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Iraqi lawmaker attempts to reassure Christians of rights

ICC Note

“We do not want to immigrate to the US or Britain – we want to stay in Iraq and have our representatives in both the provincial councils and the legislature. We want to be treated equally as Iraqis living with the Muslims and other nationals in a united brotherly spirit.”

By Jennifer Gold

10/07/2008 Iraq (Christian Today)-A senior lawmaker in Iraq spoke on Monday of the “urgent” need to resolve a dispute with the country’s tiny Christian community over the removal of a minority quota system in the provincial elections.

Christians in Iraq , who number less than three per cent of the population, fear that last month’s decision by the Iraqi parliament to drop the quota system in six of Iraq ’s 18 provinces will exclude them from the political process.

The deputy speaker of parliament, Khalid al-Attiyah, was quoted by the Associated Press as telling a news conference on Monday, “No political bloc in parliament has the intention of denying small ethnic minorities their constitutional rights.

The Rev Louis al-Shabi, a preacher at a Chaldean church in Baghdad , said meanwhile, “We do not want to immigrate to the US or Britain – we want to stay in Iraq and have our representatives in both the provincial councils and the legislature. We want to be treated equally as Iraqis living with the Muslims and other nationals in a united brotherly spirit.”

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