Late Monday the French Senate passed a controversial bill that would criminalize debating, let alone questioning, whether the Armenian tragedy constitutes genocide. The bill that passed 127-86 with 24 abstentions, will now need to be signed by President Sarkozy if it is to become law.
President Nicolas Sarkozy should not sign the French Bill into law, for the following reasons:
1. History should not be legislated, but left to historians.
2. Genocide is a criminal charge, which a legislature must defer to the judiciary and executive in foreign affairs.
3. The French bill will undermine the Turkish – Armenian Protocols’ Historical Commission that depends on open inquiry and debate in reaching a narrative that reflects accurately on the shared history of the Turkish and Armenian peoples.
4. The French bill will violate individual freedoms and the European Convention on Human Rights.
5. France should reflect upon its own history before judging others:
6. France should reserve judgement and exercise calm with respect to highly volatile and controversial issues as the Armenian allegation of genocide, particularly when such concern the solidarity of its diverse populations of Muslims and Turks.
The ATAA, representing over 60 local chapters and 500,000 Turkish Americans throughout the United States, serves locally and nationwide to develop an informed and empowered Turkish American community, and to support strong U.S.-Turkish relations. The ATAA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with an “h” election for limited lobbying, and formed under the laws of the District of Columbia. To learn more about ATAA, please visit us at www.ataa.org