A Middle East solution is to arm the Assyrians of Iraq and Syria to break the Islamic State apartheid isolating minorities and decimating them. This assertion was made by Assyrian spokesperson Nahren Anweya during a television interview aired on Saturday, October 24, 2015 by ABN Trinity Channel.
Anweya went on to explain that Assyrians are not Arabs nor Kurdish, and their religion is not Islam. They are an indigenous group of people in the Middle East, similar to native Americans, and their cultural heritage is Christian. Assyrians also speak Aramaic, the ancient language of Jesus Christ.
Participants in the interview uploaded on September 25 and published on September 28 were Professor Daniel Janosik, Congressman Steve King, Nahren Anweya, Dr. David Cashin, and Michael Illif. The theme discussed was the current refugee crisis in the Middle East.
The conversation was a continuation of what Pope Francis had broached during his recent Latin America tour. According to The Wall Street Journal, the pontiff expressed the following in no uncertain terms.
“Today we are dismayed to see how in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world many of our brothers and sisters are persecuted, tortured and killed for their faith in Jesus. In this third world war, waged piecemeal, which we are now experiencing, a form of genocide is taking place.”
King, who represents the state of Iowa, explained how President Barack Obama dropped the foreign policy ball in the early stages of the game, and is still fumbling around in the bushes. King reminded viewers that when the Assyrian stronghold of Mosul in northern Iraq was taken a year ago, Obama explained things were not “going the way we planned,” adding there would be no boots on the ground in the Middle East.
The Middle East miscalculation has been costly. According to BBC, Christians who constituted some 30 percent of the Syrian population in the 1920s, have shrunk in numbers to just about 10 percent of Syria’s 22 million people. In the BBC count, Sunni Muslims hog 70 percent of the population while 12 percent are Alawites (a type of Shia) to which President Bashar al-Assad belongs. Druze and other sects make up the balance.
Anweya pointed out that the Islamic State (I.S.I.S.) consisted of only 800 men when they got into Mosul last year. Now they’re 100,000. She said that when the Islamists took over Mosul, they gave the Christian inhabitants these options: convert or die or pay an exorbitant tax no one in the Middle East can afford.
Christians in Iraq are old Christians, according to Anweya, and their ancestral lands around the Biblical city of Nineveh go back 7,000 years. In 2003 the region had 1.3 million Christians, now roughly 300,000. Massacres of Assyrian Christians figure in their history, the last big one involving 750,000 lives snuffed out by Ottoman empire and ancillary Muslim groups in the Middle East.
Their distinctiveness made them provide equilibrium in Syria and Iraq for rival Muslim groups. Always second class citizens in the Middle East, the Assyrians seemed destined for the same type of destruction I.S.I.S. meted out to their 7,000-year-old artifacts.
Because of the Islamic mandate to kill or overcome unbelievers as laid out in the Koran, King derided the idea of Middle East Muslim refugees assimilating into the American mainstream if Obama got them in. According to The Des Moines Register, King expressed his core belief at a rally in Sioux City with Republican Senator Ted Cruz.
“I can’t find models of the folks that, let’s say do the hajj to Mecca, I can’t find models where they’ve assimilated into the broader culture and civilization wherever they’ve gone.”
Arguing that Assyrians in Iraq and Syria are natural allies for the U.S., Anweya appealed to policymakers in Washington to arm them the way Muslim groups have been armed. Assyrians, she said, will be ready to defend themselves, to protect a culture where science, math, and the wheel started. It is now or never, or Christianity will cease in the Middle East. Because Christians are scattered like loose fabric across Iraq and Syria, she reasoned, it would make sense to link them up together to a powerful network that’s allied with the U.S.
The Assyrians would be the caustic solution that could break up the I.S.I.S. oil slick spreading across the Middle East.
[Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images]