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Exile Kurdish leader dissatisfied with West’s actions against ISIS
Friday, December 5th, 2014 12:02 am
Interview by Faiz Mohammed Baluch
Dr Jawad Mella was born in 1946 in Damascus to an activist family who was deported from Northern Kurdistan (Kurdistan of Turkey) to Syria after the World War I. His grandfather Mella Muhammad was a religious Muslim and a patriot. He built a mosque in his village Bedwan in the Diarbaker area that is still standing. His father Ibrahim Mella was an activist in the Kurdish Khoiboon Party with Prince Jaladat Baderkhan that led the Kurdish revolution in the Aghri Mountains in the years 1927 – 1930. After the failure of the Aghri revolution, Prince Jaladat Baderkhan and the Dr Jawad’s father together with others tried twice to declare a Kurdish state in the Western Kurdistan. The first time during the French mandate times and the second time during the coup by General Husni Al-Za’eem in 1949. These attempts failed and they participated in establishing cultural clubs and publishing Kurdish newspapers in Damascus such as Hawar and Runahi in Beirut.
In such a patriotic and revolutionary atmosphere Jawad Mella grew up with Kurdish books and writings of his father surrounding him. This was his biggest incentive to involve in the patriotic work early in his life. For his activities he was arrested by the Syrian Intelligence services for the first time while he was very young and was tortured in the worst barbaric way.
First of all could introduce yourself to our readers please?
I am Dr Jawad Mella. I worked for Kurdish Community in Kurdistan and abroad for about 50 years. I was a former political prisoner and a freedom fighter. I wrote about 20 Books about Kurdistan in Arabic and in Kurdish some of them have also been translated into English. I established Kurdistan National Congress in 1985. I wanted it to be an umbrella organisation to unite all Kurdish parties and to sit down to chart a united strategy for Kurdish problem and rights. We organised several meetings but we faced many difficulties because some parties would attend the meeting and other won’t. The next meetings it would vice versa. That’s why so far they have not been successful to unite all the parties. I will continue struggle to unite the Kurds on one table because the only way to gain freedom is the unity of the Kurds, without unity it impossible to have freedom.
In 1985 I along with Professor Jemal Nebez, General Aziz Akrawi, Professor Muhammad Saleh Gabori, Dr Muzafar Partoumah, Sheikh Latif Mariwani, Professor Salah Jmor, Sheikh Darwish Hasso and others from all parts of Kurdistan we established Kurdistan National Congress.
Were there people from Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran’s occupied Kurdistan in your party?
Yes, we had people from all parts of Kurdistan. We are very patients and we’ll wait to have the unity one day because unity is very important. Before to deal with the occupiers of Kurdistan we should deal with our people themselves and be united and then talk about others.
What do you think is the main cause of disunity among Kurds?
The occupiers of Kurdistan use different tactics against our unity. They pay money to some people to work against each other and they make division between among us. In Syria we are about 4 Million Syrian Kurds but we have more than 100 Kurdish parties and organisations. They are not real parties. When I was member of KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party) in Syria 1964, at that time we had only one party in Syria but now after exactly 40 years we have 100 parties.
We hear about the ISIS and the Western support to Kurds against ISIS. Is the West really supporting the Kurds?
No, they are not supporting. 100% not
Why not? The UK, USA and other international forces are there to support the Kurds and they are providing arms to the Kurdish fighters.
Because the best allies for Western countries were the Iraqi Kurds. They joined the war with America and Western countries. They demolished the regime of Saddam. If it was not the Kurds the west could not do anything. Now go and ask the Iraqi Kurds what they have. They have nothing, they are still using the Russian Kalashnikovs which were used 50 years ago. They have no weapons from the West.
But what about all this media hype that West is providing latest weapons to Kurds and bombing ISIS hideouts. Isn’t it true?
No, No … the American and the Western countries from past more than three years are saying that Bashar-al-Assad lost his legitimacy and ability to be the ruler of Syria but nobody attacked Assad. When they wanted to finish Kaddafi in Libya – in three months they finished him. They can finished Bashar-al-Assad in three months as well but they don’t want to. They are just talking and they don’t do what they say.
So you think behind the scenes they [West] are still helping Bashar-al-Assad?
Bashar-al-Assad finished three years ago. The people ruling Syria now are some Iranian officials and Russian officials – they are ruling Syria. They are only using the name of Bashar-al-Assad.
How about the rumours that China and Turkey are supporting Bashar-al-Assad?
Yes, of course they supporting Assad. Turkey held more than 30 conferences for the Syrian oppositions. None of the revolutions in the Middle East including Egypt and Yemen had thirty conferences. All these conferences were organised by Bashar-al-Assad and Turkey together because in their opinion the opposition in their hands is better than opposition in other hands.
Who is the ISI or ISIL and why the Kurds are fighting against them?
The deputy of Saddam Hussain, called Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, is one of the leaders of ISIS. He is in the same position but they cannot say that they are Baathists or Arab nationalists – they are now using name of religion. The beard is for free and when one says Allah o Akbar many people from Pakistan, Chechnya, Afghanistan and many other places come to support them. They are playing with mind of other people.
But why are they fighting against the Kurds?
The Americans are happy with this plan to have ISIS. Last month Americans claim that their fighter planes hit the ISIS with 2500 air raids and strikes. Even if they were using chocolates in these strikes they would have finished ISIS by now. They are lying or maybe they are throwing empty shells on them. I think they are not targeting the exact locations and places. I wrote in my Facebook [for the Kurds] that when you see American planes do not show yourself because they might send your location to the ISIS.
Is it true that Iran is supporting the Kurds against ISIS?
No, believe me nobody is supporting the Kurds. Even some of them are talking with the Kurds but they are worse than the ISIS which is fighting against the Kurds face to face. The hidden enemy is more dangerous than the known enemy and these people claim to be supporting the Kurds are more dangerous than the enemy.
There are rumours that the ISIS say we are against Assad and Shiites and we don’t want to fight against the Kurds but Kurds are attacking us. Why?
[He laughs] No this is not true. The ISIS claims that they are Muslim, if this is true then why they are not fighting against non-Muslim states. There are even Jews in the Middle-East but the ISIS has nothing to do with Islam that is why they attacked Kobane. I don’t know if you have any knowledge of Islam – the greatest sheikh of Islam was from Kobane. Ibn Taymiyyah was from Harran area which is in Kobane. Ibn Taymiyyah wrote about 330 books about Islam. His books are now taught in all Islamic Universities. The first Islamic university was built there in the area of Haran. Now the ISIS is killing Muslims – the children of Ibn Taymiyyah. Hence these people have no relation with Islam and they are completely against Islam.
What is the real issue in Syria right now because we don’t hear much about it in the news?
The real issue behind this war is because couple of months ago the President of Iraqi Kurdistan, Masoud Barzani, announced that he wants to have a referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan to separate the Kurds from Iraq and to have independent Kurdish state. The other issue is that Kurdistan government in Iraq has started to sell petrol – their own petrol, Kurdistan’s petrol. This has angered the enemies of Kurdistan because they do not want the Kurds to control their own resources. When they realised that Kurdistan is becoming a rich state, they created DAAESH (ISIS) and attacked Iraqi Kurdistan and Syrian Kurdistan. So the main issue is they do not want the Kurds to have a Kurdish state.
You said the DAAESH or ISIL in Iraq are Saddam’s Baath party’s remnants but who are them in Syria?
They are same in Syria as well. When Saddam Hussain was in power in Iraq, all these years he was fighting very hard to take Syria from the Syrian Baath party, the father of Bashar-al-Assad. All the Baathist against the Syrian regime run away to Saddam Hussain. Before Assad and his father some of them have been president of Syria. Saddam was grooming them to fight Syria people like Amin Al Hafiz. Now Saddam’s group is continuing their fighting in the name of Islam as DAEESH (ISIS).
You also mentioned that people from different countries including Pakistan are coming to support the DAAESH …
Yes, there are some people when they hear Allah o Akbar they just come and join any force.
There are similar groups in Pakistan occupied Balochistan but they are being supported by Pakistan military and ISI to counter Baloch freedom struggle. The Baloch people say the religious fundamentalism is creation of Pakistan. Do you agree?
That’s right – when the Western countries created Pakistan, Iraq and Syria and the whole Middle Eastern countries in the last centuries. They put their puppet organs to rule these states. The Baloch, Sindhis, Pashtun, Kashmiris and even Sikhs no one has ever ruled Pakistan. Pakistan is ruled at gun point by people who have been named by Western countries and all the original nations are kept out. In Iraq and Syria it is the same situation. This is how they will continue to run these countries. The only way the Baloch, the Kurds, the Sindhis, the Amazigh in North Africa, the Copts in Egypt they are all original nations of the Middle East and but their names have been wipe out from the map. These puppets with guns have occupied Balochistan and Kurdistan. They do whatever the Western countries tell them to do. It is not a problem for them if the Western countries take their petrol and other natural resources because they are not the owner of these resources. They are not owner of these countries so it very easy for them to give everything to foreign countries.
Why do you think people from developed Western countries including the UK are going to Syria to join ISIS?
In the UK not only many people support the Islamists but also they have no proper education – I mean no national education, no social education. I have visited many English people and I saw their children put their feet on the Table in front of their parents. That mean they have no education today they put their feet on table tomorrow they put their foot on their country and betray her. After 7/7 in London they decided to make ID cards to control these people. I think if they spend 10% of the expenses for the ID cards to educate the people they will have better results.
You are saying the English people have no social education but the 7/7 bombers were trained in Pakistan and similarly people joining ISIS are Arab, Asian and from other nations who are not English?
They should educated their people and as well as correct the miserable situations that they created for Palestine, Balochistan and Kurdistan. They should correct these things. We believe in civilisation we support Britain as a democratic state and we can guarantee all our nation will support democracy. Britain should correct its historical wrongs of the last century in Palestine, Kurdistan, and Balochistan. I asked Michal Howard the former leader of Conservative Party that 70 years ago you and your government divided my country Kurdistan in five pieces. I’m asking you today – you and your government – to correct that mistake and make my country free and united again. He told me, ‘give me the power of 70 years ago I will do it for you.’ I told him maybe Britain has no military power because 70 year ago it had the biggest military power in world but now they have political influence over America and other nations.
I feel they do not want to help us because when Masoud Barzani announced that we will have a referendum for independence of Kurdistan – exactly on that day the British foreign minister visited Al-Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister and told him that the unity of Iraq is very important for us. In the same day Mr John Kerry the US Secretary of State met Mr Masud Barzani and told him the same thing as the foreign minister of Britain. He said we don’t want Iraq to be divided. Why Iraq cannot be divided? – when Soviet Union become ten states, Yugoslavia seven states, Czechoslovakia become two states, Indonesia become two states and East Timor and others. All these state separated and become independent national states. Why can’t then Kurds and Baloch have their own national states? It is very strange mentality.
Do you think without the support of Western nations like United Kingdom, America, China, Russia – the Baloch and Kurd can gain their independence?
I am here in Britain from past 30 years. I contacted with most of the British parties. I send hundreds of letters to their Prime Ministers since Margret Thatcher and their foreign ministers to ask them that cause of Kurdistan should be sorted out. Their only answer was that your point has been noted. Some of my letters were very long and extensive ones. I asked them three questions:
1) Why you have divided Kurdistan?
2) Did the Kurds do anything against you to deserve the division of their country?
3) Do you have any plans to help Kurds in future to have their free and united county?
I got no answer and I have been repeating these questions from 30 years.
It is clear that the West is not supporting you and the Kurds are not united. The Baloch are also not united and there is no unity between the Baloch and the Kurds. So how are you going to get your independence?
I have a plan – I have been working on this plan for a long time. There are good and honest people working for independence of Balochistan and we have similar groups in Kurdistan who are asking for independence of Kurdistan. I say let the good people to be connected with each other. We have many groups in Kurdistan and there maybe such people in Balochistan as well who are working as pro-Pakistan and they want Balochistan to stay in Pakistan. We want unity of people who speak for independence. In future if Pakistan recognises the Baloch nation and Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran recognise the Kurdish people as human we can be united again. It is impossible to be united with the occupiers because this kind of unity is like the unity between masters and slaves. The Baloch and Kurds should have their own government, army and parliament like other free and sovereign nations. After that if these occupying states come to their senses we can have a Middle Eastern Union similar to the European Union. At the moment every day they are killing our people I don’t accept them.
Pakistan, Iraq, Iran and Turkey allege that Kurd and Baloch People have every right like any other citizen. There are only few people who are foreign agents that are fighting against us?
He [laughs] 90% of Turkey are Kurds but because of the racism of Turks the Kurds are forces to call themselves Turks. There are no Kurdish schools and the Kurdish language is forbidden. This thing – destruction of Kurdish culture and language has not happened in a year or two it has been happening for thousands of years. Believe me the originality of the Baloch and Kurds would have ended long time ago if they were not the original and pure nations of these areas. That is why the ancient historical Balochi and Kurdish languages are still alive today despite all these massacre, ethnic cleansing and atrocities against them.
What you call your ‘enemy states’ Pakistan, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran are very powerful and they have the backing of the West. So how can you get your independence from these heavily armed states?
It doesn’t matter if our enemies are week or strong. We will continue asking for our rights and freedom. One day an earthquake will strike the world. It will not be a tsunami or flood it will be an economic earthquake. Many states will collapse. We continue our struggle and we are patient. As two wrestlers said lets fight without hitting each other and see who is stronger. He said you bite my finger and I bite yours whoever opens his mouth because of pain the other will be free and become the winner. The one who opened his mouth because of pain later asked the other how come you didn’t feel the pain. The other man said, ‘I did feel the pain but I’m patient.’ We’ll be patient and continue if this generation cannot win the freedom the next generation will carry on the struggle.
Tell me about the Yazidis who are they? Are they originally Kurds?
Yes, they are pure Kurds because 3000 years ago all the Kurds were Yazidis. After the Islam came about 1400 years now the Muslims are doing propaganda against Yazidis. They are doing intellectual propaganda by writing against Yazidis. If you go to SOAS University, you’ll see many books against Yazidis – I mean not against Yazidis but against the Kurds. We have Badinan Prince Hood, Kurdish areas were ruled by Princes called Badinan. One of the writers wrote a three hundred page book about Badinan and Kurdish Princes but from the beginning to the end there was no single word about Kurdish areas. The Badinan of Abbasi never said anything like that. This is brainwashing – these books are here in SOAS – it is really miserable education. 1400 years they have been doing propaganda against the yazidis – some say they pray to devil which is not true. The first religion in world to believe in God are the Yazidis. They make very huge propaganda to make many people believe it. The ISIS is not new because they came to Kurdistan about 1400 year ago many people were killed. We have a graveyard of Muslims and Arab in Kurdistan which is more than 2000 metres long which mean there have been huge killings.
It took 60 year to Arab Muslims to occupy the North of Africa. In North of Africa the Amazigh refused the occupation. They Muslims changed the history and they say it was the ‘Fatuhaat e Islami’ meaning the Islamic victory but the real name of it is invasion because they invaded our countries and they looted our countries’ resources and they killed our children – this is their ‘Fatuhaat’. People of North Africa refused them for 60 years it means many people were killed but nobody know how many because they hid the history. At that time there was no internet, no satellite so they killed people and changed the history then they wrote the history as they liked it.
How many Kurdish people have been killed by this new or current ISIS?
Nobody knows. In Yazidis until now we don’t how many were killed because the ISI don’t allow the media. Maybe after one year or two years we will know about how many people have been killed, how many women raped, how many children sold as slaves.
Do you think ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups in Pakistan and Africa are linked?
Yes, they are linked. It is a business it is not Islam. A friend of mine in Aleppo city in Syria said once an ISIS man came to buy an Aspirin from the Pharmacy and he asked for couple of tablet of Aspirin. It would cost him around 10 or 20 Pence but this [ISIS] man gave him one hundred dollar and he didn’t ask for the change. He just walked out. They have a lot of money. The information I received is that every ISIS terrorist get $4000 dollar a month.
Who is financing the ISIS?
Originally the money is from CIA because CIA financed Saddam Hussain and Bin Laden. Saddam fought against Iran for eight years and Bin Laden fought against Russia so the CIA first financed these two people but later become against them. Their money went into the hands of these groups. They have millions of dollar and when they say Allah o Akbar everyone comes and joins them and support them.