Lincoln Iraqi community holds rally - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Lincoln Iraqi community holds rally

By: Lauren Fabrizi

As the crisis in Iraq continues, those in the Iraqi community here in Lincoln are fearing for the lives of their loved ones.

"Extremists are crossing the boarder everyday between Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, and they are killing the Iraqi people," Husayn Farhad said.

Farhad has family back in Iraq.

"Trying to live a peaceful life, and they are getting bombed and shelled like everyday," he said. "It is really scary and painful, I'm unable to go to work."

As the Sunni militant group, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, and the Iraqi military continue to battle for control of the government, hundreds are being killed.

But here in Lincoln, the Iraqis want peace in their homeland. About two hundred of them came out for a rally Thursday near 23rd and O Streets.

"We here to tell them to stop interfering with our government in Iraq and leave them alone," Majid Alhijam said. "We ask for support. Nebraska Human Rights, all the organizations to stand together with us against terrorism."

They're also calling on the federal government. President Barack Obama is sending up to 300 U.S. military advisors to help strengthen Iraq's forces. 90 of them are already there.

Iraq wants the U.S. to help with air strikes against ISIS fighters, something the President said won't happen unless Iraq forms a new government where all factions share power.

"It doesn't have to be military action," Alhijam said. "He can send a message to Saudi Arabia, Turkey to stop interfering with Iraq."

"Please ask those countries to stop funding terrorism," Farhad added. "They are getting huge amounts of money, ammunition even men."

Those who came out Thursday said they plan to do rally again but on a bigger scale. They hope more people from the Iraqi community in Nebraska will stand together.
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