The term "minorities" is a means of protection, not a goal of segregation or belittlement

2023/03/79879-1679035496.jpg
Read: 1579     15:30     17 Март 2023    

Michael Benjamin, a representative of the Iraqi Minority Alliance Network, made the comment during his participation in an event organized by the National Security Adviser in Baghdad in cooperation with Kabni and Horizon for Human Development organizations with the support of the World Council of Churches:

"The President of Iraq, Abdul Latif Rashid, in a memorandum submitted to him, which included a call to adopt a law protecting the rights of minorities and the diversity of Iraq*, as soon as he heard the word "minorities", said: "Personally, I do not agree with this term and do not like to use it. We don't have a majority and a minority, we have all citizens".

I really hope that there will be more such meetings, I am not talking about regular meetings at the level of society and among the general public, but rather about meetings that bring together members of parliament, ministers and decision makers at different levels and in various bodies, as well as scientists and activists. Those who belong to majority societies as well as to minorities. What I saw from them was sensitivity and unacceptability to the use of the term minorities, and it became clear to me that the reasons for rejection are mainly presented in the following:

First, as if using this term, he isolates and distinguishes these minority societies from other majority societies and from other citizens.

Secondly, it seems as if the term humiliates and belittles these groups, while in Iraq they, and in particular Yazidis, are referred to by the indigenous inhabitants of the country.

In order not to repeat the still unresolved problem of definition, as well as objective and subjective criteria that, if any, determine which ethnic, religious and linguistic groups are included in this term "minorities", it will suffice to say briefly: the use of this term is primarily aimed at determining the mechanism of equality and justice of these groups with others societies of the "majority", because without these mechanisms their rights cannot be protected. This in no way means that we isolate Yazidis from other citizens or refer to them because they are inferior and give a sense of inferiority.

For example, are we afraid that the Yazidi language will be lost while all curricula and the official state language is Arabic? What is the fate of the Yazidi, Assyrian, Mandaean, Magu, Zoroastrian, Armenian, Shabak and Russian languages? They are not identified as minority languages, but they need special mechanisms to protect and promote them, under the pretext that all are citizens of Iraq, we do nothing to protect these ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural groups. What will happen to the elements of their identity and culture? And what about the possibility of their participation in public life, what about equality and non-discrimination? Does the word "citizenship for all" benefit them, despite the fact that citizenship is a developed, complex and much—needed concept? But should this happen at the expense of assimilation, integration, or exclusion and abolition of identity?

However, I repeat, article 125 of the Iraqi Constitution is the best basis for regulating the rights of minorities with the clear title "The Law on the Protection of Minority Rights".

According to the above article, the law should include administrative and political rights, and not be limited only to cultural and educational rights and non-discrimination, that is, it should include mechanisms to protect existence and survival, protect identity, equality and non-discrimination. There must be effective and meaningful participation in public life.

The law should include an article clearly defining objective and subjective criteria for any group subject to the law, in accordance with international conventions and the Declaration of Minorities.

The law should include an article granting minorities the right to veto decisions affecting their personal interests. The law should include clear implementation mechanisms, as well as criminal procedures in case of violation".

Michael Benjamin

ezidi24





Tags: #yazidisinfo   #newsyazidis   #minorityiraq   #iraqyazidis  



The term "minorities" is a means of protection, not a goal of segregation or belittlement

2023/03/79879-1679035496.jpg
Read: 1580     15:30     17 Март 2023    

Michael Benjamin, a representative of the Iraqi Minority Alliance Network, made the comment during his participation in an event organized by the National Security Adviser in Baghdad in cooperation with Kabni and Horizon for Human Development organizations with the support of the World Council of Churches:

"The President of Iraq, Abdul Latif Rashid, in a memorandum submitted to him, which included a call to adopt a law protecting the rights of minorities and the diversity of Iraq*, as soon as he heard the word "minorities", said: "Personally, I do not agree with this term and do not like to use it. We don't have a majority and a minority, we have all citizens".

I really hope that there will be more such meetings, I am not talking about regular meetings at the level of society and among the general public, but rather about meetings that bring together members of parliament, ministers and decision makers at different levels and in various bodies, as well as scientists and activists. Those who belong to majority societies as well as to minorities. What I saw from them was sensitivity and unacceptability to the use of the term minorities, and it became clear to me that the reasons for rejection are mainly presented in the following:

First, as if using this term, he isolates and distinguishes these minority societies from other majority societies and from other citizens.

Secondly, it seems as if the term humiliates and belittles these groups, while in Iraq they, and in particular Yazidis, are referred to by the indigenous inhabitants of the country.

In order not to repeat the still unresolved problem of definition, as well as objective and subjective criteria that, if any, determine which ethnic, religious and linguistic groups are included in this term "minorities", it will suffice to say briefly: the use of this term is primarily aimed at determining the mechanism of equality and justice of these groups with others societies of the "majority", because without these mechanisms their rights cannot be protected. This in no way means that we isolate Yazidis from other citizens or refer to them because they are inferior and give a sense of inferiority.

For example, are we afraid that the Yazidi language will be lost while all curricula and the official state language is Arabic? What is the fate of the Yazidi, Assyrian, Mandaean, Magu, Zoroastrian, Armenian, Shabak and Russian languages? They are not identified as minority languages, but they need special mechanisms to protect and promote them, under the pretext that all are citizens of Iraq, we do nothing to protect these ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural groups. What will happen to the elements of their identity and culture? And what about the possibility of their participation in public life, what about equality and non-discrimination? Does the word "citizenship for all" benefit them, despite the fact that citizenship is a developed, complex and much—needed concept? But should this happen at the expense of assimilation, integration, or exclusion and abolition of identity?

However, I repeat, article 125 of the Iraqi Constitution is the best basis for regulating the rights of minorities with the clear title "The Law on the Protection of Minority Rights".

According to the above article, the law should include administrative and political rights, and not be limited only to cultural and educational rights and non-discrimination, that is, it should include mechanisms to protect existence and survival, protect identity, equality and non-discrimination. There must be effective and meaningful participation in public life.

The law should include an article clearly defining objective and subjective criteria for any group subject to the law, in accordance with international conventions and the Declaration of Minorities.

The law should include an article granting minorities the right to veto decisions affecting their personal interests. The law should include clear implementation mechanisms, as well as criminal procedures in case of violation".

Michael Benjamin

ezidi24





Tags: #yazidisinfo   #newsyazidis   #minorityiraq   #iraqyazidis