tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 4, 2016 12:15pm-2:16pm EDT
so within these various areas of extremism we have encountered throughout our years we also see a number of governmental responses to try to address this, and you know, from the commission's perspective we found variety of initiatives to be faulty and to infringe on an individual's religious freedom rights set forward in covenants and international human rights standards. targeting religious or ethnic communities or supported or -- membership or support of religious extreme i groups. we've seen this in kenya really, so malis and muslims on the coast in northeast nigeria. we've also seen governments promote particular religious interpretations over all their citizens. usually promotion of what the government views as indigenous or tolerant form of islam.
we see this in ethiopia which terje will talk about the interpretation of islam and trainings and cooption of the islamic umbrella organization and institutions. propping up of religious umbrella organizations and interfaith bodies. ethiopian islamic affairs council and nigerian religious council. also more recently this past year, we hear about murmurings in other countries, states trying to institute religious registration law to monitor certification and qualification of religious leaders and monitor hate speech. kenya proposed one in january and roundly criticized by kenyan religious leaders and it was shelved. the state governor has one currently under review. it was announced in march, february and march, and again it garnered criticism. still being considered for review.
this past year we've seen a number of western african countries. so even with this, we, i like to take a positive view. we see some very heroic acts by individuals to counterreligious extremism. individual acts and proliferation of efforts by religious leaders an non-governmental actors. postively still, most christians and muslims, vast majority ascribe members of the other faith as tolerant and honest. i would just like to say that going forward one of the big challenges how you connect these local initiatives, these local religious leaders and these local ngos with states, how do you encourage dialogue with them, not a state down but bottoms-up approach and u.s. government and others support these efforts in ways that has grassroots support.
we have recommended increased support for education and education reform including religious freedom and interfaith dialogue at all grade levels. opportunities for intraand interfaith dialogue. support for documenting and encountering hate speech in lines with respect for freedom of speech rights. increased countier radicalization and debaathtization programs. and most importantly, not just military approach we've seen in number of countries but how you take holiestic governmental responses to violent extremism. thank you. [inaudible conversations]. >> if you are not always familiar with africa, just the vast majority of, in countries and vast majority of history you have a phenomenally tolerant and inclusive societies within in
which, islam and christianity have lived side by side within the same families. one of the remarkable things about nigeria was despite all of the provocations of bombing churches or bombing mosques and so forth, you didn't really have this mass, you see trends obviously but you didn't, turn into this mass populist antagonism between muslim and christian communities. it actually remained quite resilient in that way and overall tolerant and so you do see pockets of it but, just to put this, which is troubling but to broader perspective i think is also really important, that they have remained remarkably stable and respectful terje, for
you now. [inaudible] polly maker and non-governmental and perhaps you can share some of your thoughts on, what you you have seen as you look at the horn and the coast where you, united states and others might go wrong. and where you think they might go right. >> okay. sure. well, first of all thank you for inviting me. thank you for coming. much of what i like to speak about has been covered already, so i will try not to repeat myself too much but i would like to talk a little bit trends, focusing on the horn of africa and eastern africa and talk a little bit about responses that has, that have been made towards religious extremism and point to some of the dilemmas. if my time give some comments on
possible ways out. i think it is important to underline that religious extremism in africa is not the is not main features of african islam. the vast majority of islamic muslims are not engaged in any violent activities. that doesn't mean it is not there. but i think that is very important, something to be mentioned. and then secondly, when we talk about, what is happening again, focusing on horn of east africa, that yes, it is clear that what we're seeing are part of broader religious discourses because even those discourses are not monolithic. there are a lost variation in --
a lot of variation in terms of things logically. also important to underline that obviously should be, these are issues that is also connected to local, to more local problems and issues and i want to give some few examples on this, the kind of, to see how, what kind of local issues on the horn in east africa that we have are important to understand this. before that i also want to underline that we should not reduce extremism is as a result of poverty and unemployment. you have to recognize there are a large couple of issues at -- they do things seeing themselves acting on behalf of god so to speak and we have the to think
that these are questions related to identity, questions of loss, that is not only, of, economic character. so it is, complex obviously. from the horn, somalia is obvious in, you know, driving much of the instability and violence we've seen on the horn. so there has been repeated progress been made that al-shabaab is going to die but they keep popping up again and again. what we've seen about that al-shabaab, from massive pat tax to controlling territory to more classical way of acting, car bombings, suicide bombings,
sporadic attacks which he reflect they are weakened but we shouldn't write them off as going to wither away away in the future. this is clandestine movement. we don't know what is going on within the inner circle. people talk about the divided between international traction more local one. i think it is more complicated than a dichotomy of two sides but it is also noticeable that they have, in spite of being weakened, they actually have been able to make broader impact on the regions. and this is something which we see clearly in kenya where there has been increased recruitment towards al-shabaab and and --
al-shabaab affiliated groups. attacks in the northeastern region has shown that, there is a spillover effect from somalia and then we also see that not only are ethnic, somalis in kenya recruited but also muslims from non-somali background and that is something to be noted. and al-shabaab has been active in the recruitment of using swahili language trying to gain support and that is a new development. and of course this, this, you know, somali community has a long history of grievances towards central kenyan government going back to the 1960s, but also the coastal
muslim community has also a long history of feeling marginalized by the civil authorities. so you have this kind of local discontent in kind of, from the local, from the coastal community and somali community now, kind of coming together, so to speak. zanzibar, particularly zanzibar, similar kind of increase in attacks. very few are being reported because they're not significant enough. acid attacks we heard about from the undersecretary. and then also an increased communication with actors in zanzibar on the mainland and tanzania and also with actors in kenya and somalia.
so we see this kind of similar spillover to lesser extent in kenya but it's still there. and then of course zanzibar is particular, and i hear, some layers of issues that feeds into to what we, i think, critically are labeling as religious extremism. the island identity versus main lander coming, taking jobs. tourism industry is changing. our people act and behave and dress. all these are feeding into the broader question where zanzibarians always wanted a greater extent autonomy from the mainland of tanzania. these are things if you want to address the question, the problem, you have to consider all these i am did mentions that are taking place. and lastly, ethiopia, i mean the big brother on the horn, we
haven't seen any attack, significant attack and we haven't seen, i argue, any kind of radicalization of muslim population. however, ethiopia government strongly believe it has been happening. they are taking some strong measures towards that. when we talk about, how much time do i have? >> you're getting fine. >> talk about responses so far we can divide this into two main type of conflicts. we can talk about hard interventions and soft interventions. the hard one would be like, you know, using military force, using the security sector and so on and soft would be talking about cve, winning hearts and minds and working with local communities. the hard interventions did much, particularly in kenya, post-west
gait, the attack on westgate mall and also the attack on the university and, where the kenyan government has established anti-terror police unit, atpu, which has been, becoming famous where they allegedly, i think there are pretty good evidence to confirm that, they have been engaged in -- of clerics or unwanted muslim actors particularly on the coast. second i mentioned the kenyan government so-called islamic watch from 2014 where they basically did a racial profiling of somalis, rounding them up and then, in the main stadium. i don't know how many thousands were kind of stopped and
interrogated and, and put to prison. but, what happened was of course anger from the local muslims somali community towards this and and i think it wasn't the smartest thing to do so to speak. most of east african, horn of africa government not really interested in being engaged in so-called soft interventions. this has mainly been outsourced, if we can use that word, to ngos and other groups. tanzania is expressing interesting, increasing interest in engaging in that. the exemption here is ethiopia. we mentioned the al-habassh campaign, where the ethiopian government invited this obscure organization from lebanon and
invited them and initiated a campaign where lebanese trainers together with government officials were, you know, traveling across the country and, then teaching what kind of islam people should believe in. of course this backfired pretty soon and from january 2012 until august in 2013 we saw almost weekly demonstrations in the main capital. the main point here was, you know, like i said, to tell the ethiopian muslims you should be moderate according to whatever they mean by that word. and then another third thing of course which has been both helpful but also problematic, and that is, legislation passed by almost all countries in east africa and the horn is terror
legislation. it has been proven helpful to enable governments to arrest and prosecute people that have been engaged in violent activities but another issue is terrorism is or terror attacks are defined pretty broadly in the sense that they include incitement to terrorism is then, you can prosecute people who incite terrorism. what does that mean is another problem. , another issue. some of the dilemmas here is on the responses by local government. first of all there is an obvious connection, a complicated one though, between what we can call exclusivist rhetoric and hateful speech and violent activities. we have seen this here in this country. we've seen it in europe where
some politicians without mentioning names, has been engaged in anti-immigration rhetoric and anti-muslim rhetoric. what we have seen is an increase in attacks on muslims, both in the u.s. and in europe. now obviously we can not arrest those politicians and prosecute them for, because they don't tell the people should go and beat up muslims but this is what happened often in east africa or elsewhere in east africa is that the people who are not necessarily talking about saying, directly, are talking about, usually go out and blow yourself up in a car bomb or something, are being arrested. and i have a friend personally who was sentenced to 22 years in prison in ethiopia for, i argue that he actually was advocating
for secular principle but there is dilemma here, okay, you have hateful speech that nobody wants. you have exclusive rhetoric that people are engaging in, and it doesn't necessarily mean that this would be translated into violent activities. it is extremely complicated. how do you kind of draw the line here between prosecution and then, and not. when do you say, this is something we can not really put in a category of leading to violence. i think the dilemma we have we cast many of the local governments are casting the net a little too wide in the sense that people that would not be automatically linked to violent
attacks are being targeted and that has this counterproductive effect creating more discontent among muslim communities. the same thing is with the anti-terror laws. not only the problematic and how local governments are deliberately using them to not only, to indict and prosecute muslims, but any kind of unwanted position, including journalists and so on. we see this happening, become as convenient tool to crack down on unwanted opposition. and also, the dilemma with the compass, is -- hard is different
sectors of the security apparatus become very convenient and very effective tools of the government to insure they are in power and deliberately used by governments in doing so. the atpu is a very good example. it was kind of very closely connected to the kenyan government. another problem is that many of those various sectors of the military, of the police, are going very far in their use of violence. they are often very corrupt and this again, of course, creates a dilemma when we talk about soft interventions or cves. the hand that slaps becomes the hand that gives. it create as image problem for, for the local governments. on one hand you can have your police goes out and
indiscrimminantly targeting people without any basis of law and order and you're supposed to talk to the same people being targeted by your own police. so this is a major dilemma and does not only affect local governments but also affect governments like the u.s. who are active training anti-terror police units in kenya together with the e.u. and of course the western support for security sectors in countries like kenya, and ethiopia and something all muslims know about and that the west is behind all of this. directly the -- they hold western government accountable. i appreciate the undersecretary's comments on their new approach but, believe
me, there is a serious image problem. whatever western governments and local governments are doing because of the history of such hard interventions. so i think you he no, if i could, the undersecretary is not here, but to give recommendations, a country like the u.s. have to put clear he conditions on -- clear conditions on the security sector. that they are acting in accordance with law. they need tock more diligent dealing with issues of corruption and bad management of these forces. if we don't do that, whatever we want to do cve or the more soft side becomes basically meaningless. and i also think that when we
talk about soft interventions it needs to be done in very close cooperation with local communities and local government the secretary addressed the problem and difficulties in addressing good local partners. that is problematic. too often, we see that so-called, official bodies, such as, the supreme council in kenya , and in tanzania, are very much co-opted by the various governments and hence, have lost much of the credibility they have in the eyes of the government. but i think we need to stop talking about good muslim, bad muslims. we need to stop talking about, you have either moderate or mainstream. then you have extremists. that there is continuum here. we can easily find very
conservative scholars of islam. very conservative muslims, that we, as would disagree with but who would not necessarily be people who would commit violence. so we have to see things in a broader perspective, in very more nuanced manner, and working with local governments, i think we need to be aware that there are deeper and broader structural political questions that also need toed to be addressed. for example, the question of autonomy of zanzibar. the grievances from the local coastal muslim population in kenya. i mean these are, you can not just talk about cve as a separate thing. you have also to be willing to address and press local governments to deal with those more, more, deeper questions.
the undersecretary questions whether we need more fine grain knowledge about what is going on. yes, we do. we definitely need more fine grained knowledge. these are incredibly complicated issues. what we also need more knowledge about and continues analysis of the cve approaches. what works. what does not work. and i think this, listening to the new strategy that has been launched, i think this is a great opportunity to state department should have continuous iterations and studies of their own approaches so we can actually learn what is working and what is not working. i think i will stop there. >> thank you so much. i know we're almost at time. happy to take some questions here.
yes, sir? >> consulting formerly with homeland security. i had two questions. in terms of making an off ramp for active fighters and people inial that bob or boko haram and different groups like that, what are some initiatives that work in greater africa. because i worked in the middle east and we had literally no success with different initiatives to get people who were in al nusra, or in different groups there, to kind of reintegrated back into society. that was my first question. and also did you get a lot of pushback in terms of standardizing imams and things like that in some of the african countries as there has been push back in greater arabia.
>> standardizing? you mean the countries that tried to standardize a particular strand? yeah. >> to engage in cve. basically say, we want our sanctioned imams giving the lectures because part of the problem is, we have rogue people who go out and whip up people into, you know, firestorm. then they go out and commit terror act. >> right. >> so they said we'll standardize that. how does that work in africa and some of the african countries? >> well i don't know how widely spread its done. in niger for example, they will welcome imams including salafist imams. they make a commitment not to preach violence and they register and they're vetted by a council to some extent. one of the things, she mentioned
morocco and kind of teaching how to teach, and the head of niger islamic council said to me, you know the problem with that is, it is doctrinal and so, they're preaching a particular line, not a way to behave. and we have imams who are trained all over the place. egypt, saudi, morocco, wherever, and so we don't want to say, okay, this is the right way and that is the wrong way. but, can we start thinking about, and this is a controversial guy, the head of the islamic council, can we think about a republican imam? what are basic principles you engage in with your followers, not doctrinal but how is it that you engage? that registering and monitoring of course, it can run into all kinds of problems i think. that was the backlash in ethiopia as well. anyone else want to take that?
>> we have seen backlash as jennifer mentioned with the promotion. as terje said it led to large-scale protests for year, year-and-a-half. but unfortunately ethiopian government shut down the protests and arrested leaders of that protest community and frightened most of those people who were opponents of that program into quiet submission. they succeeded in doing that but there continues to be quiet disagreement and pushback against that. we do see in my presentation, kenya and then continuously in nigeria to create the registration laws. including in the registration laws is certifying clerics, muslim and christian clerics. it leads to questions, who does the certification? how do you certify? do you certify based on
interpretation, theology, education? there are a lot of questions which aren't thought out and in particular there isn't a lot of interaction and dialogue with the community about how these, how these laws would be put forward and implemented and because of that right now there has been pushed aside i think for a later date, in particular in kenya it has been pushed aside. in nigeria we'll see it coming up again relatively soon. these are dialogues that are ongoing. you hear from, particularly in nigeria, the muslim community. there is a real strong effort by some of the senior leadership there to undertake some sort of registration system, education system, a real understanding and cognizance that they, there is, you know, a degree of violent extremism within their community. they want to bring it back in. again, questions are how do you do that and how do you do that is productive?
>> first question, what about -- process of deradicalization i understand, how do we turn people from -- we don't know much about what has been going on at these, i mean the result of these, what i do know, from somalia, the last year or so the somali government is offering amnesty towards al-shabaab fighters oui bill not aware that they have any -- but i'm not aware that they have any deradicalization program, like put down your guns and it will be okay. there is a lot of reasons why people join meese movements. it is difficult to have one program. others join for more logical reasons. but the question is there so
much, so many issues at stake here that needs to be addressed that it is not only by deradicalization from certain individuals. you need to address a broader, you know, structural question as well. >> really quickly wanted to echo what terje said about understanding, having a nuanced position why these people join these groups because if you don't have the nuanced understanding of the various causes economic, idealogical, if you're forced into it. marriage fees. >> if there is some sort of connection with the same community as you have in the community, finding something broader you will not really develop a successful program to deramp unless you have a program that target as specific reason why somebody joined in the first place and i haven't seen a country develop that nuance off-ramp as you called it. >> i do think nigeria was promising in that regard. i mean they were thinking bigger, they were thinking posttraumatic stress for some of the women who had been returned.
some who had been indoctrine it it -- indoctrinated, and some had not. not a politically palatable program to take on when these are perpetrators, as well as in many cases victims. and you know the whole transitional justice of that and communities feel, that is a very tricky thing. >> think of it sort of as a ddr approach. not deacquisition off-ramp, how they interact with the community when they go back and that is also not fully thought out, particularly nigeria where you have very local antagonism against former boko haram fighters, women who were kidnapped. women forcibly conscripted into it. they might not have wanted to join boko haram and were forced into it and they're tainted and that has been rejected. >> yes, sir, and then, i think we have at time. i have to cut you off again, i'm sorry. you did get one in.
>> thank you. my name is nathan wine, with the 21st century initiatives. my question in these sort of interfaith dialogues are there any conversations about conversion and how to do conversion without sort of inciting violence? i think conversion is very important part of both christian and muslim faith tradition. that is something as westerners when we show up to talk about interfaith dialogue we don't touch as far as i can see. >> well, i imagine that is a pretty sensitive thing within religions. the one thing i have heard about religion, and this talk as little bit to some of the more, the newer groups that are coming on board and challenging traditional hierarchy, whether they are muslim or they are christian, there is a lot of resentment against kind of proselytizing.
the catholic church has been in senegal, which is 95% muslim country for years. the first president was catholic for 40 years. they are, most concerned not about reform isthmus limbs but about pentacostals coming in with very loud kind of proselytizing parties and language that starts us versus them rhetoric. they're like, the senegalees associate them with us because they are christians but also beginning to terrorists within the social fabric. so that's just a whole fascinating angle to look at but not one that i can say i have looked at a great deal. the. >> i can speak to that a little bit in nigeria and the middle belt in katun and in jos particular, which are two cities which are highly balkanized. the use what i was talking about, use of hate speech, this is part of it.
part of it is demonization of the other faiths because the other one is considered violent. in other areas it is an effort to convert people into your faith. so it is one of the reasons in the state there is talk about registration law, tooking at hate speech and you know, evangelicallizing materials, reduction in the public space. reduck you shun of use of loud speakers. driving your, christian pastor driving a car around in muslim area, these efforts, these are evangelicallizing efforts which create tensions. so you have some state level initiatives they've know b i'm not really familiar with interfaith efforts that really tackle this strongly. >> i think in all of this, so many places religion is just one layer of multiple different -- >> microphone. >> one layer of multiple
different things going on. and just to end -- sorry, i always, talking about conflict in clashes in jos in the middle of nigeria. was it herders versus sedentary farmers. was it settlers versus indigenous? did it have a muslim-christian element in it, and i was in a tv interview explain it in a very nuanced way. when i eventually saw they put up, there was me speaking in very nuanced way, and behind me was a map that said muslim on the top, christian on the bottom and a big boom sign in the middle. there is a lot of simply faycation of many -- simplification of many different grievances, whether nationalist, political, you know, the settler, indigent thing is huge. farmers, herders.
and, unfortunately once they take on that religious overtone and undertone they become very hard to put back in the bottle. and i think it's really important not to conflate religion and extremism and violence with those many other issues, really try to tackle what is at the very core of it, which often is not ideology at all. we're at time. i can give you one last moment or one last word if you would like to wrap it up? or have you said your piece for the day? >> i can try to think of something. no, i think it is very important along the line when we talk about this cve, which i also don't like really, this acronym, is that we shouldn't think that cve is something that we need to bring to africa. i think it is very important on
the line of cve activities is going on daily, done by fathers and mothers and community leaders towards, in local communities. the fact that we don't see religious violence as the dominant feature of islam shows that there are active cve programs going on in the grass root. i think if we are to do something meaningful as outside actors we need fine grain knowledge about these actors and, and, soberness and accuracy in cooperating with them with very meaningful and soulful manner instead of going through, together with going through more established bodies that often lack the necessary credibility among the grass root populations.
>> so, thank you. thank you both for -- [inaudible]. >> thank you for joining us and staying with us to the bitter end, as i was saying. we hope you join us down the line for future sessions that come out of the roundtables. we're almost certain to have terje back to washington to talk more about his work on the horn in east africa. csis africa program is just coming out with a report on violent extremists in the south. so keep your eye out on the website and we'll look forward to seeing you down the line. thanks very much. [applause]
>> tonight on "q&a" an author provides his thoughts on the documents that provided greatest impact on the world, from the magna carta and declaration of independence to martin luther king, jr.'s, "i have a dream" speech and wikileaks. that starts at 7:00 p.m. eastern time. and on booktv in prime time, race in america. starting at 8:00 p.m., carol anderson and white rage, the unspoken truth of racial divide. after that, david horowitz on progressive racism. and at 10:15, white backlash, immigration, race an american politics. from the san antonio book fair. and at 11:00 p.m., die watkins at annapolis, maryland, book festival on race in america. all of this tonight on booktv prime time on c-span2.
booktv on c-span2, 48 hours of non-fiction books and authors every weekend. here are featured programs this weekend. saturday at 10:00 p.m. eastern, on "after words," "wall street journal" political columnist kimberly strassel argue that the left is using tactics to usurp the political process in her book, the intimidation game. how the left is silencing free speech. she is joined in conversation by general any thomas, contributor to the daily caller news foundation. >> government abuse is actually one-sided. i think there is a couple of reasons for that. look, when i started this i care about free speech and the first amendment. i'm a bit libertarian when it comes to this. i have no allegiance to one party or the other. i went into this, i written a lot about abuses on left for my column on "wall street journal" you by assumed i would find a whole bunch of stuff on right too. i didn't. >> on sunday, in depth, live with author and legal analyst
jeffrey toobin will take your calls, texts emails questions from noon to 3:00 p.m. eastern. he will discuss his latest book, american heiress, wild saga of kidnapping and crimes and trial of patty hurst. mr. toobin is author of the oath, the obama white house an the supreme court. the nine, inside the secret world of the supreme court. too close to call, the 36-day battle to decide the 2000 election. a vast conspiracy, the real story of the sex scandal that nearly brought down a president. the run of his life. "the people v. o.j. simpson." and opening arguments, a young lawyer arrest first case, united states v. oliver north. join in the conversation with your phone calls and tweets, beginning at noon eastern, on c-span2. at 7:00 eastern, the dinesh d'souza looks at impact a hillary clinton presidency would have on america, in his book, "hillary's america." the secret history of the democratic party.
go to booktv.org for the complete weekend schedule. >> congressional news from "the hill" this morning. republican presidential nominee donald trump says he is happy with his refusal not to back speaker paul ryan in his primary race. quoting here, no, i'm not concerned about anything. i think we're going to do really well, trump told west palm beach cbs affiliate, wpec, when asked about his refusal to support ryan and any concerns about republicans not backing the billionaire. i was very forthright when i said, when i made certain statements, and you know, i'm happy with them. we'll he see what happens. i think we're going to do very well, trump said. you can read more at thehill.com. here's more on house speaker paul ryan's re-election campaign from a reporter who joined us this morning on "washington journal.".
>> on the phone craig gill bert, washington bureau chief of the milwaukee journal. . . house? guest: a guy named pal neyland. he is not from wisconsin. he has only been living there for 10 years. he was a political neophyte when he announced his challenge to paul ryan. it has been a sleepy race despite ryan's own prominence, despite this week when donald trump intervened. host: the primaries tuesday. what does it look like for speaker ryan? guest: we do not have fresh horse race public polling in his district. we have a lot of public polling about ryan and trump, including in his district. what that tells us is that it is very hard to look at the polling
serious signs of danger for paul ryan for a number of reasons. he is arguably the most popular republican in wisconsin and you could even make the case he's the most popular politician in either party in wisconsin and his numbers among our public and voters are overwhelmingly positive in his favorability rating in his district that have a positive view of him is in the 80s. that is a lot higher than donalt trumps numbers in his district in his state. donald trump is it at about 50 while brian is that about 85 and also, this is a district where donald trump underperformed in april in the presidential primary and lost the district by double digits by almost 20 points to ted cruz, so again that does not tell us necessarily what is happening on
the ground today, but it tells us that during the summer and going into this race as of a few weeks ago paul ryan was very well positioned in his primary? host: has he had to spend a lot of money on this primary? a guest: he is spending money. he has a 10 of money. he's not spending all of it, but he is dramatically has many his opponent. he's on television, radio and doing a lot of local media.ng today and tomorrow he will be doing multiple radio interviewsadio including a lot of interviews on conservative talk radio, which is a politicall force in southeastern wisconsin, so another thing that sometimes you see in the districtstr where nationally known members of congress arengress a kind of ambush in primaries is that they t neglect their district. the ticket for granite or they are surprised and again, this is a case where i knews someone who has a history of working his
district and i think he wants to not only win, but i think you'd like to win by as large of a margin as possible if for no other reason than this race has taken onal some nationall significance in the last several days. host: so his opponent is getting attention with a donald trump t saying i'm not quite there yet endorsing speaker ryan for his seat. his running mate, though, and friend speaker ryan with the governor mike pence saying he is 100% behind paul ryan. does any of that matter in this congressional race? guest: well, you know, again i think trump has some support in ryan's district, but again less support than ryan has. this is-- wisconsin has not been a good estate for donald trump. 's numbers have not been good and he has performed at a lower level in wisconsin that he has nationally, so
i'm sure there was core support for donald trump in the state, but then you have a member of congress whose very well known and has a long history in the district and is not only popular among republicans, but for a republican is fairly popular is less unpopular than other republicans among democrats, so all that is going on and i'm sure he will be-- it will bent interesting to see what it does to turn outt because august primaries are generally not a place where you see highgh turnout.n now, with all of the national attention it will be interesting to see what it does to turn out and who it helps because presumably it should help the unknown challenger, but it could also help ryan in ways by vocalizing his own supporters if they get a sense of urgency about the race. host: the night before the primary donald trump is holding a rally in green bay, wisconsin. paul ryan will not be there.
scott walker is not attending ron johnson who is up in the senate and facing a tough race there. he won't be there either what impact-- i mean, what impact could this happen, this rally the night before the primary? guest: the primary is tuesday in the rally is tomorrow night. host: i'm sorry. i mixed that up. guest: it's not in the district, it's in a different part of the state or donald trump is more popular. he is more popular in northern wisconsin where he is having a rally than southern wisconsin or paul ryan's district sore is, but it's such a weird state of affairs with a donald trump coming in again, to a state where the last time he campaigned he antagonized the republican party in wisconsin. he antagonized a lot of the conservative leadership in the state. it was a really stormyve relationship that got a little bit patch over since then and at the convention and now it's
just torn open again and he is coming into wisconsin on the heels of this sort of breacho with-- new breach with ryan who is again a popular figure among republicans in the state you have prominent republicans saying away. you got the chairman of the national republican h party, ryan's previous who is a close friend ofn, paul rhein and trying to be the peacemaker and who was kind of blindsided by trumps comments this week, so there is a lot of drama within the wisconsin republican party. there's a lot of antagonism between wisconsin republicans and donald trump right now and he is coming into the storm like he came into the storm four months ago in the primary he got clobbered host: and that is tomorrow night. my mistake, friday at 8:00 p.m. eastern time he is holding the rallythe rallg in green bay wisconsin. coverage on c-span, c-span radio and c-span.org. lets me show the milwaukee journal said
no editorial, speaker ryan. guest: it would look like kind of a quid pro quo, you did not endorse me so i won't endorse you. we have had opportunities to do it, opportunities to doing his crew size ryan on numerous occasions were distance himself-- i'm sorry right has criticized trump on numerous occasions were distance trump over not-- a lot of things he says or sure some of his policies, so too do it now it would sort of raise obvious questions why now, is it just because donald trump disrespected you, so i'm not holding my breath. i mean, it's a tight rope, a balancing act and very awkward. it's been painful politically i think for
paul ryan because he is such a different politician than donald trump and he is gettingtt slack from all sides. he's getting criticized by even conservatives who are anti- trump fornt not repudiating him and at the same time he isac getting flack from some republicans who are pro- trump who think he is being disloyal by not supporting trump and by criticizing him at all. host: we can follow more as he goes to js online .-dot column. thank you for your time. guest: it's a pleasure. >> now a discussion of the threat of isis towards religious and ethnic minorities. state department official, journal organizations and religious leaders share their experience and recommend steps to ensure religious tolerance. georgetown university religious freedom project has today that selected marty's-- good morning ladies and gentlemen.
thank you for joining us for this important conference on one of the important issues and the continuing threats to religious and ethnic minorities under the so-called islamic state. i am thomas farr, director of the religious freedom project here at georgetown and we are delighted to be hosting this event with the sport of our colleagues at the office of international religious freedom of the us department of state. as you can see from your programs, we have a full day long agenda. i think i can promise you a vigorous and stimulating discussion about one of the most profound issues of our day, one with deep humanitarian implications for the victims of isis genocide as well as strategic implications for the west and the united states. before we begin, if i might, i want to say word about religious freedom project here in
georgetown. the rfp was greeted at the berkeley center in 2011 and then in 2014, we welcomed the new strategic partner in baylor university with a student of studies religion under professor byron johnson. the rfp is the only university -based center for the study of religious freedom in the world. our goal is to research and to disseminate knowledge about religious freedom. what it is and why it's important for every person, religious or not , for every religious community, every society and every state. indeed, we believe religious freedom is important for international justice, stability and peace. we define religious freedom in a broad and capacious way. is the right of every person to believe and to worship or not and if one is a religious believer to act on the
basis of belief in the public life of one's nation. both as an individual and as a member of the religious community. religious freedom is as we understand it therefore not merely a private right to worship it entails the right to engage in civil society, business, politics on the basis of one's religious beliefs. religious liberty is not a mere claim of privilege by religious people. rather, it is a pillar of stable democracy, economic development and societal flourishing. and particularly germane to our conference today the evidence is clear, the assets of religious freedom contributes significantly to the rise in sustaining a violent religious extremism and terrorism. but, the presence of religious freedom can undermine religious extremism and terrorism. unfortunately,
notwithstanding its important religious freedom is in global crisis. according to reports by the pew research center three quarters of the world's population lives in countries where religious freedom virtually is nonexistent. that's three out of four human beings on the planet. outside the west, as today's conference will attest, those restrictions are often characterize by vile and violent persecution of religious minorities. inside the west, while violent persecution is not the norm and please god never will be, that he report shows government restrictions and social hostilities towards religion are on the rise. including in the united states of america. our goal here at the religious freedom project is to raise the profile of this issue, both here and abroad. we want to change the conversation among the people who can do something about this
crisis am about who we believe are not paying sufficient attention, that is government officials, the media, the academy and civil society in general. we do our work through teams of international scholars, books and articles, workshops, consultations with government, congressional testimony, media appearances, conferences such as this one here and abroad and a vigorous web presence including social media. in all of these activities, we seek to engage not only religious believers, but secular society in general and particular the skeptics of religion. in a very real sense, ours is an attempt to conduct a conversation about religious freedom with everyone, especially those who do not share our premise or our views. finally, let me mention briefly the creation of a new religious freedom initiative. it is called the religious freedom
institute. the first thing to be said is that georgetown rfp will continue at the berkeley center under its current leadership, that is professor tim shaw, professor byron johnson and myself. but, the three of us are also launching this year a new and independent initiative, the religious freedom institute. we will be joined in next month by kent hill who will you-- who you will do later this can't insert senior vice president at world vision and will soon depart the position and become the executive director of the religious freedom institute. if you would like further information, please see me or go to our website at religious freedom institute.org. now, to our conference. i have already noted that the evidence strongly suggests a global crisis in religious freedom. nowhere is the evidence of that crisis more powerful or more
troubling to the conscience of the world than in iraq and syria. in march, 2016, us house of representatives, later the u.s. senate and secretary john kerry declared that the islamic state is committing genocide against christians, easy ease, muslims and other religious and ethnic minorities. unfortunately, months later isis and other violent extremist groups continue to target and terrorize their victims through torture, rape, enslavement, murder, forced immigration. they also continue to engage in a systematic campaign of looting and destroying religious and cultural sites including houses of worship. today, you will hear
from representatives of the target communities. they will share their personal experiences of religious persecution and the liquidations for us policymakers and western policymakers in general. among the questions they will engage include the following: what are the immediate security challenges posed by isis to the region? to the west, and to the united states. what can we do now to ensure the viability in the future of vulnerable religious and ethnic communities in iraq and syria? what steps need to be taken to ensure religious freedom and how is religious freedom a possible antidote to future violence? you'll also hear from a series of distinguished policymakers, advocates and scholars, so let me turn now to one of the most distinguished of the policymakers, my friend and colleague knox thames. in september last year
turned i was the state permits first special advisor for religious minorities in the middle east and south and central asia. knox thames is a effective and powerful advocate for religious minorities and we are delighted to have him with us today. [applause]. >> and went to welcome everyone to the opening of our today's series of meetings focusing on threats to religious and sick minorities under daesh. i want to thank doctor thomas farr at the religious freedom program at georgetown university and i also want to thank our partners us holocaust memorial museum and us institute of peace over the next couple of days. ladies and gentlemen, religious and ethnic minorities in the region have suffered human rights violations, discrimination and violence for years. the emergence of daesh introduced the world to a new level of brutality. in response, we are here out of a shared concern
about the future of religious diversity in iraq and syria. we stand together in our joint condemnation of atrocities daesh has committed against religious and ethnic minorities as well as against the atrocity daesh has committed against the majority communities in the broader population in these countries. we stand together in assisting the human rights and religious freedoms for all groups be respected and our meeting today out of a shared desire to find ways to do more, to take action, to ensure iraq and serious historic religious and ethnic remains to see that the rights of these individuals both men and women are respected as equal citizens and have it a hand in determining the future of their own communities. in march, secretary kerry made the historic announcement in his judgment daesh is conveyed genocide in the territory it controls. you recognize extreme suffering of these groups as well as as trustees committed
against the kurds and sunni muslims. want to think a number number of you here today who played a very important role in viable role in providing information that helped us come to that decision. secretary kerry's statement was more than words. it was a call to action. a call to action to find ways to help these ancient communities and in a statement built upon the words and actions of president obama, we saw the president commitment to religious diversity in protecting the rights of minorities when he authorized the airstrikes are most exactly two years ago to recchi-- rescue the duties as well as when the white house lashed your committed after meeting with pope francis to hold a meeting like this focusing on ways to help. we are committing these meetings today and tomorrow the state department is a concrete expression of concern about the future of religious and ethnic minorities in iraq and syria. the time is right as with each passing day we are closer to seeing the
liberation of muzzle and the surrounding area. so we take these actions out of recognition that more must be done to give minorities common is that they have a future in their homeland. we brought together civil society, religious leaders, activists and diplomats to discuss that, how can international community more effectively meet this challenge for minority. in short, we want to understand the need, identify gaps and devise concrete responses. tomorrow, more than 25 different countries will meet at the state department, many at the head of department level and delegations will participate from north america, across your the arab world as well as representatives of the european union and several united nation offices. debbie secretary of state will give opening remarks and be followed by the tenant general terry wolf. before these delegations
me tomorrow we first went to to hear from impacted communities and ngos to understand their concerns about the future of religious diversity in iraq and syria to the threat of daesh violence. we want to be informed by your voices, voices from the region before i get that-- diplomatic meeting tomorrow, so we work with georgetown to have an entire day dedicated to hear your ideas to meeting these challenges and as a result many members of the diplomatic corps with us this morning as well as a diverse iraqi delegation which is a signal of strong international concern. on to think of religious freedom part-- project for developing the speakers list today and having heard from several of our friends i know there are many additional voices with could've included, but we are limited due to time and we packed that agenda. i think the panel will present distinct points of views, sometimes in conflict that will spur discussion and help generate new ideas for ways to respond.
i also want to note that are for is in partnership with france as a continuation of the french initiative launched last year by former foreign minister. he convened the security council in march, 2015, to shine a light on daesh abuses. in a follow-up last september, france cosponsored with jordan. the united states welcomed and participated in both of these meetings the paris meeting resulted in a document called the paris action plan, which highlighted steps governments can take to aid religious minorities targeted by daesh and other religious or other terrorist relations. the plan was used for roadmap government action and we have also welcomed other efforts of those the conference organized by greek-- greece last year as well as in morocco which led to the declaration regarding the rights of religious minorities and muslim majority context. i also want to stress that we are deeply deeply concerned about all who have suffered under daesh's reign of terror. iraqi and syrian muslims who are bravely stood up
to daesh warped ideology have been murdered. shiite muslims have been executed sibley because they are shiite. we stand for the principle that one life is not valuable in another, even while we recognize the unique threat facing religious and ethic minorities. the paris action plan said it well quote beyond the solidarity that this benefit all victims of conflict and violence, there is a pressing necessity to protect and preserve those communities and cultures whose existence is threatened in syria. for the purpose of these meetings today and tomorrow is to examine actions in light of the roadmap to the paris action plan and discuss the next step with needs of religious minorities facing potential extension from their homeland. we want to build momentum towards the conference's best has committed to hold later this year or in early 2017, something like a conference for countries can, and announce new initiatives or training
or funny. i went to be clear, the protection of religious and ethnic minorities in iraq and syria is a foreign-policy priority of us. where causally discussing internally what more the united states government can do towards that end, we are taking actions right now for example, we are partnering with the smithsonian institution to launch a new program next week that will assist minority communities in northern iraq with their cultural heritage heard-- preservation need. we are developing materials to help train on identifying mass raids and cultural heritage site so they can be prepared for whatever role they play in the liberation of muzzle. we are using satellite telemetry to identify potential mass graves behind-- front lines so intervening forces can identify and protect those in sort-- important sites took these programs with the state of margaret-- a
novel's stomach the states could not be higher with these communities. a multitude of faith call iraq and syria home , but they faced a real possibility of disappearing from these areas. since 2003, the push of extremist violence both before daesh and now as well as the pull of a better life in the west has resulted in exodus double the 1 million christians from around. we have seen many small groups also suffer. minority religious communities and syria all also under extreme pressure as a repeated attacks and the still kidnapped syrian bishops remind us. as the state department's first special advisor for religious minorities, i have been working with my colleagues in washington and around the world to address the challenges facing minorities in the region. the united states is doing a lot.
later today ambassador will give a full description of actions, but we cannot, we must not do it alone. because the challenges facing us stretch beyond the capabilities of anyone government or organization and they are in a front to the values that undergird our society. of course, time is working against us. during my trip into iraq early this year i saw the vibrancy and let's let that these minority communities, but also that they live a precarious and fragile existence. i visited the christian town about 30 miles north of bozo-- bozo. we heard about how his dispersed community never return. we also visited the holy center of the faith and met with their spiritual leaders. we heard out hundreds are leaving iraq every week to seek safety and better opportunities in
europe and other regions , but we also heard how individuals from both communities prefer to stay in iraq if they can do so in safety and hope for a better future. from these visits i came with eight dark sense that we are a pivotal moment in history. that the door in these communities could close forever. however, the door is not shut yet and through concerted efforts we can push the door back (we must ask and we need to act with our friends and allies. in closing, the fight against daesh has been difficult and it's not over. next year will be decisive. yet, the day gross closer when they will be liberated. there is a light at the end of this nightmarish tunnel due to the good work. once daesh is expelled the international community must shift from the difficult fight , the difficult
work of waging war to the equally challenging pasco winning the peace. to win the peace we need to have reconstruction across the board with reconciliation, respective rights, justice and more international community on our site needs to develop a better plan on assisting these communities with these challenges. we also need minority communities to: surround the common vision of their future. as i'm sure we will hear today there are different views of the best way forward to preserve these ancient communities. disagreement is natural and can be constructed if it leads to better ideas and more focused efforts. however, if this agreement becomes division fractured communities will be costly. division plays at the hands of those who oppose pluralism and make it more---- difficult to assess. the 20th century mass movement of people with millions fleeing extreme violence targeted against them due to religious or ethnic identity and the
question for saul is whether we can reverse this trend in the still need 21st century. can conditions be re-created to give minorities a future? iraq and syria will be a great test of that question. but, the best way to defeat daesh and its ideology of hate is by protecting what they tried to exterminate, religious and ethnic pluralism. awfully, from these discussions today and tomorrow we will take a step forward on new paths that respects human rights, equal citizenship, religious freedom and religious tolerance. ..
it means we have failed to event cleansing against religious minorities in iraq and syrian also means we failed to protect those communities adequately as the crimes have been unfolding, and it means in many ways we're failing today to a system as we struggle to find ways to protect the communities in what has been
now two years of exile. we have a remarkable set of speakers today. people who i have met on trips to northern iraq who have to carry the very difficult burden of speaking on behalf of their communities and serve them, take care of their spiritual and emotional needs and physical needs and it's a deep honor to hear directly from you. introduce each of the speakers. bishop is a bishop of the church of the east, presiding over the diocese of california. one of five trustees of the relief organization. the president of the commission on interchurch relations and development and also the author of "mysteries of kingdom: be sacraments of the syrian church
of the east,"; he obtained his ba from loyala college in chicago, and he later received his license to sacred theology and a doctorate from the oriental university in rome. bream tashin is the representative of the leader of the yazidi community in iraq. he has spoken on behalf of the -- he previously was a diplomat with the iraqi minister of foreign affairs. graduating from the berlitz
center. finally the found are of the humanitarian relief organization, which served internally displaced people in the sub bur of -- the joined the seminary in baghdad in 1997, ore takenned into the priest hood in 2004. in 2012 was assigned to the seminary and dean of the college in mosul where the served until 2013. he also served as vice sector. he earned a ph.d in philosophy in 2014 and a masters in philosophy and a ba in theology. a deep honor to speak with each
of you. just for a very quick background, everyone remembers much of the facts but i think we should reiterate them again. even though we're talking about crimes committed by the islamic state, we're addressing the failure prevent attacks on minorities communities that have taken place over other decade in iraq. between june and august of 2014, isis attacked northern iraq. 10% of the population of which were religious and ethnic minorities. in three months, 800,000 people were driven from their homes, and as has already been mentioned. ethnic cleansings was committed. two years later the communities remain in exile and face serious challenges. with that i wanted to start the conversation by asking itch eachoff you would be willing to speak to what some of the specific daily challenges your communities are facing in terms of humanitarian needs and well-being.
would you like to begin? >> yes. thank you very much for just i want to tell everything exactly what i mean. i can speak -- better for me. foreign blocker. [speaking in foreign language] >> can you translate? >> yes. >> i wish to convey to you -- of the sons of the yazidi community who are still waiting for the help that they would need to have a place that suits them in this world.
[speaking in foreign language] >> interpreter: we wish that good words and emotions will turn into reality on the ground as the moment this conference takes action. [speaking in foreign language] >> interpreter: the small communities, minorities, yazidis and others, are all in the same boat when it comes to the current -- [speaking in foreign language] >> especially in the area and -- [inaudible] -- [speaking in foreign language]
>> interpreter: the persecution that happened to the yazidi communities has a great impact across the world because of the horrors they suffered. [speaking in foreign language] >> interpreter: this was the first time in centuries that we went back to the time of enslavement and selling of slaves. there's 3,000 hundred women abducted to this day. [speaking in foreign language] >> interpreter: this organization still rapes these women, sold them, and they're still controlling their lands. [speaking in foreign language]
>> interpreter: without any serious action taken in order to reverse the suffering of this community. [speaking in foreign language] >> interpreter: on 3rd of august two years ago a major catastrophe befell the yazidis and they're still remembering it to this day. [speaking in foreign language] >> interpreter: it was on that day that isis or isil took over, attack the land, took their
homes, killed them, forced them to flee, and they are still in living this tragedy to this day. [speaking in foreign language] >> interpreter: they're still living in refugee camps in turkey and northern kurdistan and other areas. [speaking in foreign language] >> interpreter: humanitarian conditions beyond belief. they're waiting for the moment they can go back to their homes. and they are also suffering from the lack of trust among those that are hosting them or where they are living now.
[speaking in foreign language] >> interpreter: the situation in iraq following the rise of isis shows a long shadow of darkness over iraq. [speaking in foreign language] >> interpreter: this issue calls for action by the international community in the way of support, continual support, to help and preserve the dignity of the victims. [speaking in foreign language] >> interpreter: there are 80,000 people who have been forced out of their homes, 5,000 living in
greece and 52 mass graves. bill >> you want everything i tell. >> okay, yeah. >> interpreter: these are the demand of the yazidi community. [speaking in foreign language] >> interpreter: the international protection for the yazidis, the christians and other minorities, in accordance with legal procedures that safeguards their presence, they're administration, and protects them with international and u.n. guarantees. [speaking in foreign language]
>> interpreter: referring those who commit crimes against the yazidis and other minorities to international courts through the following steps. [speaking in foreign language] >> interpreter: referring the file of the yazidi case to the international criminal courts through resolution by the u.n. security council to be adopted or presented by the united states based on article 13b of the rome statutes for the international criminal courts on
the basis of the fact that the united states has recently decided that isis is committing crimes of genocide. >> maybe i think this is a critical point in terms of what needs to be done. what why decent we hear from the other panelists about the challenges that are being experienced from other communities on theground right now and then we'll talk about the steps that can be taken but that was incredibly powerful. >> thank you very much. >> bishop, may i ask you to share your reflections on the current challenges your community is facing in iraq and syria. >> sure. first and for most, good morning to all of you. i'd like to take this opportunity to thank the state department in particular ambassador's office and the berkeley center here at georgetown for putting this forum together. in september of 2014, i was part of the delegation of bishops
representing our late patriarch to visit our communities and other christian communities in northern iraq under the krg region that had two months passed undergone all the atrocities atrocities and the displacement from mosul and other parts of the plains. what i saw personally as a bishop, as a pastor, was a great loss of hope. some people have not lost only their homes and properties and whatnot but there was a great loss of hope. a great loss of confidence in the system. at that time, a little over 140, 150,000 christians made up of the syria communities which make up the christian population and which we have historically are the indigenous people of the country, were living in tentses,
in part provided by the u.n. or other christian ngos from the western countries. what i experienced what i experienced was a people that were broken, not only spiritual lyrics materially, but no future to look toward, and looking into the eyes of little children and i remember speaking with a young christian couple that had just gotten married, a month before they had to plea mosul, was really devastating. and what impresses me and impresses the church and the various churches working on the ground is the humane and the humanitarian aspects of all this, the fact that really there is no appreciation of human life, and i think that's the greatest loss that our people are suffering there.
i add that i think all of our christian communities and also i'd like to recognize our other friends and brothers who are considered minorities such as the yazidis et cetera, which even though in the u.s. the term pie minority "is a good thing but when you're using it in eastern context it's not necessarily a good thing. we should keep that in mind. but really our communities are still two years after the tragic event, still in survival mode, which is not good for any community to live under for this extended time. >> thank you for that. i think that notion of being in survival mode, not knowing what is going to come next, some people i've spoken to there's no sense of future, and i think what is also so apparent is especially amongst older generations there's a deep fear of cultural loss, of what will happen when their children now go to germany, france, seek a
future elsewhere because they see no future at home. and that's something that we'll talk about later. father, you were on the ground in your day-to-day work, seeking to those who have been displaced, who feel this sense of despair, but you're also seeing, when i first met you, you were good a medical clinic and seeing immediate realities of what this looks lining. can you speak to the challenges of those you're working with. >> yeah. i agree, completely with our bishop, but i would like to add something. so, regarding the reality that christians, especially christians are living in the north of iraq, are going to tell you briefly some points about that reality. for example, if we are going to talk about housing, how they
are -- where they are living now in kurdistan. in kurdistan, christians, for example, are living -- we are now in -- displaced from the plain in 2004 and we were about 140,000 displaced from the plain in mosul, but now we are just like 90,000, plus minus. they immigranted outside of iran. they're blocked in jordan, lebanon and turkey. they don't go on, can't go outside of those countries, and they cannot also go back to iran because of the situation. so, they are also suffering. so, going back to the housing problem.
you can't find housing for christians. one part of them are living in camps, containers. so for each family there is the church has provided a container, very small container for those families. so for each family, three, four, five people, are living in very, very small container. so there is a little bit of -- the situation is miserable. other part of families are living in houses rented by the church. so the church for sure with the help of the international ngos and catholic ngos, provided houses for families, not a house for each family, but one room and those house for each family. sometimes the family could
contain more than five people. so, for many, for maybe 20 or 25 people, one wc. other part of the christian are living in houses provided by -- they are paying for rent of these houses by themselves. so, regarding the food problem, also the church and other international ndos provided for and food items for idps, but some of these ngos stopped
their work so we still have an urgent need for these things. health care. that is a big issue really. we as hnro, we provided two health centers to take care of the health issue for the idps, not just christians but every idp. muslims. we see every day about like 500 patients. we have another health center in cooperation with the -- or we
have chronic disease medicine. this is big issue. there there is a problem of the work. so the lack of the money, where these families can go their money to buy medicine to pay for renting house and other things. also for clothes, for example. many families try to get work. they're in kurdistan, but everybody knows that the huge quantity of the reefs and idp kurdistan maybe was very difficult -- made difficulties for people to seek work there. many, many families have no work, and their resources are ending.
so, they cannot pay more for their rent. they cannot pay more for the operations if they have to do in hospitals. they cannot pay for their medicine. and if some families, some father or families of people in kurdistan, there is difficulty. nobody pay for them. because nobody has money to pay. so just they work, but nobody get money. briefly i'm going to say, there is an urgent need for housing. so recently, the catholic university were discussing or looking for -- to resolving this problem.
they're going to see how -- we hope they can resolve this problem as soon as possible. support with food and other food items. urgent need, the idp, we've -- those who have serious health problems, like cancer, for example, they have to buy all medicines, they have to spend between 500 to $1,500 monthly just for these medicines, and we have huge number of people infected with cancers. just in hnro, we wanted to make like a registration to see how much is the person of those people just in four days we opened registration for them and we had 92 cases of cancer,
different cases of cancer. we need mobile clinics. and find out an immediate solution for thousands of christians, families, blocked in jordan, lebanon, and turkey. >> thank you for that. i think just for those who haven't seen the containers that he was mentioning, just to give you a sense, it would be fair to say this stage is about the size of what some of the containers are in terms of length. entire families living within small quarters like this and certain camps where people are still living in tents. that's especially true in areas north and that is two years later, very, very basic conditions for these particular communities. i think when you have each
spoken to have onlighted the fact there are ongoing physical threats, 3700 women still being hell as sex slaves. and we're told about the emotional toll and despair of what has happened to these communes. i wonder, bishop, if you can speak -- many of those who stayed, they wanted to stay in iraq. they still want to stay in iraq. so many families members have left. i want to talk, given it's come up in each of your three comments, about that challenge, one it seems as though there's few opportunities for people to leave the region if though sought to. some are concerned whether or not that means they will be ending their community in that particular country. of you can speak to those challenges. maybe if we start with the bishop. >> okay. >> well, the thing is, one thing
that assyrian church tried to do as expression of keeping our tie to the homeland, last year we enthroned our new patron. after a span of 33 years the patriarch came back to iraq and also significant event, not nearly as a religious occasion but it was a sign of trying to give hope to our faithful to our fellow christians and all of the minorities suffering, to say that even though the direction is to go in the opposite way, we are -- the church is going back, and realize there's struggle and a lot of need and a lot of things that our people will be facing, but still it's necessary to give people hope. our are all over, turkey,
jordan, lebanon, thousands of families from different denominations. the question is how to convince them because at the end of the day, it is a moral decision that every person must make. obvious the churches don't want our people to leave but how do we convince them to stay? it's not a matter of just patriarch or bishop to stand and tell the people, you have to stay there needs to be infrastructure to provide them with the basic human and family needs to allow them to remain. and i think there's a lot that needs to be done in collaboration with the local governments of the country to further opportunities for our people to see that and to regain hope. i mentioned the -- two months after isis or isil entered the plains region and other parts, we travel through -- going
through the various camps that father had mentioned that are living in caravans now, and the sentiment was, if we gate series sacker we will leave -- we get a visa, we will leave tomorrow, we while not stay. how do you change that mentality? how too you give people confidence, give them hope, that they should be tied to their homeland? they should stay? and it's a difficult thing. i don't think any one church has the answer but collectively we can have an answer and gives people hope, jobs, economic stability, security. people are worried about security. even if isil is -- leaves or is forced to leave, what will happen that? will another group come in? >> that's a good segway to hear from father, are.
bishop said if our lanes are not fully liberate the existing radical and sectarian ideology isn't alienated and if the the existence of a strong government and a constitution with international security it will be difficult for christians to survive in iraq. can you speak to what are the conditions that, as you said, would give people hope and make people feel secure? some areas north of mt. sinjar have been liberated. very few people are returning home at that point. isis still controls much of the plains, making it impossible christian communities to return home. can you speak on the perspective of the yazidi community, what do people need to feel safe to return home. >> i will. -- speak english -- can't explain everything what i mean
about this one. how you can first every yazidi religion and christian to the iraqi government and kurdistan government have to -- international project. for any chooses military base or another, we have more chooses. you can choose for that one. more place for all behind all of the mosul or iraq, you have to make draft resolution for united states government for security council and united nation, to
action it, to sent the action to change or translate the case to the ict to open this case, have to open this case. or another choose, you have to push the iraqi government to make limited compromise for just limited. we discussed with iraqi government. if you push him to limited position, to open the case for the itt coming to iraq for just limited yazidi case or yazidi, and other minority case, to open this one. i think this one?
system they have -- elsewhere. about the kidnap. all time, when you say the kidnap, more than 3,770. until now. what about -- they don't have anything -- now we have liberation, we have to go to mosul -- [speaking in foreign language] >> interpreter: after the liberation of the government of -- [speaking in foreign language] >> interpreter: the iraqi government, together with government of kurdistan and the american government, must work
together to find a way of liberating these women and rehabilitating them. >> and we have -- [speaking in foreign language] >> interpreter: the iraq government must change some of its own laws. [speaking in foreign language] >> interpreter: in order to protect minorities. and must involve and integrate the yazidis in all of government institutions. [speaking in foreign language] >> interpreter: to ensure such a catastrophe will not be repeated
again. the yazidis who have been displaced. >> interpreter: yazidis who live outside the land, 80% of the yazidis -- 5,000 refugees in greece. [speaking in native tongue] >> interpreter: we are calling on the united states and the european union to open the way for the refugees. the yazidi refugees in greece to go to europe or america. >> thank you. brief brief.
[speaking in native tongue] >> interpreter: and to start the government. >> thank you for that. so, for you, the major crate tear'a or requirement for people to feel like they can start going home is to tackle the distrust that exists, you said in regards to security forces. so bringing an international protection force, calling for accountability so those responsible are actually brought to justice and ending impunity, and then you also spoke about the importance of ensuring there's constitutional protection of minority communities in the future, and the future of iraq, while also fining a way for people to seek refugee status if they don't feel safe to return home. i'm wondering you thoughts, what does it mine to create safe condition ford people to return home? what are the threats they're concerned about? >> sure. the future or the hope means what is going to happen on the
ground there for christians. so if they -- international force in the plain and to help them -- to rebring them to their houses-that means hope. concerning, most important thing we are going to talk about the period post-isis now, that's most important thing. so, to help us to stay in our lands, means that as soon as possible, if plains be liberated -- i talk about christians, for example -- there should be enough documentation first and -- of the crime of
genocide against the religious minorities. so, thank you, u.s.a., thank you e.u. but we are waiting for the same declaration from u.n. and from iraqi government. the safety and peace for minorities in their own cities after liberation. so in the plains and villages. we don't accept as christians to be under the -- muslim tutilage as we were before.
it's strange to see christian towns and cities are governed not but christians but by other people, by mayors, imposed by the government itself. so, the mayor should serve, should help the citizens, not just help the government. so, that's why as our -- religious leaders and other christians ask for international protection, like from u.n. or u.s.a. or e.u. so we cannot trust more the iraqi government or iraqi army,
especially after what happened. they delivered all the religious minorities as a gift for isis. we demand for criminal investigation in order to punish all those who had participate in the genocide against the minorities. so we cannot accept more than those criminals govern the country after what they did. the christians have suffered before the -- most dangerous than isis.
especially in our historical cities. this issue, as i said, is very, very important to be result as managed during saddam hussein government, and continued after 2003 by the government, and the government persist christian cities in order to realize a region for other minorities. not for christians. if you go to christian cities and villages, you can see by yourselves how the government did their best to empty those cities from christians, pushing them by -- pushing them out of the cities by creating problems inside those cities. for example, we remember what happened in 2009 when --
attacked the church inside the city that was either -- did this happen just for one time. he had problems every day. like that. every day we have the same problems. that's why most of our young people left iraq. >> may i ask a question? it was very common in some many of the conversations i've had on trips to northern iraq is if we're alluding to the deep distrust both towards the iraqi government and the kurdish regional government by many of the minority communities who felt abandoned in the period before the attack and then while isis was attacking and there have been many reasons cited for what happened and how. given the realities and given the fact there are minority communities living within areas
where the -- sunni arab neighbors, given the fact there are people who were living together -- i spoke with many christians who had close friends who are sunni arabs, yazidis who referred to their sunni ablack brothers but who now feel a deep distrust towards those who were their neighbors, and also deep distrust toward the political actors that were supposed to be entrusted to protect them. be that the iraqi government or the kurdish government. how do you create on environment where there is reconciliation and also the political guarantees of protection, and i'm curious maybe, bishop, what is the role of religious leaders in that dialogue and process? >> thank you. i think you have touched upon a very important aspect and that is dialogue. there is a lot of talk going on from various governmental
agencies. there's a lot of talk from representations, but i don't think there's dialogue, and i think we need to draw a difference between talking or speaking and dialoguing. dialoguing is to -- to engage in a dialogue means all those who are speaking are partners. and they're partners looking for a common solution to a common problem. and maybe even forming some sort of a council represented by the religious -- the minorities, ethnic and religious minorities who are affected by the atrocities of isis would be a practical step so that not only can they speak together and understand each other, and i think once they have understood each other, then they can make their asks and claims more representable before the governmental agencies that are on the ground, and even