Photos: Mass celebrated in Christian church newly reopened in Baghdad

Michael Yon follows up on his widely publicized chronicle of the reopening of St. John’s, venturing inside for the first Mass and relaying a message from the local Muslims to their Christian former neighbors to come home. That raises a key logistical question touched on yesterday in WaPo’s front-pager on the Iraqi government’s paralysis:

Officials identified other potential problems flowing from reductions in violence. Military planners already worry that if security continues to improve, many of the 2 million Iraqis who fled the country will return. Those who left are overwhelmingly Sunni, and many of their old houses are occupied by Shiites. How would the Shiite-dominated Iraqi army and police handle the likely friction? “Displaced people is a major flashpoint” to worry about in 2008, said Fetter.

Indeed, although if the people Yon spoke to are representative, it won’t be in the Dora neighborhood. The takeaway line: “Real Muslims here are quick to say that al Qaeda members are not true Muslims.”


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