Monday, July 13, 2009


BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The ethnically mixed Iraqi city of Mosul imposed a curfew on vehicles in Christian neighbourhoods on Monday, responding to a spate of bomb attacks targeting churches in Baghdad, police said. The curfew, mostly affecting suburbs on the outskirts, was to be lifted at 2pm (noon British time) on Monday and it was imposed to prevent similar bombings around the city, still Iraq's most violent and home to most of the country's Christians.

Bombs exploded outside five Christian churches in Baghdad on Sunday, in apparently coordinated attacks that killed four people and wounded more than 30, Iraqi police said. In the most serious attack, a car bomb exploded near a church in eastern Baghdad, killing four people and wounding 21. Iraq's Christians, who number about 750,000, are a small minority in a mainly Muslim country of about 28 million people. Christians have sporadically been targets, mostly in Baghdad and Mosul, leading many of them to flee abroad.

Baghdad security spokesman Qassim al-Moussawi said that, while there was no curfew in Baghdad, Iraqi security forces had stepped up measures to protect religious sites in the capital, which are frequent targets for militants hoping to stoke sectarian tensions. "Today we took measures to redeploy the security forces to concentrate on the vital targets for us, like mosques and Hussainiyas (Shi'ite mosques)," Moussawi said. The sectarian violence that nearly tore Iraq apart in 2006 and 2007 has faded but militants still carry out attacks. Some 2,000 families, an estimated 12,000 people, fled Mosul after a campaign of threats and attacks on Christians there in October last year, but many have since returned.

The Lieutenant Mozee: If some of my questions sound disrespectful, it is only because I do not completely understand your religious beliefs. I mean no disrespect whatsoever.
Srila Prabhupada: No, it is not a question of my religious beliefs. I am simply pointing out the distinction between human life and animal life. Animals cannot possibly learn anything about God, but human beings can. However, if human beings are not given the facility to learn about God, then they remain on the level of cats and dogs. You cannot have peace in a society of cats and dogs. Therefore, it is the duty of the governmental authorities to see that people are taught how to become God conscious. Otherwise, there will be trouble, because without God consciousness there is no difference between a dog and a man: the dog eats, we eat; the dog sleeps, we sleep; a dog has sex, we have sex; a dog tries to defend itself, and we also try to defend ourselves. These are the common factors. The only difference is that a dog cannot be instructed about his relationship with God, but a man can.

Lieutenant Mozee: Wouldn't peace be a precursor to a return to religion? Must we not first have peace?
Srila Prabhupada: No, no, that is the difficulty. At the present moment, no one actually knows the meaning of religion. Religion means to abide by the laws of God, just as good citizenship means to abide by the laws of the government. Because no one has any understanding of God, no one knows the laws of God or the meaning of religion. This is the present status of people in today's society. They are forgetting religion, taking it to be a kind of faith. Faith may be blind faith. Faith is not the real description of religion. Religion means the laws given by God, and anyone who follows those laws is religious, whether a Christian, a Hindu, or a Muslim.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Science of Self Realization - Chapter 6 - Discussions with Lieutenant David Mozee,
a media relations officer for the Chicago Police Department - July, 1975."

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