Monday, April 30, 2012

Jihad Denial and Armenian Genocide Remembrance

April 24th, 2012 by Andrew Bostom |

Today , appropriately, also marks the 97th anniversary of the date officially commemorated as the start of the Armenian Genocide—a jihad genocide—April 24, 1915. Persistent jihad denial by U.S. policymaking elites across the intervening century—a mindset so egregiously delusive at present it reflects mindslaughter—is the tragic, shared living legacy of these superficially disparate, but intimately related phenomena, both animated by canonical Islam.

Armenian Genocide was a jihad by MuslimsThe Armenian genocide is formally commemorated each April 24th because on that date in 1915, the Turkish Interior Ministry issued an order authorizing the arrest of all Armenian political and community leaders suspected of anti-Ittihadist or Armenian nationalist sentiments. In Istanbul alone, 2345 such leaders were seized and incarcerated, and most of them were subsequently executed. The majority were neither nationalists, nor were they involved in politics. None were charged with sabotage, espionage, or any other crime, and appropriately tried. As the intrepid Turkish author Taner Akcam recently acknowledged,

…Under the pretext of searching for arms, of collecting war levies, or tracking down deserters, there had already been established a practice of systematically carried—out plunders, raids, and murders [against the Armenians] which had become daily occurrences…

Within a month, the final, definitive stage of the process which reduced the Armenian population to utter helplessness, i.e., mass deportation, would begin.

Historian Bat Ye’or places the continuum of massacres from the 1890s through the end of World War I, in an overall theological and juridical context, as follows:

The genocide of the Armenians was the natural outcome of a policy inherent in the politico—religious structure of dhimmitude. This process of physically eliminating a rebel nation had already been used against the rebel Slav and Greek Christians, rescued from collective extermination by European intervention, although sometimes reluctantly. 

The genocide of the Armenians was a  jihad. No rayas [non-Muslim dhimmis] took part in it. Despite the disapproval of many Muslim Turks and Arabs, and their refusal to collaborate in the crime, these massacres were perpetrated solely by Muslims and they alone profited from the booty: the victims’ property, houses, and lands granted to the muhajirun [“holy warrior” jihadists], and the allocation to them of women and child slaves. The elimination of male children over the age of twelve was in accordance with the commandments of the jihad and conformed to the age fixed for the payment of the jizya. The four stages of the liquidation— deportation, enslavement, forced conversion, and massacre— reproduced the historic conditions of the jihad carried out in the dar—al—harb from the seventh century on. Chronicles from a variety of sources, by Muslim authors in particular, give detailed descriptions of the organized massacres or deportation of captives, whose sufferings in forced marches behind the armies paralleled the Armenian experience in the twentieth century.

Grigoris Balakian, a leading Armenian priest of his era who was in fact arrested April 24, 1915, managed to escape and compile his personal memoir of the years 1914-1918, the monumental Armenian Golgotha, originally published in 1922, but only available in full English translation since 2009. Balakian’s first hand narrative confirms the jihad motivation for the genocide.

More than one million Armenian city dwellers and peasants were savagely slaughtered and made to choke quietly on their own blood. Tens of thousands of Armenian males, lashed together with string or rope, were mercilessly butchered along all the roads of Asia Minor, or massacred with axes, like tree branches being pruned. The executioners were deaf to the crying and weeping of these wretched victims, even to their pleas to shoot them so that they might escape the torment: the order had come from on high and the jihad against the Armenians truly had been proclaimed. Yes, it was necessary to mercilessly slaughter them until not a single Armenian was left within the confines of the Ottoman Empire.

The recently published Judgment at Istanbul features the conclusions of the Ottomans’ own post World War I (Nuremberg-like) Military Tribunals which  long ago established the facts of a centrally organized mass murder committed against the Empire’s Armenian population. Judgment at Istanbul also includes Winston Churchill’s contemporaneous reaction to the genocidal events.

It is worth observing that when responding to the calamity of the wartime Armenian experience, Winston Churchill, the foremost contemporary British statesman, did not limit himself to merely castigating the mass murder in question in terms that in contemporary legal language are coterminous with “genocide.” He used, for example, such language as “a crime” resulting from a “deliberate policy” that was “planned and executed,” with the result that “the clearance of a race from Asia Minor was about as complete as such an act on a scale so great, could well be.” At the operational level, however, Churchill, in “a final attempt to break through the Turkish defenses at Dardanelles,” ventured to offer the War Cabinet an inordinate plan that is rarely mentioned, much less discussed, in history books. Namely, he proposed to the Cabinet in December 1915 that poison gas be used against the Turkish defenders, in part in retaliation for the “massacre of the Armenians” that was then still going on.
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