Jesurgislac’s Journal

July 8, 2008

Being persecuted: seeking asylum: filling a quota

I’ve been meaning to write about this for some time, but the truth is I don’t know where to start. With Jacqui Smith, Home Secretary, who said about a week ago: “In the 21st century no one in Britain should ever feel under threat of verbal or physical violence just because of their sexual orientation.” No. Move back four years or so.

In 2004, the Syrian government arrested a young man, Jojo Jako Yacob, whose father was involved with the Yakiti Party – pro-Kurdish, anti-government.

“At one point I was put up against a wall and a handgun pointed at me. I was told that if I did not tell the authorities what they wanted to know they would shoot me dead. I did not tell them anything, I did not think they would shoot me.”

“The police officer then shot me in my upper left arm. At that point, I told them what they wanted to know as I believed that they would shoot me dead.” (Death sentence: gay Syrian teenager facing deportation)

In Ahdas Prison, by the Turkish border, this young man formed a relationship with another prisoner – but the guards found out and the prisoners were systematically beaten, for days or weeks – Jojo no longer remembers.

“This was all because I was gay. No questions were asked of me about my father’s political party or any other political activity. All the questions related to me being gay.

“I was also subjected to cold-water torture, where I was put in a room and buckets of cold water were constantly thrown over me. I could not remember what day it was or how long I had been in prison. (Death sentence: gay Syrian teenager facing deportation)

He woke in hospital: the doctor who was treating him told him that he had been in a coma for 20 days. He escaped from Syria, intending to get to the UK, which he had heard was a democracy and treated people with justice and fairness. In early 2005, huddled in the back of a freezer lorry, suffering from post-traumatic shock, he arrived in the UK.

He applied for asylum: was given extended leave to remain while this application was considered – the UK has a backlog of asylum cases miles long, and at the time Jojo was under 18. In 2006, he was arrested in Aberdeen for having a fake Belgian passport: locked up in Polmont Young Offenders: and his asylum application withdrawn, he was served with a deportation order – a letter would arrive weekly, telling him that if he agreed to return to Syria the British Government would give him £46 “to assist you in reintegrating into your home country. This could be used for example to set up a business, further your education or assist with housing”. link These letters continued to arrive week by week until Jojo was released from Polmont on bail, still under threat of deportation from the UK to Syria, where he would be handed over to the Syrian authorities. He is an escaped political prisoner, the son of a man jailed for anti-government activities, and known to be gay.

In a letter written last month to Lord Roberts of Llandudno, Jacqui Smith, Home Secretary, rejected a call for an immediate halt to the deportation of gay and lesbian asylum seekers (based on the case of Mehdi Kazemi, whose partner in Iran had been executed for being gay):

“We recognise that the conditions for gay and lesbian people in Iran – and many other countries – are such that some individuals are able to demonstrate a need for international protection. We do not, however, accept that we should make the presumption that each and every asylum-seeker who presents themselves as being of a particular nationality or sexuality, regardless of their particular circumstances, should automatically be … allowed to remain in the UK. With particular regard to Iran, current case law handed down by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal concludes that the evidence does not show a real risk of discovery of, or adverse action against gay and lesbian people who are discreet about their sexual orientation.”

Also:

“In the 21st century no one in Britain should ever feel under threat of verbal or physical violence just because of their sexual orientation.”

The UK signed the UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees in 1951, and ratified this Convention in 1954. Long before I was born, the UK agreed that a person who has a “well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion” should be allowed to claim asylum in another country.

The asylum tribunal rejected Jojo’s application: they felt he could reasonably be returned to Syria. It’s hard not to think this is part of the British government’s policy of enforcement – they have a quota of deportations to meet, and as they can point to Jojo’s false passport conviction, if he’s sent back to Syria – especially if he is then imprisoned by the Syrian authorities – his deportation can help them meet their quota of people to be kicked out.

Four years ago at a Labour Party conference, Tony Blair announced an off-the-cuff policy called Tipping the Balance: his government would deport more people from the UK than were applying for asylum. One means used to cut down the number of asylum seekers was to change the cheap and effective policy that a refugee entering the UK could apply for asylum at the nearest police station: now a refugee must travel to one of three application centres, in Croydon, Leeds, and Birmingham. They get no help from the UK government until they have reached one of those centres: if they fail to reach a centre to make an asylum claim, they are never included in the tipping point. (Thus neatly demonstrating, incidentally, that when the UK government claims they want to enforce a mandated biometric ID card because of their concern for people just wandering the country without identification, they are lying like a lying lying thing.)

But on the other side of the balance, there is the quota of people who must be sent back to the countries from which they fled in terror. The Home Office is smugly proud of its achievements there. This anti-asylum seeker policy has been pursued at any cost to public safety, and any human cost, because they have a public performance target to be met (PDF) – a quota of people to be deported.

Whilst publicly “condemning” the perpetrators of genocide and human right abuses, the British Government is quietly deporting the Victims of War right back into the world’s worst disaster zones and the hands of the world’s most brutal regimes. Asylum seekers refused through “Fast Track” are from countries such as DR Congo, Iran and Myanmar. (Medical Justice)

This must not be. If Jojo Jako Yakob is sent back to Syria it will be to his death. False passport or no, he does not deserve a death sentence merely so that a Home Office bureaucrat can complete their quota for the year. No one does. We must cease to be a country that sends people to their deaths by quotas.

This “quota” for deportations is not merely targeted against LGBT asylum seekers – though the UK government, while talking big about their stance against homophobia abroad, does not recognise sexual orientation or gender identity as good cause to seek asylum. Refugees from Zimbabwe are being threatened with return even as Gordon Brown denounces Robert Mugabe’s regime as a “criminal cabal”.

Mark Haddon, three weeks ago in the Observer:

The government does not do it, in large part, because it wants to curry favour with the editors and readers of the tabloid press. And the Mail, the Sun, the Express, the News of the World, together with their competitors, have done more than any other body to stir up hatred of asylum seekers. Here is a tiny selection of ‘asylum’ headlines from the past 12 months: ‘Asylum seekers turn to attacking Britain’, ‘Asylum rejects to get NHS for free’, The Asylum Seeker Opera’, ‘Asylum per left in the UK to attack girl, 7’ , ‘100 years to sort asylum’, Now even yanks claim UK asylum’.

It’s not simply that many of the stories are false, and that most of them are deliberately misleading. It is the relentless negativity of the whole campaign. And the depressing fact that this is where the majority of people get their information about asylum seekers from.

We have become so used to this kind of rhetoric that it seems almost normal. But turn the clock back 40 years and replace the words ‘asylum seekers’ with ‘blacks’, or turn it back another 30 and replace them with the word ‘Jews’, and you start to see how poisonous it really is.

And yet you can get stories from the other side:

Jean Donnachie flashes a mischievous smile as she describes the tactics she and her neighbours used every day to thwart immigration officers trying to arrest asylum seekers on her estate in Glasgow. A grandmother and former cashier who has lived on the Kingsway for 20 years, she makes an unlikely resistance fighter. But when she talks about how the estate took on the Home Office, there is a gleam of defiance in her eyes. “It was like watching the Gestapo – men with armour, going in to flats with battering rams. I’ve never seen people living in fear like it. I saw a man jump from two storeys up when they came for him and his family. I stood there and I cried, and I said to myself, ‘I am not going to stand by and watch this happen again.'”

And she didn’t. She and her friend Noreen mobilised the housing estate, “gathering in large crowds in the early-morning dark to jeer at immigration officials as they entered the tower blocks. On more than one occasion, the vans left the estate empty – the people they had come for had got out in time and were hidden by the crowd. The estate kept this up for two years until forced removals stopped.”

You can call Jacqui Smith at the Home Office on 020 7035 4848, and ask why the UK is treating asylum seekers like this. And specifically, if you will, why Jojo Jako Yakub, whose appeal number is IA/00541/2008, whose Home Office ref is Y1065198, who hoped to be treated fairly in the UK because it is a democracy, is being expelled because the UK has a “quota”, and Jojo can help fill it.

I am not going to stand by and watch this happen again.

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16 Comments »

  1. Unfortunaltely this country has lost it’s heart.It has no compassion at all for asylum seekers. I was shocked to discover it is not only the government but all those who are in a position to help. I could not find a solicitor to help in asylum with any conviction or desire to help- just made excuses and quip remarks, the most infuriating being- “good luck”. This government does not care that they are sending people back to countries that are impossible to thrive in. Also when I managed to get my boyfriend in front of a judge he took delight in ridiculing and finding holes every time he spoke- it was very very painful to witness. I am very very angry and sad that Britain has become so calous. Regrettably- it does remind me of Nazi Germany- in that because of the increased propaganda and unleashing of racism it has become collective in the scapegoating of the asylum seekers so that the government can carry out it’s mass deporation of the vulnerable to inhuman conditions. It is just as evil as rounding them up to ship off in trains to their extermination. IMO

    Comment by pspeanburg — August 4, 2008 @ 6:41 pm | Reply

  2. It’s very valuable to be so human and have such a good heart. But please don’t be naive.
    Before supporting people “in danger”, are you sure that they are really in danger and not abusing your good heart ?.
    I don’t believe this syrian guy !.. I’m not sure he’s gay.. And I’m sure he’s lying, because I am a syrian gay and the story of this guy is such a ” pulp fiction”.
    You have to know that Syria is not Iran. And homosexuality is not “legal” nor ” illegal”, because it doesn’t exist in the syrian law !. So homosexuality is not punished in Syria, what is punished is to have sex in public (gay or straight sex), and in this case the act is punished by 3 years maximum, but in practice it’s punished between 1 week and 1 month. As you see there’s no death sentence for homosexuality in Syria (but it is in Iran and Saudi Arabia).
    So, this dosn’t mean that Syria is a gay paradise !. The hell for gay syrian people is not the law but all the society, the family, the humiliation to be discovered.. A gay person is considered as a “criminal” for a religious person (muslim or christian), a “dirt” for most of the society, an “ill person” for an “educated or intellectual” person… That’s why most of gay syrians are in the closet, and many of them are happy gays, because they can have boyfriends and live with them as room-mates, nobody will “accuse” you to be gay if you just don’t tell. There’s gay places in the big syrian cities, and the police knows about them but close their eyes, and some policemen can protect these places (if you pay them.. or if they are gay too …!).
    Now back to Jojo’s story and his lies :
    – There’s no death sentence for homosexuality in Syria.
    – He said he was put in a “hadath jail”, this means a jail for young prisonners (under 18), and he was with a gay prisonner who was in jail for 25 years only because he was gay (which means he was adult and couldn’t be in hadath jail, besides there’s no punishment for gay people, but only a punishment for a sexual act in public and the maximum theorical sentence is 3 years and in practice not more than 1 month).
    – He said his father was a political prisonner for more than 13 years as he was an opposant kurd, but there were no kurdish opposition in Syria before the occupation of Irak in 2003, and in new syrian history more than 50% of syrian prime ministers were from kurdish origin.
    – He said that he was tortured in prison then he was 20 days in a coma and then he was sent home and flead 15 days after his coma, he found the strength to go to Lebanon from Kamishly (about 1000 kms) then in 15 days he arrived to UK !!.. Could you belive this ? First, it’s impossible to send a prisonner home because of his illness, he’d be in a closed hospital room guarded by policemen !!..
    For all these reasons, I think that this guy just wants to live in UK to have a better life and to run away from his obligation to pass 3 years in the army. And I’m not sure he’s gay !.
    The bottom line : A gay man has the right to live free and respectable, and it’s legitime to ask for asylum for a guy who chooses not to live in the closet.. But I refuse to be used by fake people in the name of human rights.. (Sorry for my poor English).

    Comment by Enkido — August 14, 2008 @ 2:54 am | Reply

  3. It’s very valuable to be so human and have such a good heart. But please don’t be naive.

    Wow. Coming from someone who follows this up by the amazingly naive claim

    You have to know that Syria is not Iran. And homosexuality is not “legal” nor ” illegal”, because it doesn’t exist in the syrian law !.

    Reports from gay men in Syria, or who have escaped from Syria, tell a different story from your blindly naive message: Fear and Hiding in ‘gay’ Syria .

    Your assertion that you know a young man whom you have not met and whose words you have read only in newspaper reports I take as a naive kind of homophobic prejudice – you’re ignorant and prejudiced, obviously.

    There’s no death sentence for homosexuality in Syria.

    But gay men are killed in Syria for being gay. Your naivety about this is no excuse. It’s your country that’s doing this.

    He said his father was a political prisonner for more than 13 years as he was an opposant kurd, but there were no kurdish opposition in Syria before the occupation of Irak in 2003,

    Wow. So it’s not just Syrian treatment of gay men and lesbians you’re ignorant of: you also don’t know the history of your own country’s treatment of Kurds?

    In 1962, an exceptional census stripped some 120,000 Syrian Kurds –20 percent of the Syrian Kurdish population — of their Syrian citizenship. They were left stateless, and with no claim to another nationality. Decree No. 93, issued in August 1962, ordered that a census be carried out in Hasakeh governorate in northeastern Syria for the purpose of identifying “alien infiltrators.” The stated purpose of this census was to discover how many people had illegally crossed the border from Turkish Kurdistan. Kurds had to prove that they had lived in Syria at least since 1945 or lose any claim to Syrian citizenship. The census was one component of a comprehensive plan to Arabize the resources-rich northeast of Syria, an area with the largest concentration of non-Arabs in the country. HRW, 1996

    He said that he was tortured in prison then he was 20 days in a coma and then he was sent home and flead 15 days after his coma, he found the strength to go to Lebanon from Kamishly (about 1000 kms) then in 15 days he arrived to UK !!.. Could you belive this ?

    Well, obviously you don’t, but, given your ignorance and prejudice, you’re hardly a reliable judge, are you? I believe it because he did it.

    For all these reasons, I think that this guy just wants to live in UK to have a better life and to run away from his obligation to pass 3 years in the army.

    Yeah, well, a Syrian who is unaware how his own country treats gay men, lesbians, and Kurds would be that stupid, I guess.

    And I’m not sure he’s gay !

    It’s amazing how you can judge the sexual orientation of a man you’ve never met. It’s also amazing that you are actually stupid enough to post a comment on this blog claiming that, while you don’t know what conditions are like for gay men in Syria, and you don’t know how your country has treated Kurds, you are somehow capable of judging the sexual orientation of a man you yourself have never met.

    But I refuse to be used by fake people in the name of human rights..

    Who’s asking you? Someone as stupid and as ill-informed as you are about your own country would hardly be an assert to any organisation. Buzz off, twit.

    Comment by jesurgislac — August 14, 2008 @ 7:39 am | Reply

  4. I did say that Syria is not a gay paradise.
    But there’s no death sentence for homosexuality. Syrian society is homophobic not its law (the reason is simple, the syrian law is a copy from the french one).
    The problem of gay syrians (it’s my own problem and I live with it) is that we are condemned to live in the closet. Our fear is to be discovered not to be punished by authorities, but it will be done by all the society and in the first place by our own families. To come out in Syria means that you have to face shame, humiliation, your professional life will be over.
    So as you see the punishment is social.. BUT NOBODY WILL KILL YOU FOR THIS.

    For the Kurdish problem.. It’s true, and there’s a real problem about this, but their problem is the same problem of illegal immigrants in Europe, or the “without papers” of France !.
    What will you do if you discover tomorrow that 10% of the population of the UK are “illegal immigrants” ? will you give them the british nationality ?
    Anyway.. this kurdish problem didn’t create a kurdish opposition, and as you pretend to know my country better than me, you must know that the relations between Syri

    Comment by Enkido — August 14, 2008 @ 10:16 pm | Reply

  5. I did say that Syria is not a gay paradise.
    But there’s no death sentence for homosexuality. Syrian society is homophobic not its law (the reason is simple, the syrian law is a copy from the french one).
    The problem of gay syrians (it’s my own problem and I live with it) is that we are condemned to live in the closet. Our fear is to be discovered not to be punished by authorities, but it will be done by all the society and in the first place by our own families. To come out in Syria means that you have to face shame, humiliation, your professional life will be over.
    So as you see the punishment is social.. BUT NOBODY WILL KILL YOU FOR THIS.

    For the Kurdish problem.. It’s true, and there’s a real problem about this, but their problem is the same problem of illegal immigrants in Europe, or the “without papers” of France !.
    What will you do if you discover tomorrow that 10% of the population of the UK are “illegal immigrants” ? will you give them the british nationality ?
    Anyway.. this kurdish problem didn’t create a kurdish opposition, and as you pretend to know my country better than me, you must know that the relations between Syria and Turkey were so bad till the occupation of Irak, for this reason, Syria supported the kurds against Turkey and the chief of PKK was protected by syrian.. So where is the kurdish opposition in the 90s (as Jojo said about his father) ?????.

    Thank you anyway for this “altruism”.. But you musn’t believe all the written fabulous stories !!.
    It’s true, freedom is not what you find in every corner in Syria but it’s better than Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt and their neighbours.. At least it’s “still” a secular country, with no state religion in the constitution (alone with Lebanon, and Irak befor becoming a “muslim” country in its new constituion – the US-UK gift!!!!).

    Yes Syria can surprise you .. Could you imagin the life of a man with AIDS in Syria ??? every syrian AIDS patient has the tritherapy for FREE !! Is it a country that kills gays ???? So please, inform yourself before judging and DON’t BE A MEDIA VICTIM !.

    Comment by Enkido — August 14, 2008 @ 10:41 pm | Reply

  6. For the Kurdish problem.. It’s true, and there’s a real problem about this, but their problem is the same problem of illegal immigrants in Europe, or the “without papers” of France !.

    What, you mean the “problem” that was created by the Syrian government when Kurds were stripped of Syrian citizenship in the 1960s?

    What will you do if you discover tomorrow that 10% of the population of the UK are “illegal immigrants” ? will you give them the british nationality ?

    Ha. Actually, in the UK, we do not remove a person’s British citizenship, as Syria did to the Syrian Kurds forty years ago, creating a whole group of people who were “illegal immigrants” even though they and their parents had been born in Syria.

    Anyway.. this kurdish problem didn’t create a kurdish opposition, and as you pretend to know my country better than me, you must know that the relations between Syria and Turkey were so bad till the occupation of Irak, for this reason, Syria supported the kurds against Turkey and the chief of PKK was protected by syrian.. So where is the kurdish opposition in the 90s (as Jojo said about his father) ?????.

    Well, if you’re really this ignorant, you can inform yourself here: A Companion to the History of the Middle East

    Could you imagin the life of a man with AIDS in Syria ??? every syrian AIDS patient has the tritherapy for FREE !! Is it a country that kills gays ????

    Excerpts from an interview with the Syrian deputy minister of religious endowments, Muhammad Abd Al-Sattar Al-Sayyid, which aired on Syrian TV on 30th August 2005:

    Al-Sayyid: All the diseases that have to do with sexual organs, mainly AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhea, and so on… When these diseases appeared, they killed millions. More people were killed by these diseases than by wars. The only reason for this is the straying from the divine way regarding fornication, and when I say fornication – “Do not even approach abomination” – this means fornication, homosexuality, and all the sexual deviation it entails.

    Host: Everything that has to do with abominations.

    Al-Sayyid: “Do not even approach abomination, surely it is a foul thing and an evil way.” When Islam set the punishment (for fornication)… This is why there’s a hidden desire in one’s heart… If only we had stoned everyone who had committed this abomination wouldn’t it have been better than letting these diseases infect others, spreading to millions around the world?

    Host: Most certainly.

    Al-Sayyid: Most certainly. The entire world, from the US to the most distant country, acknowledges that if they had stoned the fornicators, and prevented abomination, things would have been much better. This is the world they want.

    So please, inform yourself. Or, if you are the Lord Asshole who bought his title off Ebay that I’ve been hearing about, go hide yourself in a closet. (If you are not him, I apologise: but I’ve been warned by a guy who worked with Lord Asshole in Glasgow that Lord A made a pass at Jojo, got turned down, and now goes around making evil-minded comments about Jojo whenever he sees a post about him on the Internet.)

    Comment by jesurgislac — August 15, 2008 @ 8:23 am | Reply

  7. “What, you mean the “problem” that was created by the Syrian government when Kurds were stripped of Syrian citizenship in the 1960s?”

    That’s not true.. They weren’t stripped of syrian citizenship.. they were not syrian, that’s all..
    The truth is that many thousands of kurds in Syria after the first palestinian war in 1948 and the creation of Israel, stopped to declare the new births to avoid to their children many wars, they didn’t register their children to avoid the army, because they didn’t consider themselves as syrians and didn’t want to risk their lives for a “foreign” country !.
    When the census was made in 1962, we found thousands of kurds who were not declared born in Syria, and they couldn’t prove how they came to Syria .. So they were not stripped from their citizenship.
    40 years later, these thousands become about 100 thousand, and the humanitarian problem is real.. We have to resolve it but it’s not easy at all.
    ” Well, if you’re really this ignorant, you can inform yourself here: A Companion to the History of the Middle East”

    What’s that ? the Bible ?
    You can find everything and its contraty on internet.
    Although, your refrence did say that the syrian kurds were quiet till 2004 !

    “Could you imagin the life of a man with AIDS in Syria ??? every syrian AIDS patient has the tritherapy for FREE !! Is it a country that kills gays ????

    Excerpts from an interview with the Syrian deputy minister of religious endowments, Muhammad Abd Al-Sattar Al-Sayyid, which aired on Syrian TV on 30th August 2005:….”

    What’s the relation between them?
    That’s exactly what is surprising in Syria ..
    Most syrians share the same point of view of this asshole (maybe not in all what he said but almost)
    and in spite of this, Syrian government gives the tritherapy for aids patient for free !!!!
    On the other hand, what are you expecting from a religious asshole ??? most religious people in the world (whatever their religions) have the same conviction from the Pope to the small monk..

    “So please, inform yourself. Or, if you are the Lord Asshole who bought his title off Ebay that I’ve been hearing about, go hide yourself in a closet. (If you are not him, I apologise: but I’ve been warned by a guy who worked with Lord Asshole in Glasgow that Lord A made a pass at Jojo, got turned down, and now goes around making evil-minded comments about Jojo whenever he sees a post about him on the Internet.)”

    No I’m not this person..
    By the way, I have nothing aganst JoJo nor against you.. I hope that he’ll find an asylum ..
    I’ve just found this page by accident and as I said in my first comment, I was touched by the “naivness” of good hearts !!!..
    You were so agressive in your responses.. In fact in “extreme humanitarian” there’s : “extreme”, and what ever you put after “extreme” the result is always “extreme” !!!.
    So please try to be moderate, if I don’t agree with you, that doesn’t mean directly that I am ignorant and stupid as you treated me personnally !.

    Comment by Enkido — August 16, 2008 @ 12:52 am | Reply

  8. The truth is that many thousands of kurds in Syria after the first palestinian war in 1948 and the creation of Israel, stopped to declare the new births to avoid to their children many wars, they didn’t register their children to avoid the army, because they didn’t consider themselves as syrians and didn’t want to risk their lives for a “foreign” country !.
    When the census was made in 1962, we found thousands of kurds who were not declared born in Syria, and they couldn’t prove how they came to Syria .. So they were not stripped from their citizenship.

    So you admit that thousands of Syrian Kurds were in fact told they were not Syrians, even though they were born in Syria – and their parents were born in Syria. Earlier, you claimed that these people were “illegal immigrants”.

    Most syrians share the same point of view of this asshole (maybe not in all what he said but almost)
    and in spite of this, Syrian government gives the tritherapy for aids patient for free !!!!

    To all sixty patients who are officially admitted to exist and who have survived their government – and, you admit, their neighbours – who believe they ought to be killed by stoning? Big deal.

    No I’m not this person..
    By the way, I have nothing aganst JoJo nor against you

    Lord Asshole would probably say that too.

    You were so agressive in your responses..

    Yes, what did you expect? You were rude. Learn to be polite.

    Comment by jesurgislac — August 16, 2008 @ 8:41 am | Reply

  9. “The truth is that many thousands of kurds in Syria after the first palestinian war in 1948 and the creation of Israel, stopped to declare the new births to avoid to their children many wars, they didn’t register their children to avoid the army, because they didn’t consider themselves as syrians and didn’t want to risk their lives for a “foreign” country !.
    When the census was made in 1962, we found thousands of kurds who were not declared born in Syria, and they couldn’t prove how they came to Syria .. So they were not stripped from their citizenship.

    So you admit that thousands of Syrian Kurds were in fact told they were not Syrians, even though they were born in Syria – and their parents were born in Syria. Earlier, you claimed that these people were “illegal immigrants”. ”

    Come on, this is a lack of honesty of you.
    I said many thousands of kurds didn’t consider themselves syrians and so they wouldn’t declare the new births to not be syrian and have the duty to defend their country in case of war !
    So you can’t force people to have the nationality that they don’t want.
    Besides many others were in Syria in an illegal way..
    So at least, those who were born in Syria have to prove it, and if so they will have the risk one day to go as “other syrians” to the army to defend their country.. Do you see the deal ?
    You can’t be syrian or british or american …etc just to have the advantages , and not to belong to these countries the day these countries need your help !.. A citizenship is an aternal marriage for the best and the worst.

    “To all sixty patients who are officially admitted to exist and who have survived their government – and, you admit, their neighbours – who believe they ought to be killed by stoning? Big deal.”

    This article confirms what I said..
    THERE’S NO STONING IN SYRIA .. STONING exists only in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afganistan (Talibans).

    ” You were so agressive in your responses..

    Yes, what did you expect? You were rude. Learn to be polite.”

    I was expressing my point of view which can be different from yours.
    If you think that I’m not polite if I don’t agree with your opinions, that’s the big deal, because you’re exactly the same as any iranian, saudi, even a syrian governments !!!!! they share with you this point of view !.
    So I was polite.. You weren’t. I didn’t insult you, I didn’t attack you in person, we were discussing, but you attacked me and insult me, you told me lyer, ignorant and stupid.. So please learn what is politeness before giving lessons.

    Comment by Enkido — August 16, 2008 @ 9:47 am | Reply

  10. I said many thousands of kurds didn’t consider themselves syrians and so they wouldn’t declare the new births to not be syrian and have the duty to defend their country in case of war

    …and you know this because, in 1962, you were there and you personally interviewed these thousands of Syrians? Or you “know” this because you have been told this by your government?

    I suspect the latter. The problem of the Kurds born in Syria who were stripped of Syrian citizenship may not be framed that way by your government, but it is a historical fact.

    I was expressing my point of view which can be different from yours.

    Now you’re expressing your point of view, and that’s fine. In your first comment, you were rude. And when I reacted to you as rudely as you spoke to me, you didn’t like it, did you? So learn from that! Next time you comment for the first time on a stranger’s blog, be polite. If you walk in and are rude right off, attacking the owner of the blog as you did me, it’s sheer arrogance to expect the blog owner to be polite in the face of your rudeness.

    Comment by jesurgislac — August 16, 2008 @ 4:46 pm | Reply

  11. Was I rude with you ? Where did I attack you ? I was explaining why I found the story of Jojo suspicious.
    Are you Jojo ?
    Or is it unpolite to disagree with you ?
    Is a blog a Bible that can’t be discussed ? or is it a syrian blog ? :).
    In this case, delete the comment function or just note that only same opinions are welcome.

    Anyway , I appologize if I ever offended or bothered you..

    Adieu l’ami.

    Comment by Enkido — August 17, 2008 @ 2:42 am | Reply

  12. Was I rude with you ?

    Yes. You said I was naive and suggested I was being gullible. You were insulting and patronising. Why would you have expected a polite response to that?

    Especially when your initial comment included: (1) You asserted you could tell the sexual orientation of a man you’d never met from a couple of thousand miles away and (2) You could tell someone was lying from the newspaper reports of their story and (3) You were ignorant of the history of the way the Syrian government has treated the Kurds of Syria, and you were promoting your ignorance “There was no Kurdish opposition in the 1990s” as a reason why you could tell Jojo was lying. Why would you have expected a respectful response to such a show of ignorance and bigotry?

    You are welcome to comment on my blog. But if you’re rude, I’ll be rude right back. If you display ignorance, I’ll enlighten your ignorance. If you display bigotry, I’ll point out to you you’re being bigoted. If you don’t like being treated like that, don’t be rude, don’t be ignorant, don’t be bigoted.

    And above all: don’t be rude and then complain that you’re not being treated with the respect you fancy you deserve but do nothing to merit.

    Comment by jesurgislac — August 17, 2008 @ 10:11 am | Reply

  13. “Yes. You said I was naive and suggested I was being gullible. You were insulting and patronising. Why would you have expected a polite response to that?”

    Sorry again, you’ll find me rude again .. “Please don’t be naive” (that what I said) is not an insult ! Considering this as an insult is “PURE PARANOIA”.

    “(1) You asserted you could tell the sexual orientation of a man you’d never met from a couple of thousand miles away and”

    That’s not true.. I didn’t assert that , I said : “I’m not sure he’s gay” , I didn’t say : “I’m sure he is not gay” , there’s a great difference between these 2 phrases, and you should read carefully before “asserting”. Anyway, I admit that my doubts were useless for the subject, after all it doesn’t matter if he was gay or not, the important point was the LIE about death sentence for being gay in Syria and the using of this lie to obtain asylum.

    “(2) You could tell someone was lying from the newspaper reports of their story”

    Yes, as you could tell (as you did on your blog) that all the unbelivable details and false facts ARE TRUE.
    Because you believed this newspaper reports, it’s your reference here..

    “(3) You were ignorant of the history of the way the Syrian government has treated the Kurds of Syria, and you were promoting your ignorance “There was no Kurdish opposition in the 1990s” as a reason why you could tell Jojo was lying”

    So you detain the truth about the history of my country ?.
    Sorry again… But it’s really “naive” to think that Someone knows the truth about History..
    There’s always many versions and the truth is always between all these versions (and this is for all countries)..
    The way syrian government treated kurds in Syria ! How ? Syria had at least 3 or 4 kurd presidents from the independance in 1946. and many prime ministers. And a LOT of ministers, as for example the minister of religious affair that you put his speach aired on Syrian TV who was talking about stoning gays, yes he is kurd. (Well now I know you.. I’m not saying that the kurds are stoning gays !!!).

    Yes: there was no kurd opposition in Syria in the 90s, and I explained why. Because Syria supported the PKK (an opposant kurd party in Turkey) till the end of the 90s, and supported the kurd chiefs of Irak because the syrian regime was against the iraki one.
    According to the article, the father of jojo is a member of Yakiti party which was founded in late 90s, after the change of relations between Syria and Turkey (in 1999) and Syria and Irak ( around 1998).
    And the first real kurd demonstration began just after the occupation of Irak, and exactly in 2004 (here you find a link of jojo’s story, he flead Syria in 2004)..
    So Jojo is a “political refugee” and yes he may be in danger and need an asylum but why he didn’t ask to be helped ? he used a false passport and was arrested for that in UK, and then he uses the gay reason for asking asylum not the political one? why ? that’s the lie, ok he may have his reasons, but he could say that as a gay, life is difficult in Syria (that’s true for reasons I’ve mentioned before) but to say that gay people are killed in Syria for being gay, THAT’s NOT TRUE..

    Enough of bad reputation about Syria.. A lot of stereotypes in the medias, and they never mention the positive points, so syrians really don’t need another false facts.
    I want to defend what still wonderful in Syria but now with all these “propaganda” will put it in danger.
    Syria is the last secular country in the region (Irak was secular but USA and UK gives him a new constitution : Now Irak has an official religion : Islam ).
    Syrians have the genes of the Univers, all civilizations passed here from 10000 years : Summerians, Babylonians, Assyrians,Phenicians, Egyptians, Hebrews, Aramains, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Mongols, Turks, Europeans.. And they all left something.. It’s our Patrimony and we are proud of it, you can see this diversity in the faces and the culture of this country.. We have also diffrent religions : Jews, Christians (12 confessions), Muslims (5 confessions), and many ethnicities : Arabs, Armenians, Kurds, Tcherkess, Turks, Turkmens…etc, we lived together for centuries in peace and harmony which is a miracle.. and to continue there’s one only solution , the country should stay “secular”.. But this becomes so fragile, because people were decieved by the West, everytime we wanted to cooperate with the west we had a catastrophe, people begin to think that this failure is because of our secularity, so the religious stream becomes stronger and stronger..
    “Death sentence in Syria for being gay” is spreading mutual hate that will be positive to the religious stream.. That’s why I was offended by this article.

    “don’t be bigoted”

    🙂 You tell this to an atheist leftist gay man !.

    Well well, I’m really wasting my time.. and probably yours..
    Sorry man, have a good time and be happy with your mono opinion friends.
    Good luck.

    Comment by Enkido — August 18, 2008 @ 2:20 am | Reply

  14. Please don’t be naive” (that what I said) is not an insult ! Considering this as an insult is “PURE PARANOIA”.

    You really are a disgusting little shite.

    So Jojo is a “political refugee” and yes he may be in danger and need an asylum but why he didn’t ask to be helped ?

    And ignorantly bigoted, too. Jojo applied for asylum when he arrived in the UK.

    Yes: there was no kurd opposition in Syria in the 90s, and I explained why.

    Actually, you didn’t explain why none of the thousands of Kurdish Syrians who had (or their parents had) been stripped of their citizenship, were involved in opposing the government. You just denied that this had happened.

    It’s a shame you’re such a rude little shit, because if you were prepared to be polite, we might have a conversation. But someone who is insulting and rude and refuses to apologise and blames the person he insulted for taking offense is not someone I want to have a conversation with.

    If you want to get along in the blogosphere, you need to learn better manners. If you won’t be educated in this, you’re going to meet a lot of take-downs of which this, believe me, is a mild one.

    Comment by jesurgislac — August 18, 2008 @ 8:32 am | Reply

  15. “It’s a shame you’re such a rude little shit”
    and
    “If you want to get along in the blogosphere”

    These were your words, so with this vulgar and dirty level, of course it’s the end.. Yes I was really wasting my time.

    Comment by Enkido — August 18, 2008 @ 9:22 am | Reply

  16. Yes I was really wasting my time.

    Yes, you barged onto a blog, you were rude, ignorant, and arrogant, and you were angry when in response to your rudeness and ignorance you got rudeness and disrespect.

    That is indeed a waste of time: mine, not yours, since I doubt you had anything much important to do besides berate me for not being polite in response to your insulting behaviour.

    Comment by jesurgislac — August 18, 2008 @ 12:04 pm | Reply


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