His Beatitude the Chaldean Patriarch, Louis Raphael Sako participated at the Fifth Annual Sulaimani Forum entitled “Beyond Daesh: Ending the Cycle of Conflicts Toward Durable Solutions”, organized by the American University of Iraq Sulaimani 8-9 March, 2017.
The following is the speech of H.B. Dr. Louis R. Sako at the Panel 4, addressing “Iraq’s Political Scene: Mapping the Settlement or Settlement of the Map?"
First of all, I am an Iraqi citizen and a
religious man, not a politician. However, I can confirm that the Iraqi
political scene is painful and general public are fed up with speeches
and conferences, they are eagerly waiting to see actions.
There is an urgent need to develop a
cohesive and unified vision regarding the rebuild of Iraq and the Iraqi
society by analyzing the current situation and planning for a better
future, which has been positively, expressed by His Excellency the Iraqi
Prime Minister, Dr. Hayder Al-Ebady earlier this morning. He cannot do
miracles without the unification of the Iraqi politicians and the
cooperation of everyone for the sake of Iraq by giving the priority to
public interest rather than the private interest.
– We are duty-bound to build a modern
national, constitutional and democratic Iraq. A country of citizenship
equality, in which; the term “minority” will never be used; nor certain
ethnic groups can rule others based on their population size, religion
or doctrine. In other words, we are in need to build a country based on;
diversity and pluralism, freedom ; not on distinction, exclusion and
elimination. A new Iraq that believes in democracy neutrality and
equality that ensures full citizenship for everyone, regardless of
religion or ethnicity connection.
– We also understand that the civil
state does not isolate religion from public life, but rather respects
its’ values that help in developing a sound and inclusive society,
contrary to the "secular- laic state" that are incompatible with
religion. We have seen how sectarian quota system and in the absence of
civil state, has poured “hell-fire” on Iraq. Therefore, we should
separate religion from politics as happened in the west; otherwise, we
will have no future.
– Civil state will help us in
building a solid and cohesive nation, single fabric under a single tent
of citizenship. A country that; treats its’ people equally and fairly;
protecting and defending everyone; and preventing all kinds of
– We should encourage media in
general and social media in particular, to cooperate for promoting; a
culture of peace and unity among citizens; and developing a spirit of
belonging to this land.
– We need to re-draft
the constitution and laws in a way that the hearts and minds should be
open to “a full citizenship for all” that guarantees; the freedom of
expression and belief; and assure a complete respect for the dignity of
all citizens, especially the dignity of women and young people
considering their ambition and choices in life.
– Since terrorism is not against Christians only, the current situation requires a “renewal”
of religious discourse, intellectually and practically. This kind of
awareness will help in; confronting terrorism; renouncing violence; and
rejecting distortion of concepts by some Islamic authorities and church
– There is also an urgent need to revise
the curriculum at all levels (schools, institutes and universities), in
order to focus on the consolidation of national unity concepts.