Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Saddam's Religious Tolerance

I guess this is old news, but it's new to me.

Saddam Hussein was tolerant of Christians in Iraq, and NOW they face possible persecution. From an interview with an Iraqi Jesuit priest:

How has life been for Iraqi Christians and other non-Muslims under Saddam Hussein?

With regard to Christians and churches, there's been peace with regard to his politics. There was no religious persecution; there was tolerance. The regime of Saddam Hussein has friendly relations with church leaders.

So even though people think he's a bad ruler in other ways, you—and many other Iraqi Christians--approve of his position on religious tolerance.


If there is democracy, is it possible that conservative Muslims might vote for an almost fanatical leader?

I agree it will not be easy. The leadership in the beginning might try to be tolerant. The difficulty is connected with the ever-growing vexation and dissatisfaction of the Muslim "street" all over the world with America's unchanging policy towards Israel, for siding persistently with Israel and neglecting the just rights of the Palestinians. Any leadership in Iraq might be democratic at first, but there will be a problem unless U.S. policy begins to be more balanced towards the Palestinian cause.

Saddam Hussein was far more tolerant of Christians practicing their faith in his country than Bush's good friends, Saudi Arabia.

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