Posted by Julia from dhcp100030.res-hall.nwu.edu (188.8.131.52) on Saturday, February 23, 2002 at 8:22PM :
What I don't like at all about the Assyrian culture as we know it is the lack of tolerance for others. I will not say that all Assyrians hate Muslims, women, homosexuals or non-Assyrians. What I will say is that our culture lets us put those people in their place - oh, Muslims, they can't be trusted; oh, homosexuals, they'll bad people; women, they should not speak up to a man, etc. Again, it seems most assyrians don't harbor these feelings, but we let it become a fixture of our culture to make snide remarks about Jews, or Muslims, or whomever.
I don't stand for this; I do stand for the simple fact that people should be loved and respected, all peoples; everyone. Fred has problems with Christianity because according to him it led to the deaths of millions of non Christians. And according to me, Nationalism and falling in love with the Nation has lead to the deaths of millions of people not part of the loved Nation.
To me this all becomes a part of the identity thing. What is our identity, and how do we preserve it? how do we defend it? What happens when someone not of our identity threatens it? What do we do when people want to see us assimilated, our language and our culture gone? What steps do we take to defend ourselves?
When people forget they are people, and assume the name Chistian, Muslim, Bosnian, Bulgarian, American, Japanese; we are drawing lines and dividing each other. History has shown us that people who use lines to divide humanity by race, class, gender, nationality; this has more or less not caused but accelerated oppression of peoples. Bourgeois against proletariat; Hutu and Tutsi; America and Great Britain, bolsheviks and mensheviks, Greeks and Cypriots; etc.
This is what I ask anyone to address: how will we be any different, as neo assyrians, from others? what will our distinction be? could it be tolerance, tolerance of other's religions, views, beliefs, disciplines and practices? could tolerance be one thing that distinguishes us from the rest of the world's binary units of friction?
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