Christmas is now an official holiday in Iraq

This just goes to show how far we truly have come:

Iraq’s Christians, a scant minority in this overwhelmingly Muslim country, quietly celebrated Christmas on Thursday with a present from the government, which declared it an official holiday for the first time.

… In his homily on Thursday, Chaldean Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly praised the establishment of Christmas as an official holiday as a step toward easing tensions.

“I thank the government for giving chances to all to serve each other for the general benefit, and I thank it too for making this day an official holiday where we pray to God to make us trust each other as brothers,” he said at the Christmas Mass before several dozen worshippers in the small chapel of a Baghdad monastery.

A senior Shiite cleric, Ammar al-Hakim, attended the Mass flanked by bodyguards in a gesture of cooperation with Christians.

“I thank the visitors here and ask them to share happiness and love with their brothers on Christmas; by this they will build a glorious Iraq,” the cardinal said.

“We came here to bring a message of love, respect and gratitude to our Christian brothers and to share happiness with them as we have shared sadness with them during the cruel targeting they came under,” al-Hakim said in an interview with al-Furat TV. “We will do our best for equality between people and a good life for all, whatever their religious, sectarian and ethnic background.”

He is the son and heir-apparent of Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, Iraq’s biggest mainstream Shiite party.

Iraq’s Christians, estimated to number only a few hundred thousand of the country’s 26 million people, have often been the target of attacks by Islamic extremists in Iraq. Tens of thousands have fled; many of those who stayed were isolated in neighborhoods protected by barricades and checkpoints.

If that story doesn’t make you smile, you’ve got a heart of stone.

This is just another example of how very far we have come in Iraq. There are still obstacle to overcome and challenges to defeat, but we’re getting there. Ten years ago, would anyone have ever thought for a second that Christians could celebrate Christmas freely in Iraq? Iraq has gone from a dictatorship where Christians were routinely persecuted to a country that is making a public statement about the kind of country they want to be: a free country, where people of all faiths can live and be free.

And just think, liberals opposed it all.

There are tons of great photos of Iraqi children at FOB Liberty celebrating Christmas with Santa Claus here.

Hat Tip: DrewM at Ace of Spades

Shortlink:

Posted by on December 26, 2008.
Filed under Christmas, Iraq.


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  • Pretzel Logic

    Hey Harry Reid….Bite Me!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyDOAmJYFFA

  • http://www.progressivevalues.blogspot.com Paul Hooson

    Iraq’s small Christian minority in Iraq has also faced a serious challenge in the past few months according to some religious freedom organizations. The Shiite dominated government attempted to remove part of the nation’s constitution that gave this minority proportional representation in the parliament. And Shiite militia members and extremists, especially in the Baghdad area where Al Sadr is strong have been involved in rampant violence against the Christian minority.

    This troubled society has a long ways to go to even go back to the days of Saddam Hussein in 2003 where Tariq Aziz, the nation’s vice president, was a member of a Catholic sect, and Christians openly worshiped without violence. Strangely, Saddam Hussein was far more tolerant and protective of this Christian minority than the current government by far.

    Religious freedom for Christians in Iraq has sharply declined since the 2003 war. And the U.S. and outside nations need to put real teeth in pressuring the government of Iraq to take religious freedom very seriously.

  • Boston Tea Party

    This blog is totally jumping the shark.

  • daniel rotter

    “…liberals opposed it all.”

    And still do, and rightly so. Christmas being an official holiday in Iraq is not worth one American life, much less 4,000.

    “Hey Harry Reid….Bite Me!”

    Another classy conservative.

  • Pretzel Logic

    There was nothing classy about Mr. Reid’s comments. In fact, it was the ultimate insult to the men and women who are paying the ultimate price.

    You..Danny Rotter…can also bite me.

  • max

    I consider wizbangs shark to have been jumped after the Ashley Todd fiasco.

    http://wizbangblog.com/content/2008/10/23/breaking-obama-supporter-attacks-and-mutilates-mccain-volunteer.php

    Wizbang is actually quite entertaining if you read it as parody.

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net Marc

    hooson – “The Shiite dominated government attempted to remove part of the nation’s constitution that gave this minority proportional representation in the parliament.”

    But they didn’t. So your point is?

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net Marc

    boston tea party – “This blog is totally jumping the shark.”

    And yet, you offer zero proof.

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net Marc

    max – “I consider wizbangs shark to have been jumped after the Ashley Todd fiasco.”

    Certainly you feel the same about the many MSM outlets and other blogs that reported that story. Right?

    And funny, you failed to note the second post on it that reported it as a fraud perpetrated by some nutjob wench.

    Why is that?

  • daniel rotter

    “You..Danny Rotter…can also bite me.”

    I’d really prefer not to. I prefer biting food, not people. If that’s how you get your kicks, by having others bite your flesh, look somewhere else.

  • daniel rotter

    “Certainly you feel the same about the many MSM outlets and other blogs that reported that story. Right?”

    Those “many MSM outlets and other blogs that reported that story” treated Mrs. Scott’s accusation as exactly that, an accusation. This blog (initially, at least) treated the story as FACT.

    “And funny, you failed to note the second post on it that reported it as a fraud perpetrated by some nutjob wench.”

    An irrelevant omission, since this blog shouldn’t have fallen for the fraud in the first place.

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net Marc

    rotter – “Those “many MSM outlets and other blogs that reported that story” treated Mrs. Scott’s accusation as exactly that, an accusation. This blog (initially, at least) treated the story as FACT.”

    Really? Show me a couple.

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net Marc

    Furthermore rotter – Do you see “alleged” or any other like terms used in this report linked to in the original post you linked?

    Or perhaps you can explain the following para as written by Kim the author of that article:

    “Some commenters are accusing the victim of faking her attack. Well, according to the report above, she was standing right in front of the ATM at the time he robbed her, so the security camera will tell us what happened.

    Sounds suspiciously like a “wait-and-see” attitude to me.

  • Pretzel Logic

    “You..Danny Rotter…can also bite me.”

    I’d really prefer not to. I prefer biting food, not people. If that’s how you get your kicks, by having others bite your flesh, look somewhere else.

    Guess he told me!!

  • daniel rotter

    “Sounds suspiciously like a ‘ “wait-and-see’ ” attitude to me.”

    No, in the full context of post, it reads more like backtracking (a bit). From earlier in the same post: “To me this is an argument to defeat Obama soundly on November 4th.” Yeah, sounds like a real “wait-and-see” attitude to me (rolls eyes).

  • daniel rotter

    Oh, and the AP story you linked to DID NOT treat her accusation as fact.

  • ODA315

    Yup danny boy, like many of your lib friends it’s OK to let Saddam throw folks into wood chippers but HOW DARE WE have a nativity scene on public property.

  • daniel rotter

    “…it’s okay to let Saddam throw folks into wood chippers…”

    Right, because I opposed the war in Iraq, I think it was okay for Saddam to throw folks into wood chippers. Let me know when you come back to planet Logical Thinking.

    “HOW DARE WE have a nativity scene on public property.”

    Knock yourself out with this, as long as other religions are allowed to use the same space.

  • ODA315

    Logical thinking? Yeah, like the more we “talked” to the rotten bastard the fewer people he butchered, right? If we’d waited just a LITTLE while longer all would have worked out. Maybe we should have just been nicer to him and his two punk sons would have raped fewer women and girls.

    Of course we could have sent in the UN peacekeepers…..but they’d have done just as much raping and plundering!

    Best don the tinfoil bennie, put your hands over your ears and yell at the top of your lungs “War is not the answer..bushchenryhalliburtonillegalwar..coexist..impeachbushitler”

    While the lefty shitbirds are whining, throwing tantrums, and waiting for free shit from their govt the christians in Iraq will be celebrating Christmas. A new democracy is beginning to flourish in the middle of a nest of despotism and religious zealotry where people feared for their lives daily. All thanks to Uncle Sugar’s GI’s. Isn’t that wonderful….

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net Marc

    Rotter – “Oh, and the AP story you linked to DID NOT treat her accusation as fact.”

    It didn’t?!!

    Well gosh damn, then maybe you can point to all the terminology contained within it that turns the news piece, and by extension the woman tale, into pure BS.

    You know, words like asserted, dubious, ostensible, pretended, purported, questionable, so-called, supposed, suspect or suspicious,

    All of which would have raised doubt as to the woman’s veracity.

    Ah, screw it. You’ve already answered that by this response.

  • Pretzel Logic
  • yihdego

    I don’t know, as an African who’s parents migrated from war torn country where they’ll never be international intervention I can’t seem to muster more than indifference.

    From tragic dictatorship, to a tragic war I feel for the citizens of Iraq but not anymore than I do for any other country. Being opposed to a war doesn’t mean I oppose Iraqi Christmas, just mean I think it was a stupid war. Quality of life under Saddam is still better than what my parents could ever dream of.

  • daniel rotter

    “It didn’t?!!”

    No, it didn’t, and the non-inclusion of any of the words you mentioned doesn’t change that.

  • Mike

    I am so damn glad that we have spent 1 trillion dollars, killed 4,000 Americans and maimed 30,000 more, so Iraqis can have Christmas. That makes me very merry.

    What a bunch of dumbasses.