Iraqi archbishop backs Trump travel ban, hopes for aid to Christians


#1

The Archbishop for the Christian community in Iraq said President Trump’s travel ban on immmigrants from terror hotspots is a good thing and will help minority religious groups in the region.

foxnews.com/world/2017/02/09/iraqi-archbishop-backs-trump-travel-ban-hopes-for-aid-to-christians.html


#2

The still, small voice that is being overlooked.


#3

The Ninth Circuit, of course, closed the door on them just as Obama did. Hopefully, Trump will eventually be able to remedy this shameful situation, but he’ll do it against intense opposition of the Democrat party.


#4

This will go all the way to the Supreme court.


#5

What goes around,comes around. Supreme Court,may we live in interesting times.


#6

OK I don’t see in the article where the Archbishop states that he backs Trump’s travel ban.

He said he hope’s Trump will provide aid to Christians in Iraq so they can stay.

Jim


#7

It’s not being overlooked, it’s being reported.

The U.S. Bishops came out against the ban. They aren’t being overlooked, just ignored.


#8

It’s being overlooked given that the other thread on this topic had a handful of responses and is already on page five of these forums, while other immigration ban threads are constantly in the forefront with lots of pages.

Link to the interview. Iraq prelate backs preference for minority refugees fleeing genocide

Do you agree that security concerns warrant the new U.S. refugee policy?

I don’t know what the president knows about security risks as they relate to the “countries of concern” and refugees from them.

I do know two things.

First, it is terrible to live with terrorism. My country lives with terrorism daily. And if the United States wants to have a strong vetting process, I can understand and appreciate that. Some people are quick to forget that Europe has tried to slow down the refugee flow too. The EU has done its best to keep the refugees in Turkey, and has paid Turkey to keep them there. Obviously, in the era of terrorism, people are concerned about who is entering their country and that is understandable.

Second, the Catholic Church is fundamentally on the side of immigrants, regardless of their faith or origin. This is a core part of who we are.* So these are complex times in a brutal world. The real question is what is the obligation of the world community, not just the U.S., to all the innocent victims of this brutality. As the Church, especially here in Iraq, we are shepherds to the innocents, all of them - those who are migrating and those who are not.

I fear that all the media discussion on this travel issue will place the focus completely on those who are in the migration process, and forget those who are still attempting to live and survive in their legitimate homeland.

One other thing: Christians and other minorities have been largely ignored by the American government before now, so even if this step had a bumpy start and required clarification, we in Iraq appreciate that an American administration understands that we are here and wants to help the minorities here who have suffered so much.

What do you make of the protests against President Trump’s refugee order?

Everyone, including the administration, seems to agree that this should have been implemented with more clarity. There was much confusion about what the order meant and many people were very upset.

From my perspective in Iraq, I wonder why all of these protesters were not protesting in the streets when ISIS came to kill Christians and Yazidis and other minority groups. They were not protesting when the tens of thousands of displaced Christians my archdiocese has cared for since 2014 received no financial assistance from the U.S. government or the U.N. There were no protests when Syrian Christians were only let in at a rate that was 20 times less than the percentage of their population in Syria.

I do not understand why some Americans are now upset that the many minority communities that faced a horrible genocide will finally get a degree of priority in some manner.

I would also say this, all those who cry out that this is a “Muslim Ban” - especially now that it has been clarified that it is not - should understand clearly that when they do this, they are hurting we Christians specifically and putting us at greater risk.* The executive order has clearly affected Christians and Yazidis and others as well as Muslims.

Here in Iraq we Christians cannot afford to throw out words carelessly as the media in the West can do.* I would ask those in the media who use every issue to stir up division to think about this. For the media these things become an issue of ratings, but for us the danger is real.

Most Americans have no concept of what it was like to live as a Yazidi or Christian or other minority as ISIS invaded. Our people had the option to flee, to convert, or to be killed, and many were killed in the most brutal ways imaginable. But there were none of these protests then of ISIS’s religious test.

Our people lost everything because of their faith - they were targeted for their faith, just like the Yazidis and others too. Now these protesters are saying that religion should not matter at all, even though someone was persecuted for their faith, even though persecution based on religion is one of the grounds for refugee status in the UN treaty on refugees.

From here I have to say, it is really unbelievable.

It is exactly this reasoning, that religion should not be a factor at all in American policy, that has resulted in Christians and other minority communities being overlooked by U.S. and UN aid programs. We are too small to matter, our communities are disappearing from constant persecution, and for years the American government didn’t care. Now when someone tries to help us, we have protesters telling us that there can be no religious basis for refugee status - even though the UN treaty and American law say that religious persecution is a major reason for granting the status, and even though ISIS targeted people primarily on the basis of religion.

I am not saying that any group should have a blanket preference when it comes to being admitted as a refugee in the United States. Such a policy would not be right, and would clearly be against our Catholic faith and teaching. And that is not the policy as I understand it.

But it is very hard for me to understand why comfortable people in the West think those who are struggling to survive against genocide, and whose communities are at extreme risk of disappearing completely, should not get some special consideration.* We are an ancient people on the verge of extinction because of our commitment to our faith.* Will anybody protest for us?


#9

Interestingly Fox News has changed he headline and the first paragraph since I posted it here but here is an interview with Archbishop Bashar Warda where he comments quite a bit on the ban: cruxnow.com/interviews/2017/02/02/iraq-prelate-backs-preference-minority-refugees-fleeing-genocide/


#10

Questioner :

What is your impression of President Trump so far?

Iraqi Archbishop :

I am not a politician and I do not offer political endorsements, but on the issues that affect my people directly, I can say that I am pleased that an American president is focused on the plight of small religious communities - including the Christians - in Iraq. In many ways, this gives us a renewed hope for the future that we are not alone and abandoned by the West and by the United States, which was the common belief here up until now.

Renewed hope indeed. Hopefully something can be done and the opponents of Trump realise their efforts to thwart that hope by paralysing his administration is a divisive mistake.


#11

Between thus and Fox News, especially the headline which Fox News Spun, its like reading two different words of the Archbishop.

He doesn’t back the travel ban, but supports that Christians are now being given preferential treatment in their plight.

If that’s true from this administration.

He also says its not just the USA’s problem, but a world problem.

Anyway, the OP headline is misleading, but I blame Fox News for it.

Jim


#12

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