First widespread violence against Christians in once-safe Kurdish region.ISTANBUL, December 6 (CDN) — Attacks against Christian Assyrian businesses in northern Iraq over the weekend, which local sources said were organized by a pro-Islamic political party, marked the first such destruction of Christian establishments in the Kurdish region.
The rampage threatens the frail security of Iraq’s dwindling Christian population, sources said.
After mullah Mala Ismail Osman Sindi’s sermon claiming there was moral corruption in massage parlors in the northern town of Zakho on Friday (Dec. 2), a group of young men attacked and burned shops in the town, most of them Christian-owned. The businesses included liquor stores, hotels, a beauty salon and a massage parlor, according to Ankawa News.
“The interesting thing with this incident is the place where it happened,” Archdeacon Emanuel Youkhana of the Assyrian Church of the East said. “KRG [the Kurdish Regional Government] is, for the most part, safe and secure, and all inhabitants enjoy prosperity and security, until now at least. The future is, by all means, bleak for the Christians and other minorities living there.”
Some of the assailants waved banners stating, “There Is No God but Allah,” according to Ankawa News. Sources said local authorities were slow in responding, resulting in heavy financial losses.