Mr. Speaker, between 1979 and 2003, Saddam Hussein ruled over the people of Iraq through the use of fear, intimidation and terror. While Saddam Hussein seemed to enjoy inflicting atrocities upon the whole of the Iraqi people, he had a special affinity for persecuting Iraqi Christians, like those living in Nineveh.
In the time following Saddam Hussein's conviction as a war criminal, the people of Iraq have gained much. However, despite this progress, there is still much to do in this emerging democracy.
Discrimination against Iraqi Christians continues to prevent children from attending classes and their parents from fully engaging in society. To put it another way, Iraq's shameful history of human rights suppression has still not ended and this can be clearly seen as a result of the recent killings.
I again call upon the government to use every diplomatic tool to ensure the basic ideals of religious freedom and tolerance are respected and protected for all Iraqis.
Iraqi Christians deserve our support and our protection. I believe that by speaking out and through constructive engagement, we can help make this a reality.