Academic Sa’ad Salloum urges teaching about genocide in Iraqi universities: he writes educational program

YEREVAN, APRIL 24, ARMENPRESS. The international community has not learned the lessons well, the interests of the great powers have always taken precedence over justice, said Dr. Sa’ad Salloum, professor of political science at the College of Political Science at Al- Mustansiriya, founder of the MASARAT Foundation. ARMENPRESS, referring to the remark that unpunished crimes tend to be repeated, and what are the actions to be carried out by progressive humanity so that the slogan “Never again” becomes a reality?

“Never again? In fact, it’s more like again and again and again, because the international community has not learned its lesson well and the interests of the great powers have always taken precedence over considerations of justice, because states were more concerned with considerations of sovereignty than intervention to prevent genocide, for these reasons the genocide was repeated after the Armenian Genocide Even after they drafted an international agreement to prevent it: Genocide was committed several times since the drafting of the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide Some of the most important and notable examples are: Bangladesh (1971), Cambodia (1975-1979) , Guatemala (early 1980s), Iraq (1988), Rwanda (1994), Srebrenica (1995), Darfur (2003-2009), Iraq (2014), Burma (2017). solution is to form a broad international coalition to prevent genocide in order to save victims before it is too late and to ensure that genocide will not happen again,” the scholar said.

Regarding the process of recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide by the international community, Sa’ad Salloum said: “Recognition is a process that takes time․ Regarding the situation of Armenians, The last few years have seen great progress, Even for neighboring countries in the Middle East or close to Turkey, In other countries, requests for recognition of Armenians have begun to appear in public opinion, just like the case in Iraq. So I think this will be a major pressure factor on Turkey in the short to medium term.”

Asked what the international community should do to end Turkey’s Holocaust denial policy, Sa’ad Salloum said: “I think forming international alliances is very important. For example, there is the Geneva International Coalition against Genocide which was launched last year. an important platform in this context, seven years ago I personally called for the launch of the Global Coalition of Victims against Genocide, I also called for the teaching of genocide in Iraqi universities and I write currently an academic program on genocide, these are important activities to create leverage on global and national public opinion, regardless of official recognition”.

Responding to the question under what circumstances or conditions will Turkey finally face the historical truth, the academic said: “Some may see that it depends on regional and international conditions, but I think that starting from the inside is the most important thing, in other words, from inside Turkey itself, whether it is the official level of government or the public opinion of the people, because it is important to invest in long-term stability and reconciliation with neighbours, with the region, and with the international community”.

In response to the question about fears of not giving enough attention to the Armenian Genocide issue in the current difficult geopolitical situation, Sa’ad Salloum said, “I think there are similar concerns even in the Middle East, that the crisis in Ukraine will reduce the West’s interest in many important and pressing issues But with regard to the issue of genocide, in my opinion, the question is different: There is a dimension in the crisis Ukraine-Russia which has ancient roots, It is about justice and recognition of genocide, I mean here the Russian recognition of the genocide called Holdmore Holodomor: a famine in Soviet Ukraine from 1932 to 1933 that killed millions of Ukrainians. During the collectivization of agriculture in 1929-1931 in Ukraine and elsewhere in the Soviet Union under the leadership of Joseph Stalin, and the Soviet famine of 1932-1933 and the resulting Holodomor. Millions of peasants died of starvation, deported to labor camps and executed. I think we should not focus on the following point: if justice is done in one place, it will become an example in other places and we should also not forget that peoples cannot forget or cease to seek justice, regardless of changing geopolitical circumstances”.

Responding to the question about the possible effects of the reconciliation process between Armenia and Turkey on the issue of the Armenian Genocide, Sa’ad Salloum said: “Reconciliation has become a current necessity for Turkish-Armenian relations, in particular in light of Turkey’s desire to play a greater role. effective regional role and to improve its relations with the West and the European Union. Therefore, dialogue and negotiations with Armenia can be an important part of organizing the regional and international status of Turkey and with its neighbors. It will be in the interest of both parties to exercise wisdom in order to normalize the relationship and ensure a future that is fairer for future generations and equitable for previous generations”.


Jessica C. Bell