Baghdad (AINA) -- Concerned Iraqis belonging to the Kamil Shayaa Observatory Group (KSOG) refused to celebrate the Muslim religious holiday "Eid Al-Adha" or exchange holiday greetings, in solidarity with their Christian brethren who suffered the massacre at Our Lady of Deliverance Church on October 31.
A statement released by KSOG is making the rounds on the intranet and is being sent using text messaging. Iraqi Muslim communities in Diaspora have also expressed support for KSOG's position.
The KSOG statement said:
We will not celebrate the Eid
Respect for the pure lives stolen by blind violence in our country
In solidarity with the victims of the Church of Our Lady of Deliverance
Inspired by every moment of fear experienced by the martyrs and the hostages
In solidarity with the Christians of Iraq, who are targeted by violence, identity, presence, group, and citizenship, and who are living in ever roaming fear, as it threatens the lives and security, without a State able to protect them, and community-based initiative to defend them ..
We, the mass of educated, intellectuals and civil activists comprising over 200 civil society organizations representing all of Iraq, grouped under the "Kamil Shayaa Observatory", cancel the celebrations of Eid al-Adha, and will not exchange celebratory congratulations, and will replace these ceremonies and celebrations by lighting a candle to the martyrs of the church.
We are taking the initiative of preparing this statement and extending an open invitation to all Iraqis to join the campaign and sign the statement.
KSOG is a group of over 200 civil society organizations, in addition to professionals and intellectuals, representing all provinces. It was this group that filed and won a suit to close the open parliament session, and to stop the salaries of the parliament members during the long months of negotiations.
KSOG members will visit churches on the day of Eid Al-Adha and place flowers and ribbons as a sign of empathy with what is left of the small Christian population in Baghdad.
Furthermore, the group announced they will not celebrate Christmas, New Year, or any other holiday until the situation in Iraq improves. The Church massacre not only shocked the Christians but also the Muslims who were faced for the first time with the severity of the situation.
The act of refusing to celebrate the Eid was a direct response to the shocking atrocities perpetrated by the terrorists in the Church. More than anything else, this incident is considered the catalyst that catapulted the formation of the government and a wakeup call for the Iraqi people to stand together and demand the government to step up to the plate and serve the country and the people.