Mustafa Akyol is in good company: neither he nor John Kerry are in danger of serving ten years in a Turkish prison for affirming the historical reality of the Armenian genocide. From Zaman Online, with thanks to Funcon:
The US Democratic Party’s Presidential Candidate, Senator John F. Kerry, put a damper on the expectations of Armenian lobbyists on the issue of genocide.
Kerry denied claims made by the Armenian lobby in late August that he will accept the Armenian Genocide resolution. The Presidential candidate told Zaman that he contributed to Senator Robert Dole’s initiatives on the subject in 1990, but said he has not made any statement that he would accept the resolution either before the upcoming elections on November 2nd or within the last 10 years. Kerry said, “Turkey is one of America’s oldest allies and it will remain so.”
Even if the truth is a casualty of this alliance, eh?
In the first round of debates between the presidential candidates, Kerry narrowed the gap between him and his Republican rival, US President George W. Bush. Kerry, like Bush, gave his full support to Turkey’s accession to the European Union (EU). The Massachusetts Senator added that Turkey’s candidacy is a must for both Europe and Turkey. He said if he is elected President, the friendship between the two countries will be maintained as is.
At a Democrat Party committee meeting on October 2nd, the Senator paused when he was told that his statement that he intends to accept the alleged Armenian genocide deeply upset Turkish society and voters of Turkish origin. He asked when he had made the statement and was told “last month.” Kerry responded by absolutely denying it and stressed that he has said no such thing over the past ten years.
Senator Kerry (and Mustafa Akyol) might wish to refer to these extracts from my book Onward Muslim Soldiers on the Armenian genocide:
The missionary Johannes Lepsius, who visited Armenia during World War I, recounts how well the Ottomans did their work, and referred to the cover-up of these horrific events. “Are we then simply forbidden to speak of the Armenians as persecuted on account of their religious belief? If so, there have never been any religious persecutions in the world. . . . We have lists before us of 559 villages whose surviving inhabitants were converted to Islam with fire and sword; of 568 churches thoroughly pillaged, destroyed and razed to the ground; of 282 Christian churches transformed into mosques; of 21 Protestant preachers and 170 Gregorian (Armenian) priests who were, after enduring unspeakable tortures, murdered on their refusal to accept Islam. We repeat, however, that those figures express only the extent of our information, and do not by a long way reach to the extent of the reality. Is this a religious persecution or is it not?”
The New York Times reported it in 1915: “Both Armenians and Greeks, the two native Christian races of Turkey, are being systematically uprooted from their homes en masse and driven forth summarily to distant provinces, where they are scattered in small groups among Turkish Villages and given the choice between immediate acceptance of Islam or death by the sword or starvation.” The Times of London noted somewhat later that Assyrian Christians in what is now Iraq suffered at the hands of the Turks as well: “Telegrams from Mesopotamia state that some 47,000 refugees largely Nestorians, have come into the British lines after having got through the Turkish lines. Many of these are being taken to camps near Baghdad. A further 10,000 have been absorbed in the towns of Kurdistan or are wandering among the hills. These refugees have come from the Urumia region, which was isolated during the Turkish advance in North-West Persia. . . . The day after this escape the Turks entered Urumia and massacred 200 unresisting people — mostly old men — while 500 Christian women are reported to have been distributed between the Turkish troops and the Moslem inhabitants.”
The New York Times predicted that unless Turkey lost the war, “there will soon be no more Christians in the Ottoman Empire.” Despite losing the war, postwar secular Turkey substantially fulfilled this prophecy, animated by principles rooted in the Sharia’s provisions about religious minorities.
In the genocides of 1915-1916 and 1922-1923, around one and a half million Armenians were killed. Yet despite mountains of documentation, including photographic evidence and eyewitness testimony, to this day the Turkish government persists in denying that the genocide ever happened. These denials, as craven and outrageous as they are, are not entirely surprising. After all, the West in general is suffering from a case of denial that touches on much more than just Armenia: this persistent and pervasive denial encompasses virtually all the crimes perpetrated anywhere and at any time in the name of Islam. The West flees from sitting in judgment upon any religion–save Christianity–even when that religion believes, and practices, the idea of holy war against non-believers, which means, among others, the secular and Judeo-Christian West.