Benjamin Franklin once wrote, "Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature." It's because of these moral precepts that my parents fled the Ba'athist purge of Saddam Hussein in the hope of providing a better life for my brothers, sister -- and naturally, myself. Being the daughter of immigrants, an Iraqi-American, an Assyrian Christian, I offer a perspective like no other.
My name is Nahren Anweya. But, if I were in Iraq, I would be simply called, "noon." "Noon" is short hand, for "Nazarene." I would have no rights. And, the ugly truth is that I would be likely sold into slavery or executed. "Noon" is most often referred to as "the red stamp of death" among media outlets. ISIL has both issued and executed with extreme prejudice the ultimatum of "Convert or die." As I type this letter, over 425,000 Christians have been forced to flee their homes in Iraq. The Jewish people served a similar humiliation back between the years of 1941 and 1945. They had serial numbers carved into their arms. They had the "Star of David" pinned onto their lapels. And, ultimately, six million women, men and children perished. The world said, "never again." But, it's happening right now in Iraq.
Down through the ages, America has always fought for what is true and just. Be it the Civil War, World War II, or the current war on terror. President Bill Clinton once stated that his biggest regret was the genocide in Rwanda. He told CNBC that "had the U.S. intervened, even marginally, at the beginning of the genocide, at least 300,000 people might have been saved." A similar atrocity is taking place in Iraq.
My people, our people, citizens of the world, are being systemically eradicated. The Assyrian people are known for its contributions to math, science, art, and literature. But, will the United States and the world community stand by until we are only a mere footnote in history? Edmund Burke wrote, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." And, unfortunately, I see the United States and other countries doing "nothing." What I see is, "What is politically expedient?" Not, "What is right?"
I'm calling upon the United States and the international community as a whole, to be vocal on the genocide taking place today in Iraq and to take the steps necessary to provide food, safety, shelter, and ultimately a safe haven for Assyrians in Iraq. On,October 26th in Warren, Michigan, 1400 East 14 Mile Road at the Bellagio Banquet Hall, from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m., there will be a rally in an attempt to draw global awareness to the genocide taking place in Iraq. We will talk, we will celebrate, for the bible states that, "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away," and we will most definitely cry. But, we will rally. What I am asking is for all of those "good men," as cited by Edmund Burke, to participate. Please do not let evil triumph.
May God bless you. And, may God continue to bless the United States of America.