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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Hope of Survival 

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Holistic Rights of the Indigenous

 

 

CONCLUSION

RESTORATION OF NATURAL RIGHTS

 

 

The Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, under the Commission on Human Rights of the United Nations has as recently as August 1994 approved the draft Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples. It is a sign of good omen. It is a step in the right direction towards restoration of the rights of the disinherited aboriginal peoples (Gray: 1995, Part VI, p10).

Many domineering countries have deliberately dislodged the indigenous people from their original dwellings and depopulated their villages such as in Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, the Sudan and Algeria. Islamic governments confiscated lands of the indigenous people and declared them government property. The natives were dispersed to remote areas and resettled in inhospitable locations without adequate amenities. Instead of treating them with respect and giving them their due place in society as rightful owners of the land, the Islamic governments categorize them as a ‘diminishing minority’. They downgrade their status and active role in the government to destroy their social fabric. They describe them as unimportant and burdensome on the treasury and bemoan them as a dying or disappearing race, heading towards total extinction, extending from Turkey and the Middle East, all throughout North Africa, to archipelago of Indonesia and other Islamic neighbouring states.

The Assyrian census is estimated at about five million throughout the world. Since Post World War I, the Assyrians have been scattered throughout the world. The majority now lives in Diaspora, due to past and recent turbulences in the Middle East. Their systematic persecution by their domineering rulers over the years has reduced their number in their ancestral land, considerably. This does not mean that the Assyrians are extinct as the government of Iraq and other Islamic countries of the Abode of Peace want the world to believe.

Dispersion does not mean extinction. Iraq distorts the truth and falsifies textbooks of history and social studies about the Assyrians. It is a discriminatory policy to undermine and demoralize the Assyrians. It is part of its policy of the educational curriculum that it teaches in schools. There is no free and direct access for the media or a UN representative to verify such allegations. The world may reluctantly accept the false Iraqi version of its Bureau of Statistics at face value. It shows the total Assyrian population as less than one per cent (1%).

The Iraqi government classifies only the ‘Nestorians’, members of the Ancient Church of the East, as Assyrians. The remaining sects that make a sizable majority are officially classified by the Iraqi government as non-Assyrian. They are categorised as ‘Chaldean’, ‘Jacobite’, Orthodox, Maronite and/or Christian ‘Arab’. They are enumerated on separate census sheets as non-Assyrian Iraqi citizens to lessen the true census of the Assyrians and understate the Assyrian population in Iraq to insignificance.
By this deceptive method, the Iraqi government distorts the national identity of the Assyrians, understates its population, derogates their social status and makes them look in the eyes of the world as insignificant sect groups of alien origin. Syria adopts the same policy on the ‘Syriani’ and ‘Nestorian’ Assyrians.

Imposition of censorship and total restriction on free press is part of Iraq’s suppressive policy. They have attempted to disintegrate the Assyrian native population. It is cultural genocide against the Assyrian people. Without an indigenous representative, elected by the indigenous people themselves, to speak on their behalf, the despotic regimes play down the significance of the Assyrian legacy. As has always been the case, Islamic governments have the upper hand in controlling the media and suppressing the truth.

Besides seizing their land, showing the total Assyrian population as less than one per cent (1%), such oppressive regimes also dictate their will on the Assyrian people by adopting a blanket policy of silence against them. The outside world listens to propagation of the official version of the ruling governments. The aboriginal nationals have no say in regulating their life. They are prisoners in their own homeland. Islamic regimes insulate the Assyrians from the world’s view and the media as if they do not exist.

 

 

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Hope of Survival 

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Holistic Rights of the Indigenous

 

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