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Defamation of Muslim State - Turkey

26 March, 2010

By Dr. M Anwar


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Physical wounds heal with the passage of time but psychological injuries leave permanent scars and enduring signatures. When the injury is collective in nature its impact is proliferated in a diversified manner, producing inner psychological chain reaction which acts as a force multiplier to generate negative emotions. Resultantly the investments made to further national interests are invalidated or nullified in the face of long outstanding abhorrence of general milieu and harsh environment. Unfortunately US politicians while making policy statements and moving the House of Representatives to vote or pass the resolutions which palpably touch the sensitivities of Muslim states / Islamic world, do not exercise care.

Recently US Congress Panel approved a resolution, branding the massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in First World War (1915) as “genocide”. The resolution calls on President Barack Obama to ensure that US foreign policy reflects an understanding of the “genocide” and to label the mass killing of Armenians in the hands of Ottoman Turks as genocide in his annual address on the issue.

Armenians claim that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman rulers in a planned campaign of extermination. The massacre was followed by a round up in Istanbul on 24th April 1915, the date on which Armenians each year hold rallies around the world and their stance is supported by few other like minded European countries.

Turkey has categorically rejected the genocide label, showing deep signs of infuriation and anger by calling back their Ambassador from Washington. In addition Turkish Prime Minsiter Tayyip Erdogan emphatically told the journalists in Riyadh that Turkey will not send back her ambassador to Washington till the time the matter is clarified by US government. Turkish Prime Minister’s sharp reaction and exasperated annoyance was vividly observed as he described the decision undertaken by US House of Foreign Affairs Committee as a “comedy stunt”. In fact Turkey is a strategic partner of USA and it was expected that USA will handle her strategic alley like Turkey with utmost reverence maintaining the diplomatic norms and mutual respect while observing ambassadorial prudence.

Unfortunately US politicians tend to ignore the sensitivities of other nations irrespective of the delicacy and slenderness of their relationship with the target country. Making biased moves and undertaking evasive steps to defame her own allies has become the accepted norm of American politics. Hence a subjective and prejudicial design of American image has been experienced in the international arena.

Genocide is an unpardonable crime and to pass judgement on such issue one must have clean record. Does America possess such a clean record? By the way who conducted nuclear strikes against Japan? What about yellow agents and chemical agents used in Vietnam? Who invaded Iraq and Afghanistan? Can American lawmakers justify their stance to dig old and forgotten issues like Armenian genocide by Ottoman rulers? What is the rational and moral behind defamation of Turkey at this point of time? Is it fair to use disparaging, insulting and slanderous resolutions against ones own alleys? The answers to these questions come from the hypocrisy of USA.

America may not mend her ways but every tread has a cost. USA is simply adding more fuel to existing abhorrence and repugnant revulsion which exists in the Muslim world. American interests will not be properly validated if USA goes on hurting the Muslims the world over. Self-respect and honor of the Islamic countries must be observed conscientiously. Otherwise defamation of one Muslim state like Turkey may ignite negative emotions throughout the Muslim world. Prudence is the key.  

Reader Comments:

Sensitivities and Genocide?

To avoid "offending" India, it follows that Pakistan must abandon its H-bomb research.

While Dr. Anwar rationalizes the unjustifiable, perhaps the partition of the Indian sub-continent be brushed under the rug, not even taught in schools, and Pakistan adopt a live and let live policy in Kashmir.

My grandparents survived the Turkish genocide of the Armenians. It is not a crime that will be forgotten until Turkey recognizes its guilt and pays reparation. Turkey would not exist today without the brutal extermination of the Armenians. Turkey has been allowed to enjoy the benefits of having committed genocide.


David Davidian, United Kingdom - 26 March, 2010

I agree with the author regarding the digging up of old killings. If that be the case, then the american killing of vietnamese and the red indians are far worse than the turkish incident and they deserve wider condemnation.

srinivasan, Hungary - 27 March, 2010

The Armenian massacres

If the Turks are guilty of the massacre of 'Armenian massacres involving some 1.5 million people' in 1915 let the world understand that the US massacred 1 million Iraqis in the most dreadful way by using the most illegal and dangerous weapons in this century. If we want to talk about genocides lets talk of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Two cities were nuked by trigger happy American in the 1940's annihilating some 4 million inhabitants instantly. The effects of the nuclear fall- out was of course was seen for a good 40 years. Three million Vietnamese civilians were massacred during the invasion of Vietnam in the '60's not to speak of 8 million wounded.The Gulf war Americans soldiers used cruise missiles and laser bombs to annihilate thousands of Iraqi soldiers who had already accepted to withdraw on orders from their leader.
The US has also been bombing Afghanistan steadily from 2001 using Sept 11 as an excuse killing till now at least three quarter million of civilians. Today Obama the peace prize winner has behaved criminally by sanctioning drone attacks inside Pakistan that is killing civilians at random everyday.
Going back to History of colonisation mass genocides were committed against native populations merely for resisting the colonisers. In French Algeria a million Algerians have been officially recorded to have been massacred by the French just before they were kicked out of Algeria.
During the 1857 war of Independence in India occupied then by the British colonisers brave Pashtun soldiers stood face to face to challenge the colonisers in their land. The revolt shocked the British who used Indian soldiers like the Sikhs to quell the revolt. The scene that ensued the this great revolt shocked the entire world. The British massacred untold number of Indians mostly Muslims in the most brutal manner by hanging every Indian they found . Or tying them to the mouths of the cannons and shooting them off to oblivion. Hundreds of thousands were killed this way.
The Belgians in the Congo, the Spanish in South America, the Dutch in South Africa, The French n Indo-china and north Africa,The Portuguese in Brazil are all guilty of mass genocide in history. They are also known to create civil wars as this drama is still seen in present day Iraq making things for themselves.
So who is talking of genocide? The entire continent of America was built on the bones of the native American. According to David Stannard in his book 'The American Holocaust' some 15-16 million native Americans were slaughtered before the United States of America came into being.
A good two two million Muslims were slaughtered by Josef Stalin during Communist rule in the Soviet Union too.
So the world must take all genocides into consideration before they point the finger at just one even if it is proved or not. Let the US and the European world look into themselves and measure their own souls and spirit if they have any sense of honour or integrity in their hearts while they 'most nobly' give so much importance to the genocide of a people just because the perpetrators of this crime were supposed to be Muslims.
It should also be understood that the Armenians were a fifth column in the Ottoman Empire and the fall of this great Empire could be in a way attributed to their treachery.
Even so genocide is certainly not justified whether today or in the early centuries. But the argument here is that a condemnation of any genocide should be done justifiably and with balance.

Rezan, United Arab Emirates - 28 March, 2010

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