ANCA Letter on Massachusetts Genocide Curriculum Court Case Appears in Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON–DC–The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on November 12 published a letter from the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) along with several others in response to Kara Scannells’ October 27 article "Turk-Armenian Fight Over WWI History Goes to a US Court." The letters addressed the efforts of the Turkish groups to misuse the US legal system to inject Armenian genocide denial into the Massachusetts state educational curriculum.

The lawsuit–brought by two teachers–a student–and a parent–is trying to include the Turkish embassy website and other non-academic sources that deny the Armenian genocide–in the state’s guide to teaching about the Genocide. The plaintiffs are arguing that exclusion of these sources constitutes a breach of their first amendment right to free speech.

In his letter to the WSJ–ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian writes: "This lawsuit is not about free speech–but about a massive Turkish state-sponsored campaign to cover up the Genocide. Not satisfied with repression at home–Turkish affiliates are working to prevent the teaching of the Armenian genocide here in the US."

Among other respondents was University of Michigan Professor Fatma Muge Gocek–who wrote–"As a Turkish American scholar who is working on the dynamics of the Turkish state’s denial of the Armenian massacres of 1915–I wish to state that I don’t concur with what I regard as the highly political stand of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations on this issue–and I find this lawsuit extremely offensive."

Scannell’s article angered many readers of the WSJ–Armenian and non-Armenian alike–because it presented the fact of the Genocide as an ongoing debate between Armenia’s and Turks–overlooking the vast amount of scholarly research conducted about the topic.

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