Dr. Brian G. Williams
Dr. Brian G. Williams is verbonden aan de Universiteit van Massachusetts in Dartmouth, Amerika. Hij is gespecialiseerd in Islamitische, Midden-Oosterse en Centraal-Aziatische Geschiedenis.
"Having published widely on the issue of genocide in the Ottoman and post-Ottoman Balkans, Caucasus and Middle East, I am also interested in learning how the Armenian genocide will be covered in your program. As someone who has spent considerable time probing the background, surrounding events, and results of this tragedy I find that this case of genocide has all too often been politicized by those who have their own nationalist agendas.
I am, for example, dismayed when I encounter Turks who go against global opinion and shrilly argue that nothing happened to Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. Such efforts to erase an internationally recognized slaughter of tens of thousands are as transparent as efforts by Serbs to reject their people's well known slaughter of Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s. To deny the killing of the Armenians is to revise history and to fly in the face of global opinion.
I am equally dismayed when I encounter Armenians who provide a historically context-less version of history which overlooks the fact that their people were engaged in an armed uprising which aimed to 'cleanse' (i.e. slaughter) the Turks of eastern Anatolia from a planned 'Greater Armenia.' Such Armenian revisionists deliberately downplay their own people's attacks on Turks which led to the Turkish authorities' deadly over-reaction in 1915. Armenian nationalist historians also overlook the fact that the Ottoman Balkan provinces (the lands that would eventually become Serbia, Bosnia, Bulgaria and Romania) were 'cleansed' of their Turkish Muslim populations in the 19th century in a series of well-documented slaughters. This process--which was not labeled 'ethnic cleansing' until the Serbian slaughter of Bosnian Muslims in the 1990s--cost tens of thousands of 19th century Ottoman Muslim their lives. Should your work overlook this crucial historical context it will come off as pro-Armenian propaganda and will have no historical balance."
Dr. Brain G. Wiliams, Letter to the Toronto District School Board (31 januari 2008)
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