|Interior of the Mosque of El Ghoree - David Roberts|
In the past decade, there has been an ever increasing number of organisations abusing certain terms. For example, the words Genocide and Racism have been suffering abuse from many left-leaning groups and individuals.
Definition of Genocide
Article 6 of the Rome Statute of the ICC defines Genocide as follows:
“For the purpose of this Statute, 'genocide' means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. “
Such was the case in Nazi-occupied Europe, in Armenia (perpetrated by the Turkish) and in Rwanda. But it is disturbing to see how, today, many groups (in order to influence public opinion) try to apply this definition to specific scenarios in a very crass way.
For instance, it has been reported that evidence (collected through Facebook and YouTube, regarding the civil war in Syria) indicates "a genocide of Alawite, Christian, Kurdish and secular communities" – this is a problematic statement that points to an abuse of the definition of genocide; first of all, because the Alawite are known for being secular (i.e. they do not mix religion with politics; a reason why Assad-governed Syria was considered secular), Christians and Kurdish are usually secular; so why the need to add “secular communities”? To sensitise deist & nihilist westerners.
And second, if those reports, cited by Edwin Bakker (in his work), had simply indicated that what is going on in Syria is tantamount to Crimes Against Humanity (murder, extermination, enslavement, torture, rape or sexual slavery etc), it would've been more accurate; because let's be honest the Jihadist groups fighting in Syria are attacking any Syrian citizen who is not with, and for, them (especially Muslims). They are going after the Alawite, the Christians and the non-religious individuals because they stand with Bashar al-Assad; they are going after the Kurds not only because they represent a hurdle to the establishment of the Islamic State, but also because in a way they assist the Syrian president in the battle against the rebels. Without minimising the atrocities committed by Al-Nusra and ISIS (to name a few), we must be able to recognise that the attacks perpetrated against the mentioned group of citizens were not genocidal (since they lacked intention to exterminate) but tactical (in order to weaken the president's support base and conquer territory).
Definition of Racism
“Prejudice and discrimination based in social perceptions of biological differences between peoples. It often takes the form of social actions, practices or beliefs, or political systems that consider different races to be ranked as inherently superior or inferior to each other, based on presumed shared inheritable traits, abilities, or qualities. It may also hold that members of different races should be treated differently” (source: Wikipedia)
Racism is another word that has been widely abused by certain segments of society.
Nowadays, it's quite common to see certain Muslims trying to shun criticism of their practises by accusing others of being racist. The definition of religion is “a set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.” therefore it is quite obvious that it greatly differs from the definition of racism, thus certain movements/people should refrain from trying to insult our intelligence. Nevertheless, in their attempt to abuse our intellect, they expose an interesting angle:
If racism includes a belief system considering different races to be ranked as inherently superior or inferior to each other, and Islam (a belief system) regards Jews as being apes; who's the racist then? Because we all know that Judaism lies within the category of Ethno-religious Groups; since being a Jew is much more than just professing a religion or stemming from a specific culture; in most cases it is actually a race (with DNA traits to prove it) despite the differences in the levels of melanin in many Jews' skin.
Both genocide and racism are extremely serious words, that should not be taken in vain. But when we start allowing certain people to misuse and abuse them, we not only incur the risk of rendering them banal but we mainly pave the path for those abusers to practise genocide and racism without meeting resistance or criticism.