Rome, Italy, Nov 19, 2003 / 22:00 pm
The past week has seen numerous attacks by fundamentalist Muslims on Christians in Mosul in northern Iraq. “Last week a bomb was found in front of Catholic school in Mosul; luckily it was defused before it could explode. The bomb was a cluster of low potential hand grenades but it could have killed or injured the children. For security reasons the school was closed for a good week” local Chaldean Catholic priest Father Nizar Semaan in Mosul told Fides Service. “Also last week a round of kalashnikov was fired against the residence of the Syro-Antiochian Bishop in my city”.
Asked about the perpetrators of the terrorist activities, Father Nizar said, “This is probably the work of Wahabi extremists in Mosul. ““With these actions of intimidation extremists want to demonstrate their power, and what is more serious, to prevent the civil society from returning to normality.”
“All I can say is that Wahabi extremists were present under the regime of Saddam Hussein, although they kept a low profile. Now they are coming into the open, expanding their activity and recruiting more members. The Wahabi receive solid financial backing from abroad and it is easy for them to find new members among the many unemployed youths,” said Father Nizar.
He also said that Muslim extremists pay young people to assume Muslim practices. “When I was at Mosul university in the 1980s girls wearing veils were about one in forty. Today we see the exact opposite: 40 veiled girls and one with a bare head! This is because fundamentalists pay girls to wear a veil ”.