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Old 03-05-2007, 07:12 PM
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Iraq's Mandaeans 'face extinction'

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6412453.stm

The Sabian Mandaeans - one of the oldest religious groups in the world - are facing extinction, according to its leaders.
They claim that Islamic extremists in Iraq are trying to wipe them out through forced conversions, rape and murder.

The Mandaeans are pacifists, followers of Adam, Noah and John the Baptist.

They have lived in what is now Iraq since before Islam and Christianity.

More than 80% have been forced to flee the country and now live as refugees in Syria and Jordan.

Even there they do not feel safe - but they say western governments are unwilling to take them in.

Victim voices

There are thought to be fewer than 70,000 of the Sabian Mandaeans spread across the world - only 5,000 are left in Iraq.


Mazen's legs are peppered with machine gun wounds

Nine-year-old Selwan likes watching cartoons and playing football.

But he is too scared to leave his flat. The other children tease him.

He has burns all down the side of his face and on 20% of his body.

He was kidnapped by Islamic militants who forced him to jump into a bonfire - because he is Mandaean.

Now his family lives in a tiny flat in a slum in Damascus.

I meet Luay. He is too scared to be identified and does not want to use his full name.

He was dragged off the street by armed men and forcibly circumcised - a practice not allowed in the Mandaean religion.

He is 19 and is now unlikely ever to find a bride from his own faith.

Worse, he was forcibly converted. That means in the eyes of those same extremists if he now declares himself Mandaean he is apostate.

That makes him a traitor to Islam, who may be murdered. He says he will not be safe in any Muslim country.

'Convert or die'

Then there is Enhar, raped by a gang of masked men in front of her husband - because she would not wear a veil.

Our ethnic minority and our ancient religion will die off

Kanzfra Sattar, Mandaean bishop

Mazen used to be a prosperous jeweller. Now he lives in a cramped flat, with his wife and children. Water drips through the ceiling.

His legs are peppered with machine-gun wounds, he can barely walk.

Shoaki wears a Manchester United hat and shows me the scars where a gang beat and cut him with a knife - he watched his brother murdered in front of him.

Mandaean elders use words like annihilation and genocide - they believe Islamic militants, both Sunni and Shia, offer them two choices - convert or die.

"Some will not consider us people of the book... they see us as unbelievers, as a result our killing is allowed," says Kanzfra Sattar, one of only five Mandaean bishops left worldwide.

'Wait in line'

He believes they are a litmus test for modern Iraq - in a secular state these doctors, engineers and jewellers would thrive.


Kanzfra Sattar is one of only five Mandaean bishops left

In the country as it is without law and in the grip of religious extremism, he fears they will be destroyed.

"We are small in numbers, we ask all the governments of the world to extend a hand of help," Kanzfra Sattar says.

He says he wants the West to accept his people as refugees.

I ask him what will happen if they do not - he replies simply: "Our ethnic minority and our ancient religion will die off."

The UN's refugee agency, the UNHCR, says there may be as many as a million Iraqis who have fled to Syria.

"The numbers that will be resettled are tiny compared to the very large numbers that are here," says Laurens Jolles, the head of a UNHCR team.

He acknowledges that the Mandaeans will just have to "wait in line", with other vulnerable groups.

Roughly two million Iraqis have fled to Syria, Jordan and Turkey. But there are no plans to welcome large numbers to the West.

The US has offered places to 7,000, while Britain says it will consider every case "on its merits".

So the Mandaeans wait in line.

Shoaki puts it more simply: "Here, we live in despair."
 
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Old 03-05-2007, 07:16 PM
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I see this going political eventually. Moved from the lobby.
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Old 03-06-2007, 03:57 AM
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The Mandaeans are pacifists, followers of Adam, Noah and John the Baptist.

They have lived in what is now Iraq since before Islam and Christianity.
Funny that. Followers of Adam, Noah and John the Baptist existed before Islsam and Christianity????

Dunno who wrote this but whoever it was should realize that before the Islam and Christianity (The Abrahamic scripture based religions) there was no such thing as Noah, Adam, and specially not John the Baptist.


Good joke.
 
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:53 PM
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Well, I feel sorry for them, all of Iraq, and more so in a few years if not
sooner, becouse we are setting grounds now to pull out and leave.

I hope europe takes over, but thats like wishing for ALL peace in the world
it's just not realistic.

And sence Iraq is closer to europe, I fear the worst.
I won't go into the details, becouse we all know what will happen after
we pull out. And all you have to do is read and watch the news to know
that the dem's are now proceeding to take away the power given to Bush
so we can pull out.

I myself after we pull out, will quit visiting europe, becouse it will be to dangerous to visit.
and when that day comes that we pull out, I will make a post reminding you all.
so europe, I think this is your chance now, to step up to the bat and show the americans
how to deal with Iraq.

Zcoder....
 
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Old 08-02-2007, 12:56 AM
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I am sorry about all iraq people , only today 75 has been killed in a bombing in Bagdat.
 
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Old 08-02-2007, 02:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferre View Post
Funny that. Followers of Adam, Noah and John the Baptist existed before Islsam and Christianity????

Dunno who wrote this but whoever it was should realize that before the Islam and Christianity (The Abrahamic scripture based religions) there was no such thing as Noah, Adam, and specially not John the Baptist.


Good joke.
Ferre, what on earth are you talking about?

No such thing as Noah and Adam and John The Baptist before Islam and Christianity? What would you call the Old Testament then?

What you put there is very odd indeed.
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Old 08-02-2007, 02:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferre View Post
Funny that. Followers of Adam, Noah and John the Baptist existed before Islsam and Christianity????

Dunno who wrote this but whoever it was should realize that before the Islam and Christianity (The Abrahamic scripture based religions) there was no such thing as Noah, Adam, and specially not John the Baptist.


Good joke.
Literature referring to Noah and Adam predate both Christianity and Islam. And nothing prevents them from being followers of John the Baptist.

Curious religion. Read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandaeism
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Old 08-02-2007, 05:45 AM
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From the Wiki...

Quote:
Planets and stars influence fate and human beings, and are also places of detention after death.
(Astrology, with a twist)
 
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Old 08-02-2007, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Zap View Post
From the Wiki...


(Astrology, with a twist)
all astrology is a twist
 
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