-class citizens, and in much of the country, Muslims who convert to a different religion face the threat of death.
The U.S. government must take a principled stand and demand that the government of Iraq protect all its citizens and jail all those who foment violence.
Joseph T. Kassab
Founder and president, Iraqi Christians Advocacy and Empowerment Institute
West Bloomfield, Michigan
(c) 2017 Sunday Detroit Free Press