Most people associate this phrase with the Holocaust, and for good reason. When six million people are slaughtered and millions more persecuted for no other reason than they are members of a specific group, the world should take this mantra seriously.
Next month, however, the world will mark the 100th anniversary of another genocide of between 600,000 and 1,500,000 people.
There once was an empire that stood for over 600 years. At its height, this empire contained multiple nations, multiple languages, trade routes, ports, and armies, and covered the soil throughout most of Southeast Europe, Western Asia, the Caucasus, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. Times were good.
Like so many empires, though, this one had a minority problem which consisted largely of people of a different religion. These “others” didn’t pose much of a problem when empire expansion and strong economics were humming along. History tells us the sad but certain story of cycles, however, and this great empire would not escape this reality. In the late 1800s, the outlook wasn’t good and the thunder of war — though never far away — grew louder.
The “others,” long having endured lack of representation in government, began to push for rights and having their voices heard among the people. The empire majority, however, had different plans. During a particular leader’s reign, some 300,000 of the “others” were massacred, leading to a coup led by a group that called themselves the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP). CUP was a very devoted group devoted to only the original members of the empire. Despite the immense massacre mere decades prior, the “others” were in bigger trouble.
Under the veil of war, CUP set about relocating the “others” by means of caravans, rails, and feet, leading many into desolate mountains and deserts to seek refuge or death. During the journey the CUP began stabbing the refugees with bayonets, raping women and children, or throwing able bodied men off a cliff. When the numbers got too many, the CUP actually used a group they called the Teshkilati Mahsusa, or Special Organization, to attack the caravans to help with exterminating the “others” before reaching their destination. Those that survived all this were left to starve, sometimes totally nude. In some cases, parents were forced to eat their deceased children.
To this day, It remains illegal in Turkey to merely discuss what happened to the Armenian Christians and Jews at the hands of Muslims in the Ottoman Empire. Think about that for a minute. This dark passage in world history happened a mere 100 years ago, and the leaders of Turkey refuse to admit it happened at all.
On April 24, will you join me in praying for the repose of the souls of all who suffered, that Turkey simply own up to what happened, and what is often called the Forgotten Holocaust be remembered forever.
While we’re talking about Muslims, be advised: If it hasn’t happened already, the greatest enemy of the world, Iran, will become a nuclear power thanks to the lawless Barack Obama. We say “never again” when referring to the extermination of six million Jews and 1.5 million Armenians. Let us all say, “never” to an Islamic state that repeatedly calls for the extermination of Israel and the United States.
Them, or us. Pick one.