08/06/2007, 00.00
IRAQ
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Mosul, "focal point" of Wahabi extremism in Iraq

Iraqi sources warn: the city is in the hands of rigid Sunni fundamentalists, who aim for an Islamic State; Christians and Shiites, find no space while the “kidnapping industry” gathers pace. The family of a kidnapped Chaldean has already paid a ransom twice over, but there is still no trace of the hostage.

Mosul (AsiaNews) – Mosul,  north west Iraq,  has now become “the principal focal point of Sunni wahabi extremism in Iraq”, which aims to create an Islamic state at all costs in the zone and to re-establish the caliphate. This project is being supported by “outside countries”.  The alarm arrives from AsiaNews sources in Iraq, who warn: these fundamentalists believe to posses the only truth and this is why they aim to eliminate anyone who refuses to recognise this.  First among those are the Christians, but also Shiite Muslims.  For the moment they content themselves with extorting money from their opponents, through kidnappings or the jizya – the “compensation” tax demanded by the Koran from non-Muslim subjects – but in time they will also begin to force them from their homes.

The violence which plagues Mosul’s Christian community reached its’ climax with the brutal murder of the Chaldean Priest Fr. Ragheed Gani and his three sub deacons June 3rd last following mass.  But the violence persists.  A married Chaldean has been in captivity for over a week; his family has already paid his ransom twice over, but have yet to receive news of his release.  On August 3rd a command group of terrorists erupted into the home of  Christian, Tamir Azoz, in the central Al-Hadba’a district, they wanted to take him away; eye witnesses tell that the well built man resisted, saying he would not leave his family alone abandoned to an unknown destiny and that in the end he was killed.  “The small flock of Christians – says a local diocesan priest – is once again in the grips of fear and panic, they feel isolated”.

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