Iranians Debate Combating ISIL & Defending Kurds/ Kurdish Women

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Iranians Debate Combating ISIL & Defending Kurds/ Kurdish Women
20 Sep
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The urgent need to combat the onslaught of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), and the fact that the Kurds are being seen as a democratic bulwark against ISIL, has led to some important debates among Iranians. These debates concern the struggles of the Middle East region’s Kurdish national minority and Kurdish women in particular.

Frieda Afary

Sept. 19, 2014

The urgent need to combat the onslaught of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), and the fact that the Kurds are being seen as a democratic bulwark against ISIL, has led to some important debates among Iranians. These debates concern the struggles of the Middle East region’s Kurdish national minority and Kurdish women in particular.

Some Iranian Kurds argue that Since Kurds and Kurdish women have been especially targeted by ISIL in Iraq and Syria, and since the Kurdish Peshmarga* are now in the forefront of battling ISIL, Kurds should now aim for realizing their century-long struggle for nationhood and create an independent state out of the Kurdish regions of Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran. (1)

Others argue that only Iraqi Kurds should strive to create an independent Kurdistan out of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq. Kurds from Iran, Turkey and Syria should remain within the existing borders of their countries and aim to promote multi-ethnic societies based on respect for the principle of national self-determination. Among those who adhere to this position is Bahman Ghobadi, a renowned Iranian Kurdish film director who currently lives in exile. He argues that an independent Kurdish state in Iraq is needed as a safe haven for Kurds who continue to flee persecution in Iran, Turkey and Syria, so long as these states are not democratic and respectful of the rights of their national minorities. (2)

There are also more nuanced arguments which point to the larger regional and international power politics and the difficulties of creating an independent Kurdish state whether out of Iraqi Kurdistan or the Kurdish regions of other neighboring countries as well.

Read the rest from Iranian Progressives in Translation

 

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