Mar 23, 2006

3 Christian Peacemakers Released in Iraq

The news about the three Christian peacemakers was noteworthy today, not only because it was a shard of happy news in this otherwise bleak cycle (of at least the past 6 years). Of course, it's happiness in the face of what created the situation to begin with, but that's not news.

What I got out of the coverage that I've heard:

1) The news that I've heard has continuously mentioned "3 Western Christian Peacemakers" and "2 Canadians and a Brit." It's notable that at least in this instance, a desi man (Harmeet Singh Sooden) who I think is a converted Sikh, is included as a Westerner, and as a Canadian. Is it because of his religion? Or is it because desis are becoming more recognized as members of these communities? Regardless, that was noteworthy.

2) As I feared, the reports are that information leading to the rescue came from 2 detained Iraqis (in Iraq). I heard the message loud and clear: Folks are critical of these detentions, but the information we got came directly from this technique.

3) Ironically, the Christian peacemakers are in Iraq in part to protest the detention of thousands of Iraqis. I didn't expect a strong condemnation of the same after this result this week, but in their celebratory statement, they write:

"Throughout these difficult months, we have been heartened by messages of concern for our four colleagues from all over the world. We have been especially moved by the gracious outpouring of support from Muslim brothers and sisters in the Middle East, Europe, and North America. That support continues to come to us day after day. We pray that Christians throughout the world will, in the same spirit, call for justice and for respect for the human rights of the thousands of Iraqis who are being detained illegally by the U.S. and British forces occupying Iraq.

During these past months, we have tasted of the pain that has been the daily bread of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Why have our loved ones been taken? Where are they being held? Under what conditions? How are they? Will they be released? When?" [link]

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