India apprehends Rohingya attempting to reach Pakistan

The Rohingya are Burmese Muslims who have spread out from the Arakan region of what we now call Myanmar to Bangladesh, Malaysia and Thailand among other nations in the region.   We have an entire category on their efforts to be resettled in Western countries.   But, as we have noted before, and as this article demonstrates, some Rohingya are suspected of having  joined international terrorist organizations.  India is trying to determine if these undocumented aliens are Rohingya.

From the Times of India:

Thirty-two Myanmarese nationals were arrested from the Kolkata railway station on Wednesday morning while they were trying to board the Jammu Tawi Express.

Apart from 25 men, four women and three children were in the group. None of them had valid documents to show that they had crossed over into India legally. Authorities are now trying to ascertain whether they are members of the Rohingya community from the Arakan region of Myanmar.

The arrest sent ripples in the police headquarters at Lalbazar because some members of this community are known to receive arms training in camps run by the HuJI and then return to Myanmar to fight the military junta there. Some of them remain with the HuJI.


Security agencies suspect the Myanmarese nationals may have been living in Bangladesh as refugees and then crossed over to India.

Who are the HuJI?   Go here to learn more.

ANSWER joins with Muslim groups to demonstrate against Israel on Tuesday

International ANSWER, the Marxist group that has held large demonstrations against the Iraq War, is organizing with several American Muslim groups including the Muslim America Society on Tuesday to protest the recent military action by Israel against Hamas.

For a list of cities where demonstrations are planned go here.    For more on ANSWER go here.

I’m reporting this story because it further demonstrates some points I have been making in the community destabilization category about the close relationship between Marxist/Leninist groups with an international agenda and the supposedly mainstream Islamic advocacy groups in the US.   Communists are joining forces here and around the world with Islamic extremists to destabilize governments.

Christians are “the roots of Iraq”

At the risk of being repetitive, I want to share a Reuters article that mentions an important fact many are not aware of (hat tip: Dhimmi Watch):

Christians have no political ambitions and they don’t have militias to defend themselves. They are peaceful people,” Thaier al-Sheikh, the pastor of the Sacred Heart church, said as he sipped tea in his rectory.

“Christians have been here longer than Muslims, 600 years longer. We are the roots of Iraq,” he said.

“We want to live in this country; we don’t want anything else. But we want to live peacefully … Unfortunately, today we have the impression that Christians have no future in Iraq,” he said, standing before he donned his gold-trimmed clerical robes.

Here’s why many Christians have that impression:

Suspicions that religious minorities had no future in Shi’ite Muslim-led Iraq were aggravated in November by parliament’s decision to give minorities just six out of 440 local government seats in provincial elections next month.

Christians were set aside three seats nationally, with only one in Baghdad — too few in the eyes of many Christians.

The government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki had sought a greater share of seats for minorities, but many Christians felt slighted when it approved the law with a smaller number anyway.

Then there are the recent attacks in Mosul, the northern city where many Christians had fled from the violence elsewhere because it used to be safer. Liz Sly writes in the Chicago Tribune from Lebanon, where Christians who can afford the airfare flee because its population is 40 percent Christian, unlike Syria and Jordan where Christians are not really welcome at all. She gives some useful figures about Iraqi Christians:

…as many as 500,000 to 700,000 of the 1.4 million Christians in Iraq are believed to have fled in the past five years, according to a report last week by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent body appointed by Congress.

“Five years from now there won’t be any Christians left in Iraq. It’s happening quietly but also very quickly,” said retired Gen. Michel Kasdano, a researcher and spokesman at the Chaldean Archbishopric.

I don’t necessarily believe that last statement. Projections based on current trends are usually wrong.

In 2006 and 2007, most of the new arrivals were from Baghdad, he said. But since the attacks in late October against Christians in Mosul, which forced an estimated 2,000 Christian families to flee to nearby villages, Christians have been arriving from the north, which was previously considered relatively safe.

Then some more numbers:

Christians still represent a small minority of refugees, aid agencies point out. About 60 percent of all the Iraqis who fled are Sunni Muslims, even though they account for only 20 percent of Iraq’s population, said Sybella Wilkes of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Damascus, Syria.

But Christians, who accounted for 4 percent of Iraq’s population on the eve of the war, are also disproportionately represented, comprising 16 percent of the 1.1 million refugees in Syria and 25 percent of the 50,000 refugees in Lebanon, the UN says.

They also account for a disproportionate number of those being granted asylum overseas.

Of the 16,874 Iraqis resettled in the U.S. since 2006, 48 percent are Christians, according to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Others claim asylum in Western countries such as Sweden and Australia, though not all will be admitted, leaving their future uncertain.

I don’t think we’ve seen that 48 percent number before. Ann can tell me — she’s better at remembering things than I am. I know we were once told that the State Department doesn’t keep statistics on the religion of Iraqi refugees. Is that idiotic or what?

Okay, back to the original subject: The long history of Christians in Iraq. Here’s a very brief BBC piece that gives some facts:

Christians have inhabited what is modern day Iraq for about 2,000 years, tracing their ancestry to ancient Mesopotamia and surrounding lands.

….Most Iraqi Christians are Chaldeans, Eastern-rite Catholics who are autonomous from Rome but who recognise the Pope’s authority.

Chaldeans are an ancient people, some of whom still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus.

The other significant community are Assyrians, the descendants of the ancient empires of Assyria and Babylonia.

After their empires collapsed in the 6th and 7th Centuries BC, the Assyrians scattered across the Middle East.

They embraced Christianity in the 1st Century AD, with their Ancient Church of the East believed to be the oldest in Iraq.

Assyrians also belong to the Syrian Orthodox Church, the Chaldean Church, and various Protestant denominations.

….Other ancient Churches include Syrian Catholics, Armenian Orthodox and Armenian Catholic Christians, who fled from massacres in Turkey in the early 20th Century.

There are also small Greek Orthodox and Greek Catholic communities, as well as Anglicans and Evangelicals.

Muhammed, the founder of Islam, was born in 570 A.D. The Christian lands of the Middle East were conquered by force of arms, and Christianity was suppressed. Contrary to politically correct reports that Islam was tolerant and all religions lived in peace with each other, non-Muslims became dhimmis, second-class-citizens, and were subjected to special high taxes and other oppressive measures, so for many it was easier to convert to Islam than to continue as Christians.

There’s the history in brief, and that’s the reason for this quote at the end of the Reuters article:

Peter Maqdusi insisted that Christians’ millenarian history here means they have no choice but to await a more stable, peaceful Iraq.

“We have made sacrifices and our ancestors have made sacrifices. This is our land,” he said.

And that’s why the U.S. should be making heroic efforts to make sure Christians are treated properly in Iraq and are not forced to flee. Instead, we approved a constitution that enshrines Sharia law as the law of the land.

Australia could take Gitmo prisoners for resettlement

Looks like governments around the world are lining up to take those hot potato Guantanamo Bay prisoners.    I guess they are assuming these guys just need some tender care, love and understanding and they will become model citizens.  From The Australian:

KEVIN Rudd has left open the possibility of Australia taking former inmates from the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay.

But he warned that any US request for an inmate to come would be subject to legal criteria and assessed on a case-by-case basis, The Australian reports.

Then this part was surprising to me, but I don’t know much about Australian politics, the Greens are protesting against the plan already.  I thought the lefties pretty much stuck together.  Here in the US the major environmental groups hang tight with those promoting open borders.   Maybe this isn’t so in Australia.

As the Greens warned the Prime Minister he faced a political backlash if he accepted detainees held in the US military jail at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, a spokesman for Mr Rudd confirmed US authorities had approached Australia and other countries about resettling the detainees.

Want to help refugees? Give locally!

This morning we had a commenter named Ben ask at this old post on the International Rescue Committee where we could recommend he make a donation to help refugees.

Since many of you may be looking for places to donate this last week of the year, my recommendation to help struggling (and increasingly out of work) refugees is to find a local organization or church that is directly involved with caring for refugees and give to that local group where you can see the results of your donation.    I told Ben that better still would be to find a specific family through that local organization and give for their immediate needs.

Or, give to an organization that takes care of refugees the right way.

If you don’t have refugees in your area then consider giving to Christian Freedom International.   This organization located in Michigan,  in my opinion, exemplifies the way refugees should be cared for—one family/one sponsor.  Last I heard they refused government contracts and did their charitable work the old fashioned way—with private charity.   Here is an article I received just yesterday about one example of the kind of work they do.

CFI is not a government contractor with fat cat salaries and offices in New York City.   They work directly with refugees in camps in places like Thailand and take care of refugees one at a time.     As brutal as it sounds, the world’s poor can’t all be saved, so one should make sure that those who are resettled are well-cared-for until they get on their feet and become Americans.