The terrorist attacks Paris and now Brussels continue to undermine the life of pluralistic societies in Europe and encourage ever more repressive policies toward Muslim immigrants who have fled the violence in Syria for the safety and economic opportunities in Europe.
The U.S. and Turkey are part of NATO and presumed partners in the fight against ISIS and Al Qaeda affiliated groups. The violation of human rights by ISIS and al-Qaida are a large part of the reason that the U.S. has taken up the fight against these groups and sought the support of other nations in this struggle.
The U.S. must not fail to speak up against any violation of human rights, even among those aligned with us by the NATO treaty.
The growth of ISIS can be partly tied to the prevalence of authoritarian regimes in the Middle East that lack an appreciation of diverse forms of religious and political identities. One of the major partners in the fight against ISIS has been the Kurdish forces (YPG) in Syria aligned with the U.S. President Erdogan has attempted to demonize most Kurdish political and military groups as terrorists and more dangerous than ISIS. Kurds comprise as much as 20 percent of the Turkish population.
The European Court for Human Rights has highlighted the violation of Kurdish human rights in Turkey for decades. The U.S. cannot turn its back on the imprisonment of journalists and the attacks against our Kurdish allies in the fight against ISIS.
Turkey needs to show the millions of Syrian immigrants coming under its protection and surveillance a model of an inclusive and free society. This stands in stark contrast to the brutality and oppression found within ISIS.
Gerald Grudzen teaches in the Philosophy Department of San Jose City College. He wrote this for this newspaper.
Source: San Jose Mercury News