Today, there is more liberty, more democracy and more freedom of expression than we had cruelly lacked for decades, but we have also lost many things. We have lost our security and stability, which are essential for a people to live. From 750 000 Christians in Iraq, 200 000 have left the country in the last few years. There is also unemployment and terrorist attacks. We, like the mosques, have been targeted, and we do not want to be regarded as a minority. Our motto has always been «Iraq for all and all for Iraq». It is true that there are radical religious trends in Iraq, but the church acknowledges the Islam and it is our hope that the majority of the Muslims will manage to preserve the country from totalitarianism. We accept the fact that they represent 95% of the population and I have good relationships with Basra Muslims. There are the extremists who know nothing about Christendom. Most of them are foreigners, I have a feeling that more and more terrorists infiltrate in Iraq everyday.
The city of Basra is very much destroyed and tired, there is little medication, insufficient drinking water. We are also lacking electric power; schools and hospitals are very poorly supplied. Nothing has changed since the war began, however we were victims of a double sanction, that of the UN and that of Saddam Hussein. The government, the occupying troops are responsible for this. It is unacceptable to leave a people under 60 degrees Celsius and 80% humidity without water and electric power. We had hoped to lead a normal life after the war but we see no change at all. Security has improved slightly in the south but it may be dangerous at times. The fact of having a government should at least make us see some progress.

Die Presse (Austria)

« Seit dem Kriegsbeginn hat sich nichts geändert », by Gabriel Kassab, Die Presse, April 27, 2005. Text adapted from an interview.