CPT Activist Killed in Iraq

Fox tried to mend country ripped apart by horrific violence

The body of American activist Tom Fox was found in Baghdad last week. The 54-year-old Quaker was a father of two who worked as a grocer in Clearbrook, Va. For the past two years, he worked with Christian Peacemakers Team in Iraq and was one of four activists who were kidnapped last November. The whereabouts of his colleagues, Canadians Harmeet Sooden and Jim Loney and Briton Norman Kember, are still unknown. Since the kidnapping over three months ago, the men's captors have repeatedly called for the release of all prisoners in U.S. and Iraqi detention centers and have threatened to kill these men if their demands are not met. The White House has been quiet on the issue, though a spokesman for the State Department released a statement calling for the "unconditional release of all other hostages." It has been reported that 430 foreigners have been kidnapped in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion, 45 of whom are currently missing. It is unknown exactly how many Iraqis are abducted, but reports range from 10 to 30 people a day.

Up until the day before his abduction, Tom Fox kept a blog called Waiting in the Light. The following is from a post in which Fox responds to a day in May 2005 that saw 31 people dead, 42 injured, and 17 abducted in Baghdad: "Imagine if these events took place in one day in Washington, D.C. or London, England. A state of emergency would be declared (Baghdad has been under a state of emergency for almost six months) and martial law would be imposed. Many civilians would probably stay home and some might leave the area. There would be nothing else on the media except coverage of the bloodshed. Life as normal would cease, as the populace would look to their government for leadership in bringing the chaos under control. The populace would demand that this complete breakdown of the social fabric be mended immediately. But eventually the populace would look for answers. Why did these horrible events transpire? What led up to this total meltdown of civil society? Who created this nightmare situation?"

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Tom Fox, Christian Peacemakers Team, Iraq, Harmeet Sooden, Jim Loney, Norman Kember

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