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Christian Minorities in the Islamic Middle East : Rosie Malek-Yonan on the Assyrians

May 30, 2007

From The Religion Report with Stephen Crittenden (Tip to Dhimmi Watch):

Rosie Malek-Yonan: The Assyrian people are the indigenous people actually of Mesopotamia, before it even was Iraq. All of that area was Mesopotamia and is the original homeland of the Assyrians. They date back to over 6,000 years and were always concentrated in that region.

Stephen Crittenden: And Christianity was accepted by Assyrians, well virtually in apostolic times, right at the very, very beginning?

Rosie Malek-Yonan: Right. Assyrians were actually the first nation to accept Christianity as an entire nation, not just individuals, but the entire nation, and we built the first church of the east.

Stephen Crittenden: And what about language? Aramaic for church, but what language does a typical Assyrian family in Baghdad speak at home?

Rosie Malek-Yonan: Well the language that we typically speak is the modern Assyrian, which comes from the ancient Aramian, which is the language of Christ. The church liturgy still uses the ancient language, and we grew up learning it, and understanding it and knowing it, but it’s not typically used at home. At home we generally will speak the more modern Assyrian dialect.

Stephen Crittenden: Now in early May, a fatwah was issued by a militant Sunni group in Baghdad, calling on the Christians in a particular suburb of Baghdad called Dora, to convert to Islam or die.

Rosie Malek-Yonan: Yes. Actually as we are speaking, I’m getting bombarded with emails, and one of them is a plea to help the Assyrians of Iraq. The women in particular – I’ll just read you a little bit of this email – says the Virgin Mary put on a hijab (hijab is the covering) so why not all Christian women dress the same? They are asking all women to dress in that fashion.

Stephen Crittenden: I understand there’s a lot of kidnapping and murdering of particularly of young kids?

Rosie Malek-Yonan: Absolutely. Our children are being murdered, they’re being kidnapped for ransom, even when the ransom is paid they’re still killed. Priests are being beheaded, nuns are being killed, and not just a beheading, they behead them, they cut also arms and legs, they hack them off and they return them in that manner. Little children, their heads are bashed with concrete blocks. This has been going on since the beginning of the Iraq War. This is isn’t just an isolated incident here or there, this is an ongoing genocide.

Read entire transcript here.

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One Comment
  1. Tripper permalink

    Rosie Malek-Yonan’s book, “The Crimson Field” is a must read for anyone who wants to learn about the Assyrian Christian Genocide in the shadows of WWI. Exquisitely written, it is a true story about her family. When this book got the attention of Washington, Rosie was invited to give a Congressional Testimony about the plight of Assyrians in Iraq since the 2003 U.S. led invasion. It was consequently made into a documentary film called “My Assyrian Nation on the Edge.” You can read her powerful testimony here:
    http://www.thecrimsonfield.com/congressionalhea.html

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