MESOP REPORT : Hundred International Scholars Issue Joint Statement on ISIS in Iraq

 (AINA)- 19-8-2014 – The following statement was issued by a group of international scholars. It addresses the the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and its genocide campaign against Assyrians, Yazidis and other non-Muslim minorities in Iraq.

99 years ago this year, a genocide was perpetrated upon the Christians of the Middle East, including the Aramaic-speaking Assyrians, Chaldeans and Aramaeans (Suryoye). Now in the 21st century we see history repeating itself. Christian towns and villages, such as Qaraqosh, Telkepe and Alqosh, which had largely escaped the violence of recent decades, are now emptied of their populations. These towns, with their ancient monasteries, are of huge historical and cultural significance. In this area, furthermore, Aramaic has been spoken uninterrupted for thousands of years.

Wave upon wave of refugees of all communities, amounting to hundreds of thousands of people, are now crowded into the small Kurdish region, itself gravely threatened by ISIS. People are sleeping in parks and in the streets. Meanwhile tens of thousands of Yazidis have been in the mountains without shelter or water. Urgent humanitarian aid is needed, but longer term the refugees cannot stay in Erbil.

As scholars engaged in the study of their language and cultural heritage, we call upon the governments of the European Union, the United States, and the wider international community to do everything in their power to allow the refugees back to their homes in the plain of Mosul and to institute an internationally protected safe haven in northern Iraq of the kind that, twenty years ago, protected the Kurds from genocide and which has enabled this region up till now to enjoy a stability and prosperity that we would wish for all Iraqis.

Dr Eleanor Coghill

University of Konstanz

Dr Alessandro Mengozzi

University of Turin

Professor Geoffrey Khan

University of Cambridge

Profesor Dr Werner Arnold

University of Heidelberg

University Professor Dr Shabo Talay

Free University of Berlin

Professor Yona Sabar

University of California, Los Angeles

Professor Dr Heleen Murre-van den Berg

Leiden University of Leiden

Professor Fabrizio Pennacchietti

University of Turin

Professor Dr Otto Jastrow

Tallinn University

Professor Steven Fassberg

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Professor Hezy Mutzafi

Tel Aviv University

Dr Samuel Ethan Fox

University of Chicago

Dr Sergey Loesov

Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow

Dr Pablo Kirtchuk

Institut National de Langues et Civilisations Orientales, Paris

Dr Maciej Tomal

Jagiellonian University, Krakow

Dr George Anton Kiraz

Rutgers University, New Jersey

Nineb Lamassu

University of Cambridge

Zeki Bilgic

University of Konstanz

Georges Toro

University of Konstanz

Dr Charles G. Häberl

Rutgers University, New Jersey

Dr Roberta Borghero

University of Cambridge

Dr Michael Waltisberg

University of Marburg

Dr Alinda Damsma

Leo Baeck College, London

Dr Na’ama Pat-El

University of Texas at Austin

Dr Johanna Rubba

Cal Poly State University, California

Rev Kristine Jensen

Aramaic Bible Translation, Peoria, Arizona

Dr Lidia Napiorkowska

University of Cambridge

Kathrin Göransson

University of Cambridge

Ariel Gutman

University of Konstanz

Michael Wingert

University of California, Los Angeles

Timothy Hogue

University of California, Los Angeles

Kristine Mole

University of Cambridge

Dr Jasmin Sinha

Aubange, Belgium

Fabio Gasparini

University of Tutin

Demsin Lachin

Aramaic Bible Translation, Turlock, California

Dr Margaretha Folmer

Leiden University

Professor Dr Estiphan Panoussi

University of Gothenburg

Professor Emeritus Olga Kapeliuk

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Dr Jean Sibille

University of Toulouse

Joseph Alichoran

Institut National de Langues et Civilisations Orientales, Paris

Professor Eran Cohen

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Robin Bet Shmuel

Oriental Cultural Centre, Duhok, Iraq

Dr Alexey Lyavdansky

Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow

Martin Luther Chan

University of California, Los Angeles

Dr M. David Hanna

Los Angeles

Dr Laura Kalin

University of Connecticut

Illan Gonen

University of Cambridge

Dr Francesco Zanella

University of Bonn

D. Robert Paulissian

Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies