The Muslim hero of the Crusades, the man who showed tremendous diplomatic and military skill, holding together a fractious group for a common purpose, was Saladin, a Kurd. Can the Kurds play the same role, albeit with a different end in mind, in the 21st century? Tara Welat thinks so:
There is no question that a people once free politically can serve the cause of humanity all the more profoundly. Only when the Kurds are truly free will they become the real friends of democracy for they will have joined the love of liberty with the love of equality. Indeed, the Kurdish people are one of the most suitable people in the Middle East to carry the torch of democracy. They have mild manners, they prize liberty, and they have natural tolerance of differences – they speak Kurmanji, Sorani, and Zazaki, they are Sunnis, Alevis, Yezidis, Christians and Jews, and they have shown a respect for the minorities that have lived among them. By ennobling Kurdish patriotism, which involves strengthening our love of freedom, the Kurds will become the greatest defenders of democracy in the Middle East.
I am still of two minds about whether Kurdish independence or a federated Iraq with a Kurdish state is preferable, but I'm leaning more and more toward the former.Posted by Ideofact at April 7, 2004 10:46 PM