Զրույցներ հայոց ինքնության մասին Շողակաթի եթերում

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«3-րդ հազարամյակ» հաղորդման թեման է Հայկական ինքնությունը
Հյուրերն են՝ Արշակ եպիսկոպոս Խաչատրյանը և Արմեն Այվազյանը
Հաղորդավարն է Աննա Սարգսյանը
Ամսաթիվ՝ 9 ապրիլի 2009թ.

32 responses so far

32 Responses to “Զրույցներ հայոց ինքնության մասին Շողակաթի եթերում”

  1. David Davidianon 15 May 2009 at 11:17 am

    I have to respectfully disagree with some of what Armen Ayvazian said, which was basically that only the Apostolic Armenian religion can serve the interests of Armenia, the State and its culture due to its unique national character. He concludes that there is really no such thing as Moslem Armenians, pointing out that historically there are no examples of such “Armenians” having promoted anything Armenian. This conclusion does not take into account the traditional hegemony of the Armenian Apostolic Church nor takes into account the lack of any vehicle for these “Moslem Armenians” to express any such sentiment. I personally know Hamshen “Armenians” and “Dersim Zazas” who know and have done more for Armenian issues than some deeply religious “real Armenians” who serve the Armenian Apostolic Church. Was not atheist Monte Melkonian Armenian enough?

    2km from where I live in Belmont, Massachusetts, USA, is a new Armenian Catholic church of classic Armenian church architecture. Going another 2km east one would find an “Armenian” Apostolic church, under the jurisdiction of Echmiadzin that was specifically architected to look like a Protestant church. What culture is that church serving? Two more km further, is another Armenian church, which is of beautiful Armenian architecture near Harvard University, whose religious leaders called the police on a group of Armenians as they were handing out leaflets one Sunday about an upcoming April 24th genocide commemoration, telling the police there are terrorists outside the church. Whose interests is that church serving but their own.

    If we are to use measures such serving Armenians, the State, Armenian culture, etc, as the way to define what an Armenian is, many of today’s Armenians could fail the test including those in the Armenian Apostolic Church. Based on some of these measures, many of the leaders of Armenia are not real Armenians either. One might ask, what is the difference between silent Moslem “Armenians” and those “Armenians” who changed the Armenian national football team emblem?

    It is difficult to address this and similar issues given the limited time and space available. Given more time, we perhaps could reach a consensus. This topic may not hit a nerve in Armenia as much as it does in the assimilating diaspora.

    This same argument, only worse, is pervasive throughout Jewish communities.

    -David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  2. Bovison 15 May 2009 at 3:28 pm

    To David Davidian
    Not everyone who helps Armenians is an Armenian. On the other hand, what does it mean “to serve the interest of Armenia” (?), to serve exactly what? What specifically is the target of such a service? Can we avoid the issue of our national identity trying to answer thise question?
    Yes, our traditional theology, specifics of our cult architecture, classic Armenian as an official language of our Apostolic church, etc. are elements of our national identity.
    So I would like to know, what “Moslem Armenians” do for Armenia. Do they contribute to better understanding fundamentals of Armenian culture, better understanding of Armenian national character? Do they keep Armenian language alive by speaking it, learning to speak it properly?…
    If some of them contribute into development of Armenia or have some sentiments towards Armenia then they are our allies, friends, whoever of that kind, but without being carriers of Armenian culture (and Christianity is a part of it) they cannot be Armenians.

  3. David Davidianon 15 May 2009 at 10:01 pm

    To Bovis,

    I assume that to “serve the interest of Armenia”, is to advance an Armenian agenda. That is how I interpreted Dr Ayvazyan’s remarks regarding Moslem Armenians having never advanced any Armenian agenda. As for a definition of Armenia’s interests, in my opinion they exist but are not being served by much of anybody in power — but that is another discussion.

    Please understand, I am not defending Moslem Armenians per se nor denigrating the Armenian Apostolic Church. However, I find it simply too intolerant, in the 21st century, to reject anybody who claims to be Armenian but also Moslem, atheist, or 7th Day Adventist, etc. To say that it is impossible to be a Moslem Armenian is like saying it is impossible to be, for example, to be a blood-sucking, thug, mafioso and an Armenian. If I recall in 1992 many tens of thousands of Hamshen Armenians requested to immigrate INTO Armenia but the government rejected them as a security threat. I might understand certain paranoia in 1992, but how about they be invited back sometime? If we ever have any part of our historic lands returned to Armenia as genocide reparations, those lands will not be empty but will include many people, among them Moslem Armenians. Are the Yezdis in Armenia Armenian? How about the Jews in Armenia, are they less Armenian citizens than the priests in Echmiadzin? Can one detect an Asori with an Armenian last name from anybody else in Armenia? Let’s make the case clear — there are legal definitions of Armenians and then there are cultural definitions. Legally, I am not an Armenian, nor are the majority of the people who live in Akhalkalak, although I am am an ethnic Armenian as are those in Akhalkalak. A thug mafioso in Yerevan has an Armenian passport and can legally claim to be an Armenian, even if he actually works against the interest of a better Armenia and has never attended church ever in his life.

    Regarding keeping the language alive, you must be aware of the many thousands of Armenian-speaking people who live in the far northeast of Turkey. Many of these otherwise Moslem people have been speaking Armenian before and after their conversion to Islam. Some even visit former Armenian Christian holy sites on specific days as their Armenian ancestors did. The same basic gene pool has been speaking Armenian for centuries. I contrast this with over 200,000 Armenians living in Poland in the 14th century, with their Armenian Apostolic churches, have simply assimilated and are gone today.

    Who is to say that these once Apostolic, now Moslem Armenians if given the chance, might consider being Christian, or atheist, or even be revered as a mafioso member of the Armenian Parliament. My point is that to simply reject these people because they are not followers of the Armenian Apostolic Church, given the fact that many “Armenian Apostolic” Armenians are religious hypocrites anyway, is rather disingenuous.

    Note, I clearly understand the position of the Armenian Church in our history.

    -David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  4. Artakon 16 May 2009 at 6:39 am

    In some of his other interviews and analyses, Dr. Ayvazyan additionally presents crucial historical and political facts and arguments to this discussion. Please do not fall into romantic fantasies about the existence of so called Muslim “Armenians.” Do we want to end up with the mosques in Yerevan where the newly-converted Muslim “Armenians” would be guided into anti-Armenian policies by the Turkish & Azeri secret agents? Think again!

    Please listen to the following Radio interview and read the following articles:

    http://blog.ararat-center.org/?p=173

    http://www.ararat-center.org/?art=2&l=rus&p=22

    http://www.ararat-center.org/?art=34&p=22&l=arm

  5. Bovison 16 May 2009 at 7:08 pm

    To David Davidian
    I think this topic needs to be discussed first of all in terms of national unity. The other at least two aspects might be a) positive and negative behavioral patterns (thugs that you have mentioned versus dissent Armenians), and b) relationship between national values and values of humanity in general (freedom, equality, tolerance etc.)
    Let’s say we gave up on insisting that an Armenian necessarily must follow the teaching of Armenian Curch, then what would be the next step? What is the next value that we can give up? Don’t we put our nation in danger for the “21st century tolerance” sake? You have seen what happened to Yugoslavia. If our nation is not united then our destiny is going to be much worse than Yugoslavians’. Our unity is a matter of survival. And here is the link to humanity’s values: we are not Americans, we are just several millions suffered many loses because of 20th century’s tolerance of others; we are surrounded by deadly enemies. Is this paranoia? I do not think so.
    Thugs… In my understanding of Dr. Ayvazyan’s approach to Armenian identity; he emphasizes both cultural and patriotic factors for the identity’s definition. I agree with what you suggesting: it does not make any sense to be integrated into Armenian culture but not being capable of any reflection of it, or having any emotional attachment to it. So one must reflect, value, and protect those cultural elements that he had naturally acquired. So is a thug speaking some macaronic armenian an Armenian? I do not know, probably not. However, there is always a hope that such an individual knows that he is not a right guy, and there is always a hope that his offspring will be better than he is.
    Importance of language and religion should be considered in both terms, in terms of cultural symbolism and in terms of pathways conveying ideas, structuring our being. Thus speaking Armenian without reading and acquiring the spirit conveyed by our folklore, mythology, by fathers of our literature and philosophy refers to incomplete functioning of the Armenian language. Likewise being baptized and living with no concern about belief and specifics of our theology refers solely to cultural symbolism. The later is important, so that people give their lives for it; but it is also incomplete. So let’s work on ourselves and others to understand who we are and protect our Armenian identity.
    I do appreciate the issue of the populated Western Armenia that you have raised, but this is another huge topic, or like you said “that is another discussion”.

  6. Anush Bezhanyanon 16 May 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Լոնդոնի Տնտեսագիտության Դպրոցի (London School of Economics) նացիոնալիզմի և էթնիկ հարցերի պատվավոր պրոֆեսոր Էնթոնի Սմիթը նշում է որ, ի հեճուկս ընդունված մոտեցմանը թե ազգերը ժամանակակից քաղաքական պրոցեսների արդյունքում են ձևավորվել (Ֆրանսիական մեծ հեղափոխությունից հետո), հայերը ծառայում են որպես նախատիպ այլ ազգերի ձևավորման համար: Ըստ այդմ նա առանձնացնում է Քրիստոնյա Հայաստանը, որը իդիեալական օրինակ է` հասկանալու համար թե ցանկացած հանրույթ ինչպիսի կարևոր բնութագրիչներ պետք է ունենա ազգ դառնալու համար: Ի տարբերություն քրդերի, կատալանցիների, շոտլանդացիների որոնք պետություն չեն ունեցել, հայերի համար կրոնը խաղացել է կարևոր դեր ազգային նշանակության սովորություները ստանդարտացված օրենքների վերածելու համար: Նույն համակարգը գործել է նաև սփյուռքի համար. կրոնական հաստատությունները ստանձնել են ազգային սովորությունների պահապանների դերը և խստորեն հետևել են ազգային օրենքների կատարմանը, որի արդյունքում մշտարթուն է մնացել էթնիկ գիտակցությունը: Բացի այդ կարոր է եղել նաև եկեղեցական հայրերի կողմից խորհրդանիշների ստեղծումը և մշակումը, որի միջոցով հայրենիքի գաղափարը ամրապնդվել է հայոց մեջ: Հայերի կապը հայրենիքի հետ միշտ ամուր է եղել, իսկ նվիրվածությունը հայրենիքին հնարավոր է եղել միայն և միայն հայկական առասպելաների, խորհրդանիշների, հիշողությունների, օրենքների և սովորությունների պահպանման շնորհիվ:

    Մերձավոր Արևելքում ապրող կամ ապրած հայերը թերևս ամենակարևոր աղբյուրն են հանդիսանում` ուսումնասիրելու համար թե արդյոք մահմեդական հայեր գոյություն ունեն: Արաբական աշխարհում կարելի է վստահորեն ասել, որ դա ուղղակի անպատկերացնելի է, որովհետև մահմեդական հայեր գոյություն չունեն: Նույնիսկ Իրաքի հյուսիսում ապրող հայերը, որոնք քրդախոս են, հայկան եկեղեցու շնորհիվ է, որ կարողանում են պահպանել իրենց ինքնությունը: Ինչ վերաբերվում է Լեհաստանի հայ համայնքին, պետք է նշել, որ հայոց լեզվի գործածությունից դուրս մղելն է, որ եղել է համայնքի ձուլման պատճառը. եթե հայ առաքելական եկեղեցին ավելի ուժեղ լիներ և կուլ չգնար մոդեռնիզմին թերևս մենք կունենայինք ևս մեկ հզոր հայկական համայնք Եվրոպայում:

    Զազաների մի մասն իրեն հայ է համարում, մի մասը թուրք, մի մասն էլ քուրդ: Չեմ կարծում, թե նրանց կարելի է միանշանակ հայ համարել` հատկապես հաշվի առնելով նրանց ծագումնաբանության վիճահարույց բնույթը: Թերևս նրանց հանդեպ թուրքական կառավարության անհանդուրժողականությունն է պատճառը, որ նրանք փնտում են հայերի համակրանքը: Իսկ հայերի համար լավություն անելը դեռևս չափանիշ չէ հայ կոչվելու համար:

    Թուրքիայում ապրող համշենահայերի պարագայում թերևս հայկական կողմը պետք է ավելի շահագրգռված լինի ճնշումների գործադրել Թուրքիայի վրա, որպեսզի նրանց հնարավորություն ընձեռնվի հայեցի դաստիարակություն ստանալ հենց Թուրքիայում, ինչպես նաև գիտակցելով նրանց բռնի մահմեդականացումը հնարավորություն տրվի վերստին քրիստոնյա դառանալու: Կարծում եմ, սրանք 21 դարում մարդու իրավունքների ջատագով Արևմուտքը պետք է որ խրախուսի, իսկ ԱՄՆ-ում ապրող մեր հայրենակիցներն էլ կարող են իրենց կողմից նպաստել այդ գործընթացին:

    Լիովին հասկանալի է ՀՀ մտավախությունը մահմեդականներով մեր երկիրը ողողելու արևմտյան որոշ տերությունների ինչպես նաև Թուրքիայի անթաքույց մարմաջի հանդեպ: Իհարկե միջազգային ճնշումների տակ միգուցե մի օր Թուրքիան կվերադարձնի մեր հողերի մի մասը, սակայն այդ հողերում բնակվող օրինակ 5 մլն. “մահմեդական թրքախոս հայերով” հանդերձ, որոնք կպահանջեն ՀՀ պետական լեզու հռչակել թուրքերենը և ժողովրդագրական սպանդ կիրականացնեն Հայաստանում. հուսով եմ բոլորիս հիշողություններում դեռ վառ է Դաշտային Արցախի և Նախիջևանի կորստյան տեխնիկան: Իսկ այդ ամենը լիովին հնարավոր է իրականացնել 21րդ դարում:

    Ինչ վերաբերվում է Հայ Առաքելական Եկեղեցում ինչպես նաև Հայաստանի կառավարությունում առկա չարաշահումներին, ես համամիտ եմ որ չի կարելի արդարացնել նրանց, ընդհակառակը պետք է միացյալ ուժերով կառուցողական պայքար մղել: Այլ ոչ թե հայրենիքը և եկեղեցին գերի հանձնել արտաքին ուժերին: Եվ վերջապես եթե համեմատենք` ԱՄՆ-ում այդ երկու կառույցներն էլ շատ ավելի մեծ չարաշահումներով են հայտնի քան որևէ այլ երկրում: Հակառակ դեպքում ինչպես կարելի է բացատրել Իրաքի դեմ ԱՄՆ-ի` պատերազմ սկսելու որոշման կայացման ընթացքում ավետարանչական եղեցիների դերը:

  7. Vigen Nazaryanon 17 May 2009 at 8:18 am

    There are things to do with survival that you do not reach consensus or compromise, collectively or individually, the vital decision every interested Armenian should make about this, and should do it cold heartedly because he can not afforded to blur the edges, much the same way as you do not compromise on immunization against a deadly virus, you either do it or you don’t and accept the consequences.

    Armenian apostolic Christianity in its entirety, (not individual priests or officials) has for so long been the anchor of survival of all things Armenian that you simply can not have none “lusavorchakan” Armenians never mind none Christian Armenians for long, within generation one or two generation they will simply melt into the larger pot, note I do not say better or worst simply larger pot, much the same way as putting a spoon full of sugar in a cup of tea the tea does not become sugar, it just simply turns a bit sweet and given time as tea increases in volume then that sweetness, all that is left of the sugar will be lost, for ever you will have “developed” tea. Except when there is not much tea to begin with, which you will be left with a thick syrupy substance which is neither sugar or tea! Now Armenian apostolic church has been for so long the single most effective barrier against any additives, be it good, bad or evil, getting mixed into the small pot of “tea” left. And if any tea has leaked out, accidentally or through external corrosive activities of others, be it with good bad or evil intentions, then the church has for the sake of preservation of Armenians as people, has simply let them go. By the way this process has served us as Armenians very well for thousands if not hundreds of years, until, agnosticism became a popular “cultured” thing to adopt, however most of atheists members of the ruling communist party elite, of the Armenian SSR had their children christened into the Armenian apostolic church! Not because they “believed” in god, but because they understood the vital role Armenian apostolic church played, in preserving Armenian identity.

    Now to the heart of your objections, i.e. can an Armenian be a good Muslim? Or more to my point is a good Muslim person of Armenian origin, which is happy and settled and proud as a Muslim and wishes to continue that way, as he sees nothing wrong, any different to an assimilated “ex-Armenian” that does not Know Armenian for generations, or has had a grand mother or father that was Armenian? No matter what the attitude of that assimilated person towards Armenia he as a person should be considered lost by Armenians, (now if you are getting angry or emotional at this point, I refer you to the tea and sugar analogy). Islam as far as its corrosive effect on Armenian values only differs from other religions, be it Christians of various flavour or Hinduism or Buddhism or Judaism, in so mach as its level of corrosiveness, by nature it is most corrosive thing I have ever come across, I should know that, as I have lived amongst them when they have been a religious majority and when they have been a religious minority.
    A Muslim is thought from day one that he is the greatest and everything and everyone else is there for his pleasure; if he happens to feel inferior towards someone of a different believe then it is his right and duty as a Muslim to try to change him or destroy him and possess all that he had, but he has to share it with other Muslims, now if you find this hard to believe I refer you to many books written on sheria law. Another example if a Muslim kills a non Muslim then all he has to do is pay “ghesas” which is by law a small fraction of that paid if the victim was to have been a Muslim. Or it is the foremost duty of a Muslim to kill any one that turns away from Islam. These are but small examples of how barbarically conservative Islam is and how furiously it protects itself without having to justify it logically. Now those so called Armenian muslims, if they are good Muslims then they are Muslim first and duty bound to be loyal to all other Muslims first, hence even more dangerous to Armenians as they are falsely perceived by some “liberal thinking” Armenians as “one of us just with different religion” or if they are not good Muslims then thank god, as they probably will not be a threat to Armenian values. These people must only be remembered as EX-ARMENIANS; after all they do identify themselves as such i.e. not as Muslim Armenians but as Muslims of Armenian origin. I personally think this treatment should also be reserved for Armenians who have converted to other Believes. Rule of self preservation dictates.

  8. Аrmenianon 17 May 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Сто раз говорил, и сто первый раз скажу, что спасибо нашему Армену Айвазяну, за ту величайшую работу, которую он ведет во благо АРМЕНИИ.

  9. Аrmenianon 17 May 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Թուրքիան փոքր կայսրություն է ու մի օր հաստատ կործանվելու է. 70 միլիոն ազգաբնակչություն ունեցող Թուրքիայում, 42 տոկոսը էթնիկ թուրք չեն, իսկ ազգաբնակչության 37 տոկոսն էլ ատում է թուրք էթնոսին, մի օր հայերի նախնիների հողի վրա Հայկական պետություն է ստեղծվելու:

  10. Аrmenianon 18 May 2009 at 4:47 pm

    «Ֆուտբոլայինի» անվան տակ Սարգսյանը վերսկսեց Տեր-Պետրոսյանի «հուղարկավորային» դիվանագիտությունը

  11. Stepan Sargsyanon 18 May 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Dear David,

    I want to express my views on your commentaries and then try provide specific responses to some of your questions.

    Your commentaries seem to be based on the premise that if someone does not belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church, then he becomes a non-Armenian. That is not the case and as far as I have understood that is not what Armen Ayvazyan has been arguing either. Please refer to all his writings on the topic of identity to gain a more complete understanding of his assertions, if you have not already done so.

    The Armenian Apostolic Church (just as the Armenian language, the living sense of connection and dedication to our motherland, culture and other big or small attributes that define the Armenian identity) is one aspect or trait of an Armenian’s identity. Losing the Apostolic faith does not mean that individual becomes a non-Armenian as of the moment of conversion, but the retreat does mark a major weakening of his or her identity. Depending on the faith (Islam or another branch of Christianity), circumstances of the conversion (forced or voluntary; conversion within an environment where the Armenian Apostolic dominates or the new faith dominates) and other determinants the weakening and gradual assimilation of the individual’s identity will be fast or slow, but it cannot be stopped. Just recall the experience of the various Armenian Christian denominations in the US. The Evangelic (and other protestant), Catholic and other non-Apostolic Christian Armenian congregations assimilate and disappear the first and the fastest. One of the reasons of this phenomenon lies in the ethno-centric nature of the Armenian Apostolic Church, while other Armenian Christian denominations do not have such an ethnic focus. As the number of new non-Armenian church members in the Armenian Catholic or Evangelical churches increases, the language used in the churches gradually shifts to non-Armenian, following with the eventual complete assimilation of the entire congregation. This does not occur in Armenian Apostolic churches, because no other nationality or ethnicity has that church. A Catholic Mexican will not attend an Armenian Apostolic church, but he will be able to relate to an Armenian Catholic service, dress and other religious paraphernalia.

    To eliminate the defensive wall that is instinctively erected by non-Apostolic Armenians every time such an argument arises (this holds true for all Diaspora Armenians who do not reside in Armenia), let us not talk of who is or isn’t an Armenian. Instead, let us discuss who is more Armenian, an Armenian with stronger identity.

    One of the important (if not the most important) motivations for adopting Christianity as a state religion in Armenia was the added layer of distinction that would set apart Armenians from their more powerful neighbors and safeguard the nation from assimilation. However, this became insufficient as Rome adopted Christianity shortly thereafter. As a new safeguard against assimilation (in addition to all other humanitarian and scientific motivations), an Armenian alphabet was commissioned, which would add a new distinctive trait to the Christian Armenia from her more powerful neighbor, Christian Rome/Byzantium. Therefore, the Apostolic Armenian Church and the Armenian alphabet were intended to become those defining elements of the Armenian nation that would it apart from other nations – the elements of the identity of an Armenian. The ethno-centric nature of the Armenian Church further reinforced the faith as distinctive element.

    I do not want to regurgitate what the video clip already mentions regarding the culture, arts and literature that the Armenian Church has created over the centuries, thus defining the Armenian culture and civilization through its ideology and moral values. By the way, this aspect alone is sufficient for atheists to continue to remain connected (even if not spiritually, but merely in terms of rituals and ceremonies) to the Armenian Church.

    When arguing for equally strong and valid Armenian identities in various faiths, the debaters do not really delve into details regarding the other prevailing non-Apostolic Christian (or non-Christian) denominations. Instead, they simply resort to using generalized rationalizations and logical transposition of situations, often unaware of the irreconcilable doctrinal differences. For example, the Protestant Church was created in direct opposition to the Catholic, or any other traditional church, including the Armenian Apostolic Church. We all know the numerous wars that the Catholics and Protestants have waged against each other throughout the centuries. For example, how are we going to reconcile two churches (Apostolic and Evangelical/Protestant Armenian) that have opposing doctrines? The Evangelicals do believe that a person is spiritually saved (has a guaranteed place in heaven) during his lifetime if he or she proclaims belief in Christ. The Apostolic Church believes that the deeds in the person’s lifetime will be judged after his death, only then determining whether the person’s saved or not. These two are mutually exclusive. While most of us will find these differences irrelevant minutia, congregations generate animosity towards each other over these. Combine this with other national or political differences and one ends up with perpetual conflict a la Ireland, Lebanon, etc. Is this new bifurcation of identities what Armenians need? Is this not a new trait of distinction that will alter or at least affect the prevailing Armenian identity? Other differences are abound, the Evangelicals, Jehova’s Witnesses and other sects condemn and do not accept the ceremonies of the Armenian Apostolic Church. These ceremonies and rituals are engrained in each of us and are incorporated in our daily lifestyles, values systems, cultures, etc. Would changing or opposing them due to a new religion not be deviations from our established Armenian identities?

    Most importantly, no other Armenian denomination has the kind of ethno-centric nature that the Armenian Apostolic Church. This has been used to strengthen the unity of all Armenians and focus them on national goals, instead of diluting the unity or re-orienting Armenians away from those same national goals. For example, the Evangelical Church does not have the same intensity of focus on Armenians as the Apostolic Church does. Evangelizing of others (converting into the Evangelical Church and spreading the Evangelical version of the Bible), be it Armenian or not, is an important part of that Church. Also, the nature of the Evangelical faith is very de-centralized. Is the Armenian nation in need for further decentralization or, instead, more focus and coordination of efforts?

    What about those sects and denominations that are centralized? Let’s take the Jehova’s Witnesses. This is a very centralized and disciplined sect that is directed from outside of Armenia. Any directive sent from the outside is carried out. What about the Catholic Armenians? Will they not have to obey the Vatican? Does anybody remember the collaboration of the Vatican with the Nazis and the support given to the Nazi henchmen in their escape from Europe? Am I the only one who sees danger in these non-Armenian centers of control?

    During the rebellion of the 1720’s the Armenian Apostolic Church was not only supporting the liberation struggle, but was directly involved in the organization of the rebellion. How are the Catholic and other non-Apostolic Christian Armenians going to react if a new such liberation struggle went against the interests of the Vatican or other non-Armenian Christian groups? Is the Catholic Cardinal of Armenia going to issue a call to arms or plea for restraint under pressure from the Vatican? How then do these potential conflicts with national unity and struggles not represent a dilution of a strong Armenian identity?

    Dear David, let me attempt to give direct responses to some of your specific comments and questions.

    I have never heard about any wish, let alone request, by the Hemshinli (the Hamshentsi “Armenian” people refer to by David Davidian) living in Turkey to immigrate into Armenia. That sounds dubious, because the majority of Hemshinli people themselves are still not quite sure about their own identity, whether it is mostly Turkish, Armenian or a new distinct identity of its own. Only those who would feel have a strong Armenian identity and would feel commonalities with Armenians in Armenia would want to move to Armenia, which isn’t the case with the Hemshinli people. More importantly, even if such an appeal were to occur, the security environment in Armenia has not improved to such a degree that the resettlement of tens of thousands of Muslims, who feel strong connection to Turkey, would not create a potential mortal threat to the Armenian statehood. Please provide the source that will confirm your assertions regarding the request of permission for resettlement.

    As you can see, I am not using the term Hamshn Armenians. When you call someone Armenian in front of an Armenian audience, such as the majority of the readers of the “Ararat” center website, the latter interpret him or her to be someone who is fully cognizant of his or her Armenian identity and relates to the problems of Armenia and the Armenian world the way that an average Armenian residing in Armenia relates. Therefore, calling Hemshinli people with distant Armenian roots as Armenians and calling their language Armenian misrepresents the reality and distorts the argument (even if unintentional). The language of the Hemshinli living in Turkey is, at best, a deeply transformed dialect of the Armenian language, which cannot be understood by any Armenian speakers, and is called Homshetsma. See if you can understand the following in Homshetsma:

    galat me kak bade tevi (in Hoshmetsma)
    ‘I threw a basket of dung against the wall’

    To further demonstrate the inaccuracy of calling the Hemshinli and their language Armenian, I would like to draw your attention to those truly Hamshentsi Armenians who live in the Krasnodar region of Russia and in Abkazia and have kept their Armenian identity, language and Christian faith. Why don’t you try to find such a word to describe the ethnicity/identity of the Hamshentsi Armenians in Russia that would set them apart from the Hemshinli people in Turkey, yet indicate the different (much stronger) level of Armenian identity in the former. Are both these groups to be called Hamshentsi Armenians? No. Refer to here for detail on the Hemshenli: http://www.uwm.edu/~vaux/hamshen.pdf

    Also, your references to Yezidis and Jews in Armenia are confusing, because “Armenian citizen” and “Armenian” are different notions. To answer your questions: no, Yezidis in Armenia are not Armenian, yet they are Armenian citizens; Jews in Armenia are not any less Armenian citizens than the priests in Echmiadzin, yet they will never be any more Armenian than these very priests; nor can certain Asoris with Armenian last names and fluent Armenian be differentiated from other ethnic Armenians (you couldn’t differentiate Artsakhtsi Armenians from Azeris living in Artsakh either, so I am not sure what this comparison is supposed to convey). You seem to confuse citizenship with ethnicity and identity. There are no legal definitions of ethnicity or identity (at least in the United States, though Turkey stands in stark contrast to the rest of the world as her Constitution designates Turkish citizens as ethnic Turks). Your passport (or residence) does not determine your identity or ethnicity, but it does define your citizenship.

    I suspect your misuse of these terms is due to the different meanings (I call it erroneous meaning) of the words nation, national and nationality in the United States. In the US the word “nation” is used to refer to a state, not a nation the way it is interpreted in Armenia. The use of the word national (such as “John Doe is a US national”) is intended to refer to the individual’s citizenship, not ethnicity or identity. The word nation in US is not the equivalent of the word “azg” (nation) in Armenian. Therefore, while Yezidiz, Asoris and Jews living in Armenia are Armenian nationals (citizens), they are NOT Armenians. Similarly, the majority of the people who live in Javakhk are Armenian, even if they hold Georgian passports.

    I also find it puzzling that you consider the Polish Armenian assimilated and gone, yet you deem the Hemshinli to be Armenians, who do not speak Armenian (as Armenians define and use it) and are Muslim. It seems inconsistent. Please provide your source for claiming that the Hemshinli “… even visit former Armenian Christian holy sites…” I have never read anything of that sort. Are these former Christian sites that have been turned to mosques? What does “former” mean? As to why would a Moslem visit a Christian holy site is beyond me.

    You ask: “Who is to say that these once Apostolic, now Moslem Armenians if given the chance, might consider being Christian, or atheist, or even be revered as a mafioso member of the Armenian Parliament.” No one has rejected anybody. Technically, an Arab, a Chinese or the representatives of the native tribes in the Amazon jungles might consider becoming Armenian Christians, if given chance. But until then, they are NOT Armenian. If the Hemshinli people are willing to return to their roots, identity, language, then they will be embraced by every Armenian. Some segments of the Hemshinli do not even acknowledge that they have Armenian roots.

    Finally, using singular individuals or experiences in an argument does not achieve or demonstrate anything. Saying this “Armenian Apostolic” did this, or that “Armenian Apostolic church” did something else does not convince anyone of anything. To every such “evidence” I can bring a counter-example that shows how non-Apostolic Christian Armenians, not to mention Muslims, did outrages and treacherous deeds against the Armenian nation. Armen Ayvazyan himself has repeatedly recalled the example of the Togh Azerbaijanis, the descendents of Armenians who had converted to Islam and who fought fiercely against Armenians during the Artsakh liberation war. Need any more examples? Exceptions may occur. But they are called exceptions, because they are not the norm.

    I want to say a few words about this incessant argument about who does more for their country: Armenians residing in Armenia or in the Diaspora communities? In an attempt to prevent accusations of bias, let me disclose that I live in Los Angeles, California. The average Armenian living in Armenia (RA Armenian) contributes to the interests and the empowerment of Armenia and Armenian civilization more than the average Diaspora Armenian residing in foreign shores. Even those RA Armenians who are not consciously and actively involved in any pan-Armenian or national projects and endeavors add more value than those Diaspora Armenians who spend few hours after work and on week-ends on identity-preservation activities, charitable projects for Armenia and Artsakh, etc. (which adds a great strain on personal life and leaves virtually no free time – I know this from personal experience). If the uninterested and passive RA Armenian goes to work, his labor results in product and profit that benefits Armenia; if he goes to theater, concert or consumes any other entertainment, that contributes to the advancements of arts in Armenia; without any additional personal effort or expenditure his or her child is raised Armenian as a result of attending Armenian schools and growing in an Armenian setting; the uninterested and passive RA Armenian’s entire life and experiences are intimately connected with Armenia, thus strengthening his/her bonds with the motherland. This list can go on and on, but, must importantly, every uninterested and passive Armenian male who resides in Armenia will be called to take up arms and defend Armenia, willingly or not. Only a fraction of the above-mentioned activities are, at best, attained by the Diaspora Armenians costing millions of dollars that go to enrich the coffers of foreign governments and economies in the form of additional economic activities and taxes. Therefore, everyone should stop all hopeless argument that pits a Diaspora Armenian against an RA Armenian in terms of their contribution to the Armenian world (hayutyun). To find the answer to the question “what is the difference between silent Moslem “Armenians” and those “Armenians” who changed the Armenian national football team emblem?” refer to what I just listed above. As disgusting and enraging the emblem incident may have been, these people still continue to live in Armenia and contribute in the above-mentioned forms.

    Stepan Sargsyan
    Contributing Correspondent (Los Angeles)
    “Ararat” Center for Strategic Research

  12. David Davidianon 19 May 2009 at 12:05 am

    To Stepan Sargsyan,

    Thank you for taking the time to post.

    You wrote:

    “Your commentaries seem to be based on the premise that if someone does not belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church, then he becomes a non-Armenian.”

    This is not accurate at all. I am not sure how you could have reached that conclusion, especially considering what I have posted regarding Moslem Armenians, atheist Armenians, etc.

    Please understand, the reason I posted my initial response was because I don’t agree with the suggestion that Moslem Armenians have no role at all in Armenian life, based on the premise that they historically have not provided any assistance to the Armenian people, State or culture. Armen Ayvazyan basically said these people cannot be Armenian. I understand the argument, I just don’t agree with it. I disagree not because of some liberal, new-age philosophy, but rather because upon viewing Armenia from above, at 20km height, there is no one particular organized belief or disbelief in the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, a superhuman agency or not, including devotional and ritual observances or not at all, claiming a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs, indigenous or diasporic, pagan or infidel that has provided any clear manifestation of leadership to the Armenian people as we have entered the 21st century. No definition of Armenian predicated or associated with any religious, economic or political set of beliefs appears able or willing to provide clear leadership to take the Armenians from point A to point B. No subordinating rules of living appear to have a commanding lead in defining an Armenian in the 21st century, if the object of such definition is the ultimate survival and prosperity of Armenia and its people. Thus, when one subjectively disqualifies a sub-group of Armenians (by any definition) based on the quality of their contribution to the existence of Armenians as a whole, I strongly suggest the entire book be open to disqualification, starting with every “Armenian” engaging in mafioso tactics to many in Armenia’s government, Armenian trafficers, etc. Taken to the extreme there is really no difference between a belligerent Armenian Moslem out for some sort of heavenly reward at the expense of those living and an “Armenian” mafia thug who extorts from the living and stifles societal progress at a high extortion rate – except – the latter continues to ride around in black Mercedes and body guards in Yerevan, the former probably driving a Zhiguli in Central Asia.

    Not wanting to engage in a comparative discussion of the characteristics of Apostolic, Protestant, or Catholic Armenian churches, it is important to note, while much of what you state regarding the forces of assimilation in the non-Apostolic persuasions are true, outside of Armenia, the affects of assimilation in the form of services being in non-Armenian languages, etc, is increasing. It is only a matter of time before all of these institutions lose all national character, with the Apostolic church being the last holdout. I have seen this throughout my life and is occurring at an accelerated rate. The same phenomenon is taking place in the Greek church(es).

    You asked, among other things:

    1)I have never heard about any wish, let alone request, by the Hemshinli (the Hamshentsi “Armenian” people refer to by David Davidian) living in Turkey to immigrate into Armenia.

    It was not referring to Hamshen Moslem Armenians from Turkey in the circa 1992 repatriation reference, but Moslem Armenians already in the USSR as it was collapsing. The number was several tens of thousands if I recall correctly. I have the reference someplace in my archives.

    2) galat me kak bade tevi (in Hoshmetsma) ‘I threw a basket of dung against the wall’ To further demonstrate the inaccuracy of calling the Hemshinli and their language Armenian,

    Whether or not I can understand a regional dialect or not is not sufficient to disqualify that language as non-Armenian. Just because most Armenians don’t know the Musa Dagheren “Shid asken gu” or old Kharberderen, “ Hayi im” (does NOT mean Hay em) does not mean they are not regional Armenian dialects. It’s not just words but grammar, construction, declinations, forms, relationships to cases, etc. that define dialects, sister languages or different language families. The rug in my living room was purchased from a person who told me “Hay em, bayts Islamakan em”. I must admit I had never heard such an expression before. His name was Temel and he was a Hamshem Armenian from Turkey. We only spoke in Armenian. I understood the vast majority of what he was speaking and visa versa.

    3) I would like to draw your attention to those truly Hamshentsi Armenians who live in the Krasnodar region of Russia and in Abkazia and have kept their Armenian identity, language and Christian faith. Why don’t you try to find such a word to describe the ethnicity/identity of the Hamshentsi Armenians in Russia that would set them apart from the Hemshinli people in Turkey, yet indicate the different (much stronger) level of Armenian identity in the former. Are both these groups to be called Hamshentsi Armenians? No. Refer to here for detail on the Hemshenli: http://www.uwm.edu/~vaux/hamshen.pdf

    The purpose of my response was not to provide a detailed demographic breakdown of diasporic Armenians. There was no reason for me to discuss Christian Hamshentsi Armenians.

    4) I suspect your misuse of these terms is due to the different meanings (I call it erroneous meaning) of the words nation, national and nationality in the United States. In the US the word “nation” is used to refer to a state, not a nation the way it is interpreted in Armenia. The use of the word national (such as “John Doe is a US national”) is intended to refer to the individual’s citizenship, not ethnicity or identity. The word nation in US is not the equivalent of the word “azg” (nation) in Armenian. Therefore, while Yezidiz, Asoris and Jews living in Armenia are Armenian nationals (citizens), they are NOT Armenians. Similarly, the majority of the people who live in Javakhk are Armenian, even if they hold Georgian passports.

    No, I am not confused by living the United States. Refer to the end of the second paragraph in my second respond on this blog: “Let’s make the case clear — there are legal definitions of Armenians and then there are cultural definitions. Legally, I am not an Armenian, nor are the majority of the people who live in Akhalkalak, although I am am an ethnic Armenian as are those in Akhalkalak.”

    5) I also find it puzzling that you consider the Polish Armenian assimilated and gone, yet you deem the Hemshinli to be Armenians, who do not speak Armenian (as Armenians define and use it) and are Muslim. It seems inconsistent. Please provide your source for claiming that the Hemshinli “… even visit former Armenian Christian holy sites…” I have never read anything of that sort. Are these former Christian sites that have been turned to mosques? What does “former” mean? As to why would a Moslem visit a Christian holy site is beyond me.

    I don’t have to consider anything about Polish Armenians. The 14-15th century, 200K strong Armenian community in and around Lvov and other large cities to its north and northwest are now totally gone and assimilated. It is not an opinion, but a fact. The Hamshen visits I refer to are not to churches converted to mosques. These Armenians, having mostly converted to Islam about 200 years, go to these “places” but don’t know why. Just because you have never read something does not mean it doesn’t exist. Claiming that the Armenian regional dialect the Hemshentsi in Turkey speak is not Armenian is a bogus argument. In fact, Temel who sold me the rug, told me he had no idea he was speaking Armenian until he was visiting Istanbul years earlier, and happen to have passed an Armenian church when the people were leaving and was shocked to find so many people speaking his language. A few days later he finally understood what he was speaking.

    Perhaps you can tell us why these “Moslem Armenians” celebrate Vartavar in Turkey and Apostolic Armenians in Boston don’t? This is a rhetorical question.

    6) I want to say a few words about this incessant argument about who does more for their country: Armenians residing in Armenia or in the Diaspora communities?

    There is no reason to bring this up. Who cares?

    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  13. David Davidianon 19 May 2009 at 9:23 am

    To Bovis.

    Nobody is suggesting that the teachings of the Armenian Church purposely be abandon. If they help individual Armenians get through tough times, fine. Thus, asking what is to be abandon next makes little sense. Your Yugoslavian reference should serve as a lesson that unless there is clear planning in national activities, they WILL BE taken advantage of by larger powers. This is of primary importance today as we watch Armenia’s “secret” overtures towards Turkey.

    Let us not confuse the role of the Armenian Church today with, say a thousand years ago — or even a hundred years ago. We would be doing ourselves a disservice by extrapolating the efforts of Khrimyan Hayrik, Komitas, or Armenian priests fighting Turks at Sardarabad in 1918 to those of today’s church clergy. This would be like deluding ourselves in thinking that today’s Dashnaks are engaged in the logical continuation of their efforts in 1905, for example.

    Unless I have missed something major, the role of the Armenian Church in the everyday life of Armenians or in the governance of Armenia is not significant, especially the latter. I don’t know of any teachings or leadership provided by the Armenian church that can be identified as useful in today’s cut throat international relations. This is not intended as an insult, but rather is an observation.

    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  14. David Davidianon 19 May 2009 at 10:56 am

    To Vigen,

    Nobody is suggesting that Sharia law be introduced in Armenia! If a strict tolerant secular Armenia is not good enough for Muslim Armenians, let them stay where they are. My argument is that they should not be disqualified, simply out of hand. The more important reason to begin examining this general issue is because if someday Armenia is granted western Armenian land as part as of genocide reparations, I would suggest that land will not be empty.

    All citizens of Armenia are subject the tenets of the constitution. If they keep their personal beliefs to themselves, fine. Just like there should be enforcement of existing laws that forbids those (mafiosos, police chiefs, mayors, parliament members, general street thugs) who also have the personal belief that they can plunder the general population at the cost of Armenia’s development.

    -David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  15. Bovison 19 May 2009 at 7:14 pm

    To David Davidian
    To me, this discussion is not about the leadership of the church taken as a political force immediately influencing our life. I guess we are discussing national identity of the Armenians and the role of our religion considered as an important element of our identity along with the activities of the church in preserving Armenian belief and Christian values in general. I would suggest to be focused on the problem of national unity as a way to protect our cultural identity and the role of Christianity, first of all Armenian branch of Christianity, in this process. The subject is not just the teaching carried on by the church; the subject is the Christian vision of world, the vision, which is shaped by our history, and which went through all the levels of our culture. However, if we talk about the teaching of the church, its diminishing role in our everyday life, then we must accept also our own responsibility for such a condition.
    You are suggesting that mentality of modern Armenians changed; that they are not the same as they were in the past that the church changed and so on. Yes, but all of these are my concern. This is an alarming situation. One may say that Christianity is dying, and let’s build a new life on that (dead) basis, but am going to fight this view point. We are not going to contribute in weakening of Christianity. If we do nothing about this, then what will happen with our music, literature, painting, architecture, with us?
    I do not believe that there are many who will reject part of their identity on purpose, but one must be active in protecting it. Otherwise, there is a good chance that our culture will be severely damaged. Cultural elements are interconnected; if you damage one of them then you will enjoy destructive consequences in others. Don’t you see how some people say that language is also unimportant; what else is unimportant, history, alphabet, art, our landscapes, our soil, air and water…?
    After all, leaving aside atheist, mafia and the like issues, let’s ask: do we need a situation in which one piece of Armenian population would say ‘we are hay-but-islamakan’ and another would say ‘we are hay-but-evangelical’ and so on, and so forth? Won’t we have a bunch of some ‘hay-buts’ groups as a result, tearing still tiny Armenia apart? It is not realistic? Sure it is. Let’s at least avoid doing anything that can threaten our state. It is not strong enough yet.

  16. Stepan Sargsyanon 19 May 2009 at 10:57 pm

    I accidentally came across the following article in the 1915 October edition of The National Geographic Magazine: http://www.noravank.am/am/?page=news&nid=1828

    The article discusses Armenia and Armenians in the beginning of the 20th century and offers very interesting and useful descriptions by an American observer. Since the article contained some passages that relate to this discussion, I decided to post them here:

    “Mohammed the Conqueror had not enough Moslem subjects to fill his empire or his conquered city, so he accepted his great body of Christian subjects with tolerance of their laws, customs and religion. Many Turks today [in 1915] think that if he had pursued a policy similar to that of modern Russia and Germany, ruthlessly Turkifying and converting to Islam his foreign subjects, he would have made a homogeneous and happy Turkey.” (pg 346)

    As this passage shows, conversion to Islam did not merely mean change of religion; rather it implied a practical change of ethnicity/nationality (as in azgutyun). The following passage further explains why:

    “It will readily be seen that when an Armenian leaves the Gregorian [Apostolic] to join a Catholic or Protestant Church he in some sense loses touch with his nation, for nation or millet and church are practically one in Turkey.” (pg 347)

    While United States is not organized in the form of millets, this same phenomenon of weakening identity (weakened sense of association with the Apostolic Christian Armenian identity, which is predominant in the modern Armenian nation) also exists today within the Evangelical/Protestant, Catholic or other non-Apostolic Christian Armenian denominations in the US. This is especially evident among the youth in those denominations, the segment that is more vulnerable to assimilation. The younger members of these denominations confess to carrying a complex of inferiority vis-à-vis their Apostolic counterparts, a sense of being kind of inferior or incomplete Armenians. This problem is so acute that the church leaders within these non-Apostolic denominations express their concerns in articles and working papers addressed to their congregations.

    In the case of Islam this is even more pronounced and unavoidable. How is a fictitious Muslim Armenian supposed to spread and strengthen the Armenian language, one of the key elements of our national identity and the foundation of the Armenian civilization (culture, literature, music and everything else), when every Muslim is required to use Arabic in one of the most intimate and important acts – praying? What will the message be to the children in these families: Armenian is not important enough for use in prayer, not sophisticated and holly enough to allow communication with Allah? Such a mentality does not leave room for devotion of the national language – a necessity for a strong national identity. And what will be more sacred and endearing to the fictitious Muslim Armenian: the sacred grounds of Etchmiadzin or Mecca? Such a bifurcation of identity and incompatible/conflicting priorities create fertile ground for an impending personal crisis of identity for these individuals in their adult lives, who will find it easier and less painful to melt away in the multinational Islam, rather than endure emotional discomfort.

    “The [Russian] government next attempted to bribe the Armenians to join the Orthodox Church; but neither coercion nor bribe could turn the faithful Armenian from the church of his fathers. This loyalty can hardly be said to spring from religious principle; for, as we have said, the two great Eastern churches differ practically not at all; it was merely another expression of the intense national feeling of the Armenians. Bandied from one political rule to another, never knowing political independence nor unity, they have sought that unity in their church.” (pg 357)

    This article is worth giving a read. It contains other useful information that flies in the face of modern teachings and theses by the Turko-American school of Armenology, such as:

    – Nowhere in this article do we come across the term “Anatolia” or “Eastern Anatolia”, an artificial term that has been coined by the Turkish historiography to remove Western Armenia from circulation. Instead, this American author in 1915 only uses Armenia. Unfortunately, some Armenian political analysts and scientist, journalists and even websites spreading the Armenian interpretation of the Armenian Question, including claims of restitution, are advancing, knowingly or unknowingly, this Turkish distortion through their use of the term “Anatolia”;
    – This author, who was a professor at the American College for Girls in Constantinople from 1900-1909, not an Armenian studies scholar or expert, had sufficient Armenian skills to know that “Hayastani Patmutyun” of Movses Khorenatsi should be translated as “History of Armenia”. Yet, the biggest false Armenologist Robert Thomson, who is an expert, translated this is “History of Armenians”.
    – Also, the author does not mention the name “Azerbaijani” when discussing the Muslims inhabiting Karabakh, this despite the claim of modern Azerbaijani historians of “millennia-old Azerbaijani history” and “ancient” Azerbaijani nation. Nor do the author’s provided population numbers in Artsakh (200,000 Armenians and 100,000 Moslems toward the end of the eighteenth century) agree with the current Azeri historical falsifications.

    These are just a few of the observations I made.

    To David Davidian:

    Dear David, the responses to most of your main questions and arguments are already provided by the video clip and the various commentaries written in response to your first comment. I don’t think repeating or rephrasing is necessary. At this point we may just have to agree to disagree.

  17. Gevorg Vardanyanon 22 May 2009 at 12:40 am

    To David Davidian:

    Dear David,

    Regarding your (yet undisclosed) source about “many tens of thousands of Moslem Hamshen Armenians who allegedly requested to immigrate INTO Armenia but the government rejected them as a security threat in 1992”, please be advised that nothing like that has happened either in 1992, or ever after Armenia gained independence in 1991. This information and your source are completely inaccurate. Such unverified pieces of information are exactly the basis for inventing the fairy-tales about Moslem Armenian communities. It’s time to come back to the reality.

  18. David Davidianon 23 May 2009 at 1:42 pm

    To Gevorg Vardanyan:

    Regarding, “inventing the fairy-tales about Moslem Armenian communities” and “This information and your source are completely inaccurate”, let’s take a look:

    1944: Stalin exiles “Fairy Tale” Moslem Armenians to Central Asia (since then most every such exiled group has requested rehabilitation — including your fairy tail Armenians)

    1984: “[Sergey] Vardanyan says that there are dozens of stories like that, demonstrating that each generation of Islamized Armenians knows less and less about their origins. In 1984, Vardanyan made an effort to resettle one of the derelict villages in Lori with 150 families of Christian Hamshentsi from Krasnodar and Abkhazia and Islamized Hamshentsi from Central Asia”. See: http://www.armenianow.com/?action=viewArticle&AID=2040&lng=eng&IID=1122&CID=2106

    1988: Sergey Vardanyan: “- In those days I invited Hamshen Armenians from Central Asia to visit Armenia or I visited them. I wanted to arouse national self-consciousness in them. I wanted to bring some 30 Moslem families from Central Asia and some 100 Christian families from Abkhazia. But the plans were interrupted because of the 1988 earthquake and the Karabakh movement. The Muslim Hamshen Armenians in Central Asia have no relatives here and that is why there are no contacts. And to do research there, resources are needed. But I must say that in 1984 Muslim Hamshen Armenians were moving from the Central Asia to the villages of the Apsheron region of the Krasnodar Province because Central Asia was an alien environment for them. In Krasnodar the Christian and Moslem Hamshen Armenians differ from each other mostly in their religion.” see: http://www.hamshen.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=115

    Late 1980s: “But the Soviet generation of the Muslim Hamshen Armenians have weak religious feelings because they hardly communicated with mosques, mullahs, or the Koran. Today we have close contacts with the Hamshen Armenians of Abkhazia and Krasnodar. The NGO Hamshen sends them most of the copies of the Voice of Hamshen monthly free of charge. Those who live in Armenia visit them and vice versa. I have also contacts with Hamshen Armenian truck drivers who bring goods from Turkey. Sometimes I ask for their help for my research – related to the dialect and to the local folklore. See: http://www.hamshen.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=115. During the Mikhail Gorbachev period of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, the Hamshenis of Kazakhstan began petitioning for the government to move them to the Armenian SSR. However, this move was denied by Moscow because of fears that the Muslim Hamshenis might spark ethnic conflicts with their Christian Armenian brothers.” see: _Hamshenis Denied Return to Armenian SSR_

    1991/92: When I find the exact reference regarding the general request in the post 1992 era I will post it. It appears not to be on-line, but I have it in my archives someplace. I am not simply making things up. Clearly, I don’t have to. In the meantime perhaps Armen’s wife Lucine could ask her colleague Sergey Vardanyan (see above) to comment on this. Scanning issues of the newspaper, Dzayn Hamshenakan, should provide more than enough answers.

    Since 2000: “Since 2000, several hundred of the Muslim Hamshenis in Russia who have settled from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to Krasnodar Krai (about 1000 total) have repeatedly attempted to formally receive registration from the local authorities. This is similar and related to the problem of the Meskhetians. These actions have been made difficult by the attitude of the Krasnodar officials. In defiance of the authorities an organisation of their co-ethnics in Armenia have appealed to the Russian ambassador in Yerevan to get Moscow to intervene in this case and overrule the regional officials who seem intent on preventing Hamshenis from gaining a status of permanent residency.” See:http://india.smashits.com/wikipedia/Hamshenis

    Since 2000: ” Since 2000, the Khemshils of Krasnodar have tried four times to register with the authorities. Each time they have been refused with officials explaining that they have made mistakes in their application. In the most recent case where the authorities gave this excuse, their refusal was handed back to the Khemshils on May 3rd but dated May 4th.See: “www.hemshin.org/articles/WindowToEurasia%20-PaulGoble11May2005.pdf

    It is not surprising “Muslim Armenian” are considered “fairy tale” people by some. If they are part of a “fairy tale” or “can’t be Armenian” they don’t exist and thus can be dismissed. This is how the Turks categorized Armenians throughout most of the 20th century. I noted the same contempt in many from Armenia when referring to better-educated refugee Armenians from Baku (in the late 1980s/early 1990s) as “Turks” and most any Armenian from Georgia as “shur tvadz”. My son returned from volunteer work in Gyumri last year and was horrified to hear Yerevan Armenians refer to all Karabakhtsis as “Turks”. I can just imagine what some think of those who claim to be an Armenian, yet born in the US. This was the reason for my initial response to the above video! Who is anybody to reject anybody who claims he/she is an Armenians for clearly arbitrary reasons!

    One could ask what are you actually in favor of? It’s really easy to condemn something and call many thousands of people “fairy tale people” but it’s much more difficult to provide a coherent argument FOR something.

    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  19. Bovison 23 May 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Պետք է տարբերել անձնական մտավախությունները ազգային շահերի ըմբռնումից: Եվ եթե ոմանք մտահոգված են «dismissed» լինելու առումով, ապա հենց այդ մտահոգությունը վկայում է այդպիսի մարդկանց հայության օգտին: Իսկ համշենցիները դժվար թե «դիսմիսավորվածների» շարքում գտնվելու տագնապ ունեն: Այնինչ այլ մտահոգությունն է կարեվոր՛ եթե ծագումով հայ մահմեդականները բնակվեն Հայաստանում, ապա նրանք ամենայն հավանականությամբ կկազմեն համայնք և սա վերին աստիճանի անցանկալի երևույթ կլինի Հայաստանի անվտանգության համար:

  20. Արամէon 24 May 2009 at 4:58 am

    Հարգելի հայրենակիցներ

    Եկեք հարցին նայենք ոչ այնքան կրոնական տեսանկյունից այլ մարդու քաղաքական մտածելակերպի տեսանկյունից

    Արդյոք պատմության մեջ մեզ հայտնի է դեպք որ հայ-մահմեդական համարվողները դուրս գան կազմակերպված պայքարի որպեսզի ստեղծեն անկախ Հայաստան, կրկնում եմ Հայաստան այլ ոչ թե մի ինչ որ այլ քաղաքական միավոր

    Պատրաստ են այսօրվա համշենի հայերը օրինակ այդպիսի պայքարի: Եթե ոչ անկախության համար այլ ասենք գոնե պայքարեն ինքնավարության համար: Պատրաստ են իրենք զոհողությունների ու երկարատև պայքարի դաժան թուրքական պետական համակարգի դեմ:

    Կարծում եմ պատասխանը ակհնայտ է ու դրանից էլ հետևում է թե ինչու նրանք ու մենք չենք կարող գտնվել նույն հարթության մեջ նույնիսկ եթե նրանք պնդեն ու երդվեն որ հայ են

    Խոսքերով չէ մարդը դառնում մարդ, այլ գործերով

  21. Gevorg Vardanianon 24 May 2009 at 8:38 am

    Dear David,

    You have not – and you can not – provide any trustworthy source about “many tens of thousands of Moslem Hamshen Armenians who allegedly requested to immigrate INTO Armenia but the government rejected them as a security threat in 1992”, since, as I said above, nothing like that took place ever after 1991.

    As for Sergey Vardanyan, he is an excellent specialist on Hamshen Armenian dialect and folklore, however he has no clear theoretical and practical grasp of what is national identity about. His vision of Armenianness very much corresponds with yours: that is – having Armenian origin is what being considered sufficient to being Armenian. And, by the way, Sergey Vardanyan has published a couple of books/collections of Armenian fairy-tales, which could have accordingly influenced his political thinking, leading him sometimes (but not always and not so staunchly) to allege that these Muslimized and assimilated generations of former Armenians now are still Armenians.

    I am pretty much aware about the mid-1980s attempt by Sergey Vardanyan to resettle the Central Asian Homshetsi into the then Soviet Armenia. Thanks God, the Armenian authorities as well as the great Armenian Catholicos Vazgen the First were alert enough not to agree with such an ill-advised move. These Muslim Turkified people with Armenian origin would have been a Trojan horse in the Armenian society in any future possible dealings with Turkey and the Turks and especially later during the Karabakh movement and war.

    Why do you think did Stalin resettle them in 1944 from the border area with Turkey? The reason was exactly because these people ethnically identified themselves with the Turks, rather than the Armenians. The Soviet KGB knew this very well and considered them unreliable elements in the presumably imminent war with Turkey. Sergey Vardanyan and other non-professionals confuse the identity with the origins and this is where and how all the unnecessary hurly-burly about Muslim “Armenians” starts.

    You seem to be against the irresponsible rapprochement policies by the current Armenian authorities vis-à-vis Turkey. What do you think would have been today the position of these Muslim “Armenians” about Turkish-Armenian negotiations, “roadmaps”, selling of the shares of the new Armenian nuclear power plant to Turkish companies, etc? I will tell you: they would have been in the forefront of the Serj Sarkissian’s capitulation policies and would have been the fifth column in the Armenian society, being supervised, financed and guided by the Turkish MIT secret service.

    And, please, do not mix everything into one box: the Baku Armenians, the Karabaghtsi-Hayastantsi schism, Muslim Homshetsi and Christian/Armenian Hamshentsi (hamshenahay)… This confusion is amateurish and unhelpful for comprehending apparent issue of who is an Armenian. P.S. I do not know where in Armenia did your son hear about Gharabaghtsi being called Turks. If he did, he was most probably mixing too much with the “levonakan sect.” Please advise him not to engage with the religious or political sects anymore, otherwise he could hear still worse idiotisms.

  22. David Davidianon 24 May 2009 at 12:39 pm

    “Արամէ”ը գրեց:” Եկեք հարցին նայենք ոչ այնքան կրոնական տեսանկյունից այլ մարդու քաղաքական
    մտածելակերպիտեսանկյունից”

    This was never a religious issue. It is an issue who is not an Armenian. This is very unfortunate because rather than to extract the best out a diverse world-wide diaspora, many find every excuse not to (for sake of being further categorized I am not an advocate of some utopian cosmopolitan world order). Yerevan currently is home to many Iranians, these people are not only Muslim, but many are Parsik Turks. Why isn’t there a conference or TV interview, like the above, on their historical non-contribution (some of which may be Armenian citizens but I have no current proof to provide in this message) to the Armenians, their State and culture? The answer is clear to some — it’s not necessary because they are simply “not Armenians”, even if citizens. The dilemma for many comes down to Moslem Armenians and downtown Yerevan Armenians both claiming to be Armenian. Apparently, we don’t question the motivation of Persian Shiites living in Armenian, nor blood-sucking Armenian mafioso in their Mercedes, but we question if a Hamshen Armenian even qualifies as an Armenian! So we reduce ourselves to my village is better than yours: Karabakhtsiner are “Turks”, Bakutsiner are “Turks”, Georgian Armenians are “shur tvadz” , Yerevantis are “Parsiks”. So nobody is good enough! As Արամէ wrote, “Խոսքերով չէ մարդը դառնում մարդ, այլ գործերով”, but this isn’t even good enough. If “others” are associated with “my” definition of Armenian, they are called names (even if they fought and died for Armenia). If that doesn’t work, “լաւ ընտանիքից չէն”. So we are left with? We have first world Armenians and third world Armenians at best. But in reality, it is all a reaction to an inferiority complex. Some Armenians are afraid of being victims of their own inferiority. So, if it doesn’t fit “my definition” it simply doesn’t matter and all is dismissed.

    There is no intent towards any insult here. These human tendencies can be very stealthy. This is simply part of an unsophisticated social order. Unfortunately, this village attitude makes its way in areas such as foreign policy. Armenian FP decisions appear to be made by a small inner circle of those in charge, and by “their” definition, the best ones to make a decision. Where are the studies, both pro and con regarding the affects of opening the border with Turkey? Where are the studies that show that it was better to do nothing about the Khachkars destroyed in Nakhichevan? Where are studies on making land claims against the Turkish state or not? Where are the studies that show that Athiest or Muslim Armenians are of benefit or not to Armenia? Where is the study that shows that it’s better for Armenia to have mafias — not not? Where are the studies that show it is easier to open a Star Supermarket in Kars than in Tiflis? Where is the post-soviet Armenian sociological studies or schools of thought, that can used to understand and use the attributes of any Armenian who wishes to contribute to the betterment of Armenia and its people? Yet decision are made. Any nation state today would be more than happy to have such a diverse widespread diaspora as does Armenia. Israel does and uses it well. Armenia claims it needs more investment and yet wonders why there is little interest.

    One would have thought the genocide would have created a societal equalizer — as no Armenian was spared based on societal position or even “village”! Many Armenians who converted to Islam were specifically ordered exterminated by Talaat Pasha, for he didn’t want any Armenian culture to remain. Talaat Pasha didn’t consider these Armenians “fairy tails”.

    If blog participants wish to communicate with me personally, I can be reached at dbd@urartu.sdpa.org or dbd@regionalkinetics.com. It is not necessary to repeat what I have stated several time already. When I find the 1992 Armenian rejection info I will post it.

    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  23. Hagopon 24 May 2009 at 4:55 pm

    As we debate here if the proposal to allow the Hemshinli to Armenia was a bad or good idea, today there are at least dozens if not hundreds of ethnic Turks residing in Armenia and doing business. Many thousands more come and go as tourists, bring goods, or transit Armenia every year. Aren’t they a bigger security threat than the Hemshinli who would have brought their families with them, exposing them to possible retribution? Of all people, uncle Stalin with all of his machinations is being called on as a reliable witness on how potentially treacherous Hemshinli can be.

    Were they (then numbering less than 1500 people) really a security threat as Stalin and some Armenians here are claiming? No one has brought forth any evidence of it. Is there circumstantial or past evidence by any chance? Or are there signs like them being known for fomenting troubles or spying for Turkey in Krasnodar or Central Asia? If Stalin was so concerned about the fatherland’s safety, why did he leave almost all Muslim Georgians (Adjars and Gurians) in their places and selected the insignificant groups like the Hemshinli for exile instead? Weren’t the Muslim Georgians the along with the Azeris – by far the biggest Muslim groups – who stabbed the Russians in the back in 1910s and early 1920s? I recommend re-reading of that period’s history if anyone is interested in Armenia’s security.

    The issue of bringing the USSR Hemshinli to Armenia: This proposal viewed by some Armenians as very dangerous and by others as figment of imagination, was only about resettling those Armenian speaking Hemshinli originally from Adjaria in Georgia that wished to resettle in Armenia. I don’t think anyone had concrete numbers of how many would opt to move to Armenia. In 1980s there were about 3000 of this group in total in the Central Asian exile and a few more who evaded exile in Adjaria. Some did show interest to go to Armenia, many wanted to go to Russia (as they eventually did), others dreamed of returning to Adjaria, while a few chose to go to Turkey near their relatives in Hopa (this group all has distant relatives in Hopa). This was the numerical scope of the proposal as far as I can tell. Now, there are non-Armenian speaking Hemshinli (originally from Rize) who were not compactly settled like the Adjaria Hemshinli but were scattered in many cities of Russia since the 19th century. Predictably, they were ethnically mixed with all sorts of groups even before their exile to Central Asia. I have not heard of any contacts with them about this proposal. They numbered less than 2000 across the USSR and kept a limited number of Armenian vocabulary but spoke Turkish. There is yet another group that call themselves Hemshinli Kurds. No one is sure if they descend from Armenians or Kurds. They spoke neither Armenian or Kurdish but only Turkish. They numbered less than 3000 at that time and they were not part of the proposal. The Hemshinli in Turkey weren’t (and couldn’t be) in the scope of the proposal.

    As for calling the Ghabaghtsis Turks, I have heard it with my own ears many times and I believe pretty much all Yerevantsis have. Flat denials of this and other “figments of imagination” are only preventing us to face the issues, including Armenia’s security.

    Hagop Hachikian

  24. David Davidianon 24 May 2009 at 7:58 pm

    To Gevorg Vardanian:

    I broke my own promise to end participation in this discussion. You have made false and insulting conclusions in your statement below:

    Gevorg Vardanian wrote: “You seem to be against the irresponsible rapprochement policies by the current Armenian authorities vis-à-vis Turkey. What do you think would have been today the position of these Muslim “Armenians” about Turkish-Armenian negotiations, “roadmaps”, selling of the shares of the new Armenian nuclear power plant to Turkish companies, etc? I will tell you: they would have been in the forefront of the Serj Sarkissian’s capitulation policies and would have been the fifth column in the Armenian society, being supervised, financed and guided by the Turkish MIT secret service.”

    I completed an Ararat Center poll on these topics sent to me by Armen Ayvazyan. Ask him to send you my responses. My responses were also transmitted across the internet via groong. You have actually proven the point I made eight responses ago of the catastrophic results of making unsupported assumptions and drawing baseless conclusions about other Armenians. One could conclude all of your previous assumption were as erroneous. This is quod erat demonstrandum, sadly at the expense of this discussion.

    I have posted seven responses on this subject; this the eighth. At the end of each response one can see an included reference to the website: http://www.regionalkinetics.com. Clearly, you have not seen this site because if you did you would not have made such a baseless and frankly idiotic assumption that I support any Armenian capitulation.

    Is that what Comrade Stalin taught you, accuse, deport, kill, starve, and make assumptions later? If I were a prejudgemental Armenian like you, I would call you a Stalinist … but I will not.

    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com <—– Gevorg Vardanian, please note

    P.S. I will not be monitoring this blog any further.

  25. Bovison 24 May 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Այս քննարկումը ընթանում է գլխաորապես մի հակադրության սահմաններում այն է՛ ազգը պառակտող գործոններ ընդդեմ ազգը միավորող գործոնների: Բոլորս համամիտ ենք մեր ազգը միավորելու ձգտման առումով, բայց գտնվում ենք այսպիսի մի երկընտրանքի առջև՛ կամ պիտի ընդունենք Արմեն Այվազյանի ձևակերպումը և այսպիսով վանենք այն հայ քրիստոնյաներին, օվքեր Հայ Առաքելական Եկեղեցու զավակներ չեն (չէ՞ որ պիտի խոստովանենք որ իրենք որոշ չափով հեռացել են մեր բուն ավանդույթից, ղեկավարվում են այլ երկրներից և այլն), կամ էլ պիտի պաշտոնապես անտեսենք եղած իրական կրոնական տարբերությունը, բոլորին համախմբելու նպատակով: Այս երկրորդ ուղին ընտրելով էլ ակամա կնպաստենք կրոնական փոքրամասնությունների տարածմանը: Եվ հետագայում այդ փոքրամասնությունները կդառնան որոշակի քաղաքական ուժ: Ինչպես՞ վարվենք: Իմ կարծիքով ազգային գաղափարախոսությունը պետք է ընդգծի առնվազն երկու տարր, առաջինն այն է որ այլ քրիստոնեական դավանանքների ներկայացուցիչները մեր եղբայրներն են և քույրերը, երկրորդն էլ այն է որ մեր կրոնը ազգային է: Սա է իմ կարծիքով Արմեն Այվազյանի դիրքորոշումը:
    Մի երկու խոսք ավելացնեմ մահմեդականության կապակցությամբ:
    Եթե չընդունենք որ գոյություն ունի հայ քրիստոնեությանը, կամ քրիստոնեությանը ընդհանուր առմամբ, հատուկ աշխարհայացք, և եթե չընդունենք որ այս աշխարհայացքը մեր ինքնության կարևորագույն բաղադրիչներից է, ապա այս քննարկումը դառնում է անիմաստ: Հայաստանի խնդիրներն ենք քննարկում, ուրեմն պետք ե համաձայնվենք որ ելակետն այստեղ հայն է, իր ինքնությունը: Այն հարցադրումը, թե նպաստելու՞ է հայկական ծագում ունեցող մահմեդականը Հայաստանի զարգացմանը թե ոչ, ճիշտ չէ: Ես ենթադրում եմ, որ ճիշտ հարցադրումը սա է՛ նպաստում՞ է արդյոք տվյալ անձը հայի ինքնության ակունքների ըմբռնմանը և հայի ինքնությանը հավատարիմ մնալուն: Ընդունենք որ առանց այս ներքին հոգևոր աշխատանքի հայի ու Հայաստանի հարցեր շոշափելը անիմաստ է:
    Մահմեդականի համար բնական կլինի իր մահմեդականությունը հաստատել փայփայել ու տարածել:
    Եկեք հոգեբանական բարդութներից չխոսենք: Չխառնենք իրար աթեիստներին, հանցագործներին, մահմեդականներին, թուրքացած պարսիկներին, թուրք առևտրականներին ու գռեհիկներին:
    Հանքիստ թողնենք ալլահի որդիներին, նրանք հայ կամ « էրմնի» կոչվելու կարիքը չունէն:

  26. Gevorg Vardanianon 25 May 2009 at 2:54 am

    To David Davidian:

    You’re hysterical, my friend.

    Where have you read in my text that you «support any Armenian capitulation»? I stressed just the opposite in clear English: «You seem to be against the irresponsible rapprochement policies by the current Armenian authorities vis-à-vis Turkey». You are shamelessly mispresenting and misinterpreting a very clear sentence.

    I think you owe me an apology.

  27. Hagopon 25 May 2009 at 11:42 am

    Unfortunately, talking about only one of Armenia’s problems isn’t debating about all of Armenia’s problems. It is appalling that some of the blog participants are almost suggesting imposition of the Apostolic creed on other Armenians who are of non-Apostolic creed or are atheists/agnostics. That is both self-defeating and unachievable simply because it is going to create a real schism (not a feared one) in its implementation, if it is ever attempted. Although there are kernels of truth in their centers, the 19th century sectarian protectionist arguments of a millet (i.e. Gregoryan=Lusavorchakan millet, not a sovereign state) are being presented here without any substantial innovation. Apparently ignoring the largely romantic depiction of the past history and the supposed current mission of the Armenian Apostolic Church they wish to convey onto, they appear to accuse other Armenians of not sharing that dream.

    Let me be very specific: We simply do not need actions that even slightly resembles to Turkish chauvinistic policies like imposition of Sunnism on Alevis and building Sunni mosques in every Alevi village in Turkey. No one attends those mosques and although that fact does not stop the Turks trying, but that’s irrelevant. The lesson here is that the Turks will fail as long as they are confrontational with the Alevis or others (they can still try another final solution, but that’s another subject altogether). The nation building process must include the non-Armenian national minorities of Armenia. That is the ultimate guarantee to non-Apostolic Armenians of our commitment for an all-inclusive Armenia, if they are serious enough to take the challenge.

    Look, other states have stopped looking at the Armenians as a helpless millet without a country, we should stop looking at ourselves as such. Of course there are groups like Jehovah’s Witnesses at the other end of the spectrum that go against the core of even the physical existence of the nation. However, the answer to the question of national security isn’t in imposing a romantic/idealized vision of the Armenian Apostolic Church via the type of clerical and lay “leadership” (as well as the “type” of the flock at large) we have at the moment. Other than that, “good luck in convincing everybody” is all I can say about that. Because the counter argument to that is serious self-delusion and that will only delay finding real solutions to our problems.

  28. Bovison 25 May 2009 at 6:01 pm

    Sorry for repeating myself, but i found necessary to do some stylistic and grammatical corrections of the previous massage to make it clear.

    Hagop, here is my understanding of what you implied regarding some of the topics of your last comments.

    Process of building of the Armenian state must include an appropriate politics aimed to the national minorities, and that is a guarantee of wellbeing for Armenian nation.

    You have a plan of dealing with national minorities of Armenia, a plan that would fulfill the both, treating the minorities in the most civilized way, and pursuing national interests of Armenians.

    Sincerely telling Christian representatives of “non-Apostolic creed” that they are my Armenian brothers, but reminding them that Christianity in Armenia had been adopted as (or historically developed into) a national religion is a Turkish-resembling political behavior.

    Telling atheist/agnostic that they still exist in the cultural realm of Christianity is inappropriate.

    Having clerical leadership of AAC is inappropriate.

    Correct me if I am wrong.

  29. Artakon 26 May 2009 at 1:27 am

    I see the clear distortion of the argument on the part of Hagop, when he says ”It is appalling that some of the blog participants are almost suggesting imposition of the Apostolic creed on other Armenians who are of non-Apostolic creed or are atheists/agnostics.”

    No one has been preaching anything of the kind here. This is a delibirate misrepresentation. The point by the participants on the other side (Stepan Sargsyan, Vigen Nazarian, Anush Bezhanyan, Bovis, Gevorg Vardanyan and myself) was about the impossibility of having Armenian identity among the Muslims. No one suggests here any impositions on anyone.
    Come down, Hagop, try to answer the arguments, if you can, do not distort them.

  30. Vigen Nazaryanon 26 May 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Codswallop Claptrap Twaddle

    My god it has been a long time since I last read such a load of “English” as in British codswallop! from “Hagop” I think his fancily dressed up theories and thoughts are even more dangerous than “David Davidian”. One could easily be convinced that Mr Davidian could well be aware of the mortal dangers of having an Armenian estate without The Armenian Apostolic church as its moral guide, but he just can not bring himself to accepting that as the only way forward for Armenians, who knows, perhaps influenced by personal life experiences or cultural pressures of living away from Armenia. With all due respect to Mr Davidian, to me he sounds like he is desperately seeking salvation of either himself or of some close friends’ lost sole by grasping desperately onto ideas which are more suitable for nations of fifty or more million nationals, those estates can easily afford to have tens maybe hundreds or even millions of people absorbed into their society, we just can not, rejection of non conformists to fundamental building blocks of what has for thousands of years been The Armenian Identity, be it a non democratic move or non humanitarian, or what other western ideological garbage can be misquoted to support separation of Armenian apostolic church from its Armenian people has to be treated as a threat to our survival and should not be tolerated. Now let me get specific as “Hagop” appears to wish to be:

    Mr Davidian replied to my comments (http://blog.ararat-center.org/?p=246#comment-651) with “Nobody is suggesting that Sharia law be introduced in Armenia!” in his posting, (http://blog.ararat-center.org/?p=246#comment-662). What has that sentence got to do with what I said in my comments, friend it is easy to ignore facts that are not to your liking. Wake up and smell the coffee, all around the world where part of a nation has been converted to Islam (very often by use of deadly force) in some cases thousand or so years ago, has become a staunch advocate of Islam in that nation until it has been separated into another nation or crushed (converted) the “others” into Islam, I hear you shout “give examples” here they are : “ India v Pakistan” “Sinhalese v Tamils”, Indonesian “Muslims v Buddhists” need more? Some of those conflicts go on today. So yes Mr Davidian, what you are suggesting amounts to sawing seeds of conflicts which can result in a separate Islamic state of Ex-Armenians, if not introduction of Sharia law, for example, it is proposed ( actually demanded, through sometime violent demonstrations) by British Muslims to introduce Sharia law in towns and cities with majority Muslim population!

    Mr Dravidians’ fixation with “mafiosos, police chiefs, mayors, parliament members, general street thugs” is used like a baby pacifier “ babies dummy”, every time, he is getting close to accepting unreasonableness of his untenable position, he uses it. Look we are living with it day in day out and most of us are dealing with it best we know how, if you have a better way of dealing with those “Mafioso” then get on with it as an Armenian citizen, or else? It is as if the great western democracies were delivered on a plate to those estates! Every one that knows history knows that “Mafioso” aspect of our society is similar to other countries like USA’s, United Kingdom’s, France’s and many others, they have also had to deal with it, each in their own way and we also will deal with it in our own way.

    Mr Davidian comments “The more important reason to begin examining this general issue is because if someday Armenia is granted western Armenian land as part as of genocide reparations, I would suggest that land will not be empty”. WOW I just hope you are not suggesting that we should accept ten million or more Kurds, Turks and people claiming to be EX-Armenians to be accepted with open arms as Armenian citizens!? Are you? Those lands were over 80% Armenians before 1922 in some cases 90%, they can return them to us with the same ratio, let the children and grand children of murderers of my ancestors go where ever they like to, hell for all I care, but NOT IN MY BACK YARD, thank you. I suggest you better ask the Turks that question not me. I point blank refuse to accept responsibility for the actions of a criminal Turkish estate. If any Americans or Europeans disagree, then let them have those people, over to you Mr Davidian.

    “Mr” Hagop, I do not know where to start with you, the hidden content of your argument is so transparent that even a child “sorry, an Armenian child” could see through them, so I am not going to misuse the facilities on this website and the bloggers’ time, I am sure they can see clearly the hidden dangers of what you have to say, and advocate. But as you apparently wish to be specific, what about this, you say in second paragraph here: http://blog.ararat-center.org/?p=246#comment-685, how dare you even imply that Armenian Apostolic church forces itself on Armenians like the Sunni Turks and the Alevis! What are you comparing? A country, the first Christian nation on earth, an apostolic church at that, under siege from so called Evangelical churches of god knows what origin? As far as I know evangelists are suppose to take Christianity to those who are not aware of it, not to convert the converted!!! As far as I know Jesus Christ asked for the evangelisation of those who did not know him. And if Armenian Apostolic church comments on how openly hostile are some of these churches, then you give yourself the right to compare those comments to Draconian measures taken by the Turks!
    As I said I have no intention to carry on tearing your false arguments they already are very poorly veiled, every one can see through them.

    Vigen Nazaryan
    Armenian, living on my homeland, reserving the right to defend my religion, and my way of life, on that land, and all those who live alongside me, as it is the god given right and responsibility of every free man.

  31. Hagopon 26 May 2009 at 11:09 pm

    To Bovis:

    I am not implying anything. I am putting down what I think in black and white.

    1) Yes, the process of building of the Armenian state must include appropriate politics aimed at the national minorities, and that is a guarantee of the well-being for Armenian nation.

    2) I do not have a plan of dealing with national minorities of Armenia. But treating the minorities in the most civilized way is in itself a part of pursuing the national interests of Armenia.

    3) The sentences below do not make sense. Please write the below marked with >>>> in Armenian instead:

    >>>>Sincerely telling Christian representatives of “non-Apostolic creed” that they are my Armenian brothers, but reminding them that Christianity in Armenia had been adopted as (or historically developed into) a national religion is a Turkish-resembling political behavior.

    >>>>Telling atheist/agnostic that they still exist in the cultural realm of Christianity is inappropriate.

    >>>>Having clerical leadership of AAC is inappropriate.

  32. Bovison 28 May 2009 at 1:07 am

    Հագոբին:
    Ասածս հայերեն թարգմանելու կարիքը չկա, քանի որ իմ խոսքերի ձեզ չհասնելու պատճառը իմ թերի անգլերենը չէ: Պատճառն այն է, որ իմ մեկնաբանությունը չկամեցաք ընթերցել համապատասխան համատեքստում: Իսկ այդ համատեքստի գլխավոր գաղափարը այսօրվա իրավիճակին համապատասխանող գաղափարախոսությունն է: Մի գաղափարախոսություն որը կծառաեր ազգային միաբանությանը և միաժամանակ կչեզոքացներ այդ ճանապարհին գոյացող հասարակական բախումները:

    Այն երեք նախադասության իմաստն էլ հետևյալն է:
    Դուք դեմ եք այն գաղափարախոսությոանը, որը կընդգծի բոլոր հայ քրիստոնյաների հոգևոր կապը և միաժամանակ կշեշտի, որ հայի ինքնության ակունքները հնարավոր է ճանաչել գլխավորապես (կամ միայն) ըմբռնելով այն ոգին, որը կազմավորվել էր 301 թվականին ընդունված քրիստոնեության ներքո:
    Դուք դեմ եգ այն գաղափարախոսությանը, որը կհասցնի մեր հայրենակիցներին այն միտքը, թե իրենց աշխարհայացքը, անկախ իրենց խոսքը Աստծուն ուղղելու փորձից, պայմանավորված է քրիստոնեական ոգով:

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Կայքի մոդերատորներն իրավունք ունեն հեռացնելու այն գրառումները, որոնք պարունակում են անձնական վիրավորանքներ, բռնության կոչեր, թեմայից դուրս գրառումներ, գովազդային նյութեր։ Նաև չի խրախուսվում շատախոսությունը (flood):

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