So we call upon the international community to do something. It was good that the US had this military intervention to stop the advance of IS. It’s good that western countries are all in this one position to defeat IS on the military level. But this is the outcome, and we should deal with the roots. The root is this intolerant culture, intolerant persecution, intolerant legislation toward non-Muslims.
So they could put pressure on Baghdad to pass this legislation to create this Nineveh Plain province, and then with the material support of the Western countries and people in the diaspora to rebuild this province so Christians there feel they have a future.
You said the Islamic State will eventually be defeated. What gives you that confidence, and how will it happen?
Such a brutal, barbaric group cannot control and operate a state of 6 million to 8 million people. I’m not a military man, but militarily speaking they cannot survive; they will be defeated. The military existence of IS is the outcome of the culture of IS, of intolerant Islam. So we will defeat IS, definitely.
But what’s promoted by IS, according to Islamic Sharia, about how they consider, how they look toward the non-Muslims is there. The discrimination is there. The military advance of IS is the outcome. We should deal with the roots, and the roots are there. With a couple of clicks you can find it in Google, the root of the problem. Just go to see what is the curriculum in Saudi Arabia, in Qatar, in the Gulf States, what the curriculum in the schools is telling about the non-Muslims. Just click and see the imams—you can see on Youtube, how they are nurturing, how they are educating people. I totally disagree with people who are coming with excuses for extremism, that it’s because of poverty, like the statement from the White House that to defeat IS we should think about jobs and employment, etc. Please! Okay, poverty is, poverty always, poverty is a good environment for radicals, for these groups. But the poverty in southeast Asia, in India and other places, in Africa, is much more than the poverty in Arab countries. But have you seen a non-Muslim terrorist group coming from an African or Asian poor country? And what about the 10,000 insurgents coming from Europe? Is it poverty? No, it is education.
As long as these countries are not reviewing the constitution to be a secular one, to separate religion from the state, from politics, this discrimination will keep going…. It’s not a Syrian or Iraqi issue. It’s an issue of non-Muslim minorities under Islam.
Sorry to say, we as Eastern Christians, including myself, are big liars, because we had always claimed, because of this dhimmitude behavior, dhimmitude attitude that we are used to that for 14 centuries; we say we have always been in peace with our Muslim neighbors. No, sorry sir! We have never been in peace.
Similarly, the mistake made by western countries, whether Church or decision makers, that you try to beautify Islam more than Muslims should do. It’s very often now you see it, even politicians. Mr. Obama himself, and others: “Yeah, IS is not Islam.” Sorry sir! IS is very Islam.
Do you feel the US is taking a wise approach in the fight against ISIS, ruling out boots on the ground, conducting airstrikes and training local forces?
I’m not a military man but without the support of the US and western countries, IS was to advance to Erbil and Baghdad and there would be a collapse of the whole region…. But if you ask me is it enough what’s done so far? I would say no. If it was, at least there was a chance to stop the advance of IS earlier and to stop the barbaric actions later on, for example, what they are doing in Hatra and Nimrud, destroying all this memory of human civilization. This is now our question as Assyrians: if our past has been destroyed and our present is being taken, is there any future?