One week after an Islamic extremist group vowed to kill Christians in Iraq, a cluster of 10 bomb attacks rattled Baghdad on Thursday night and sent additional tremors of fear through the country’s already shaken Christian minority.For some reason we aren't seeing any extremist Christians bombing mosques. But I thought that all religions spawn extremism equally!
Two people were killed and 20 wounded, all of them Christians, according to the Ministry of the Interior. The bombs were placed near the homes of at least 14 Christian families around the city, and four bombs were defused before they could explode.
Christians have been flooding out of the country since the siege of Our Lady of Salvation, a Syrian Catholic church, in October that left nearly 60 people dead, including two priests. Many Muslim clerics and worshipers offered support to Christians after the siege. The Islamic State of Iraq, an extremist group affiliated with Al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack, and on Dec. 22 it promised more on its Web site.
For some Christians here, the latest attacks represented the last straw.
“We will love Iraq forever, but we have to leave it immediately to survive,” said Noor Isam, 30. “I would ask the government, ‘Where is the promised security for Christians?’ ”
Even before the coordinated assault, Baghdad had come to resemble a battle zone for Christians, who have come increasingly under attack since the American-led invasion in 2003. Before Christmas, several churches fortified their buildings with blast walls and razor wire, and many canceled or curtailed Christmas observances.
Of course, Christians are also fleeing the Palestinian territories, and Lebanon, and they are harassed in Egypt. But for the life of me I cannot figure out that these instances of persecution have in common. Must be the economy. Or the Zionists.
See also Daled Amos.