Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SJR0021
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Full Text of SJR0021  102nd General Assembly

SJ0021 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY


  

 


 
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1
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION

 
2    WHEREAS, Assyrians, an ethnic minority group, are the
3indigenous people of Mesopotamia and have lived in the Middle
4East since ancient times, including in what is today Turkey,
5Iraq, Iran, and Syria; and
 
6    WHEREAS, Today, Assyrians, also known as Chaldeans and
7Syriacs, live around the world, including over 600,000 who
8live in the United States and over 80,000 who live in Illinois;
9and
 
10    WHEREAS, Between 1914 and 1923, the Assyrian Genocide
11occurred; during this time, the Ottoman Empire murdered over
12300,000 Assyrian men, women, and children by methods that
13included mass executions, death marches, torture, and
14starvation; and
 
15    WHEREAS, During the Assyrian Genocide, also known as the
16Seyfo Genocide, the Ottoman Turks and their Kurdish allies
17also systematically raped and enslaved Assyrian women and
18girls, forced the Assyrians from their ancestral lands, and
19pillaged and destroyed their communities; and
 
20    WHEREAS, The killings of over two million Armenians,
21Assyrians, Greeks, Christians, and other religious minority

 

 

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1populations represented the culmination of a series of violent
2persecutions dating back to the late 1800s; and
 
3    WHEREAS, The year 2021 marks the 106th anniversary of the
4Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek genocides of 1915; these
5genocides were part of the planned eradication of those
6indigenous communities by the Ottoman Turkish Empire; yet, to
7this day, Turkey has still not recognized these genocides; and
 
8    WHEREAS, August 7, 1933 is recognized by the International
9Association of Genocide Scholars as the date on which as many
10as 6,000 Assyrians were killed at the orders of the Iraqi
11government in an event known as the Simele Massacre; this
12massacre continued the legacy of persecution exemplified by
13the 1915 Assyrian Genocide; and
 
14    WHEREAS, August 7th, globally observed by the Assyrian
15community as Assyrian Remembrance Day, is in remembrance of
16the Simele Massacre and of all persecution the Assyrian people
17have faced as a result of their distinct and ancient ethnic and
18religious identity; and
 
19    WHEREAS, The persecution against Assyrians continues until
20this day in their ancestral homeland, where they are
21continually targeted for persecution by state and non-state
22actors such as the Republic of Turkey, the Republic of Iraq,

 

 

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1the Kurdistan Regional Government, and the so called Islamic
2State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL; and
 
3    WHEREAS, ISIL has persistently destroyed culturally and
4historically significant locations and items, including UNESCO
5world heritage sites such as the ancient Assyrian city of
6Nimrud; and
 
7    WHEREAS, The United States House of Representatives and
8United States Senate concurrently resolved that "the
9atrocities perpetrated by ISIL against Christians, Yezidis,
10and other religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria
11constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide";
12and
 
13    WHEREAS, The denial of genocide is widely recognized as
14the final stage of genocide; this denial maintains impunity
15for the perpetrators of these atrocities and demonstrably
16paves the way for future genocides; and
 
17    WHEREAS, The resilience and endurance of the Assyrian
18people, despite being victims of a genocide that the Islamic
19State continues to perpetuate to this day, is commendable and
20praiseworthy; therefore, be it
 
21    RESOLVED, BY THE SENATE OF THE ONE HUNDRED SECOND GENERAL

 

 

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1ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, THE HOUSE OF
2REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING HEREIN, that RESOLVED, That we
3recognize the Assyrian Genocide of 1915 as a genocide and as a
4reprehensible crime against humanity, and we honor the memory
5of the hundreds of thousands of Assyrians who were murdered;
6and be it further
 
7    RESOLVED, That the State of Illinois recognizes the Simele
8Massacre of 1933 as a genocide and reprehensible crime against
9humanity and honors the memory of the thousands of Assyrians
10who were murdered during the Simele Massacre of 1933; and be it
11further
 
12    RESOLVED, That the State of Illinois deplores the
13persistent, ongoing efforts by any person, in this country or
14abroad, to deny the historical fact of the Assyrian Genocide
15or any other genocide; and be it further
 
16    RESOLVED, That the State of Illinois respectfully calls
17upon the President of the United States to formally and
18consistently reaffirm the historical truth that the atrocities
19committed against the Assyrian, Armenian, and Greek
20populations of the Ottoman Empire between 1914 and 1923
21constituted genocide; and be it further
 
22    RESOLVED, That the State of Illinois encourages education

 

 

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1and public understanding of the facts of the Assyrian
2Genocide, including the United States' role in humanitarian
3relief effort and the relevance of the Assyrian Genocide to
4modern day crimes against humanity; and be it further
 
5    RESOLVED, That we declare August 7, 2021 as "Assyrian
6Remembrance Day" in the State of Illinois.