The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec)
April 24, 2004 Saturday Final Edition
Not our place to pronounce
Tragedy is a cheater word, usually deployed to evade a charge of
guilt while recognizing the deplorable character of an event or
situation. What happened to the Armenians in 1915 was a tragedy and
more. Few independent historians disagree with this. The body count
runs as high as 1.5 million.
But must the Parliament of Canada pronounce on the subject, as they
did Wednesday? Do the votes of MPs who know nothing of the history of
Asia Minor really matter?
There is a place for parliamentary resolutions on current affairs
abroad and even on historical affairs at home. It was natural for
Japanese Canadians to seek moral and monetary redress for their
incarceration during the Second World War. Louis Riel remains a
perennial object of newspaper copy parliamentary attention. He was,
after all, a Canadian.
On the subject of the Armenian genocide, however, we believe our
lawmakers have the right, and perhaps the obligation, to remain
silent. As hideous as this episode was, it was not unique in the
annals of human conflict. If Parliament speaks on this issue, why
should it remain silent on others?
It is obvious that Armenian Canadians care deeply about their past.
Turks are no less passionate. This is an excellent reason for
Parliament to keep its distance from this and all such debates.
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress