Frederick P. Isaac

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Articles and book information on Assyrian issues including contemporary history, experiences under Islamic rule, leadership and Assyrian aspirations to nationhood.


Indigenous Peoples

Under the Rule of Islam

 

by Frederick P. Isaac

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Insatiable Greed for Dominance

 

 

Social and Political Status of the Assyrians
 

 

It is not surprising that the West could not apply the same policy of annulment on the Arabs in Palestine as it did on the Assyrians, during the mandated periods of the Middle East region, in the immediate aftermath of World War I.

The Mandated Powers abolished the map of Mesopotamia. They dismembered it, including the physical map of Assyria that until 1922 had existed in the World Atlas. By doing so, the League Council annulled the national identity of the Assyrian people, invalidated their political status and classified them as Christian minorities of various denominational ‘millet’ groups of specious backgrounds.

The Assyrians of Hakkari-Van, Turkey and Urmia, Iran were evicted from their native land. They ended up in the Province of Mosul. Some were rehabilitated in isolation of their kinfolk in Iraq and Syria. Others were dispersed into the Muslim majority and the rest were left stranded. They were scattered all over the Middle East and left to fend for themselves with a view to their gradual assimilation.

The Council’s illegal action led to fragmentation of the Assyrian people. The Assyrians were dispersed into the Arab-Islamic states in a bid to integrate them with the overwhelming Islamic majority. The Mandate’s objective was to deny the Assyrian legitimate claim to their ancestral land. They were dispossessed and left at the mercy of their traditional enemy, without any subsistence or concern as to their future.

The Palestinians rejected such a ploy. They objected to the Mandate’s unfavourable policy of a coalition government. They resisted the Mandate’s fragmentation scheme to be vanquished into the neighbouring Arab states. They adamantly fought the dispersal policy and sought the help of the Arab governments, resorting to jihad.

Islamic countries and later the Arab League, in the early sixties, supported the Palestinians in retaining an Arab identity, by classifying them Palestinian Arabs. The Abode of Peace welcomed the Palestinians to reside in their countries as temporary guests, classifying them as displaced refugees.

The Palestinian travelled with a passport issued by the host government visibly marked “Bearer of the Passport is of Palestinian nationality”. Bearer of the travel document was identified as a refugee and not a naturalised citizen of the Arab host country. The Arab League maintained this course of action to preserve his Palestinian entity, in anticipation of reclaiming the whole territory under the British Mandate as Arab Palestine.

In the case of the Assyrians, the League of Nations classified the Assyrian people as a minority and not as displaced refugees, deluding the world that the evicted Assyrians were living in a host country and not on their own Assyrian soil.

The Assyrian nation was fragmented into several denominational groups with the object of their assimilation in several neighbouring Islamic countries. They were termed alien ‘millets’. The West did not divide Mesopotamia according to the need and legitimate rights of the native dwellers of the region. The victorious Western Powers divided it to satisfy the Arab-Islamic wishes and for their own political reasons and economic benefits.

The Mandates redrew the political map of the Middle East. They created Arab/Islamic countries and handed over the whole of the Middle East region to the Muslim occupiers. The legitimacy of the other Middle East dispossessed nations, Jews and Assyrians, was ignored. They failed to protect the traditional territories of the native settlers that rightfully belonged to them from time immemorial. Restoration of Israel and Assyria, under protection of the League of Nations, would have created a healthy equilibrium and struck a sound balance of power among the several diversified ethnic groups, different in language, culture and religion. Just distribution of land, by the Mandated Powers, would have been a positive move, assisting in the long-term stabilization of the region, easing of tension, and creating greater awareness of their sovereignty and respect for each other’s rights and borders.

It would have contributed towards attainment of closer rapprochement, and durable peace in the Middle East. The native inhabitants have not benefited anything from the Islamic rule, especially the indigenous Assyrians; they have suffered the most.

To do justice to the traditional inhabitants of the Middle East, the world community needs to reconsider its policy in regards to the indigenous peoples of the region. From day one, Islamic regimes were built on shaky grounds. They never had a civil system of government based on secular democratic principles in the first place. Their system was either tribal or sectarian.

The Arabs and their predecessor the Ottoman Turks ruled by the system of the Consultative Council (Majlis Al-Shuri), a system inherited from days of old. It had emerged and developed into a ruling cult with the inception of Islam. Their Council (Majlis) was a body made up of warlords, tribal leaders, close associates and powerful members of the ruling clan.

After the death of the prophet, the Islamic nation was headed by the Khalipha, successor of the prophet and ruling head of all Muslims of the world, for life. The Consultative Council (Majlis Al-Shuri) did not rule by a written constitution.

Islam, in its precept, strives to assume world dominance, by whatever means available to it, mainly by force, through traditional jihad. Its religion, they believe, will be applicable to all peoples, to all time and all places on earth. To them, it is universal and eternal in the sense that it will be the domineering religion worldwide. A secular constitution does not agree with the Islamic rule of their religious Shari’ah law (Pryce-Jones, 1989: p 354; Mawdudi, 1992: pp 115-116).

Certain Islamic organisations commit violent actions and the world media describe them as acts of terrorism. The said organizations accuse the media of being biased and against Islam for calling their organisations by their religious names such as, Hezbullah (the party of God), Junoud Muhammad (Muhammad’s soldiers), Jundu-Llah (Allah’s Army), Fatih (Conquest), Jihad (Struggle in the name of Allah) etc. Notwithstanding, they all carry arms publicly. Either, such militant organisations carry arms, in defiance of the government of the day or the government itself sanctions it. They insist that they are legitimate.

Unless the concept of jihad is redefined theologically and accepted by its advocates and adherents as a non-violent precept, violence will continue. Unless jihad is concurrently practised as a peaceful means to preaching the call of the Muhammadan message of (Al-Da’awa), there will be no change in the uncompromising stance and vehement practice of jihad. Constitutional reform on the lines of other secular democratic countries would be undesirable, hence untenable.

To gain the confidence and respect of the world, Islam needs to separate and make a clear-cut distinction between a militant mujahid who commits acts of incursion and open challenges of slaughter and destruction, and between a peaceful and unarmed Mujahid. In the Islamic society, a military uniformed Mujahid and a civilian Mujahid, whether militant or peaceful, congregate at the mosque of their vicinity and pray together. They understandably form one unilateral society. In their dictum, jihad is part of their Islamic religion, acceptable to all the mujahideen, and will remain as is, and will not be compromised. The Islamic society is aware of this fact. It accepts such members in its various communities and government sectors as legitimate. It is part of its overall traditional religious and social system. Islamic government view a mujahid, regardless of his social status, as a potential freedom fighter, in promoting the cause of Islam, for the sake of Allah whatever the circumstance and intensity.

Prophet Muhammad himself led and sanctioned, numerous (ghazawat) raids, considering them as normal Arab tradition, a testimony that the Islamic Message of (Al-Da’awa) is propagated through jihad, holy war, against the ‘infidel’, considering such action as a religious duty. Muhammad owned several swords of different types. During his lifetime, Muhammad always girded himself with a sword before going to battle (on more than two hundred separate occasions). He possessed several swords of different shapes. His swords had names, the favourite of which was “THU LFIQAR”. The names of some of his famous swords are: AL-BATTAR, AL-MA’ASSOUB, AL-MOKHATHAM, AL-RUSSOUB, AL-HATF and AL-ADHB. Constant bearers of his swords accompanied Muhammad when at war. Islam follows the example of their spiritual leader.

Heads of The Abode of Peace regime behave like brats. Like a spoilt child that always nags and is never satisfied. They continue to demand and never compromise. Arab/Islamic countries have received billions upon billions of U.S. dollars from the West, in cash and in kind, in the form of dividends, financial grants; all types of aid, loans, education, vocational and on-the-job training. Yet, the Arab/Islamic states defiantly refuse to reform their government system to a secular democratic constitution to take their place in the world order of the day. Instead, their heads of government continue in their trend of creating an order of their own, fostering the doctrine of the Abode of War and the Abode of Peace in a bid to achieving a global Islamic Nation, under the Islamic (Shari’ah) rule, denying other peoples’ total rights to their religion, culture and ownership of their land. (Assyrians - the Forgotten People, Part V; p1).

 

 

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