Kurdistan’s Journey to Democracy

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Feminist social revolution is essential to Kurdistan’s journey to democracy.

Everyone needs to respect Kurdistan’s journey towards indigenous democratic self-determination. Referenda and elections are sacred events in the calendars of democracy and hence while it is legitimate to disagree about the wisdom of the timing of the independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan needs everyone however respect the referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan and the concurring first-ever elections in Syrian Kurdistan.

Kurdistani politics as between Kurdish political parties is one of suspicion, blood feuds and partly justified accusations of historical treason. The PUK and the KDP have found a mutually working relationship although relations between the KDP and the PKK movement are still mutually tense and violent incidents have been averted through a resolute stance against brakuji (Kurdish internecine warfare) on the part of Jerusalem and Washington.

Kurdistan is highly culturally and linguistically diverse and there are also significant cultural differences that reinforce tensions between Kurdistani political parties. The KDP-ruled Badinan-region is the former domain of the Jewish Kingdom of Adiabene and the princely Barzani family is descended from its former royal family. The Barzanis and the ruling clans of Badinan are Kurdish Dönmeh and so the highly significant political influence of the Dönmeh-led Derin Devlet in Turkey is obviously a very important reason why the KDP considers relations with Turkey so essential indeed.

The ruling families and clans of the PUK-ruled Sulaymaniyah region are in contrast predominantly Crypto-Yarsanis, meaning inwardly Yarsani and only outwardly nominally Muslim. The PUK places great emphasis on its relations with Tehran as helping Yarsanis in Rojhelat (East Kurdistan) is an essential element to the PUK’s diplomatic approach to Iran. Yarsanis like Alevis, Dönmeh and Yezidis remain fully and completely halakhically Jewish as these are all denominations of the Median Judaism; i.e. the religious Northern Jurisdiction of Israel.

The feminist PKK movement has proudly established the world’s first feminist state in Rojava (West Kurdistan & North Syria) and almost the entire population in the northern and eastern parts of Syria are indeed part of the post-Yezidi zone in being descended from involuntarily Islamized Yezidis. The PKK movement (including the HDP pro-democratic political party) predominates in Bakur (North Kurdistan) part of which is post-Yezidi and part of which is Alevi & post-Alevi-Bektashi.

There are also significant linguistic differences – in the PUK being predominantly Sorani-speaking, the PKK predominantly Kurmanji-speaking while the KDP predominantly Badinani-speaking in Badinani being a transitional dialect between Kurmanji and Sorani. Israeli Kurds too are indeed predominantly Badinani-speakers. Oral mutual intelligibility between Sorani and Kurmanji is low and the two main varieties of the Kurdish language have diverged to the point of almost being different languages. Badinani is a subvariety of Kurmanji yet being part of a transitional dialect continuum between Sorani and Kurmanji which means that mutual intelligibility is higher between Sorani and Badinani than between Sorani and most other subvarieties of Kurmanji.

Members of three major Kurdistani political movements therefore have quite different cultural backgrounds that serve to significantly reinforce tensions between them. From the KDP’s point of view are the other parties culturally speaking “Muslims” and therefore “untrustworthy” which is a somewhat understandable position considering the tremendous fear of Muslim persecution among both Turkish-speaking Dönmeh and Kurdish-speaking Dönmeh. Today’s main rift in Kurdistani political parties is between the Dönmeh-centric foreign policy of the KDP and the non-Dönmeh-centric policies of those Kurdistani political parties that are not affiliated with the KDP political movement.

Anyone concerned with the introduction of freedom, emancipation and representative governance in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of Bashur (South Kurdistan) therefore needs to understand that the Dönmeh clans and Crypto-Yarsani clans in power in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah respectively will not cede control until Bashur specifically and Kurdistan generally have been reverted to indigenous Kurdish religion, i.e. to Kurdistani Median Judaism.

As of writing is the KRG preparing to hold a referendum on independence, the importance of which is purely symbolic in signaling the intense desire of the people of Kurdistan for self-determination indeed. The KRG has no intention whatsoever to declare independence but the referendum although only held in Bashur will nevertheless highlight the democratically legitimate will of the Kurdish people to be a free people in its own land. The independence referendum although technically about the independence of Bashur is instead an entirely symbolic yet still politically highly significant referendum about the eventual independence of the entire Kurdistan. It is therefore essential that everyone in the Middle East respect the democratic procedure of the referendum while avoiding rhetoric that fan the flames of ethnic tensions in the region. The symbolic independence referendum is a patriotic procedure but ought not be a nationalist one and neighboring jurisdictions certainly need to lower tensions so as avoid any and all fatalities.

Holding a referendum is a highly legitimate democratic procedure and the White House certainly understands that and so seeks to diplomatically lower tensions in the region in avoiding fatalities as an indirect outcome of the independence referendum as an important development in the trajectory of the development of democracy in Kurdistan. Rojava (West Kurdistan) during the same period holds its first elections ever and so while the international community does not wish to fan the flames of tensions in the region are the hearts and minds of the leaders of the free world squarely with the heroic indigenous people of Kurdistan at this important time in the history of Kurdistan.

Disagreeing about the political wisdom on holding this referendum at this particular time is however also democratically legitimate yet it is nevertheless essential that everyone in the region respects the democratic procedure of a democratically fully legitimate referendum. What is not legitimate however is denying the Kurdish people democratic self-determination and so while Kurdistani leaders need to avoid ethnocentrically demagogic rhetoric need Kurdistan’s neighbors phase out ethnocratic discourse of ethnocide and opposition to Kurdistani democracy.

Israel’s commitment to the security and freedom of the people of Kurdistan is absolutely central to Israel’s Mideast diplomatic policy and an official defense treaty and fully official consular diplomatic relations are precisely essential to Israel shepherding Kurdistan to unified independence and indeed obviously as peacefully as possibly so. As Israel deeply cares about Kurdish lives do we thus wish this process of attaining unified independence to indeed occur as peacefully as conceivably possible. The self-determination and independence of the future unified Kurdistan is about democracy and while it is certainly democratically legitimate to disagree about the political wisdom of holding this referendum at this particular time is it precisely essential to fully respect the democratic procedure itself.

The people of Kurdistan is deeply pro-democratic, yet undoing the military occupation, political occupation and religious occupation of Kurdistan are precisely essential to attaining democracy in Kurdistan. Communal reversion to indigenous Kurdish religion; i.e. Median Judaism is also an essential part of democratization in Kurdistan. If Alevis or Yezidis were in similar positions as the Kurdish Dönmeh and Kurdish Crypto-Yarsanis in power in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah respectively would they hardly cede power to a majority still under the spell of religious occupation. This is simply as unthinkable as Israelis “agreeing” to live as a minority under the religious occupation of religious imperialism. This is obviously not intended to disrespect pious Muslims but rather to emphasize that Jews (including Alevis, Dönmeh, Yarsanis and Yezidis) have suffered and continue to suffer under religious imperialism. The fellow Crypto-Jewish Alawite people of Syria will for the same reason also not accept living under the social terror of the cultural hegemony of religious imperialism.

Although it is true that the feminist PKK movement is deeply pro-Yezidi and pro-Alevi need PKK movement leaders also fundamentally sensitize themselves to the democratically fully legitimate political concerns of Kurdish Dönmeh, Kurdish Yarsanis and Kurdish Crypto-Yarsanis. Introducing democracy while still under the social terror of religious imperialism has remained extremely difficult in many countries and so the process of indigenous communal reversion is thus essentially part and parcel of the process of introducing freedom, emancipation and representative governance in Kurdistan and elsewhere. At the same time needs Rojava’s feminist revolution become implemented in Bashur as well and KRG leaders are particularly well advised to do so as soon as possible and indeed without any undue delays whatsoever.

As Free Kurdistan celebrates its journey towards democracy is it indeed essential to respect the wishes of the people of Kurdistan and their fundamental entitlement to decide their own future while at same time ensuring that Kurdistan’s journey to unified sovereign democratic self-determination becomes as peaceful as possible indeed.