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A deeper understanding of the issues that matter

The U.S. must speak directly with Iran's Religious and Ethnic Minorities

"The U.S. has led the maximum pressure campaign against the Iranian regime, based on weakening the country’s economy. This is vital, necessary and must be continued" argues Diliman Abdulkader in Religion Unplugged. However, Abdulkader states that "the U.S. must also be prepared to support ethnic and religious minorities within Iran by leaving its forces in the region to reduce its military influence along with economic sanctions. Unless the U.S. is willing to implement regime change, top U.S. officials must speak directly to ethnic and religious minorities in the country as it does with Iranian Persians, especially the president, Secretary Mike Pompeo and Congress."

Trump must draw a red line against Turkey in Northeast Syria to protect religious freedom

"If the United States wishes to play a leading role in protecting ethnic and religious minorities around the world, it can start in Syria" argues Diliman Abdulkader in the Jewish News Syndicate (JNS). Abdulkader continues to say "officially known as the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (NES), a unique and inclusive system of governance has allowed for Christians, Yezidis, Muslims, Kurds, Arabs, Turkomans and Assyrians to co-exist without fear. Yet the fate of NES continues to be uncertain. Regional powers like Iran, Turkey and Syria under Bashar Assad are unlikely to allow the area—controlled by majority of Syrian Kurds—to go unharmed."

Turkey's Support for Uyghurs is a Sham

 

Diliman Abdulkader argues in The Jerusalem Post that "thanks to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s harsh rhetoric, the increased pressure on Uyghur minorities in China has gained international awareness. The Turkish government portrays itself as the protector of Sunnis abroad, including the minority ethnic Turkic Uyghurs in China." Abdulkader further states that as Turkey leans "closer to Russia and now China, Erdogan is trading the Uyghurs’ religious rights for cheap Chinese loans. Turkey is part of China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative as the country lies on the shortest route between China and Europe."

Yezidi Minorities Continue to Suffer After the Defeat of the Caliphate

 

Diliman Abdulkader assesses the Yezidi suffering five years after the genocide campaign by the Islamic State in The Washington Institute for Near East Policy's Fikra Forum. "Although Iraq proclaimed an end to the ‘caliphate’ in 2017, scars remain etched in the Yezidi population’s collective memory. Though August 2019 will mark five years since the genocide took place; Yezidis continue to struggle. The campaign against the Yezidi community brought immeasurable misery to the lives of thousands of individuals. Sectarian tensions mixed with religious intolerance led to the destruction of the ancient Yezidi community in the Shingal District, Nineveh Governorate in Iraq. Yezidi girls were forced into sex slavery, used as human shields, drugged, and indoctrinated, while men and older women were dumped into mass graves by the thousands. Many remain missing, while those who survived continue to endure the grievances forced upon them."

Religious Intolerance Another Contentious Point in Relations Between US, Turkey 

 

Diliman Abdulkader explains in The Jerusalem Post that "Turkey's democratic reputation is rapidly deteriorating all thanks to its unyielding president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Since the July 2016 coup, which failed to oust Erdogan, his grip on the countries institutions has only strengthened. Aside from targeting Turkish dissidents, Kurdish minorities, academics, journalists and any individual or organization that criticizes his form of governance, Erdogan has also greatly invested in targeting the country's religious minorities."

What we're up to

The Freedom to Believe team traveled to Nashville, Tennessee or "Little Kurdistan" to visit the Kurdish community, meet young Kurds and take part in a Friday Prayers at the Salahadeen Center. 

The Freedom to Believe team traveled to Chicago, Illinois to take part in the International Kurdish Studies Conference. We met with leaders of different organizations like Zahra Institute to find opportunities to collaborate. 

The Freedom to Believe team met with Neighborly Faith, an organization devoted to helping evangelical Christians become good neighbors to people of other faiths.