Sunday, April 24, 2016

Dr. Andrew Bostom: A Modern Jihad Genocide

To read the entire item by learned scholar Dr. Andrew Bostom, kindly click on this link:
A Modern Jihad GenocideBy: Andrew G. Bostom | Monday, April 28, 2003

From the article:

Jihad: A Major Determinant of the Armenian genocide

The wartime reports from German and Austro-Hungarian officials also confirm independent evidence that the origins and evolution of the genocide had little to do with World War I "Armenian provocations". Emphasis is placed, instead, on the larger pre-war context dating from the failure of the mid-19th century Ottoman Tanzimat reform efforts.11 These reforms, initiated by the declining Ottoman Empire (i.e., in 1839 and 1856) under intense pressure from the European powers, were designed to abrogate the repressive laws of dhimmitude, to which non-Muslim (primarily Christian) minorities, including the Armenians, had been subjected for centuries,  following the Turkish jihad conquests of their indigenous homelands. 12

Led by their patriarch, the Armenians felt encouraged by the Tanzimat reform scheme, and began to deluge the Porte (Ottoman seat of government) with pleas and requests, primarily seeking governmental protection against a host of mistreatments, particularly in the remote provinces. Between 1850 and 1870, alone, 537 notes were sent to the Porte by the Armenian patriarch characterizing numerous occurrences of theft, abduction, murder, confiscatory taxes, and fraud by government officials.13 These entreaties were largely ignored, and ominously, were even considered as signs of rebelliousness. For example, British Consul (to Erzurum) Clifford Lloyd reported in 1890,
"Discontent, or any description of protest is regarded by the local Turkish Local Government as seditious"14
He went on to note that this Turkish reaction occurred irrespective of the fact that "..the idea of revolution.." was not being entertained by the Armenian peasants involved in these protests.15 

The renowned Ottomanist, Roderick Davison, has observed that under the Shari'a (Islamic Holy Law) the "..infidel gavours ["dhimmis", "rayas"]" were permanently relegated to a status of "inferiority" and subjected to a "contemptuous half-toleration". Davison further maintained that this contempt emanated from "an innate attitude of superiority", and was driven by an "innate Muslim feeling", prone to paroxysms of "open fanaticism". 16  Sustained, vehement reactions to the 1839 and 1856 Tanzimat reform acts by large segments of the Muslim population, led by Muslim spiritual leaders and the military, illustrate Davison's point.17

Perhaps the most candid and telling assessment of the doomed Tanzimat reforms, in particular the 1856 Act, was provided by Mustafa Resid, Ottoman Grand Vizier at six different times between 1846-58.   In his denunciation of the reforms, Resid argued the proposed "complete emancipation" of the non-Muslim subjects, appropriately destined to be subjugated and ruled,  was "entirely contradictory" to "the 600 year traditions of the Ottoman Empire". He openly proclaimed the "complete emancipation" segment of the initiative as disingenuous, enacted deliberately to mislead the Europeans, who had insisted upon this provision. Sadly prescient, Resid then made the ominous prediction of a "great massacre" if equality was in fact granted to non-Muslims. 18

Despite their "revolutionary" advent, and accompanying comparisons to the ideals of the French Revolution, the CUP's "Young Turk" regime eventually adopted a discriminatory, anti-reform attitude toward non-Muslims within the Ottoman Empire. During an August 6, 1910 speech in Saloniki, Mehmed Talat, pre-eminent leader of the Young Turks disdainfully rejected the notion of equality with "gavours" , arguing that it "…is an unrecognizable ideal since it is inimical with Sheriat [Shari'a] and the sentiments of hundreds of thousands of Muslims…".19 

Roderick Davison notes that in fact " genuine equality was ever attained..", re-enacting the failure of the prior Tanzimat reform period. As a consequence, he observes, the CUP leadership "…soon turned from equality…to Turkification…"20

During the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid, the Ottoman Turks massacred over 200,000 Armenians between 1894-96. This was followed, under the Young Turk regime, by the Adana massacres of 25,000 Armenians in 1909, and the  first formal genocide of the 20th century, when in 1915 alone, an additional 600,000 to 800,000 Armenians were slaughtered.21 The massacres of the 1890s had an "organic" connection to the Adana massacres of 1909, and more importantly, the events of 1915. As Vahakn Dadrian argues, they facilitated the genocidal acts of 1915 by providing the Young Turks with "a predictable impunity." The absence of adverse consequences for the Abdul Hamid massacres in the 1890s allowed the Young Turks to move forward without constraint.22

Contemporary accounts from European diplomats make clear that these brutal massacres were perpetrated in the context of a formal jihad against the Armenians who had attempted to throw off the yoke of dhimmitude by seeking equal rights and autonomy. For example, the Chief Dragoman (Turkish-speaking interpreter) of the British embassy reported regarding the 1894-96 massacres:

…[The perpetrators] are guided in their general action by the prescriptions of the Sheri [Sharia] Law. That law prescribes that if the "rayah" [dhimmi] Christian attempts, by having recourse to foreign powers, to overstep the limits of privileges allowed them by their Mussulman [Muslim] masters, and free themselves from their bondage, their lives and property are to be forfeited, and are at the mercy of the Mussulmans. To the Turkish mind the Armenians had tried to overstep those limits by appealing to foreign powers, especially England. They therefore considered it their religious duty and a righteous thing to destroy and seize the lives and properties of the Armenians…"23

The scholar Bat Ye'or confirms this reasoning, noting that the Armenian quest for reforms invalidated their "legal status," which involved a "contract" (i.e., with their Muslim Turkish rulers). This
…breach…restored to the umma [the Muslim community] its initial right to kill the subjugated minority [the dhimmis], [and] seize their property…24

An intrepid Protestant historian and missionary Johannes Lepsius, who earlier had undertaken a two-month trip to examine the sites of the Abul Hamid era massacres,  traveled again to Turkey during World War I. Regarding the period between 1914-1918, he wrote :

"… 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?..."25

Finally, Bat Ye'or places the continuum of massacres from the 1890s through 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 took part in it. Despite the disapproval of many Muslim Turks and Arabs, and their refusal to collaborate in the crime, these masssacres were perpetrated solely by Muslims and they alone profited from the booty: the victims' property, houses, and lands granted to the muhajirun, 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…"26