The Jesuits were not successful, but it seems that their alumni have succeeded in helping to carry these efforts of Christian [sic] unity to fruition. These are the alumni of the two Jesuit schools in Baghdad that were closed 27 years ago. The Jesuits were expelled from Iraq in 1969 and their two schools were taken over by the Baath Party that had taken control of the Iraqi Government.
He escaped prison in 1967 and quickly became a leading member of the party. In 1968, Saddam participated in a bloodless coup led by Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr that overthrew Abdul Rahman Arif. Al-Bakr was named president and Saddam was named his deputy, and deputy chairman of the Baathist Revolutionary Command Council. According to biographers, Saddam never forgot the tensions within the first Ba'athist government, which formed the basis for his measures to promote Ba'ath party unity as well as his resolve to maintain power and programs to ensure social stability.
Although Saddam was al-Bakr's deputy, he was a strong behind-the-scenes party politician. Al-Bakr was the older and more prestigious of the two, but by 1969 Saddam Hussein clearly had become the moving force behind the party.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, as vice chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council, formally the al-Bakr's second-in-command, Saddam built a reputation as a progressive, effective politician. At this time, Saddam moved up the ranks in the new government by aiding attempts to strengthen and unify the Ba'ath party and taking a leading role in addressing the country's major domestic problems and expanding the party's following.
After the Baathists took power in 1968, Saddam focused on attaining stability in a nation riddled with profound tensions. Long before Saddam, Iraq had been split along social, ethnic, religious, and economic fault lines: Sunni versus Shi'ite, Arab versus Kurd, tribal chief versus urban merchant, nomad versus peasant. (Humphreys, 78) Stable rule in a country rife with factionalism required both massive repression and the improvement of living standards. (Humphreys, 78)
» 12/17/2003 16:34From Political Friendster
Schools, churches, mosques confiscated by Saddam Hussein return to legitimate owners
Baghdad (AsiaNews) The Provisional Governing Council decided that schools, churches, mosques and madrassas (Islamic schools) confiscated by Saddam Hussein return to their legitimate owners, while enjoying the freedom to manage their own educational resources. This decision was made last Nov. 5, but was only now made public. AsiaNews received the news via Baghdad's Church officials.
In its Nov. 5 meeting, the Council approved Decision 87 decreeing that "the cancelling of all decisions, laws and rules leading to the confiscation, closure, incorporation and annulling of the power to run colleges, mosques, institutes, and schools".
Concretely, the decision means the complete restitution of and freedom to manage colleges and schools --together with all privileges. The decision was signed by Provisional Council President, Jalal Talabani.
For Christians, Catholics, Shiites and Sunnites this means liberation: the practical result of this decision is the go-ahead for freedom in education.
This decision, above all, will be incorporated into the Constitution and will also guarentee the freedom to teach and run schools autonomously. Educational programs will be set forth at a later time.
Under Saddam Hussein's regime everything was nationalized; now freedom in education is guaranteed. Iraq, together with Jordan, are the only countries with an Islamic majority to have freedom in education.
Saddam Hussein's government abolished free schools on May 22 1974. The confiscation of properties occurred on March 10 1975. At that time there were 80 schools and colleges in existence, 34 of which were Christian. Currently, following the Provisional Government's decision 15 schools and colleges will be returned to Catholics, including one university which once belonging to the Jesuits. (BC)
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