Social Action Now!

An objective view to worldwide social issues

Iraq´s duty for the protection of its minorities

The situation that nowadays Iraq is living is generating a movement of the minorities that inhabit the country. The minorites are denied protection from the Iraqi governmet which is making the International community fail in taking measures to protect them, they have been neglected from their own country, to their own faith, from a country which is kicking out its population. There are a lot of minorities in Iraq which are being expelled from their country because of the unsteady situation that the Middle East is living. Jews an Christians were two of the most settle down minorities in Iraq but today there are a few left in the country and the situation is disastrous. So, as Ali Mamouri states in his article “national reconciliation in Iraq is important, as it would prompt the alliance of minorities to expand its activities; in turn, the alliance could work to further support national reconciliation.”

The statistics are tremendous. in 1990 the Jewish community in Iraq ose one of the biggest minorities of the country, nowadaus there are only six jews left in Iraq. The same happens with the Christians living there, today there are only 240.000 left in the same place where, in 2003 the number of Christian inhabitants in Iraq was over the million. The other two minorities are Mandaeans and Yazidi. Both dropped away from Iraq, there are 5.000 Mandaeans from the 50.000 that lived there in 2003. The number of Yazidians in 2003 was over a million, nowadays the number of Yazidians is unknown since the massacre by the Islamic State in 2014.

The choice of these minorities under this circumstances are very few: Leave their country for an unknown destiny, stay in the country and still suffer the consequences of the war without any kind of protection, or join one of the Iraq´s components to be provided with protection. However, Kurdistan is pushing for having a bigger political voice in this subject. They´re looking forward to establish two different councils: one to represent the region’s ethnic minorities, such as Turkmen, Arabs, Assyrians and Chaldeans and another one to represent the religious minorities like the Yazidis, Christians, Zorastrians and Baha’is. In the concrete case of the Yazidians, Kurdistan is making a call for all those Yazidians who are still living in Iraq, trying to give up their own identity and taking on the Kurdish identity, in order to reach peace in theit lives and no more murders.

This situasion is leading to massive movement from the affected countries to others where the situation is more bearable or even to countrie far away from Middle East, where the situation is completely stable. As Mamouri (2015)says “thousands of Syrians and Iraqis from their countries toward Europe by boat, train or on foot. The scenes of escape and displacement coupled with panic and catastrophe are reminiscent of the past eras of broad immigration.” The truth is that this is not the first time that Iraq have suffered massive migrations but the numbers of nowadays migrations have never been as large as they are. This will lead to a demographic desestabilization and it will raise questions about the faith on the minorities.

The problem is the following. In March 2015 UNHCR noticed that,as a result of the wars both in Syria and in Iraq, the asylum seekers in Europe have reached their maximum capacity in 22 years, a big amount of the Iraqi asylum seekers went to Turkey as their firts option but, after reaching their maximun capacity, this refugees went on with their journey towards Europe, adding to them all the Syrian refugees. Mamouri (2015) states that “The Internal Displacement Monitoring Center in Geneva announced that the number of displaced Iraqis within Iraq reached 4 million in mid-June 2015, compared with 3.5 million in December 2014, according to a survey by UNCHR, the United Nations refugee agency.

Sheikh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai, Ali al-Sistani´s spokersman, who is the supreme religious authority in Iraq has called all the emigrating youths to make them “reconsider their choices and think about their country and people. The immigration wave threatens to empty the country of its young, cultured and academic minds.” and he also called on them to “set up a conclusive development plan in the economic, industrial, agricultural and services sectors and to seek to replenish the private sector and provide jobs for as many unemployed as possible.”

It is widely accepted that the situation that Middle East is living today is completely chaotic and it has to end as soon as possible, nt only for the freedom of those who are standing this, but also for the stablity of the world, because this conflict is affecting not only the Middle East, but also the wole world, which is fighting for the concession of a new order which hopefully will put an end to this bloody conflict that is hitting the inhabitants of those countries.


  1. Mamouri, A. (2015, December 15) What Iraq needs to do to protect minorities.
  2. Behn, S. (2015, August 10) Minorities in Iraq’s Kurdistan Push for Greater Political Voice.
  3. Mamouri, A. (2015, September 17) Iraq sees exodus of minorities.

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