We at the American Mesopotamian Organization (AMO) were surprised to hear Bishop Toma Dawoud of the Syriac Orthodox Church in London-UK hurling false accusations on Al-sharqiya Satellite TV against the Assyrian Democratic Movement (ADM) and its Secretary General, Mr. Yonadam Kanna. We were also shocked at the level of anger and hatred from Bishop Toma Dawoud against the Assyrian identity.
Bishop Dawoud and those who support him must know that their accusations are false and that Mr. Kanna and the ADM are not against the “Al-siriani” name and that they are not benefiting financially from the illegal seizure and sale of homes owned by Iraqi Assyrian ex-patriots’. As a matter of fact, ADM has spent precious time and resources making sure that no sale of property takes places without the consent of the legitimate owners.
Presently, AMO feels no further need to dwell on Bishop Toma Dawoud’s baseless claims – ADM and Mr. Kanna have, in our opinion, responded adequately to them in the past few days, refuting both their fabrications and falsehoods.
AMO wholeheartedly believes that the attacks against the ADM and Mr. Kanna were meant as attacks against the Assyrian identity. ADM and Mr. Kanna are symbols of this identity. While there are those in the diaspora who might disagree with this statement, the fact remains that ADM and its leadership are the most widely supported and most legitimate, independent political organization representing our Assyrian nation in Iraq.
The Aramean identity the Bishop and his friend were promoting on Al-Sharqiya station is a recent invention of few sectarian church leaders. It was introduced after the usage of the term “Sirian” or “Al-Sirian” as national identity failed miserably, and was deemed unacceptable due to the discovery of historical evidence linking it to Assyria and the Assyrian identity.
While we at the American Mesopotamian Organization have no quarrel with anyone professing the Aramean identity, we vehemently reject the attempts to impose it on the entire Assyrian nation. However, it’s worth mentioning that the so called “Aramean” nationalists and their leadership have been plagued by corruption, with many of them having been arrested, tried and convicted by Sweden’s government. Currently they are serving out their sentences in that country’s prisons.
Lastly, AMO must point out that these attacks are certainly part of an overall campaign against Assyria and the Assyrian identity by Kurdish (PKK) supported groups such as the “Dawronoye,” as they are commonly known among Assyrians. It is no coincidence that Suroyo TV which is owned and operated by them, was actively promoting the attacks by Bishop Toma Dawoud.
Bishop Toma Dawoud’s “modus operandi,” as well as the person that was interviewed immediately after him on Al-sharqiya satellite reminds us of how members of Saddam’s Baathist regime used to demonize their opponents publicly before they arrested and tortured them. While we have no proof that the Bishop and his supporter were ever members of the defunct Baath party of Iraq, and they definitely don’t have the means to arrest or torture anyone, they nonetheless echo Baathist tactics in trying to defame and discredit their opponents.
While we expect more of the same attacks from the likes of Bishop Toma Dawoud and his “Aramean clique”, AMO will not hesitate to call out any and all vile smear campaigns, regardless of their source or those who promote them.