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Rudaw

Opinion

Kurds on EU terror list, but the jihadis are free

By Ayub Nuri 9/1/2015
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When Europe recovers from the shock and grief of the attack on the French journalists in Paris, I hope they will also realize that they have the wrong people on their terror list.

The European Union and NATO have listed the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as a terrorist organization. They have closed down PKK TV stations more than once and persecuted its members in different countries for years. But when was the last time the PKK or any Kurdish party bombed a European city, killed a journalist or called for the death of Jews and Christians?

Since the 9/11 attacks and growth of Islamic radicalism, Western countries have dramatically increased their budgets for national security and intelligence and they have gone to Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Mali. They have established various police and anti-terror forces, and tap telephones and emails in order to stop the next terrorist attack.

But none of that budget increase, surveillance or forces are to counter Kurdish terrorism. I don't think Europe has spent a dollar on the imaginary Kurdish terrorism, as opposed to the real Islamic terrorism. Yet, they have the PKK listed as a terrorist organization and they wonder whether or not it should be removed from the list.

Treating the PKK members as terrorists has separated many families from each other. Their immigration and asylum cases are regularly rejected in Europe, US and Canada. They are threatened with deportation or left in limbo for years.

These governments do not have any proof that PKK members are terrorists, nor have these Kurds shown any terrorist intentions. They are treated this way only because the organization is on the blacklist.

This is not only true for the PKK. Until recently, the Kurdistan Region’s two main parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) were also on the US Tier-3 terror list.

Throughout decades of armed struggle, the PKK, PUK and KDP have almost acted like a state and treated their prisoners with respect and sent them back to their families safe and sound. They have never bombed a city, nor have they exploded car bombs in crowded markets.

On the other hand, all kinds of radical jihadis who have every intention of evil, of imposing Sharia law in Europe or of killing every non-Muslim, come to Europe and receive asylum, citizenship and every right. Because they do not belong to an organization like the PKK, they are not considered terrorists and they easily hide their true motives until it is too late.

That same way, the EU General Court ruled last month that Hamas should be removed from the terror list: this is an organization that fires rockets in broad daylight into a sovereign state, one that runs children’s TV shows on hating the Jews and how to behead them – an organization that is proud of its terrorism. But the same court refuses to remove the PKK from that list.

The attack on the French journalists, the killing of the British soldier in London and the Dutch filmmaker should make Europe, US and Canada rethink their position and policies. They should remove the PKK from the terror list immediately and welcome it as an ally in the fight against terrorism.

Thousands of French police officers and anti-terror squad are mobilized to find the Muslim attackers. Other European countries are tightening their security everywhere. But that is what the Kurds are doing everyday at no cost to Europe.

Every Islamist militant the Peoples Protection Units (YPG) kills in Kobane could be one of the Paris attackers. The YPG and Peshmerga have killed hundreds of diehard Islamists in Syria and Iraq, many of them holding European passports. If these militants were not in Syria or Iraq they would be in Europe killing journalists and cartoonists.

It is obvious that the Kurds are fighting Islamic extremists to defend their own land, but this is where the Kurdish and European interests merge. It is time for Europe to know who the real terrorists are, to know that the Islamist militants of Kobane, Shingal and Paris are all the same.

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Gerdi | 9/1/2015
Exactly, unfortunately even German authorities that seem to have understood this very mutual interest/threat have not taken any steps of removing PKK from the terror list, and currently Germany is our closest ally in terms of military support in KRG (if you overlook the air support given by the Americans).
Kay Xasraw | 9/1/2015
This whole situation is surreal, we have a situation where a group that has never committed a terrorist crime against the West is labeled a "terror group". In fact the flow of terrorism is the exact opposite, Jihadist terrorists from Europe come to our country, attacking and killing our people. Here is where it gets crazy, who defends the civilians here from these European terrorists? the PKK! the same people the spineless Europeans have branded "terrorist". The hypocrisy comes full circle with the fact that the "terrorist" PKK is also doing the dirty job of the Europeans, helping them by neutralizing thousands of their home grown terrorists. Every one of these Jihadists neutralized by the PKK is a potential Paris killer if they had returned. Shame on Europe for keeping the PKK on the terror list just to appease the Sultan in Ankara who dines and wines with real terrorists like Hamas everyday.
MALCOLM | 9/1/2015
I know little of these things but if the PKK exists primarily in Turkey then the causes of the problem would seem to lie with the relationship of Turkey to the EU, and the solution to lie in addressing the relationship of Turkey with the EU. Until this has been sorted out, the symptions might be cured by simply absorbing the PKK into the KDP and scrapping its name until the PKK is removed from the EU's list, when again it could simply reappear. No way will the KDP be banned now. (Perhaps I have missed something here.)
West Bows To Turks And Arabs | 9/1/2015
The West bows to the Islamist terror out of fear.Even Israel ignores us and is not willing to join our fight on terror.Islam was instrumental for the Arab and Turkish conquest of Europe for many centuries.Chauvinist Turkey and Arabia are using now Jihad to reconquer Europe.Yet Europe wants the Kurds to fight for it.
Hiva | 9/1/2015
This is great article and true story.
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