Democracy does not mean lessening the role of the minority
Kurds have been powerless as a minority since the creation of Iraq for about a century ago. But the majority has never been able to quell the Kurds completely. The Kurds themselves have never let their role, position and existence weaken. In the post Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Kurds as minority have played a crucial role. Likewise, the whites in the in the USA couldn’t erase the blacks from history, and eventually Barack Obama became the first historic black President in the country. The European minorities too play important role in democracy. They’re not judged according to their number and size. Even Kurds individuals with their small numbers have run for the municipal elections and get votes, or for parliamentary elections in the Scandinavian and European Parliament and have won seats. In case of taking numbers and size and votes into account, they wouldn’t be able to get any position or power.
Back to Kurdistan, Gorran Movement intends to prepare a draft bill for reducing the number of seats for (Turkmen, Assyrian, Kildan, Armenian and Ezidies) in the Kurdish Parliament, claiming that they have been granted more seats than their actual population deserves. The only thing which has been important and affecting the principles of democracy in Kurdistan during the past years is the practical participation of the (Non-Muslims and non-Kurds) in the political process, election and decision making.
The Gorran Movement, the PUK, the Islamic Union and the Islamic Group want to do injustice to these components in two ways: the four parties claim that the minority groups are subjective to the KDP>s power and inclination. They support any decisive steps taken by the KDP blindly. It means that they want these components to acquiesce to their subjection. Then the minorities would be considered as independent and respectful components by them instead.
These components are genuine people of Kurdistan and are part of its history, culture and social network. They’ve been playing important roles over the past century in the revolutions of Kurdistan; they’ve given sacrifices and have had true leaders. They’ve also had roles in making decisions and taking part in self-governance of the Kurdistan Region. The Armenians are being suppressed in many places of the Middle East and their language is banned, but in Kurdistan they have their representative in the Parliament, they study in their own language, and perform their religious ceremonies unhindered. This plurality, coexistence and self-confidence to the minorities have been granted by the efforts of the leadership of the Kurdistan Region, not by any other Islam-inspired groups or political parties.
If the four parties criticize the KDP for supporting and defending these components, then this will usher Kurdistan towards a serious and threatening fate. This is kind of grave-digging for the democratic dreams of the Kurdish society.
The international community, NGOs and human rights organizations should help Kurdistan to further activate and widen the participation of the minority components. Turkmen, Kildan, Assyrian, Armenian, Ezidi and Kakayies should not come under any pressure or oppression, but work hard for widening their share in power and governing and to enhance the democratic process in Kurdistan.
Democracy is about enhancing and activating roles of the powerless, not drawing plans to curtail the participation of the minorities. There will be no healthy society if the minorities are not free, their will and participation in the political process are not respected. The true democracy of those who call themselves (majority) is to maximize and widen the share of the minority, not falsely accuse them of subjection and opportunism.