Click to Print This Page

An Iraqi Christian woman breaks down after being forced by angry

Muslims to flee her home and neighborhood. After a presence, of

2,000 years, Iraq's Christians are being forced to flee.



Kitabat, Iraq

To Tie Christians to Bush is an 'Aggression Against Us'


"There is a difference between Bush and bin Laden, but the difference is insignificant."


By Zaki Antoine


Translated By Nicolas Dagher


June 15, 2007


Kitabat - Iraq - Original Article (Arabic)

This is a reply to an op-ed article entitled, Which of You Christians Criticized What Bush Has Done in the Name of the Cross," by Mohammad Amer Hakimeh.


Greetings to you, brother Mohammad Amer Hakimeh.


This is my modest reply to your article, published June 14, 2007 on this Web site, but first I would like to apologize to the readers about any linguistic mistakes in my reply, since I am 71 years old - 50 of which I spent outside of my home country of Iraq - and this is the first article I have ever written.


I agree with you on many points, but I also disagree on some. Even though I never heard of the Arabic proverb related to the camel that you mentioned, I understand your meaning. But your attempt to tie us Oriental Christians  to the words and deeds of Bush is an aggression against us.


In the beginning, many Muslims and Christians welcomed the arrival of American troops which, according to the understanding at the time, came to liberate them from the grip of the dictator. But the hollowness of this claim later became clear. Instead, what really motivated the occupiers, as you mentioned, were their political and oil interests along with the interests of Israel. At that point most people - including Christians - changed their attitudes and condemned this "liberation," which has become an occupation. It is therefore unjust to equate us Christians with Bush.


There is a difference between Bush and bin Laden, but the difference is insignificant. The first is simple and stupid and fell under the influence of his Zionist advisors. This has occurred because he is a religious fanatic of a certain religious sect that claims to be Christian, but is of a sort more related to Zionism. He doesn't know what he's doing and his government, army and people don't share his beliefs. But they must abide by his commands, as is the tradition in Western countries.


As for bin Laden and his thousands of (al-Qaeda) followers, they commit disgusting and horrific acts based on murder, terrorism and sabotage - all in the name of Islam and based on verses from the Quran.


Regarding your question about condemning Bush's actions, I will answer you.


In your article you asked: "What did you [Oriental Christians] do? Did you condemn those actions??? This is all we ask of you. Did the Christian clergy loudly state to Bush's face that this Christianity that Bush claims to be part of, is not the Christianity of Jesus? Didn't he say at the start of his war that it was a crusade?"


My answer to you is that everyone knows of the Pope's strong opposition to the war. He was frank, and he was loud and clear, along with most of the European countries. Moreover, this war was condemned by many politicians and Christian clergy. The huge anti-war marches we saw on television are proof of this, and all of them took place in the West. I won't say "the Christian countries," because as you know that religion in those countries doesn't play an important role. So as you can see, there was and is a great difference between the two positions!! [of Bush and the Pope].


Regarding your question, "Didn't he [Bush] say at the start of this war that it was a crusade?," I would like to correct the mistaken linguistic understanding held by you and others.


When Bush used the word "Crusade," he was referring to his determination and insistence on pursuing a goal - any goal. This is unconnected to religion. The word is often used by English speakers when insisting on perseverence and being passionate about completing a mission. This is probably why the crusaders were called "crusaders," because at that time they were insistent on completing their mission. The word is commonly used and there is no need to distort its meaning.


You also say, "Most of you glorify the Americans and receive them as conquerors, even in the Vatican."


Oh Brother Mohammad, the Vatican receives all types of visitors, including the late Yasser Arafat, Mahmud Abbas, Kurdish leaders, Iranian clerics and many Muslims and people of other religions. That doesn't mean that it approves of their policies. Did you know what the Pope told Bush? Perhaps he mentioned Bush's mistakes! No brother Mohammad, we don't glorify Bush and we feel the same as all Iraqis.


We care about protecting people's lives - all the people. And unlike some people under various Muslim banners, none of us [Christians] support tampering with the lives and souls of innocent people. We have even heard and read that in mosques, Muslim imams encourage their followers to hate and vilify all non-Muslims. And this is not only the case in Iraq.


In conclusion, please accept my love and friendship.


Arabic Version Below


رد على المقالة المعنونة "وما فعله بوش باسم الصليب من انتقده منكم"


كتابات - زكي انطوان


تحية طيبة لك يا اخ محمد عامر حكيمة


هذا ردي المتواضع على مقالتك المنشورة في 14 حزيران2007 على هذا الموقع ولكن قبل كل شي استعذر القراء على الاخطاء اللغوية التي يحتويها ردي هذا حيث هذه اول مرة اكتب مقالة في حياتي البالغ 71 سنة عشت منها 50 سنة في خارج وطني الاصلي عراق.


اني اتفق معك في كثير ما قلت ولكن اختلف في البعض.   ولو اني لم اسمع بمثلك العربي من قبل حول الجمل الا اني افهم ما تقصده.  ان محاولتك الصاق كلمات واعمال بوش بنا نحن المسيحيين الشرقيين هو تعدي بحقنا.  اذ في البداية رحب الكثيرون من مسلمين ومسيحيين بمجيئ قوات امريكا لتحريرهم من قبضة الديكتاتور "حسب فهمهم في ذلك الوقت ولكن تبين فيما بعد زيف هذا الادعاء وان المحتل ما هو الا وراء مصالح نفطية وسياسية كما قلت ولصالح اسرائيل.   وبعدها غيير اغلب الناس مواقفهم وشجبوا وبضمنهم المسيحيين هذا التحرير الذي اصبح احتلالا.  فليس عدلا تسويتنا مع بوش.


هناك فرق بين بوش وبن لادن ولكن الفرق ليس كبيرا.  فالاول غبي وبسيط واقع تحت سيطرة مستشاريه الصهاينة وخاصة بسبب كونه متطرف ديني من طائفة معينة تدعي المسيحية من نوع  يظهر مرتبط بالصهيونية وهو لا يعرف ماذا يفعل وان حكومته وجيشه وشعبه لا يشاركونه اعتقاده ولكن يعملون تحت قيادته كما هي التقاليد المتبعة في الدول الغربية.  اما بن لادن والالاف من جماعته (القاعدة) كل اعمالهم بشعة وشريرة مبنية على القتل والارهاب والتخريب وتتم باسم الاسلام وتحت ايات من القران. 


وحول شجب هذه الاعمال تقول ".أجيبك أنا ماذا فعلتم أنتم.هل شجبتم؟؟؟ ولا نريد منكم إلا هذا.هل أعلنها رجال الدين المسيحيون مدوية عالية في وجه بوش وقلتم له هذه المسيحية التي تدعيها ليست مسيحية السيد المسيح؟ألم يقل في أول حربه أنها صليبية؟"  وجوابي لهذا هو ان الكل يعلم ان البابا كان معارضا قويا ضد الحرب وكان واضحا وصريحا وعاليا وكذلك معظم الدول الاوربية و نعم شجبها كثيرون من رجال الدين المسيحيين والسياسيين.   وما المسيرات الكبرى المناهضة ضد الحرب, التي شاهدناها على التلفاز برهانا على ذلك, وكانت كلها في الغرب ولا اقول الدول المسيحية لان الدين هناك, كما تعلم, لا يلعب دورا فعال.   شتان بين الموقفين!!


وبخصوص قولك عن بوش "الم يقل في اول حربه انها صليبية؟ فاني اريد ان اوضح لك ولغيرك  فهمكم اللغوي الخاطئ.   فبوش استعمل كلمة "كروسيد" وهي تعني الاصرار او الثبات  في متابعة عمل ما,  اي عمل, بدون اي علاقة بالدين.   كثيرا ما يستعملها الناطقين باللغة الانكليزية عندما يرون احدا مصمم ومصر على اكمال مهمة ما بشغف.  ربما اطلقت هذه التسمية على الصليبيين كونهم في ذلك الزمان مصرين على اكمال مهمتهم ولكن هذه كلمة عامة ولا داعي لتحريفها من مضمونها.    


وتقول: "أغلبكم يمجدونهم ويستقبلونهم استقبال الفاتحين. حتى في الفاتكان."  يا اخ محمد, الفاتيكان استقبل انواع واشكال من الناس بضمنهم المرحوم عرفات وعباس وبعض قادة الاكراد وبعض رجال الدين الايرانيين وكثيرون من المسلمين وبقية الاديان فهاذا لا يعني انه يوءيد سياستهم.  فهل تعلم ماذا قال البابا لبوش؟  لربما ذكره باخطائه!  لا ياخ اننا لا نمجدهم وشعورنا هو نفس شعور العراقيين.    


اننا بصدد حماية ارواح الناس, كل الناس, ولا احد يعبث بهذه الارواح وخاصة الابرياء منها كما يفعل الاالاف من المتاسلمين المنظمين تحت رايات اسلامية مختلفة وما اكثرها.  نسمع ونقراء حتى خطباء بعض الجوامع يشجعون على كراهية واحتقار الغير المسلمين وهذا ليس في العراق فقط.   


وفي الختام تقبل احترامي ومحبتي



Iraqi Christians have lived in what is now Iraq since the inception of Christianity, over 2,000 years ago. Under Saddam, some of them - such as Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz - rose to the top. Hussein's secular regime stemmed anti-Christian violence but subjected Christians to 'relocation.'

—BBC NEWS VIDEO: Bush visits Italy and the Pope, and gets an earful about the Iraq War and the peril being faced by Iraqi Christians, 00:01:41, June 9 WindowsVideo


Pope Benedict XVI with President Bush and first lady Laura Bush, during their meeting at the Vatican, June 9. Iraqi Muslims seem to be laboring under the missaprehension that The Pope agrees with Bush on his Iraq policy.

President and Pope get down to business at Vatican City ...

U.S. Marines secure positions near the town of al-Qaim, on the Iraqi-Syrian border. U.S. commander in Iraq, David Petraeus, said on June 17 that U.S. forces could be needed there to battle insurgents for a decade.

The scene outside a bombed Christain Church in Baghdad last month. A militant Islamic group issued a fatwa, or religious edict, to Christian residents of the Baghdad suburb of Dora: Convert to Islam within 24 hours, or face death. At the same time, Muslim neighbors were instructed, over the loudspeakers of local mosques, to confiscate the property of Christians and enforce the edict.

Anti-Bush protests turned violent in Rome, as the President met with the Pope in the Vatican, June 9.

Outside the Vatican walls, Italians were less than pleased to host President Bush, the architect of a war that they regard as illegal and immoral.