The Message of Political Islam; Rojava’s Answer of Unity

Dr. Jan Best de Vries:

Terrorist at work in Paris today

Terrorist at work in Paris today

For some unknown reason in the Western world a distinction is made between “moderate” (f.e. Mr. Erdogan) and “radical” (f.e. Mr. Al-Bagdhadi) islamists. As long as “allah akbar” is shouted to legitimize rape, murder and destruction by jihadists both in West Asia (Kobane) and Europe (Paris), this distinction is rather weird, because political islam itself apparently prepared the ground for and represents a creed  practising rape, murder and destruction. Now that the caliphate of Islamic State appears more and more to be a creation of Turkey, the distinction between moderate and radical has become obsolete. In this light both the Kurds in Kobane and the Frenchmen in Paris should realize that the position of Turkey as a NATO member has become most questionable.

The catholic priest Father Douglas who I had the pleasure to interview in Erbil last week amongst the tents of fled christians from the towns and villages near Mosul told me that, had not the Kurdish peshmergas protected them, they would all have been killed by the islamists. Not to speak of Kurdish Yezidis and Jews, one should add. Although there exists freedom of religion in Bashur and in nearby Rojava, one wonders whether in the democratic, autonomous Kurdish areas in West Asia a certain measure of secularisation and de-islamization (many people in these areas were more or less forced into islam) would not substantially contribute to peace and prosperity in the region.

Last week I held a lecture at the Mesopotamia Academy in Qamishlo about the history of the Kurds and what struck me was the friendliness and tolerance of the people I met during my trips in Jazira including those to a compound of the YJP in Amudai and to the Ster Academy, in which there is research in feminist studies and a training centre for female combatants and traffic police officers. In both academies religion is not an issue, because among teachers and students of different ethnic backgrounds you may find both secular and islamic, christian or zoroastrian individuals with one common goal: to build up Rojava on the basis of democracy. Why? Because the multi-ethnic and multi-religious population of Rojava has a long experience that exclusive, political islam always leads to dictatorship and suffering of the peoples living under it. My impression from the discussions I had with the persons I met is that the indigenous Kurds, Assyrians and Arabs of Rojava live together in peace and both now and henceforward will bravely fight political islam of any kind.

Dr. Jan Best de Vries is an archaeologist and historian, decipherer of the so-called Byblos Script from Aleppo and Alalakh (‘How to Decipher the Byblos Script’, Aspekt Publishers 2014, ISBN978-946-153-420-0)  

One Response to The Message of Political Islam; Rojava’s Answer of Unity
  1. Kurd
    January 7, 2015 | 23:37

    Our deepest condolences to the families of victims in Paris shootings. Fight terrorism every time & every where.

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