Monday, April 6, 2020

Circassians Must Return to the Homeland and Combat Efforts to Divide Them, Sokht Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 6 – The unity of the Circassian people is the foundation of their national movement, Asker Sokht says, and that requires them both to promote the return to the homeland as many from the diaspora as possible and to combat increasing efforts to divide them in both places.

            The president of the Adyge Khase in Krasnodar made those arguments at the online Circassian Circle at the end of last month ( (This is the fourth in a series of Windows on speakers at that event. The first three are available at, and

            Sokht says that the cultural values of the Circassians have allowed them to survive for millenia even as other groups have disappeared. Now, he suggests, the Circassians face both the worst of times and the best of times as far as the future is concerned, with great possibilities coexisting with great dangers.

            According to the Circassian activist, the prospects for the Circassians now are greater than at any point in  the last century, the result of the rise of technology that allows those in the homeland and those in the diaspora to speak with one another and of the collapse of the military blocs that had separated them in the past.

            But at the same time, the threats to the nation are greater, not only discrimination against them in the homeland but also assimilation among many in the diaspora, both of which are being promoted by forces hostile to the Circassians who do not want them to be united or even to survive in this century.

            “The most important task of the Circassian national movement,” Sokht continues, “is the repatriation of Circassians to their historical motherland for this task arises out of the fundamental goal of the Circassians as a nation, the unity of our people on its native land in Circassia and the unity of our future.”

            That is and must remain at the center of “all we do,” he says.

            “From this arises another important task of the Circassian national movement – the minimization of the influence of pseudo-Circassian forces who consistently and without deviation destabilize the activity of Circassian NGOs, consciously destroying the unity of our people” by seeking to discredit Circassians at home and to divide Circassians abroad.

            According to Sokht, “we must clearly understand the goals of those who discredit Circassian activists in the Caucasus and their active cultural and humanitarian activity in the diaspora”  who seek to call into question the ties which bind Circassians into a nation so as to put it on the road to disappearance.

            “All these elaborate racist, xenophobic, and Circasso-phobic ideological constructions are being actively spread in the media and social networks of various countries and in various languages is anything but accidental.” Most of it comes from Russia and seeks to isolate the Circassians from each other and from other peoples.

            Sokht concludes: “Activity which destroys the unity of the people and which sows distrust and hostility among Circassians under any pretext … must be decisively opposed”  so that the Circassian nation can remain true to itself and achieve a national rebirth in this, the 21st century.

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