The ongoing terror in Iraq is driving an increasing number of refugees to Europe. Now the EU is being forced to make some tough decisions: Who will be allowed to stay in Europe, and will Iraqi Christians have greater chances here than Muslims? Bassam persevered for five years, believing that he could live with the daily violence, the car bombs, the roadside bombs and the snipers. But the terror kept getting closer and closer. At first, poverty and crime drove Bassam, a 45-year-old electrician, from his war-torn village deep in Iraq’s south to the capital Baghdad, where he opened a stand selling ordinary electrical items like light bulbs, two-way adapters and hotplates. It was a miserable life, but bearable — until Bassam became caught between rival militias. He was told to pay protection money, and eventually his little shop went up in flames. SPIEGEL Staff report.
Germany may act alone to rescue Iraqi Christians if fellow European Union nations continue to refuse a joint welcome to the refugees, according to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s top adviser on immigration Tuesday. Maria Boehmer said in Berlin that members of the ancient Christian minority were regularly being threatened by Islamist gangs, who were giving households a choice of converting to Islam or leaving the country within 24 hours. “In view of the serious human rights crisis in the region, rapid action is needed,” she said in Berlin. “The plight of the non-Muslim minorities which have fled to Jordan and Syria to get away from persecution is getting worse.” She called for Germany to receive refugees alone if an EU welcome were not quickly issued. Critics in the EU have argued that help for the Christians would discriminate against any Muslims who leave Iraq. Boehmer, who is government commissioner on migration policy, rejected that. “We have to start off by helping those whose plight is worst,” she said.