The grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the Turkish genocide are themselves victims today.
April 24 marks the centennial of the Armenian genocide – or more precisely, the 100th anniversary of a particular point in the unfolding of the Armenian genocide. On that day in 1915, hundreds of Armenian intellectuals were rounded-up and deported from Istanbul, beginning a campaign of ethnic cleansing which would ultimately reduce the Armenian population in Turkey from over 2 million to under 400,000. Hundreds of thousands were killed outright by what we today have come to call death squads; a million more died of starvation and the rigors of a forced exodus to Syria and Russia.
In his Sunday sermon on April 12, “Pope Francis referred to the 1915 Turkish mass killings of Armenians as the ‘first genocide of the 20th century.’”
This papal declaration instantly flared into a diplomatic uproar. It absolutely infuriated Turkey’s Islamist President Tayyip Erdogan, who “warned” the Pope against repeating his “mistaken” statement.
World leaders including Russia’s Vladimir Putin and France’s François Hollande paid their respects. More than one million people are expected to gather in the landlocked nation’s capital on Friday to commemorate the estimated 1.5 million Armenians who were slaughtered as the Ottoman Empire crumbled in 1915.
As the world continues to look on in dismay at the barbaric atrocities committed against Christian minorities by the Islamic State—the self-proclaimed new “caliphate”—today, April 24, marks the genocide of Armenian and other Christian minorities by Turkey’s Islamic Ottoman Empire—the last caliphate.
The Young Turks came to power in the Ottoman Empire in a coup d'état on 24 July 1908, effectively deposing Sultan Abdul-Hamid II. Once they seized power, they proceeded to systematically replace old Ottoman bureaucrats with young Muslims, fired with the passion to create Turan -- a Turkic state stretching from the Adriatic to the Great Wall of China.
By Salah Laban
“Nobody denies that the Salafi current has the greatest share in initiating the revolution, as it exposed to the people the loyalty of the Arab regimes to the West, their squandering of the resources of the Umma [Islamic Nation], and their failing to preserve its holy sites." This is what a leader of the Jihadi-Salafi current, Muhammad Mustafa, also known as "Abu Shadi", said, stressing that the Salafis never stayed away from politics, but rather applied it in accordance to their understanding of Sharia, and that they also played the role of "enlightening before revolutionizing," recognizing that popular revolts are the greatest means for change. Abu Shadi also confirms that he was one of Tahrir Square’s preachers during the revolution, and that Jihadi Salafism is present in Egypt, and in large numbers, in the millions, according to him.
In Abu Shadi's view, the street [i.e., the average Muslim Egyptian] is in complete agreement with Salafism, and the attack on the Salafis comes from the "enemies of Islam," or, in his opinion, "the forces of infidels and crusaders.” Moreover, he confirms, with confidence, that the Egyptian Islamic movements have the "mechanism to deal with the infidels".. Abu Shadi sees that it was only fear, and perhaps error [of judgment], which led some Salafi preachers to call against going out [to protest] against Mubarak. He pointed out that Mubarak fought Islamists, and harmed Islam, because he helped the crusaders occupy Iraq and Afghanistan, adding that "there is no obedience to whoever does not govern according to Sharia." For him, the conditions to be a ruler of a Muslim state are to be Muslim, masculine, and possess [religious] knowledge—even to the degree of being an exegete.
He called upon the Islamic movements to carefully distinguish between believers and infidels. The leading Salafi explains: "We do not transgress against the Nassara [or “Nazarenes,” the Quranic appellation for Christians], but they must either pay jizya [tribute, and assume inferior status], convert to Islam, or war. He adds: [Samuel] Huntington said the truth even though he was a liar, for the coming struggle is the clash of civilizations, and Islam will be victorious and rule the world with an "Islamic caliphate"... Abu Shady belittles the symbols of secularism in the "lands of Muslims," describing them as few [in number], and points out that there is confusion among the people regarding "the fact that they are infidels.” He threatened that a statement will be shortly published by the Salafis, revealing the truth about them [the secularists], which "will make the masses beat them with shoes, for we must fight them because they are in the trench of infidelity,” according to the Salafi leader.
Al-Qaeda has a sacred status to Abu Shadi, as its members are "the companions after the [Prophet's] Companions” [i.e., the most faithful of Muslims] adding that it gave the Umma an unprecedented boost, by leading it towards a legitimate goal. He said that the masses rose against the Arab rulers thanks to al-Qaeda and what it presented by way of statements and facts, in sound and image. In a tone full of aspirational gladness, he stressed that the idea of jihad is still alive in Egypt, and that "the struggle will continue until the Umma stands up to the two camps, namely, [for] faith and [against] infidelity."
The leading Salafi then goes back in memory to a dark corner, when he published an article entitled "A Vision for Change" in an Islamic blog, which caused his arrest on charges of incitement to revolt against the regime. He says “In prison, electricity was used all over my body.”
For him, Sufi and Shiite thoughts are quite similar, and are both the main reason for the occupation of the lands of Islam. "Sufism is a malignant disease, a dagger in the body of the Umma; we must get rid of it in order for the Umma to recover—and a strong wind will come to wipe out the enemies of Allah."
Translated by CS from :
Coptic Solidarity 2015 Conference
The Annual Conference was held in Washington, D.C. on June 11-13, 2015.