10-01-15 11:42 PMAssyrians - the Forgotten People, Part IIPage 3 of 5http://www.atour.com/government/docs/20000626a.html
War One, to reunite the splintered groups, in order that the Assyrians, as a whole, might gainmore support for their cause. The Islamic ‘millet’ policy was keen to see that the ChristianChurches, regardless of their origin, affiliation and denomination, remained in alienation fromone another. The object of the ‘millet’ provision was and still is to control the politicalactivity of the indigenous people and keep them at bay. The Armenian Church, being outsidethe direct sphere of influence of Arab Islamic rule, escaped fragmentation, although it toosuffered terribly at the hands of the Turks. In Egypt, the Christian Copts, have already beenchoked and forced to abandon their native language and use the Arabic language instead.Except for liturgy in church, the Coptic language is disallowed. Copts have already lost their national identity. They are enumerated on the tally sheets of the population census as Arabs.The ultimate aim of the ‘millet’ provision is to Arabise/Islamise the non-Muslimcommunities.The Iraqi government dismissed the Assyrian demand, and saw it as a threat. On the adviceof the British, Iraq stalled. In the summer of 1933, the rejection developed into an openconfrontation that led to the Semaili massacre. The Assyrians had placed their hope in theLeague of Nations, advocates of Human Rights and U.S. President Wilson’s Fourteen (14)Points.
Article 12 stipulated "... other nationalities ...under Turkish rule should beassured undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development..."
According to the League, the Council recognized claims of smaller nationalities.
The Assyrian people failed to understand the British motive behind their adamant rejection. Little they had known that the ill-fated Sykes-Picot Agreement had alreadyrobbed them of their home and denied them a share in the spoils of the First World War. TheAnglo-French administration blamed the Assyrians for disobeying orders and accused theIraqi army for being overly enthusiastic and trigger-happy. The British administration at thetime seemed to lack the courage to make a roundabout
face, admit its mistake and free theAssyrians from bondage.All three parties profiteered from the deal at the expense of the Assyrian disinherited nation.Restoring Assyria in Mosul was against the Anglo-French interest. Instead of neutralizing theArabs from Mosul, settling the displaced Assyrians in their traditional northern portion of Assyria, by order and under protection of the League of Nations, the British HighCommission, covered up the Mandate’s sinister deed, by alleging that the Assyrians were nomore than a handful minority that hardly exceeded a few thousands, and would have had no bearing on the outcome of the decision. Britain’s injudicious act constituted breach of trust inthe League’s laws of human rights. Britain and France, relied on the low population census of the ‘Nestorian’ Assyrians, based on the millet policy, to convince the League Council not to press for self-rule for the Assyrians.
Only the Nestorians were designated as Assyrians bythe British mandate. The rest of the Assyrian sects, forming a sizeable majority, werediscounted when the Assyrian case was deliberated at the Council of the League of Nations.
The aim of the mandates was to allow the League Council to assume the other Assyrian Christian sects were of different ethnic backgrounds. There was nothing farther fromthe truth. The mandates didn’t want their folly to be exposed. Had honest population census been conducted for all the Assyrian sects of the various millet communities, scattered all over the Middle East, the overall number enumerated on the tally sheets would have exposed thefallacy of their dirty game. The Assyrians were warned to either toe the line or suffer direconsequence. Those who resisted were discredited, accused of subversion and dealt withseverely. The mandatory powers denied them the right to appeal to the League of Nations.Iraq, being under the British Mandate, refused the Assyrians compensation for the loss of their Hakkari and Urmia territories. Although the northern highlands of Assyria wereswarming with Kurds, there was still plenty of good grazing and arable land for the Kurds to be accommodated within that region. The redrawn map of Mesopotamia by Sykes-Picot hadalready been ratified by the League of Nations.
Why the international community did not allot a portion of the dissolved Mesopotamia to the indigenous Assyrian displaced nation, is