The Inside Assyria Discussion Forum #5

=> Challenging the Jews

Challenging the Jews
Posted by pancho (Guest) - Tuesday, May 1 2007, 17:15:15 (CEST)
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Matay and many others respond when questioned about their claims to a modern Assyrian identity by asking why no one dares challenge the Jews as to the legitimacy of their claims. Aside from the fact that this is beside the point, the simple answer is because there is no doubt regarding their claims. One can raise the "issue"...but obviously this is only done in order to stall, or deflect questions about the modern Assyrian identity.

This discussion gets slippery when people feel their back against a wall and begin to switch criteria, dancing around between ethnic, religious and national definitions as each one gets shot down...hoping to "stay alive". If the discussion starts out dealing with ethnicity, the person defending a modern Assyrian ethnicity hops to "nationalism"...when that position grows weak, the jump is made to "religion"...and back again...

Are modern Jews an ethnicity? Yes. Can you join an ethnicity late in life? Yes. Are modern Jews a separate religious group? Yes. Can you join their religion late in life? Yes, though it isn't easy and many Jews will not accept such converts. Are modern Jews a nation? Yes, finally they have a nation. If you live in their nation are you necessarily a Jew? No. You are an Israeli and can be Muslim or Christian.

There is no modern nation of Assyria. The dictionary is clear...the way the nationalists use it is simply their take on it...because they need it to make their ditzy claims sound plausible.

The Jewish identity started way back when a people were known by their religion...there may have been people of different faiths living together under one political system, but the dominant group had one religion. It's different today when religions cut across national boundries...but that's today.

For someone to be Assyrian, ethnically and culturally Assyrian, 2500 years ago would mean...would require, that the person be of the Assyrian religion. No Jew can leave yahwe for Allah and remain a Jew...he can remain Israeli, but not Jewish. Not even if he or she adheres to all the cultural characteristics...for the most important and central one of all is faith in Yahwe...not Ashur or Jesus or Allah or Buddha.

There is no basis upon which to challenge any modern Jew on his identity. If he believes in the Jewish religion, he is a Jew. There is no Assyrian religion today. Most self-identifying Assyrians insist that real Assyrians are Christians and only Christians. Such a narrow and exclusive definition runs afoul of the fact that modern Assyrians do not believe in an Assyrian religion...but in a Jewish which they call "universal".

Therefore to be Assyrian has nothing to do with being of an Assyrian faith. That would be similar to claiming that being a Jew has nothing to do with believing in the Jewish faith...something which is clearly rejected by Jews as well as everyone else. To simply call Christianity the "new and improved" religion of the Assyrians merely confuses the issue and satisfies nothing...if Christianity becomes the marker for being Assyrian, then every Christian can be Assyrian.

Had modern Assyrians kept their faith all these years, no one would even think to question them. But since they didn't, they open themselves up to all sorts of doubts.

As to being ethnically Assyrian, that too has lost its meaning. The modern Assyrian ethnicity is more a Christian one, tinged with the shared characteristics borrowed from the surrounding ethnic and religious groups. Kurds and Persians and Turks share many cultural and ethnic traits...what divides them is religion...not even nationality, but religion. Aside from "picking up" cultural traits from their neighbors, modern Assyrians also "picked up" their new religion from their neighbors and other foreigners...not even their religion is "ethnic" them...or part of their culture...not until it took over and dominated them.

As to the notion that they were always Assyrian but simply didn't pronounce the "A" in front of Suraye (Asuraye) needs to see that this unpronounced "A" was at the front of many other words and not just this one. It is a clever dodge...but hardly convincing.


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