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STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS: Amenian Genocide

21 November 2013

 

Mr ALEXANDER (Bennelong) (13:52): I rise to express grave concerns that a House of Representatives committee room has today been used to advocate a revision of accepted history on the Armenian genocide. At the invitation of Labor members for Werriwa and Calwell, revisionist Justin McCarthy has used parliamentary facilities to promote his well-documented views questioning the systematic slaughter of Armenians, Assyrians and Pontian Greeks from 1915 to 1923.

The International Association of Genocide Scholars has discredited McCarthy’s work as selective and grossly distorting history. ANZAC soldiers verified the genocide as an irrefutable historical fact through their eyewitness accounts. Denial of this genocide is an attack on those who perished, on those who survived and on their descendants.

For Parliament House facilities to be used to give his views a veneer of credibility brings shame on us all. This institution should never again be used to express doubt over the scope of suffering experienced by the victims of a historical atrocity nor to justify these actions as merely part of a civil war. The Ottoman Empire no longer exists and is a world apart from modern-day Turkey. Just as our nation cannot hide from the actions of white settlers, historical sins must be acknowledged to free the victims from a denial of their suffering so we can join together to ensure history never repeats.

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