Al-Mada, Iraq, Originally posted in Arabic on December 26
Iraqi Facebook users have recently launched an online campaign aimed at restoring the lost pride and memory of Iraqi Jews. The activists not only target anti-Jewish groups online in an attempt to shut them down, but also actively advocate the momentous role played by Jews in the creation of the Mesopotamian civilization.
Jews came to this land hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, and Christians came to this region hundreds of years prior to the advent of Islam. In other words, we are not the only people native to this country. Indeed, much of Babylon’s and Baghdad’s glory can still be attributed to Jews and Christians.
The launching of this campaign is an important step that should not be undermined. Those behind it are young Muslim Iraqis, who reflect a bigger change occurring in our society: more and more intellectuals and young adults are finally coming to terms with the historical injustice experienced by the Jews and Christians of Iraq. By publicly discussing such issues we are helping build a more tolerant and pluralistic society; one that accepts multiple peoples, religions, and creeds and is tolerant of different races, ethnicities, and skin colors.
This campaign is important because it is a call for all Iraqi people to live together in peace in this land – Arabs, Kurds, Turks, and Armenians; Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Yezidis; and Shiites and Sunnis. It might only be an online effort, but it is an important first step.
It is finally offering us a chance to come to terms with the forceful expulsion of our Jewish Iraqi brothers and sisters some 60 years ago, and reminds us that even today, many of our Christian countrymen are still being displaced by forces claiming to speak on behalf of Islam. – Udnan Hussein