A con­fer­ence mark­ing the cen­te­nary of Sheikh Ab­dul­Salam Barzani’s mar­tyr­dom

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

Look­ing back at the his­tory of the Kurds and their lib­er­a­tion move­ment, we see that the re­gional and in­ter­na­tional sit­u­a­tion and po­lit­i­cal equa­tion did not con­spire to give it breath­ing space at one of the turn­ing points in its long his­tory; time to re­con­sider its strug­gle and to seek an­swers to many ques­tions. Even if it had opted to do so, there were many un­wanted cir­cum­stances that hin­dered it from do­ing so.

Over the past 22 years, the sit­u­a­tion in South­ern Kur­dis­tan has been dif­fer­ent. Over the last four years, too, the sit­u­a­tion has made it pos­si­ble for the Kurds to have their say at the na­tional level. That is thanks to the ini­tia­tive and pres­ence of Pres­i­dent Barzani, and the prepa­ra­tions made at the na­tional con­fer­ence. In this ar­ti­cle, we sug­gest hold­ing a con­fer­ence to mark the cen­te­nary of Sheikh Ab­dul­Salam Barzani’s ex­e­cu­tion. We make this pro­posal for the fol­low­ing rea­sons:

1. Choos­ing the past cen­tury, and the day of Sheikh Ab­dul­Salam Barzani’s ex­e­cu­tion on De­cem­ber 14 1914, does not ne­ces­si­tate that we ig­nore the his­tory prior to this date. The first World War be­gan in that year, and it was af­ter that war that the Kur­dish strug­gle re­sumed along with the ter­ri­ble in­ter­na­tional and re­gional cir­cum­stance that would con­tinue to make life im­pos­si­ble for the Kurds un­til the end of the 20th cen­tury.

2. Sheikh Ab­dul­Salam Barzani is con­sid­ered to have laid the foun­da­tions of tol­er­ance and coex­is­tence within the Kur­dish move­ment and, later, within the Kur­dis­tani com­mu­nity. He also laid the corner­stone for the coex­is­tence of the re­li­gions and eth­nic­i­ties that live in Kur­dis­tan.

3. Sheikh Ab­dul­Salam Barzani used his el­e­vated re­li­gious po­si­tion to make the Kur­dish com­mu­nity aware that re­li­gion should never be an ob­sta­cle to the na­tional strug­gle. He strove to make Kurds sus­tain their char­ac­ter­is­tics in the same way as the Turks, Per­sians and Arabs.

4. He de­manded the con­struc­tion and pros­per­ity of Kur­dis­tan; he also de­manded that the taxes which the state col­lected in Kur­dis­tan should be used to de­velop Kur­dis­tan, paving the way to lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion and re­ject­ing cen­tral­iza­tion.

5. He de­manded that the state em­ploy­ees and mem­bers in Kur­dis­tan should be Kurds, not brought from out­side Kur­dis­tan.

6. He paid at­ten­tion to the Kur­dish lan­guage, de­mand­ing its use in the ad­min­is­tra­tive de­part­ments in Kur­dis­tan.

7. He showed an in­ter­est in the en­vi­ron­ment and the pro­tec­tion of na­ture in Kur­dis­tan.

8. He paid at­ten­tion to Kur­dis­tan’s re­la­tions with the Great Pow­ers, meet­ing the Rus­sian con­sul in 1913.

9. He was ex­e­cuted by the Ot­toman state as a re­sult of those de­mands.

10. Trai­tor­ous in­di­vid­u­als sur­ren­dered Sheikh Ab­dul­Salam Barzani to the Ot­toman state, which ex­e­cuted him in Mo­sul, which was then gov­erned by Suleiman Nazif, the Wali of Mo­sul and a Kurd.

Sug­ges­tions re­lat­ing to the con­fer­ence

1. The pres­ence of politi­cians, in­tel­lec­tual and so­cial per­son­al­i­ties in Kur­dis­tan along with writ­ers, teach­ers and re­searchers.

2- Re­search con­ducted by ex­perts and aca­demics in var­i­ous fields could be pre­sented.

The first topic: the role of Sheikh Ab­dul­Salam Barzani in es­tab­lish­ing prin­ci­ples of coex­is­tence and so­cial peace.

The se­cond topic: the de­mands of Sheikh Ab­dul­Salam Barzani to the Ot­toman State--au­ton­o­mous Kur­dish ar­eas and an in­ter­est in the Kur­dish lan­guage.

The third topic: The role of Sheikh Ab­dul­Salam Barzani in es­tab­lish­ing re­la­tions with other coun­tries.

The fourth topic: the role of Sheikh Ab­dul­Salam Barzani in es­tab­lish­ing trust be­tween the peo­ple and their leader. This point about the Sheikh was ex­ploited by some peo­ple when he was ar­rested.

The fifth topic: mak­ing com­par­isons be­tween the first quar­ter of the 20th 21st cen­turies: while Sheikh Ab­dul­Salam Barzani was hanged by the Ot­toman State in 1914, in 2013, Pres­i­dent Ma­soud Barzani was in­vited to play a role in build­ing peace be­tween the Kurds and Turks. This shows the path set out by Ab­dul-Salam Barzani ex­tended for over 100 years, with sev­eral suc­ces­sive regimes fail­ing to stand in the way of the Kur­day­ati path.

3- All ar­ti­cles and sub­jects pre­sented at the con­fer­ence should be doc­u­mented and col­lected into a vol­ume de­tail­ing the pro­ceed­ings.

4- If this sug­ges­tion is ap­proved, ef­forts could be made to pre­pare top­ics and re­search for a con­fer­ence held on De­cem­ber 14, 2014.

Dil­shad Mustafa Wasani

Sheikh Ab­dul Salam Barzani 1908

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