Christopher Hitchens’ parallel between Turkish Prime Minister’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s threat to cleanse his nation of 100,000 Armenian aliens whom it “tolerates”, and the Turkish “campaign of race extermination” that America’s then-ambassador to Turkey, Henry Morgenthau reported to the U.S. Secretary of State on 16 July 1915, has swiftly elicited the stock Turkish criticism of Morgenthau’s memoir, notwithstanding Hitchens’ lack of reliance thereupon. One Emre Ozaltin writes:
Absolutely schocking [sic.] that Morgenthau’s book is cited as a source, its content would embarass [sic.] all but the most ardent racist.
Read: “The Armenians, are known for their industry, their intelligence, and their decent and orderly lives. They are so superior to the Turks intellectually and morally” among many other such gems.
The same passage by Morgenthau was quoted by Turkish Times, “the oldest English-language Turkish-American periodical in USA”, in May 2003, and echoed by Bruce Fein, a “resident scholar at the Turkish Coalition of America”, on 4 June 2009. In each instance, the
genocide apologist tempestuous Turkophile omitted the point of Morgenthau’s proclamation of Armenian superiority:
This chronic omission begs the question of the reasons behind the passing of much of the Turkish business and industry into Armenian hands. While this development may be as plausibly credited to some unfair business advantage of the Armenian diaspora over their Turkish hosts hampered by their religious strictures against usury and profiteering, as it is to its intellectual and moral superiority thereto, there needs be no malice in a claim of Armenian cultural tendencies towards commerce finding fertile grounds in Muslim lands, even if it is conjoined with speculative comparison of intellect and morality.
Long before T.E. Lawrence enjoyed his buggery by Turkish guards in Deraa, Western physicians observed that the statistics of anal syphilitic chancres in the Turkish capital were “too horrible for belief”. While it may no longer be fashionable to decry “the practise of unnatural vice” or censure the promulgation of unmentionable maladies, it would be hard to conjure intellectually sound grounds for foreclosing inquiry into the extent to which the doctrines of religious deception (taqiyya) and dissimulation (kitmān) that are commonly identified with Iranian culture and Shī‘a Islam, might be habitually practiced by Turkish Sunnis as part of their gainsaying of the Armenian holocaust.
But the most important component of intellectual and moral fitness is the capacity for dispassionate and disinterested contemplation of issues and committed engagement in fair and open discussion on all matters of contention and disagreement. In this regard, every Islamic culture bears the burden of a permanent state of war against its infidel neighbors.
Thus the jihād may be regarded as Islam’s instrument or carrying out its ultimate objective by turning all people into believers, if not in the prophethood of Muḥammad (as in the case of the dhimmis), at least in the belief in God. The Prophet Muḥammad is reported to have declared “some of my people will continue to fight victoriously for the sake of the truth until the last one of them will combat the anti-Christ.” [Abū Dā’ūd, Sunan (Cairo, 1935), Vol. III, p. 4.] Until that moment is reached the jihād, in one form or another, will remain as a permanent obligation upon the entire Muslim community. It follows that the existence of a dār al-ḥarb is ultimately outlawed under the Islamic jural order; that the dār al-Islām is permanently under jihād obligation until the dār al-ḥarb is reduced to non-existence; and that any community which prefers to remain non-Islamic—in the status of a tolerated religious community accepting certain disabilities—must submit to Islamic rule and reside in the dār al-Islām or be bound as clients to the Muslim community.—Majid Khadduri, War and Peace in the Law of Islam, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1955, p. 64
This belligerence stands as the main obstacle in the way of integrating Turkey with Western society. And as long as it so remains, the discussion of intellectual and moral superiority of the Armenians over the Turks can disclaim all racist prejudice, finding an adequate rationale in historical records and religious doctrines.