Iraq: History repeats itself as Islamic State slaughters Christians

In 1933, the Iraqi government set upon Christians after taking their weapons and promising safety. As Assyrian Christians commemorate the martyrs of 1933, new martyrs are dying today.

Between August 7 and 11, 1933, the Iraqi Army and Kurdish and Arab irregulars conducted a massacre of 3,000 Assyrian men, women and children in the town of Simmele and its surroundings. A detailed account of the massacre was given Colonel Stafford of the British Army (The Simmele Massacre). Because of the Simmele Massacre, August 7 was later chosen to become the official Assyrian Martyrs Day, a day to remember Assyrians killed not only in that massacre, but all massacres and genocides against the Assyrian nation, including the Turkish Genocide of Assyrians in World War One, which claimed 75% of the Assyrian population (750,000 Assyrians, as well as 1.5 million Armenians and 500,000 Pontic Greeks).
 
There have been 33 genocides since 339 A.D., all but three committed by Muslims. This averages to one every 50 years. In other words, for the past 1675 years there has been genocide in the living memory of every Assyrian generation.
 
In 2014 the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) is committing genocide against the Assyrians of North Iraq and Syria. It began by IS issuing new Sharia rules for Mosul's residents ().
 
In 1933 the Simmele massacre began with a fiery speech in the Iraqi Parliament by an Arab MP, Sayed Thabit, in which he vilified the Assyrians, denied their identity, called them "wretched and corrupt people" and said they are a "poisonous germ in the head of the government" (The Simmele Massacre).
 
In 2014 IS sent a letter to Assyrians in Mosul, ordering them to convert, pay the jizya (a "protection" fee) or die (AINA 2014-07-20). All of Mosul's Assyrians fled the city.
 
In 1933 The Iraqi government orders the Assyrians to turn in their weapons, promising them safety.
 
In 2014 IS shells Assyrian towns, killing 4, causing the Nineveh Plain to be nearly emptied of its indigenous and autochthonous Assyrian population.
 
In 1933 Assyrians are massacred in Simmele after they surrender their weapons, the Iraqi government not honoring its promise of safety.
 
History is repeating itself. In 1933 Assyrians were targeted because they were Christians. In 2014 IS is targeting them for the same reason.
 
On August 7 Assyrians throughout the world will commemorate Assyrian Martyrs Day. This year it will be especially difficult as they witness the very probable end of the Assyrian presence in their ancestral homeland, which they have lived in since 4750 B.C..
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only, not of Spero News.

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