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Published On: Sat, Mar 17th, 2018

Baghdad Christians Dr Hisham Shafiq al-Maskuni, Shaza Malik, Khairiya Dawood stabbed to death in home

A Christian family of three living in Baghdad was found dead in their home, stabbed to death by an armed group. The International Christian Concern (ICC) reported on the story, raising awareness of the persecution in the nation.

“This is not an isolated tragedy,” the ICC article states. “Attacks on Iraq’s Christian community have forced thousands from their homes. In particular, attacks on Christians in Baghdad have led so many to flee over the years that last summer eight churches closed their doors.”

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“I cannot believe that he passed away in such a terrible way… I once heard Hisham say how people in his neighborhood are giving him hard times because they are trying to take his house and buy it,” Dr. Hisham Shafiq told ICC in tears of his co-worker and friend’s passing. “(I think) probably the killer was trying to threaten him and when Hisham recognized who he is, the killer decided to kill him and the rest of the family.”

The victims were identified as Dr. Hisham Shafiq al-Maskuni, his wife Shaza Malik, and his elderly mother Khairiya Dawood.

 

“This is the second attack against Christians in three weeks; both occurred within the same neighborhood of Baghdad. A spokesperson for Iraq’s Interior Ministry says that the individuals responsible for the deaths of Dr. Hisham Shafiq and his family were arrested on the evening of March 10,” the article noted.

Father Biyos Qasha of Baghdad Maryos Church told Rudaw, “This (attack) means that there is no place for Christians. We are seen as a lamb to be killed at any time.” He also shared his concern that “these are the signs of a start of a (new) plan to force the Christian population from their homes and out of the country.”

Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “The murder of Dr. Hisham Shafiq and his family is a tragedy that sends a deadly message to other Christians in Baghdad that they are not safe, even in their own homes. Extremists view Christians as defenseless, and thus easy targets for a wide variety of crimes. As a result, the persecution which Iraqi Christians have faced over the last decade has been monumentally heartbreaking. Our prayers are with the surviving family members during this difficult time.”

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