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Posted by Jeff from ( on Sunday, February 17, 2002 at 4:34PM :

From Aina...

Re: Assyrian Muslim Flag

Posted by Assyrian Activist on Saturday, 16 February 2002, at 9:46 p.m., in response to Assyrian Muslim Flag, posted by Vilbert on Saturday, 16 February 2002, at 6:35 p.m.


I have no idea about this Assyrian Muslim flag. I read about in in "Nations Without States" and was really stumped!

But if you look in the back of the book, at the names of political organisations working for all the different nations, you find only the Bet-Nahrain Democratic Party, the Assyrian National Congress and their affiliates listed there. Hence I guess it was them that supplied this information to Minahan. Ask Sargon Dadesho, he might have made it up... he's good at that.

Don't listen to Peter. There ARE Muslim Assyrians who wish to be regarded as such and who are trying to enter the Assyrian scene in Turkey and Europe. You just need to talk to the guys from the Mesopotamia Freedom Party (GHB, see: or Assyria Salvation Party (GFA, see: to know more about them.

You can also go to and read up on this amazing hotel in Istanbul's old city... owned by an Assyrian Muslim from Estel, Christian Midyat's Muslim twin in Tur-Abdin.

Being a Christian is not a pre-condition for being an Assyrian. As well as nearly 4 million Assyrian Muslims, there are 750,000 Assyrian Yezidis, 150,000 Assyrian Mandaeans and 250,000 Assyrian Jews.


Re: Assyrian Muslim Flag

Posted by Peter BetBasoo on Sunday, 17 February 2002, at 2:09 a.m., in response to Re: Assyrian Muslim Flag, posted by Assyrian Activist on Saturday, 16 February 2002, at 9:46 p.m.

Friend, don't listen to "Assyrain Activist" (dikheet aw diyyan?). Where are the so called 4 million Assyrian Muslims? And the 750,000 Assyrian Yezidis? And 150,000 Assyrian Mandeans? And 250,000 Assyrian Jews?

It's silly. These people do not acknowledge themselves as Assyrians, and they are not. You can't impose the Assyrian identity on them anymore than Arabs can impose the Arab identity on us, or Kurds the Kurdish identity, or Turks the Turkish identity.

Give up this pipe dream. If you want to strengthen our nation, start by uniting the real Assyrians (Chaldeans, Jacobites and Nestorians).
Re: Assyrian Muslim Flag

Posted by Assyrian Activist on Sunday, 17 February 2002, at 5:40 a.m., in response to Re: Assyrian Muslim Flag, posted by Peter BetBasoo on Sunday, 17 February 2002, at 2:09 a.m.

Khizma... ure kool & everything... But dont start with me on this one.

If the Arabs, Turks and Kurds can shove their identities down our throats with no historical basis for their claims, then why is it wrong for us to do the same to these Middle Eastern groups of people, when we can prove that they share more with us ethnically, linguistically and historically than with any other nation?

Today 250,000 Jews, originally from northern Mesopotamia, still speak vernacular east Syriac and a large number of them are descended from Assyrian converts to Judaism, such as Queen Helena of Adiabene (Erbil). In light of these facts, can we not say that at least some of these Jews are Assyrian and are part of our nation?

Although Yezidis speak Kurdish, they have always been persecuted by the Kurds. Their villages and main religious shrine (Sheikh Adi) lie in the Mosul plains and up to the foothills of the Gahra mountians. The Yezidis not only hold the Monastery of Rabban Hormizd near Alqodsh sacred, they also have a three day fast at the same time we hold the Rogation of the Ninevites, where they perform the same tradition of "Pookhen" on the final night of the fast. Sheikh Adi himself was a Nestorian holy man from Hakkiari (Mar Addai). Also in their mythical belief system, there are many parallels between "Sheikh Shams" and the ancient Assyrian God Shamash and "Malak Tawoos" (the peacock angel and a manifestation of Satan) and the eagle-headed Assyrian gods of the underworld and war, Nergal and Ninurta respectively. To boot, their spiritual leader's son-in-law, who is also the community leader in Germany, has worked closely with Assyrian organisations such as the GFA and has called for a Free Assyria. He even goes as far as calling all Yezidis that work for the Kurdish national cause traitors for deserting their own true Assyrian nation. Do we not have more right in calling them Assyrians that the Kurds call them Kurds?

Mandaeans are neither Arabs, Kurds nor Arabs, and are too few in number to stand on their own leg and claim their own Chaldean or Babylonian nationality and rights. It is within their own interests to join the Assyrian nation and work for our cause, which will see the preservation of their unique Aramaic dialect and their religious traditions.

Now for Assyrian Muslims. Many Muslims do not see themselves as Arabs, Turks or Kurds - but as Assyrians - and can trace their lineage to well known Christian tribes or families and know their ancestors have been forcefully converted to Islam and during which time.

Not all of these people may identify themselves as Assyrians, but history proves their lineage and descent. This is not silly. You have no right to say that you are more Assyrian than a Muslim who comes from a village somewhere between Mardin and Midyat, lives like an Assyrian Christian, dances like an Assyrian Christian, eats like an Assyrian Christian, respects and treats women like Assyrian Christians do, pays reverence to the shrine of a nearby Christian saint (such as St. Simeon of the Olives), and even his mother makes the sign of the cross in her dough when she bakes the bread the family eats.

There are plenty of Muslim Assyrians from Turkey (among them the hotel-owner I mentioned) who acknowledge their Assyrian nationality and are beginning to have contact with the more secular Assyrian organisations and political parties. You have no right to shout them down or deny them. They may be Muslims (most of them are moderates anyways!), but we still share blood and believe in the same national cause. Not to mention the fact that they add to our colourful religous and cultural mix and number in the MILLIONS.

No-one is imposing the Assyrian identity on them. They are choosing it for themselves and we must welcome them with open arms... or we will be the losers.

Khizma... give up your own pipe dream... you mention Nestorians, Chaldeans and Jacobites, and even forget the Syriac Catholics in the equation! Not to mention the Maronites!

I agree that we must strengthen the Christian core of our nation first, but we must not deny any others who wish to join us along the way. Your way, we are only making ourselves weaker and are limiting ourselves to an elite group. Think about it...


-- Jeff
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