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
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
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
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.