The Restore Nineveh Now Foundation’s Weekly Report – January, 2017- Issue 1
In an effort to keep you informed and engaged concerning events on the Nineveh Plain and in the Middle East, the Restore Nineveh Now Foundation brings you a weekly news dispatch, The Weekly Report. Drawn from our blog posts and major stories, The Weekly Report will focus on issues related to the restoration of the Nineveh Plain and the larger issues of peace and stability in the Middle East.
If there is an issue that you would like to know more about, be sure to contact us and we will get back to you as soon as we are able. You can subscribe to the Weekly Report by signing up for the newsletter on the Retsore Nineveh Now Foundation home page.
(Above: The Assyrian flag, unifying symbol of Assyrians throughout Iraq, the Middle East and the world.)
Happening This Week:
After nearly three months of fighting, Iraqi forces have reached the Tigris river the runs through the center of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city and the Islamic State’s last major stronghold in that country.
Although the fighting has been slow and hard, and Iraqi forces have avoided turning Mosul into the next Aleppo, the Islamic State is almost surrounded on the western side of the city. The end of the Islamic State in Iraq is drawing nearer and nearer.
As it does, talk in the West is turning to what should be done for (or in some less thought out statements “with”) the Christians of Iraq. How will they be preserved in Iraq and can they have a region, or perhaps at best, a “safe zone” of their own? While these questions are absolutely the right ones to ask they are being asked in absolutely the wrong way.
Although well intended, and with the best and right motivations, no region or safe zone can, or should, be created for Christians in Iraq. Why? Because there are no provisions under Iraqi constitutional law for sectarian regions or even the allowance for a sectarian state. While it is true that Islam is de facto the religion of the land in Iraq, the “spirit of the law” is one that aims for an Iraq free from sectarianism.
What, then, is to be done for the victims of the ISIS’ genocidal war? Should there be safe zones for these peoples? Should there be semi-autonomous regions like that enjoyed by the Kurdish people of Iraq? Absolutely, and those zones and regions should be organized in the same way that the current Kurdish region is, that is along ethnic, and not religious lines. This begins by using the right terms concerning the people of Iraq’s Nineveh Plain, terms that they themselves prefer to use.
While most of the victims of the Islamic State’s invasion of northern Iraq do practice Christianity, they are Assyrian by ethnic descent, and very proud of it.
As a people, the Assyrians have a history that goes back almost 5000 years, with a unique language and culture that survives despite centuries of difficulty in the Middle East, one the world’s most turbulent regions. Yes, most (but not all) Assyrians are Christians, but above everything else they are Assyrian. And yes, Assyrians should have a region in Iraq where they and other ethnic groups, like the Yezidis, Shabaks and Turkmens, can live their lives, practice their culture and faith, and, like other ethnic groups in Iraq, be masters of their own futures.
Indeed, something must be done in partnership with the Assyrians in Iraq, and that something starts with using the right type of language which will culturally and legally put them on solid footing in an unstable region.
In The News:
A moderate Muslim condemns radical Islam – sort of.
Now that’s funny:
Could we be doing more?
Turkey Says U.S. Support in ISIS Offensive Insufficientan
Is there an end in sight?
Syria conflict: Russia ‘withdrawing aircraft carrier group’
The Weekly Report is produced by the Restore Nineveh Now Foundation (RNNF), a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. All donations to the Restore Nineveh Now Foundation are tax deductible. To support the Restore Nineveh Now Foundation, click here. If you would like to know more about the Restore Nineveh Now Foundation, please contact us and we will get right back to you.
Thank you –