American Muslims warn Obama: don't say genocide

US Muslim body made a statement on 1915 events, said that: "Calling 1915 events genocide without proper investigation by historians damages efforts for Turkish-Armenian reconciliation."

American Muslims warn Obama: don't say genocide

World Bulletin / News Desk 

The U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations said that characterizing the events of 1915 as genocide without proper investigation by independent historians will damage the efforts aimed at achieving reconciliation between Turks and Armenians.


USCMO Statement on 1915 Turkish-Armenian Events

The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) the largest umbrella group of mainstream Muslim American organizations is aware of the painful history of over 30 nations fighting for over 4 years and the loss of over 37 million lives in World War I, including those of the Armenians.

As April 24 comes near, we share the pain suffered by Armenians during this period. We also believe that any acknowledgment by religious or political leaders of the tragedy that befell Armenians should be balanced, constructive and must also recognize Turkish and Muslim suffering.

In this respect, characterizing the events of 1915 as genocide without proper investigation of these events by independent historians will not only jeopardize the establishment of a just memory pertaining to these events, but will also damage the efforts aimed at achieving reconciliation between Turks and Armenians.

As Americans, we are concerned about alienating a key ally, Turkey, through one-sided declarations that political and religious leaders have made on this subject. The events of 100 years ago should be based on a consensus among historians and academicians with access to archives and documents from that era.

As the only Muslim-majority member of NATO and current President of the G-20 Summit, Turkey has taken on a unique regional and global leadership role in ensuring peace and prosperity for all. Our government has been closely cooperating with the Turkish government on defeating ISIS while also alleviating the suffering of Syrian refugees.

While Muslim Americans sympathize deeply with the loss of Armenian lives in 1915, we also believe that reconciliation must take into honest account the broader human tragedy of World War I. Muslim Americans expect our leaders to act accordingly to ensure that American-Turkish strategic relations are not damaged by a one-sided interpretation of the 1915 events.


-A tragedy for both sides; not 'genocide'

Armenia and the Armenian diaspora have demanded an apology and compensation for 1915 incidents as well as the recognition of the events as "genocide."

"Genocide" is defined, in 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group."

Turkey objects to the presentation of the incidents as "genocide" and describes the 1915 events as a tragedy for both sides.

Turkey stresses that the issue should be handled from a perspective of "just historical record," which is summarized as respecting the memory of both sides, and understanding what each nation experienced avoiding biased approaches into the history and political debates.

Turkish government has repeatedly proposed to establish a joint commission of historians from both countries including international experts in order to conduct a scientific research and announce its results.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Nisan 2015, 12:37