News & Views (Feb 13, 2012)
News & Views is a weekly summary of some of the week’s most important stories, links and material of interest to Ararat readers.
— Controversial writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali has a cover story in last week’s Newsweek/Daily Beast about the war against Christians in the Muslim World. She writes:
But a fair-minded assessment of recent events and trends leads to the conclusion that the scale and severity of Islamophobia pales in comparison with the bloody Christophobia currently coursing through Muslim-majority nations from one end of the globe to the other. The conspiracy of silence surrounding this violent expression of religious intolerance has to stop. Nothing less than the fate of Christianity — and ultimately of all religious minorities — in the Islamic world is at stake.
— Last year, Onnik Kricorian reported in Ararat that the upcoming Eurovision championship in Baku, Azerbaijan, may test the limits of that country’s tolerance of Armenians and gays, not to mention gay Armenians.
Now, The Atlantic magazine has tackled the thorny topic and they point out the same issue and add one more category to the potential list of persona non grata:
” … the contest will bring along demographics that are not particularly popular in Baku — journalists, Armenians and gays.”
— Armenia Now raises a serious question in the light of the rising tide of violence and revolutionary fervor in Syria, “Exit Plan: Armenians of Syria may need escape if Assad regime collapses.” They write:
“Experts believe that a change of power may have unpredictable consequences for Armenians, considering two facts: first of all that the majority of opposition are Islamists with al-Qaeda representatives among them and anti-Christian sentiments, and second, that their transition/national council was formed in Turkey.”
— From a Wall Street Journal blog:
“Turkey’s EU Affairs Minister Egemen Bagis had a defiant message on Tuesday for a Swiss prosecutor investigating him over allegations of denying the Armenian genocide.”
The comments came after Bağış, while attending the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, told reporters:
“I said there on that day that what happened in 1915 was not genocide and I repeat that today. Nobody should doubt that I will give the same answer every time I am asked”
— The recent Armenian census suggests 2.8 million people currently live in Armenia, compared to 3.3 million according to the 1989 Soviet census.
— According to Hürriyet, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek mouths off about the Armenian Genocide. His words suggest he has a limited understanding of the topic of Genocide:
“Why is it wrong for Turkey to apologize but also put the blame on Europe? By apologizing, do not fall into the trap of apologizing to Europe. These were wild times. What were the Western powers doing at the same time in their colonies?”
— A week and a half ago, municipality bulldozers in Malatya, Turkey, entered the Armenian cemetery and flattened the building designed as a place to wash the dead, a last prayer place and a guard house. The city’s mayor says the building was mistakenly taken down and they will rebuild though questions remain.
It is noteworthy that the columnist at Hürriyet has pointed out that the whole incident has caused “people [to be] extremely disturbed in this country.”
— This is a short Armenian-language documentary on YouTube about the issue of poaching in Armenia.
— PanArmenian has a photo essay on Trndez (also known as Tyarndarach and Candlemas Day), which is a feast of purification in the Armenian Apostolic and Armenian Catholic Churches. Celebrated 40 days after Jesus Christ’s birth, the celebration has pre-Christian origins connected with sun/fire worship and is celebrated in many Armenian communities around the world.
— And finally, there are rumors and reports that Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg and scriptwriter Steven Zailian, both of Schindler’s List fame, are talking about making a full-length feature on the Armenian Genocide.
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News & Views is published every Monday afternoon EST. It is a summary of the week’s most interesting, provocatiove and thought-provoking links to articles, videos, photos and commentary of interest to the readers of Ararat.