Which is the most persecuted religious group in the world today? The answer in terms of sheer numbers and sheer horror might surprise you. It’s Christians specifically Christians living in Muslim majority countries. Prager University is correct. Okay, all jokes aside, this is a very serious topic I hope you watch until the end. Last month, dinosaur communist party CPGB-ML released this irky reactionary article. It’s been a common trend of their online presence and frankly, it really stinks. But as disheartened as I am when I see stuff like this on the web I am also reminded that I am now part of a left that is no longer respectful of these vulgar outdated gestures and the left of today truly is a very progressive bunch. We fight for the rights of gender minorities, stand with people at the forefront of racial oppression far outside simply the economic realms. They say that oppressions align and when you look at the left of today you can really see that. But as time goes on there can always be that tendency for our viewpoints to become short-sighted and clouded with prevailing dogma. This is a video about one of those. This here is a map of West Asia and North Africa. A region collectively termed together as WANA or MENA. It is home to many different ethnicities that are not of Arab origin. Some you know, some you don’t. And within this region there are numerous ethno-religious minorities But two years ago when Caabu did a study to find out the nature of racial profiling in the UK only one percent of respondents listed the Middle East as being linked with Christianity The on the ground reality is that millions of Christians still live and breathe in the Crescent. It is after all the birthplace of the Yahweh religion And contrary to the very bland pastiche Christianity that tends to fill the Western churches The faith of the WANA is distinctive in being very very diverse to the followers The faith is particularly sacred and in many times of a physical part of their identity In a similar way to how Jews or Irish Catholics might view themselves there are up to 25 million Christians in WANA, a number that has been gradually decreasing throughout the 20th century and And largely, this is due in part to a considerable amount of persecution and repression including genocide. Which to PragerU’s credit, they’re right When we’re talking about religious minorities, Christians are one of the most highly persecuted but I know and you know as well that these people are being very insincere here, Dennis and his entourage represent or at least promote What could only be described as White Man’s Christianity, the collective tradition of Imperial, Crusading, nation conquering religious zealots of manifest destiny and Got Miht Ust. Malcolm X was not really wrong when he called Christianity the religion of the white man; that was all that he could see at the time. And all of these people’s religious conceptions would appear highly unorthodox unorthodox if they were ever to go and visit a WANA Christian community Yet still how often is it that you see right wing commentators and outlets picking up on Christian oppression in the global South to regurgitate their hatred and vitriol and encourage further discrimination against Muslims in the West. Just a quick search on Breitbart you’ll see how many times they’ve already covered this issue This is what they do. And when right-wingers do resort to the lowest of low arguments to get their points across The left as it always does responds in a very appropriate and effective manner “What about the Crusades?” There is a contradiction here that we need to talk about On the one hand, we’re advocates for intersectionality and the dynamics of oppression, looking out for the nuances of thought and removing ourselves from binary choices and bullshit assumptions But on the other we can’t help getting away from very Eurocentric conceptions of various topics in other words We do choose binaries here many Western leftists tend to look at religion through this lens they incorrectly view Christianity as a global oppressor completely overlooking the examples where this just simply isn’t the case and thus Ignoring many groups that are severely marginalized and after a while we forget about the fact that we’re just regurgitating another dogma for us “Islamophobia is racism” might be a fine thing to say because we realize that in Western society, Islam is heavily racialized and so many of those who may quote-unquote look Muslim like Sikhs are Also targeted. but often, an expressing this tour while a Christian might rightly come across as quite reductionist Especially when this is one of the few times they’re ever given attention here in the West Add this on to the fact that WANA Christians want to speak out about their oppression, they’re often accused of being racist Themselves along with other accusations of bad faith. Just as Islam has largely been racialized in the West the same formula does apply to muslim-majority nations regarding how christianity is viewed when attacks are caused in the West by Islamists Muslims in the area are rightfully quite terrified and anxious about upcoming reprisals that might be made against them We do not however see why an attack from a white supremacist against Muslims would also result in a similar effect to Christians in the East Anti-west rhetoric has been heating up over the past 70 years, and with it the false assumption that Christianity is Intrinsically Western. The result has been demonization of the WANA Christians as fifth columns to Western imperialism Assyrian christians are one of those ethno religious minorities indigenous to the region and they have faced centuries of persecution and Genocide. many of us may well know about the Armenian Genocide of 1915 by the Ottomans Which is still denied by Turkey to this day and still not recognized by the US and UK But what many of us don’t know is that least 300,000 Assyrians were also victims alongside the Armenians. In 1933 around Simele, Iraq, after waves of anti Assyrian propaganda, the Iraqi army brutally slaughtered 6000 Assyrians and decimated over 60 villages. the campaign was the first military act undertaken by Iraq after gaining independence from Britain a year prior. Both the atrocities of 1915 and the Simele Massacre in 1933 are what prompted Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin to later coin the word genocide. After the assassination of Iraqi Prime Minister Abdel al-karim Qasim in 1963 the following decades saw the rise of Saddam Hussein and his Ba’ath party in Iraq Supported by the US and what came with it was a new wave of violent anti-communism. Many communists were killed and imprisoned effectively culling the Iraqi Communist Party of which a sizable percentage at the time were Assyrian, as many joined in resistance to their oppression by Arab nationalism and Islamism. In fact, the party’s first secretary was an Assyrian named Yusuf Salman yusuf, who was found hanged over a decade prior on the 14th of February 1949. With this and the general increasing repression towards their identity and appropriation of their villages by Arabization policies Thousands of Assyrians fled the country between the 60s and the 80s. The most recent mass exodus was from the Iraq war, taking the population from 1.5 million in 2003 to now less than 275,000. Since the rise of Isis, the rate of attacks have only increased, including most notably the 2010 Baghdad Church Massacre, which claimed over a hundred casualties. and even just five years ago in Mosul they committed yet another genocide where Christian homes were marked with the Arabic letter n for Nazarene, followers of Jesus of Nazareth. the Assyrian population now stands at around two to four million people with most of those in the diaspora. the lack of vigor in the West to address the plight of these people and indeed the plight of various other minority groups from the region can be felt severely. During the 2016 election a large proportion of the diaspora in America were supportive of Donald Trump. Does this not seem like on the surface a politician who would be completely against Their interests? The very group who would be first on the pecking order in terms of deportation? Yes, and indeed in due course, this has been the reality for them. Now, after putting in their pledge to live and work, they are now cast asunder and betrayed by whom they thought they could trust. But just as the right time would come around for a show of solidarity, The Left were largely silent on this issue. In fact, many liberals actually defended their deportation, saying they deserved what they got Effectively defending their genocide. Did anyone at any point ever question whether or not we should ask their perspective on this issue? Even the terminology used by many well-meaning people on the left to refer to Donald Trump’s policies does presents sort of an issue It became known as the Muslim ban, but with such high numbers of WANA Christians affected Isn’t this a bit misleading and isn’t it just the kind of erasure that we ought to be avoiding when we’re discussing the marginalized? The right has been a stickler when it comes to appropriating leftist talking points as I’ve spoken about numerous times now. the EU used to be a lot more of a Conservative tradition, opposed by many factions of the Left, including of course the late Tony Benn But after sections of the right-wing discourse took it by their shoulders, all the left could seem to do in response was go now “No, EU good.” The EU is an undemocratic monolithic entity that controls large hegemony over the continent. This is something the left has always been against. And now we seem to have all been shuffled into the pro EU corner just to own the right is baffling How dare they, how dare we allow them to take control of this narrative. On the topic of narratives, Many on Twitter were stunned a while back at the revelation that alt-right YouTuber Braving Ruin, formerly Edgy Sphinx, was of Egyptian descent. In other words, He ain’t white. In a movement almost entirely made up by white nationalists This seems like a baffling contradiction. It’s not He’s a Copt, another Christian minority native to Egypt that has been increasingly targeted in recent years. It was from Braving Ruin’s own testimony that we find what led him towards the right was very much so a conflict of his own knowledge. Because for all we try and ignore this issue, these groups are dying. There just isn’t that convenient option for the displaced vulnerable Diaspora, coming to a place where they no longer fear being lynched. For them when they arrive to see a left whose only regurgitated knowledge has been Eurocentric, they gravitate towards the side that is saying, “the left hates Christianity.” And while this might sound silly to you, These minorities do not have that privilege. And when the right-wing are the only ones talking about their issues with mostly silence or dismissal from left What more would you expect? We’re not even presenting faux dramatizations of anger here, we’re completely turning our back to their voices in favor of pleasing narratives. One of those narratives that have sprung up in recent years has been the conflict in northern Syria. Many leftists in the West have been supportive of Kurdistan and Rojava yet it ignores that there are serious issues with the new governments and hegemonies that have taken root, going far beyond simply the US funding. You may have seen the images below of protests breaking out in northern Syria against school closures. PYD authorities ordered the closure of Assyrian schools that refused to teach the DFNS Rojava curriculum on August 7th 2018. Members of the PYD linked security force Sootoro opened fire to disperse the crowd, but were overwhelmed. When this news came back in the limited form that it did, Western leftists rather than questione the establishment instead drew attention to the flags that they were holding. Yes Those are Syrian government flags But it does not mean that they are suddenly fanatical supporters. In the essence of oppression anti-imperialism requires the use of certain representatives as a rallying cry, which is the very reason why Assadstill has so much support to this day. And the PYD already have a working relationship with Assad since the start of the conflict, often negotiating with him. despite the off claimed assertion of the progressive and inclusive Constitution, we should know by now that on paper does not always mean in practice Actual reports from the ground level by Assyrians are skeptical of this to a high degree. The school protests have come only after a series of attempts to impose an aggressive series of actions largely targeted at minority groups, including seizure and occupation of property, forced reparation payments, and all manner of targeting and assaults. On paper the Syriac Military Council are allied with the PYD, but were you aware that the council is mostly made up of Arabs and Kurds, not Assyrians? And that the groups claimed to have been showcased as examples of Syriac-Kurdish unity are in fact on the fringes of Assyrian opinion? In a similar situation, the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq have forcibly removed mayors, and are occupying Assyrian towns. Assyrians have protested against this constantly to again little coverage or outrage on an international level. And in 2014, the Peshmerga – the KRG security forces – also disarmed and abandoned Assyrians and Yazidis, just as ISIS were approaching We can talk romantically about the Kurds. But why should their self-determination come at the expense of Assyrians? As Westerners, we do have this privilege. We can pick what we like from the orient and ignore the darker sides of the conflict. Anti-imperialism for example is a no brainer. But there can be a tendency among some leftists who end up ignoring how imperialism often affects the most vulnerable, the indigenous, and the minority groups. Some people don’t even recognize that these groups exist. It’s not too complicated to talk about this. There’s also just the case of generally needing to listen to women and minorities without the immediate assumption that they all have some alternative reactionary agenda. “The least we deserve from our countries is our Civilization and our history not to be vanished not to be abused but to be educated and learned in our educational system. I don’t want to be asked, am I a Kurd or am I an Arab in our cou-in my country. Or if I say none, ‘Are you Christian?’ I am Christian, but that’s not my identity. That’s my belief, that’s to myself. I want Assyrian to be one of the options. I am Assyrian, and proud to be, and I want to be recognized in my own country because we are the original people of that country. The least we need, we deserve from our country is to be recognized. And now we have two governments, Kurdistan and Iraq, and they should take the responsibility for that. Thank you.” We know how very recently the topic of ISIS brides who have yet to regret their participation in butchery is not out of the question. Why then not the plight of their victims ?These people do have a voice, big and small. And the least we could do is respect this in line with our standards. The only other alternative and I’ll say this again, the only other alternative is capitulation further and further to the reactionaries who commodify their suffering. I don’t make this video with the intention of bringing about more hatred towards Muslims. But I can’t help but feel disheartened by the fact that this is even assumed. There are nuances that we have to start coming to terms with that will include understanding the different power and privilege dynamics outside of the West, and how this might affect the mindset of the diaspora. Some leftists will say that this is too complicated to discuss. But it never stopped you before. Yu must be able to breach the topic of understanding both Western Islamophobia and Islamism in the Middle East, without caving into the Western reactionary narrative or allowing right-wingers to continue to fill up the void in these discussions. Which they already have done, might I say, quite successfully. So it’s time that we as leftists take back these narratives and rectify our ignorance on the situation. It’s simply not right to ignore this problem because conservatives already talk about it. We know their intentions are not for the betterment of all, especially when it comes to the oppressed. We cannot continue to grow as a movement if we are constantly pushing other people away. So, how can you help? First, let us remove the Eurocentric understandings of race and religion from our minds to realize how dynamics might work differently in the global south. And as with anything else just keep up with what’s going on in the region. Discuss these issues with your friends, with your family, with your comrades. Use your platform to raise awareness. Reach out and listen to these people and don’t speak over them or use them as props for ideological or partisan fighting. It may feel good to say that Jesus was a brown Jewish socialist from the Middle East as a gotcha to the right-wingers. But we know that they really don’t care about that. And more to the point, what are you doing right now for the Christians in that region? Organize with them. Declare statements of solidarity. Make this a part of your activism. Let them know that you’re there when they need it. These are marginalized, oppressed people with real pressing concerns and they deserve more than just token appreciation. The left has brought about in recent times a grand spectrum of inclusivity to more and more oppressed groups. If it wishes to continue this line, then we must start strengthening ourselves and asking these difficult questions. Like I said, it’s never stopped you before. Hey everybody, thank you for watching the video and a special thank you to everybody who supports this channel on patreon. I cannot tell you just how important that has been over the past couple of months. You guys are great, thank you so much. Now before I get to the special group of friends I’d like to thank, I also just want to just quickly talk about the reasons why I made this video. I mde this video with an Assyrian a friend of mine called Meia. Now, Meia wasn’t always a leftist. But when she came around, she found it quite disheartening that whenever she would talk to her fellow Leftists about her history, about her family struggle, it would often result in dismissal, being told it’s too complicated, or even just being accused of being a troll who’s trying to suck attention away from other issues. This included some youtubers. I am one of them. It was only when I really started to knuckle my head down and get into the nitty-gritty of this and started engaging in a Bit of self criticism towards myself that I realized, “No, this is so contradictory of us.” And it reminds me of a common problem that I see re-emerging in the left of today which is a focus on leftist culture as opposed to on leftist principles. You might remember Sylvia Riviera the trans icon who is widely revered by the left But it wasn’t always like that. Even though she was so heavily involved in the LGBT movement back in 60s and 70s, she was publicly booed on stage by hundreds of her comrades who just seem to be suckering and co-opting the movements away into a different direction. No movement, no struggle ever starts out as being cool, as being popular. We should definitely know that over the past two years here on YouTube and It’s just not okay to ignore these issues, to leave them behind and move on But it’s never too late. And it’s never too late to question the dogmas that we hold and engage in that self-criticism and believe me I think it’s going to do wonders to our movement in the future. So the first step that you guys can make is go and check out my friend Meia. All the links are down in the description. She’s got some really great stuff that you’ll be really interested in. Use your platform to bring attention to the voices that need it. Thanks guys. Thank you for watching, have a lovely day.