(AINA) -- An Assyrian group of academics, professionals, and activists has expressed great concerns about the Islamist agenda in Syria. Citing the support being given to the Syrian rebels by Qatar, Saudi-Arabia and Turkey -- all Sunni states -- the group has raised many questions about "democracy" with an Islamist agenda for a future Syria. An appeal released in various languages (German, Turkish), titled For a pluralistic, secular and democratic ruling in Syria, rejects from the outset cooperation with the Assad's Baathist regime, since, as in Iraq, the pan-Arabist and discriminatory policies of the Baath Party in Syria have deprived Assyrians of their most legitimate rights. With reference to the historical experience, the group also stresses that an Islamist agenda would portend a grim fate for the Assyrians and threaten the existence of all Christians in the Middle East.
The text of the group's statement follows.
July 25, 2012
For a pluralistic, secular and democratic ruling in Syria
In a time when important developments are progressing in the Middle East and in view of the fact that these developments are heading towards a civil war particularly in Syria, we believe it is imperative for us to address the public.
It is unthinkable that we as Assyrian (also known as Chaldean and Syriac) Christians support a dictatorship which denies the existence of our people. As happened in Iraq before, for decades the pan-Arabist and discriminatory policies of the Baath Party in Syria have deprived our people from their most legitimate rights.
What initially began as a peaceful and democratic opposition to the Baathist dictatorship of Syria and its various "security services" developed over time to become an externally supported armed struggle with strong Islamist tendencies. The government of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey (which has consistently denied the existence of our people), try to use propaganda, disinformation, weapons and financial support not to establish a democracy, but aim to install an Islamic dictatorship. The rule of a religious-fascist, totalitarian, reactionary regime as it is being sought by Al-Qaeda, the Salafists and Muslim Brotherhood, lacks any religious tolerance and would determine a grim fate for our people. In addition, however, such a development as it becomes clear by now, would threaten the existence of all Christians in the Middle East.
To counter the totalitarian rule targeted by Islamists of Al-Qaeda, the Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood, we Assyrian Christians need to overcome our denominational and cultural differences and form a common independent lobby.
During our centuries-long tragic history, we were often victims of massacres, mass killings including the genocide of the year 1915, which still lives on in the collective memory of our people until today and remembered as Seyfo (the "sword"). The cry of "Allahu Akbar" meant in times of war always a call to proceed against the Christians as "infidels"; all the massacres and genocides were accompanied by the same call. Therefore, it is for the Christians not possible to support the rebellion, which is hailed by the slogans "Allahu Akbar," "jihad," "death to the infidels," as they are unmistakably chanted in Idlib, Homs and Deyr el-Zor and broadcast in the Western news channels.
Therefore, we want to focus all the political powers of our people consistently, but also seek solidarity and unity with all Christians throughout the region in order to prepare for the disaster which is already predictable. Our political parties and organizations have the historic duty to take the necessary initiative to form this unity.
In this context, we want together raise our voice against the propaganda in the public media, particularly in the U.S. and Europe, for their support of the reactionary Islamic forces - which express themselves increasingly clearly and loudly - and try to profile them as warranters of a democratic future of Syria.
We, the undersigned of this appeal, support a peaceful and political solution within the framework of the Annan peace plan, which aims to stop the bloodshed in Syria immediately and prevent the conflagration of a terrible war in the region.
Determined, we oppose any initiatives that intend an armed invasion from outside, or would like to establish so-called buffer zones.
We advocate a pluralistic, secular and democratic government for Syria that respects the legitimate rights of our people.
- Ibrahim Seven, Poitician, Germany
- Adnan Challma Külhan, Analyst, Netherland
- Yusuf Güney, Psychologist PhD, Austria
- Abdulmesih BarAbraham, Engineer, MSc., Germany
- Denho Özmen, Education Consultant, Sweden
- Shabo Boyaci, Actvist, Turkey
- Kuyo Maytab, Lawyer, Germany
- Söner Önder, PhD candidate, University Amsterdam, Netherland
- Abut Can, Scientific Adviser, Germany
- Circis Simsek, Business Owner, Germany
- Kenan Araz, Sociologist, Germany
- Hanna Can Kerkinni, Engineer, USA
- Isa Acan Nahroyo, Activist, Germany
- Michael Abdalla, Professor of History, Poland
- Ankido Bakhdi, TV Programmer, Netherland
- Yusuf Bahdi, Lawyer, Netherland
- Suat Arslanlar, Business Owner, Netherland
- Robert Rhawi, Business Owner, Netherland
- Adnan Can Kerkinni, Education Consultant, Sweden
- Emanuel Poli, Business Consultant, Sweden
- Musa Yoken, Business Owner, Germany
- Nahro Beth-Kinne, Producer, Belgium
- Nail Akçay, Activist, Sweden
- Simon Oguz, Activist, Germany
- Naim Haydo, Activist, Switzerland
- Habib Rimmo, Activist, Switzerland
- Ferit Altinsu, Engineerr, Turkey
- Yusuf Kürter, Acivist, Netherland