Translating Words, Interpreting Events

The Forgotten Genocide: Why It Matters Today

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Human Events

Today, April 24, marks the “Great Crime,” that is, the Armenian genocide that took place under Turkey’s Islamic Ottoman Empire, during and after WWI.  Out of an approximate population of two million, some 1.5 million Armenians died. If early 20th century Turkey had the apparatuses and technology to execute in mass—such as 1940s Germany’s gas chambers—the entire Armenian population may well have been annihilated.  Most objective American historians who have studied the question unequivocally agree that it was a deliberate, calculated genocide:

More than one million Armenians perished as the result of execution, starvation, disease, the harsh environment, and physical abuse.  A people who lived in eastern Turkey for nearly 3,000 years [more than double the amount of time the invading Islamic Turks had occupied Anatolia, now known as “Turkey”] lost its homeland and was profoundly decimated in the first large-scale genocide of the twentieth century.  At the beginning of 1915 there were some two million Armenians within Turkey; today there are fewer than 60,000….  Despite the vast amount of evidence that points to the historical reality of the Armenian Genocide, eyewitness accounts, official archives, photographic evidence, the reports of diplomats, and the testimony of survivors, denial of the Armenian Genocide by successive regimes in Turkey has gone on from 1915 to the present.

A still frame from the 1919 documentary film Auction of Souls, which portrayed eye witnessed events from the Armenian Genocide, including crucified Christian girls.

Indeed, evidence has been overwhelming.  U.S. Senate Resolution 359 from 1920 heard testimony that included evidence of “[m]utilation, violation, torture, and death [which] have left their haunting memories in a hundred beautiful Armenian valleys, and the traveler in that region is seldom free from the evidence of this most colossal crime of all the ages.”  In her memoir, Ravished ArmeniaAurora Mardiganian described being raped and thrown into a harem (which agrees with Islam’s rules of war).  Unlike thousands of other Armenian girls who were discarded after being defiled, she managed to escape. In the city of Malatia, she saw 16 Christian girls crucified: “Each girl had been nailed alive upon her cross, spikes through her feet and hands, only their hair blown by the wind, covered their bodies.”  Such scenes were portrayed in the 1919 documentary film Auction of Souls, some of which is based on Mardiganian’s memoirs.

What do Americans know of the Armenian Genocide?  To be sure, some American high school textbooks acknowledge it.  However, one of the primary causes for it—perhaps the fundamental cause—is completely unacknowledged: religion.  The genocide is always articulated through a singularly secular paradigm, one that deems valid only those factors that are intelligible from a modern, secular, Western point of view, such as identity politics, nationalism, and territorial disputes. As can be imagined, such an approach does little more than project Western perspectives onto vastly different civilizations of different eras, thus anachronizing history.

War, of course, is another factor that clouds the true face of the Armenian genocide.  Because these atrocities occurred during WWI, so the argument goes, they are ultimately a reflection of just that—war, in all its chaos and destruction, and nothing more.  Yet Winston Churchill, who described the massacres as an “administrative holocaust,” correctly observed that “The opportunity [WWI] presented itself for clearing Turkish soil of a Christian race.”  Even Adolf Hitler had pointed out that “Turkey is taking advantage of the war in order to thoroughly liquidate its internal foes, i.e., the indigenous Christians, without being thereby disturbed by foreign intervention.”

It is the same today throughout the Muslim world, wherever there is war: after the U.S. toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the nation’s Christian minority were first to be targeted for systematic persecution resulting in more than half of Iraq’s indigenous Christian population fleeing their homeland.  Now that war has come to Syria—with the U.S. supporting the jihadis and terrorists—the Christians there are on the run for their lives.

There is no denying that religion—or in this context, the age-old specter of Muslim persecution of Christian minorities—was fundamental to the Armenian Genocide.  Even the most cited factor, ethnic identity conflict, while legitimate, must be understood in light of the fact that, historically, religion—creed—accounted more for a person’s identity than language or heritage.   This is daily demonstrated throughout the Islamic world today, where Muslim governments and Muslim mobs persecute Christian minorities—minorities who share the same ethnicity, language, and culture, who are indistinguishable from the majority, except, of course, for being non-Muslims.

If Christians are thus being singled out today—in our modern, globalized, “humanitarian” age—are we to suppose that they weren’t singled out a century ago by Turks?

Similarly, often forgotten is the fact that non-Armenians under Turkish hegemony, Assyrians and Greeks for example, were also targeted for cleansing.   The only thing that distinguished  Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks from Turks was that they were all Christian.  As one Armenian studies professor asks, “If it [the Armenian Genocide] was a feud between Turks and Armenians, what explains the genocide carried out by Turkey against the Christian Assyrians at the same time?”

Today, as Turkey continues moving back to reclaiming its Islamic heritage, so too has Christian persecution returned.  If Turks taunted their crucified Armenian victims by saying things like “Now let your Christ come and help you,” just last January, an 85-year-old Christian Armenian woman was repeatedly stabbed to death in her apartment, and a crucifix carved onto her naked corpse.   Another elderly Armenian woman was punched in the head and, after collapsing to the floor, repeatedly kicked by a masked man.   According to the report, “the attack marks the fifth in the past two months against elderly Armenian women,” one of whom lost an eye.  Elsewhere, pastors of church congregations with as little as 20 people are targeted for killing and spat upon in the streets.  A 12-year-old Christian boy was beaten by his teacher and harassed by students for wearing a cross around his neck, and three Christians were “satanically tortured” before having their throats slit for publishing Bibles.

Outside of Turkey, what is happening to the Christians of today from one end of the Muslim world to the other is a reflection of what happened to the Armenian Christians of yesterday.   We can learn about the past by looking at the present.  From Indonesia in the east to Morocco in the west, from Central Asia in the north, to sub-Sahara Africa—that is, throughout the entire Islamic world—Muslims are, to varying degrees, persecuting, killing, raping, enslaving, torturing and dislocating Christians.  See my new book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians for a comprehensive account of one of the greatest—yet, like the Armenian Genocide, little known—atrocities of our times.

Here is one relevant example to help appreciate the patterns and parallels: in Muslim-majority northern Nigeria, Muslims, led by the Islamic organization, Boko Haram (“Western Education is Forbidden”) are waging a bloody jihad on the Christian minorities in their midst.  These two groups—black Nigerian Muslims and black Nigerian Christians—are identical in all ways except, of course, for being Muslims and Christians.  And what is Boko Haram’s objective in all this carnage?  To cleanse northern Nigeria of all Christians—a goal rather reminiscent of Ottoman policies of cleansing Turkey of all Christians, whether Armenian, Assyrian, or Greek.

How does one explain this similar pattern of Christian persecution—this desire to be cleansed of Christians—in lands so different from one another as Nigeria and Turkey, lands which share neither race, language, nor culture, which share only Islam?  Meanwhile, the modern Islamic world’s response to the persecution of Christians is identical to Turkey’s response to the Armenian Genocide: Denial.

Finally, to understand how the historic Armenian Genocide is representative of the modern day plight of Christians under Islam, one need only read the following words written in 1918 by President Theodore Roosevelt—but read “Armenian” as “Christian” and “Turkish” as  “Islamic”:

the Armenian [Christian] massacre was the greatest crime of the war, and the failure to act against Turkey [the Islamic world] is to condone it… the failure to deal radically with the Turkish [Islamic] horror means that all talk of guaranteeing the future peace of the world is mischievous nonsense.

Indeed, if we “fail to deal radically” with the “horror” currently being visited upon millions of Christians around the Islamic world—which in some areas has reached genocidal proportions—we “condone it” and had better cease talking “mischievous nonsense” of a utopian world of peace and tolerance.

Put differently, silence is always the ally of those who would commit genocide.  In 1915, Adolf Hitler rationalized his genocidal plans, which he implemented some three decades later, when he rhetorically asked: “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

And who speaks today of the annihilation of Christians under Islam?

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  • Thomas_Black

    “At the beginning of 1915 there were some two million Armenians within Turkey; today there are fewer than 60,000…. “

    The above quote from the story appears to be from an article in 1995. Perhaps Mr. Ibrahim can provide us a current figure?

    • A K

      It’s less than 60k. Turks are still periodically killing Armenians in Turkey.

  • dogwithoutslippers

    Raymond Ibrahim is a scholar and his essays on islamic atrocities that go unnoticed and unreported by the mainstream media are needed to understand the islamic/muslim mindset which is a clear and present danger to all of mankind. Less than 60,000 in Turkey today is what has happened in all islamic countries who commit crimes against all non-belivers. Sir, keep it up! Rick M.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001570973542 Melani Petrosyan

      you’re right ! Islam is a religion of violence .. I can’t understand why they keep killing us: Christians .. why call all the time to kill us?, to change the faith? .. why ? why they can’t live in peace ? what is a jihad???????? why ????

      • dogwithoutslippers

        Besides Ray Ibrahim also check Brigitte Gabriel, BILL WARNER… three of the best sources – they tell it like it is. Anyone who says, “I have muslim friends they aren’t like that!” They are dreaming and falling into their own ignorance. Inform yourself as the media tries very hard to look the other way. The majority of people just don’t understand this evil menace made up by mohammed almost 1400 years ago. He was an evil man yet muslims honor and abide by his every word for these nut jobs think he was the ‘perfect man’ whose instructions were to subjugate all non-believers (us, Christians, Jews, Hindus – everyone) to dominate the earth. They do not migrate to other countries as immigrants – they come as settlers!~

  • A K

    Thank you, Mr Ibrahim, for remembering the suffering of our people in
    1915. My father survived the march into the Syrian desert; his father,
    and most of his relatives, did not. Nearly every Armenian living today
    lost a relative in 1915. We all carry the scars, a wound that will not
    heal. Other Christian peoples in the Middle East, like the Copts, are
    suffering immensely at the bloodthirsty hands of Muslims. In Kosovo at
    least 150 Churches have been destroyed by Muslims (right under the nose
    of the occupying Western troops). Islam is growing very quickly in
    Europe. Stupid Europeans! They turn a blind eye to the blood lust of
    Muslims but it’s coming directly at them. In ten to fifteen years expect
    to see the outright destruction of infidel art in museums. A dark age
    is coming to Europe but the stupid Europeans are blind.

    • Lilianna

      Thank you for mentioning my people, victims of genocide in Kosovo. Not only that the chuches have been destroyed, Serbian Christian people have been kidnapped and cut into pieces to make enormous profit by selling their organs. If those were girls, they would first be raped, than forced to be prostitutes, and finally chopped. The No1 “doctor” was Turkish – Yusuf Sonmez. Unfortunately, it is not that the world doesn’t see or know about it, just like about the genocide against the Armanians, it is that the muslims have always been ALLOWED to kill and exterminate OTHODOX Christians, as the opponents of Vatican’s interpretation of Christianity with the Pope as Christ on Earth. EU and America dont’t mind as long as they make profits of organ and drugs trafficking.That’s why the revolution happened in Russia too, to bring the sadistic Stalin in position to kill dosens of millions of Orthodox Russians, too. And starting from present days, the Catholic and Protestant innocent Christians allover the world are being victims of allowing the islamists expand allower the Europe and the world, Recently, they have been protesting in Sweden and Norway, screaming, for example: SHERIAT IN NORWAY??

      • Lilianna

        I just forgot to reming that 700.000 Orthodox Christian Serbs were killed by ustasha in WW2 in Croatia, a catholic state created by Vatican as a hand on Balcan, and those ustasha were blessed by Pope for their contibution…Catholics were killing their Orthodox Christian brothers (not just killing, but torturing in a way that a normal mind cannot understand and accept, like cutting the pregnant women’s bellies, and then digging out the babies’ eyes etc) and at the same time, the muslims living in that state from hell, enlarged by Hitler, at that time were called “the flower of the Croatian nation.” I guess they thought they would deal with them later, but that flower is poisoning the whole Europe now.

  • http://twitter.com/CalmAwareness Duncan Alden Jones

    Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it. Liberals turn a blind eye to Islamic ideology of conquest. Liberalism IS a mental disorder.

  • http://twitter.com/Cynthia__Reed Cynthia Reed

    “…that is, throughout the entire Islamic world—Muslims are, to varying degrees, persecuting, killing, raping, enslaving, torturing and dislocating Christians…”

    I currently live in Malaysia (and have been here for two years). I do not believe this statement to be true with regards to Malaysia, which is a Muslim majority country, though not an Islamic state. I am surrounded by Hindu temples, Protestant and Catholic Churches, Buddhist temples and others. It IS against the law to attempt to *convert* Muslim Malaysians at present but it is not a problem to be of or to practice another religion, run for political office, etc.

    To be sure, this is not a perfect country. Which one is? But it certainly appears to be a Muslim/Islamic country where none of the horrors cited are occurring. Any comments welcome, just wanted to add this perspective about living in a Muslim-dominated country.

    • Steve

      Cynthia, if it is against the law to “attempt to convert” a Muslim to Christianity, how can you say Christians are able to practice their Christianity, where sharing their faith is a major part of their ‘religion’? If there is no freedom of speech, and no protection of those that want to, the persecution is either under cover, or done through the courts… but you can bet it is going on. For my part, I have heard personal testimony of a young Christian who carries scars where a machette nearly cut off his head.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brad-Statham/1814613702 Brad Statham

      Cynthia, Malaysia has made it illegal for any non-Muslim to use the word Allah in any context. How are Christian services going to be held in an Arabic population with Bibles written in Arabic? With great difficulty as intended. Others have mentioned that it is illegal to convert Muslims. Christian singers accused and persecuted for using the name of Jesus in public, Christian churches have been raided. It is not be to be Christian in a Muslim nation anywhere, unfortunately.

    • pityu

      YET

  • pityu

    As with the lands and peoples of India; Islam will kill, defame and destroy anyone who would tell the truth of their poisonous faith. This is nothing more than ignoring history. The history of the great slaughter and destruction of the Indian peoples lost to history yet was the shining path to enlightenment for them. As the greatness was stolen from them and claimed by the islamist as their knoledge and teachings.
    The lie is ISLAM

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001570973542 Melani Petrosyan

    thank you :) )))

  • Jeff Tlano

    ah yes, but interestingly enough, the jews own nearly all of the western media; and do we hear them lambasting the atrocities against Christians worldwide ?? NO. what we here is SILENCE.

    why ?? because the jews hate the Christians every bit as much as the muslims. that is why you will see that Christians, such as catholic priests, are regularly spit upon in Israel, but again, no reports of this in the jewish owned press.

    the fact is, the jews are at the forefront of EVERYTHING anti-Christian in the west, it is not the muslims. and who supported the overthrow of the secular and Christian protecting regimes in Iraq, Libya, Egypt, and now Syria ?? it was JEWS the world over including most predominantly the Zionist ones and the nation of Israel, who has been currently bombing the Syrian army in support of the rebels there who are looting and destroying Christian churches and beheading Christians. so, we need to compare apples to apples and recognize that Zionists and Judaism are not the friends of Christianity. in fact, keep in mind that it wasn’t muslims that crucified Christ !!

    • Chanah Robinsky

      Are you a Christian? If you are which I don’t think you are but anyways, I case you are you should know that the Jews didn’t kill JESUS, had Pilute said not there wouldn’t had been any crucifixion, and read your Bible and then you can se that in fact no one killed JESUS
      John 10
      17 Therefore doth the Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again.
      18 No one taketh it away from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment received I from my Father.

      • Jeff Too

        chanah,
        yes i am a Christian. and yes you are correct that Jesus laid down His life. after all, He is God so He didnt have to if He didnt want to.
        also, the roman governor pilate did allow the jews to crucify Christ. however, it was the jews who brought the charges against Jesus, it is the jews that wanted Him dead. it is the jews that lied and conspired against Christ and the jews the incited the crowd to demand that barabas go free and that Christ be crucified. it is also the jews that EXTORTED pilate to grant their wishes by threatening that they would bring a charge of treason against him for not executing someone claiming to be a king instead of caesar. as Jesus said, the jews are the children of the devil who was a liar and a murderer from the beginning”. so, in closing, the jews are guilty of the crucifixion of Christ, as they were the ones the instigated Jesus execution. they planned it and they saw it through to its conclusion even over the moral objections of pilate. if you read the early Christian writers(outside of the bible) you can see how much pilate objected and argued with the jews against Christs execution, but they persisted in wanting Him killed. please dont misunderstand me, pilate is also guilty for being a coward. this is an instance where both pilate and the jews are 100% guilty. are you jewish ?

        • johnissachar

          A true Christian has all the reasons to love the Jews. The Christians’ spiritual forefathers such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are Jews. Jesus Christ himself is a Jew. Jesus’ 12 disciples and the disciple who replaced Judas Iscariot are Jews. All the writers of the Old and New Testament, except Luke, are Jews. The first thousands of people who became Christians are Jews and therefore the first thousands of people who spread the Gospel, which true Christians believe and through which they are saved, are Jews. True Christians therefore recognize and acknowledge that they owe their lives to the Jews and they are left with on other proper response but to love, care, and pray for the Jews and Israel!