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Translation Translation from English


Muslim World: Revolution!
(for Muslim Arabs Only)

By Zvi Mazel

Christians of note-
For unkown resons Zvi Mazel has very little to write about the rights of the Assyrians who are often called "Christians of iraq." due to their being persecuted because of their christianity.

"Due to their distinct ethnic and religious identity, the Assyrians have been habitually persecuted under various regimes, until this day for refusing to recant their ethnicity and their religion. They face systematic and serious assaults on their fundamental human rights on a daily basis by different levels of authority and denying them peace in their multi-ethnic ancestral nation-state: Iraq." see;

Though Assyrias have inhabited the region known today as Iraq since before Christinaity, before the 7th century Arab conquest of the region and before Kurds migration to northern Iraq during the last 200 years Zvi Mazel seems to be asking for independence for the Kurds but nothing for Assyrians. One has to wonder why?

People have taken to the streets in Arab countries to topple repressive regimes and set up democratic governments -- such is the consensus in the West. But will these new Arab democracies, should they ever come into being, embody significant changes regarding non-Muslim or non- Arab minorities? Discrimination against the other -- the one who is not a Muslim Arab -- or the refusal to accept the other, is one of the more complex political and ethical issues in the Middle East and North Africa, even though it is rarely mentioned.

Now that a revolutionary wave is sweeping across the Arab world, one must ask whether the revolution is for all or for Muslim Arabs alone. The Middle East and North Africa are home to millions of national and religious minorities living under Arab occupation since the seventh century; they are still waiting for equality or fighting for independence. The Kurds are among the oldest peoples in the world, and they have kept their identity through centuries of Arab and Ottoman occupation. Though Islamized, they have kept their language (Indo-European close to Persian), traditions and customs.

Today their number is estimated at 25 million to 30 million, dispersed between Turkey (15 million), Iran (5 million), Iraq (5 million) and Syria (2 million). They have been unsuccessfully fighting for independence since the breakdown of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I, and tens of thousands have been killed by the Turks and the Arabs. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein did not hesitate to use chemical weapons against them, and thousands died a painful death in the north of the country.

Saddam also implemented a displacement policy, driving Kurds away from their villages and from Kirkuk and bringing in Sunni Arabs. Indeed, tensions run high today between the Kurdish autonomous region -- set up by allied forces after the Gulf War to protect the Kurds against Saddam -- and the Iraqi central government. Three months ago political parties in that autonomous region proclaimed the right of self-determination for the Kurdish people, a clear call for independence.

There was no reaction from Arab governments and the West did not voice its support. THE BERBERS, another people living under occupation in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, are considered the native North Africa population. Their name is derived from "barbarian" since, according to some, they spoke neither Latin nor Greek. Before the Arab conquest, they had a flourishing agricultural culture. In their own tongue they call t h e m s e l v e s Amazigh and their language is Tamazight.

They were Islamized and even played an important role in expending Islam in Spain but have always retained their original identity. Since the North African countries gained independence in the 1960s, they have been resisting Arabization (preferring the French language) and fighting for the recognition of their distinct culture. The Berbers in Algeria make up more than 20 percent of the population. Many of them live in Kabylia and have managed to set up an active, strong independence movement. In 2010 they formed a government in exile in Paris, headed by Ferhat Mehenni, a Kabyle singer and activist.

The event was mostly ignored by Western media and no government voiced its support, while Algeria intensified its repression. In Morocco, where they comprise an estimated 40% of the population, there is an Amazigh movement asking for autonomy, but it gets no support from the West. THE COPTS of Egypt are another minority subject to oppression and discrimination. Their numbers are estimated at some 8 to 10 million, about 10% of the country's population. They are the original people of Egypt -- their name is derived from the Greek word for Egypt. They converted to Christianity in the fourth century and have kept their own language. They are denied equal rights in their own country and are not allowed to hold significant positions such as provincial governor or head of a university. Their representation in parliament is limited and does not reflect their numbers.

They cannot build churches freely; even restoration work needs special government approval. Article 2 of the constitution stipulates that Islam is the religion of the state and that Islamic jurisprudence is the principal source of legislation. There is no attempt to cancel this article in the proposals for a new constitution made by the consultative committee set up following the revolution. Attacks against Copts have not abated since the revolution; a church was set ablaze and in the ensuing confrontation with Muslim militants, 13 Copts were killed and dozens wounded. While Egypt and the world rejoice at the fall of the regime, the fate of the Copts is in stark contrast to the spirit of the revolution and the hopes for democracy.

Christians in Iraq and in the Palestinian territories are also suffering from discrimination and aggression, and many have left to find a new life in West; the number of Christians in the Arab world is steadily decreasing. Only two non-Arab peoples have managed to obtain their independence: the State of Israel in 1948, 1308 years after the Islamic conquest of the Holy Land, and South Sudan a few weeks ago, after 40 years of bitter war and more than 2 million dead. In neighboring Darfur Arab militias, aided and abetted by the Sudanese government, are still massacring non-Arab populations.

HOW IS Israel affected by the revolutions? In Egypt, there was no mention of Israel at first. With the fall of the regime, radical elements from the left and from the right have now free rein. There are voices calling for a revision of the peace treaty or even its cancelation. The sale of Egyptian gas, based on the treaty, is now called in question. One can therefore legitimately ask whether revolutions calling for democracy do not ultimately arouse religious extremism and nationalism, bringing about hostility toward Israel instead of tolerance and openness -- leading to recognition.

Can a true democracy in the Arab world not recognize the legitimacy of Israel? Democracies are supposed to look for compromise and concentrate on economic and social progress. Unfortunately it is highly doubtful whether true democracies will rise in the region. Where, then, is the Arab revolution going? Will it be content with minor constitutional changes and elections which will -- perhaps -- be free in some countries, to bring about economic reform and better living conditions, with no consideration of the continuing oppression of minorities? Can an authentic democracy, based on freedom of expression, liberation of women and basic human rights, exist while ignoring what is happening to the Copts or the Kurds? It does not seem possible.

The minorities scattered over the Arab world also want their share of the revolution, and their voice will no doubt be heard in the near future. They will no longer accept the old system of repression and discrimination as if nothing had happened. In Egypt it has has begun. The Copts want Article 2 of the constitution cancelled and are now demonstrating for equality. In Iraq the Kurds are waiting for the right time to move.

However in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood is likely to emerge reinforced from free elections and might even gain access to power; it might then set up a government calling itself democratic, which would inexorably slide toward something closer to the regime of the ayatollahs in Iran and aspire to Islamize the whole of the Middle East first, and then the whole of the world. Should free and honest -- or relatively free and honest -- elections bring the Brotherhood to power, would this be considered a democratic move? Would exchanging secular dictatorships -- through democratic means -- for an anti-democratic movement calling for the restoration of the caliphate be acceptable?

The Brotherhood has not changed its motto since it was created 80 years ago: "Allah is our goal, the prophet is our leader, the Koran is our law, jihad is our way and death for the glory of Allah is our supreme hope." Is this what the masses will vote for when they are free to do so? It is difficult to answer that question, though the lack of education to democracy which is the result of the deep penetration of Islam in all education systems in the Arab world is not encouraging. It is likely that many will find themselves under Islamist dictatorial regimes harsher and far more repressive than the previous ones.

Yet already voices are heard in the West claiming that if this is the will of the people, it must be respected. The same voices, in the United States and in Europe, have given the Muslim Brothers a passing grade, some even claiming that it is a secular movement and that one can open a dialogue with them, that they will lead Arab peoples to progress and enlightenment. Nothing is further from the truth, but as we have seen in recent years, in Europe there are those who prefer not to see the steady erosion of democratic values by Islamists because they are not ready to acknowledge the problem and confront it.

THE REVOLUTIONARY process in the Arab world is still ongoing. The true test of these revolutions will not be limited constitutional or regime changes but a fundamental change in the religious and political system: separation of religion and state, new secular constitutions, division of powers and, above all, a readiness to accept the other, full equality for women and for all minorities -- and yes, the recognition of the historical rights of Israel as the state of the Jewish people.


Designed by



3,700 articles and counting

church on fire







Adaar = March

Muslim World: Democracy (for Muslim Arabs Only)
March 19, 2011

Turkey's confiscation of Land belonging to The St. Gabriel Assyrian Monastery March 19, 2011

Donny George, protector of Iraq's ancient riches Died March 18, 2011

American Muslims Versus Congressman, Peter King March 8, 2011

Iraqi Archbishop Blames lack of Liberty, and Security for his Flocks Suffering March 6, 2011

Iraqi Christians to Congress: Please Help
March 2, 2011

Were Iraqi Security Forces Involved in Baghdad Church Massacre? March 2, 2011

Egyptian Armed Forces Shoot to Kill Christians at Monasteries, 19 Injured March 2, 2011

February = Eshvat

Film About Assyrian Genocide in Iraq to Debut in Michigan Feb 28, 2011

Christian town in north Iraq offers refuge
Feb 27, 2011

Iraq Abuse Worsening for Women and Minorities Feb 23, 2011

Iraq's Christian Leaders Unhappy With Lack of Action on Nineveh Plain Feb 23, 2011

Global Islamic upheaval takes toll on Christians Feb 23, 2011

Turkish Judicial System Does Not Meet EU Standards Feb 23, 2011

Anger over court’s decision to acquit suspects in Coptic killing case Feb 23, 2011

Reconciled By the St. Gabriel Assyrian Monastery in Turkey Feb 20, 2011

‘Religicide’ in Iraq Feb 16, 2011

Truth About Sharia Law and Women Feb. 16, 2011

Persecuted Iraqi Christians Reach Out to US.
Feb. 15, 2011

Australian MP Calls Attention to Persecution of Iraq's Assyrians Feb. 10, 2011

Campaign to separate the Syrian Orthodox Church from its Assyrian Heritage
Feb. 9, 2011

Iranians Crack Down on Christian Churches Feb. 9, 2011

Who will defend Mideast Christians? Feb. 8, 2011

Christians of Iraq are in danger Feb. 2, 2011

Failing Christians is damaging EU credibility, says Italy Frattini Feb. 1, 2011

January = Kanoon II

Church to build hospital and university in Iraq
Jan, 31, 2011

“Syria Opens the Gateway to Humanity for the Assyrian Medical Society, the Mission Continues.”
Jan, 28, 2011

Assyrians Without Borders Announces Scholarship Awards Program Jan, 28, 2011

Hearing in Washington about attacks against christians of Iraq and Egypt Jan. 27, 2011

Babylonian cuneiform tablets document Syria’s history Jan. 26, 2011

As the left sides with Muslims, Christians search for support Jan. 24, 2011

Congress to Press Obama on Religious Persecution
Jan. 21, 2011

Abrogation in Islam and The Persecution
of Christians

Jan. 21, 2011

Last Christians Ponder Leaving a Hometown in Iraq Jan. 20, 2011

Assyrian Youth Black March Movement Conference in Detroit Jan. 19, 2011

Who Are the Real Hijackers of Islam? Jan. 10, 2011

Why Christians and Jews are Being Massacred in the Middle East Jan. 10, 2011

Restricted Freedoms in the Iraqi Christian Green Zone
Jan. 8, 2011

France asks for coordinated European Union response to threats against Christians in Middle East Jan. 5. 2011

Violent attacks against Christians could return in Egypt
Jan. 4. 2011

Egyptian Security Guards Withdrew One Hour Before Church Blast Jan. 2. 2011

We may be witnessing a new age of Christian persecution
Jan. 2. 2011

December = Kanoon I

Christians consider their future after more attacks in Iraq
Dec. 31. 2010

Ancient Tel Aviv Fortress has an Assyrian Origion Dec. 30. 2010

Rare Assyrian artifacts on display in Istanbul Dec. 30. 2010

Ancient Tablets Reveal Mathematical Achievements of Ancient Babylonian Culture Dec. 28. 2010

Christmas and New Year's Greetings 2010

Bipartisan Effort Pressures Obama to Help Iraq's Christians
Dec. 26, 2010

Around "1,100" Christian families have fled to to Kurdish north Dec. 21, 2010

U.N. cites 'a slow but steady exodus' of Iraqi Christians
Dec. 18, 2010

Genocide Film Stirs Emotions Dec, 18, 2010

Assyrians in Iraq face a stark choice: convert, die or leave Dec, 17, 2010

Iraqi Christians Want Their Own Province Dec, 17, 2010

The persecution of Christians in the ‘Muslim world’
Dec, 15, 2010

Is Obama serious about human rights? Dec, 15, 2010

Iraq’s war on Christians Dec, 15, 2010

Appeal for Iraq's Imperiled Religious Communities
Dec, 14, 2010

More Christians Flee Iraq After New Violence Dec, 12, 2010

Assyrians in Iraq's Mosul Living Under Constant Fear
Dec. 11, 2010

Iraq Assyrians Mark 40 Days Since Church Carnage Dec. 10, 2010

Christmas 2005 in Iran (Photos Included) Dec. 6, 2010

Demand For a Province in Kurdistan for Christians Dec. 6, 2010

Assyrian MP Calls on Iraqi Government to Safeguard Churches, Open Investigation Dec. 6, 2010

The Voice of Iraq’s Forgotten Minority crying for help
Dec. 6, 2010

Iraq: Gunmen kill elderly Christian couple inside their Baghdad home Dec. 5, 2010

Assyrian Group Briefs EU Parliament Delegation On Iraq
Dec. 3, 2010

Iraq: Deadly Reminders of Unfinished Business 
Dec. 3, 2010

Protecting Our Christian Neighbours in Iraq Dec. 3, 2010

Catholic Bishops Back House Resolution to Protect Iraq's Christians Dec. 1, 2010

November = Tishreen II

Egypt Security forces use live ammunition and kill unarmed Christian Coptic Protesters Nov. 30, 2010

Western Economic Aid to Muslim Nations Who Hate Non-Muslims Nov. 29, 2010

Formation of Committee to assist Iraqi Christians and other Minorities Nov. 29, 2010


The Baghdad Assyrian Church Massacre: Waiting for Godot! Nov. 27, 2010

Christians in the Middle East essential for the survival of the Arab world Nov. 27, 2010

Australian Conference Calls Attention to Assyrian Genocide in Iraq Nov. 22, 2010

Homes of Christians set on Fire in Egypt Nov. 17, 201

Group will not celebrate Muslim Holiday in solidarity with the victims of the Church Massacre Nov. 17, 201o

Thousands Protest Attacks Against Iraqi Christians Nov. 12, 2010

Memorial Service Held in London for Baghdad Church Massacre Victims Nov. 12, 2010

Fear of jihad driving Christians from Iraq Nov. 10, 2010

Christian woman sentenced to death in Pakistan Nov. 10, 2010

Assyrians Demonstrate Around the World Against Baghdad Church Massacre Nov. 10, 2010

Iraq’s Christians: The Final Push to Drive them Out?
Nov. 10, 2010

3 bombs explode outside Christian homes in Baghdad
Nov. 10, 2010

How an Iraqi Christian school became 82 percent Muslim
Iraq Nov. 10, 2010

Recent attack on church sheds light on Assyrians' plight
Iraq Nov. 9, 2010

Global Demonstrations against the Persecution of Christians of Iraq Nov. 9, 2010

Two Christians killed in Baghdad a week after massacre
Massacre Nov. 8, 2010

Worldwide Assyrian Demonstrations against Baghdad's Church Massacre Nov. 7, 2010

Al-Qaida is turning its focus on Iraq's vulnerable Christians
Nov. 7, 2010

Christians and Muslims issue joint statement condemning Iraqi church attack Nov. 6, 2010

Christian Massacre Spurs Assyrian-American Rally Nov. 6, 2010

Christians ‘on verge of extinction’ in Iraq, Muslim leader warns
Nov. 5, 2010

UNSC to discuss the security situation in Iraq Tuesday
Nov. 5, 2010

Islamic chauvinism drives Christians out Nov. 5, 2010

bloody, ruthless attack on landmark church in Iraq Nov. 3, 2010

Videos of the Attack on the Assyrian church on October 31-2010

Assyrians Should Be Granted Indigenous Group Status and Rights in Iraq Nov. 3, 2010

Operation Iraqi freedom and Christians in Iraq Nov. 1, 2010

Protest and demonstration in Ankawa against the murder of Christian worshipers in Baghdad Nov. 2, 2010

CNN update; include video- Death toll rises to 58 in Iraq church
Nov. 1. 2010

Death Toll Rises to 58 in Iraq Church Standoff Nov. 1. 2010

Baghdad attack a new low in Christian onslaught in Iraq
Nov. 1. 2010

Pictures of surviving Christians ater the killing in Iraq Nov. 1. 2010

Deadly Baghdad church siege highlights threat to Iraqi Christians
Nov. 1. 2010

Priests among 46 Christians killed in Iraq
Nov. 1. 2010 8:00 AM

Priests among 37 Christians killed in Iraq hostage drama
Nov. 1. 2010 1:00 AM

Iraqi worshipers, troops killed in church takeover
Nov. 1. 2010

October = Tishreen I

My Take on Tearing down the walls 30, 2010

swedishimmigration-policyon-iraqirefugees October 29, 2010

Ancient Winemaking Makes Resurgence in Southeast Turkey
October 29, 2010

Arabs and Turcomans Speak out Against Kurdish Demands in Kirkuk October 17, 2010

The Cost Of Moslem Intolerance October 6, 2010

2,700-year-old royal loyalty oath discovered in Turkey 15 October 2010

Muslim scholars address synod, say Middle East needs Christians Oct. 16, 2010

Christian Hymns of the church of the East in Assyrian aramaic by Reverend Genard Lazar
aug. 26, 2010

Eilul = September

The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia August 26, 2010

Assyrian Politician Attacked in Sweden Future 0f Democracy in the West 26, 2010

Vatican should prevent the exodus of Christians from the Middle East 26, 2010

Assyrian speech at the International Genocide Conference In Greece. Sept. 24, 2010

Egyptian Coptic Church Accused of Stockpiling Weapons
Sept. 22, 2010

Priceless Assyrian historic site Used as Kurdish resort Sept. 22, 2010

Poverty and unemployment among northern Christians sept. 21, 2010

Imam Khamenei: US and Zionism, Not Christianity, Responsible for Anti-Islamism Sep. 17, 2010

Iraq's top Shiite cleric urges tolerance towards Christians
Sep. 10, 2010

Assyrian Representative in the Iranian Parliament condemned the burning of the Koran in the U.S. Sep. 16, 2010

Christian Community of Iraq Halved in Seven Years 16, 2010

Why People worldwide lose Respect for Islam 16, 2010

The Assyrian Genocide and the Turkish Ambassador sept. 13, 2010

Dubakh = August

Religious Freedom and a Mosque August 30, 2010

Kidnapped Assyrian killed in Iraq despite ransom paid August 27, 2010

Why did the Golden Age of Islam come to an end? August 23, 2010

Iraqi asylum seekers struggle to survive in Sweden August 14, 2010

Monument in memory of massacred Assyrians is ready to be unvailed in Australia August 4, 2010

Speaking the language of Jesus August 3, 2010

U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Iraq Does Not End Humanitarian Obligation

August 1. 2010

Tammuz = July

Baghdad Bishop Dies After Lifetime of Serving the Church July 28, 2010

Islam needs more tolerance, not more mosques July 27, 2010