The Toronto District School Board is still considering whether it will adopt a course teaching Armenian genocide claims to Toronto's 11th graders.

Below is a sample letter to voice your objection to the course. Turks everywhere are asked to please email the letter, or one of their choice, to the Canadian Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Ontario Deputy. Their email addresses are below.

Please add your name to the bottom of the letter before emailing it.

1. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s email address is:

2. Minister of Defense Peter MacKay’s email address is:

3. You can email Deputy Dalton McGuinty (Tortonto is in Ontario) through the form at this website: You do not need to fill out the form with your contact information to send your email, but you should include your email address for a reply.

You may also contact the government more effectively by hand-written letter mailed to their office or typed letter.

The letter is below.
RE: Course CHG38M (Genocide: Historical and Contemporary Implications) Under Consideration by the Toronto District School Board

To the Honorable Prime Minister Stephen Harper;
The Honorable Minister of Defence Peter MacKay; and
The Honorable Premier Dalton McGuinty:

I write to express grave concern about the Armenian Module of Course CHG38M under consideration by the Toronto District School Board. The way that module was developed and its contents evidence the intent to promote the vilification of people associated with a specific nation of origin, not to develop a course with academic merit. The Armenian module should therefore be replaced.

Course CHG38M intends to teach about genocides through three examples from the 20th Century: the Holocaust, Rwanda and the 1915 Ottoman-Armenian tragedy of WWI. While the Holocaust and events in Rwanda have been recognized by the United Nations as genocides, the events of 1915 have not. In fact, British tribunals formed in Malta after WWI to try Ottoman officials for war crimes failed to uncover evidence supporting any such charges.

In addition, renowned academicians, only some of which include Gunter Lewy, Stanford Shaw, Bernard Lewis, Norman Stone, David Fromken, Michael Gunter, Pierre Oberling, Heath Lowry, Avigdor Levy and Justin McCarthy, have published accurate disinterested accounts of the civil and ethnic strife of 1915 despite repeated harassment and violence by the Armenian community. Nevertheless, in the hopes of material gain in the form of land and money, special interest groups continue to dispute characterization of the events of 1915 (see (“[The Armenian parliament] prepared a bill of 14.5 billion USD regarding the incidents of 1915”); (“The Armenian Cause is not about genocide recognition, but the pursuit of … reparations.”)).

Forged documents, false references and that Armenia continues to conceal archives concerning the activities of Armenian revolutionaries in the Ottoman Empire before and during WWI complicate resolution of the issue. Expert historians investigating the matter have concluded telegrams expressly ordering annihilation of Armenians attributed to Ottoman rulers are forgeries and claims that Hitler referenced the Armenian tragedy to justify the Holocaust are false (see e.g., Gunter Lewy, The Armenian Massacres in ottoman Turkey, A Disputed Genocide, pp. 64-73; Erich Feigl, A Myth of Terror (Ed. zeitgeschichten-Freilassing- Salzburg 1991); Michael M. Gunter, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 21, No. 3 (Aug. 1989), pp. 419-422). Yet, these still form the basis for Armenian genocide claims, while Armenian sources evidencing that the tragedy of 1915 occurred due to civil war and ethnic strife are ignored (see e.g., The Manifesto of Hovhannes Katchaznouni First Prime Minister of the Independent Armenian Republic; K. S. Papazian, Patriotism Perverted (Boston, Baikar Press 1934) ("A discussion of the deeds and the misdeeds of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, the so-called Dashnagtzoutune")).

In addition, CHG38M’s Armenian module was developed in secret for over two years, without notice to, or input from, Canadian citizens in the Turkish community in violation of the Ministry of Education’s policy and procedures for locally developed course material. Canadians in the Turkish community first learned about CHG38M in November 2007 due only to an unusual coincidence. Although excluded from the development of the course for two and a half years, when the Toronto District School Board met on January 16, 2008, only two Canadians from the Turkish community were allowed to speak for five minutes each, in contrast to five proponents of CHG38M. From all appearances, it seems Canadians of Turkish origin are being deliberately disenfranchised from the process.

Furthermore, during its meeting, the Board took irrelevant and historically inaccurate statements from MP Jim Karygiannis, who made reference to population exchanges between Turkey and Greece, claimed Hitler based the Holocaust on the Armenian tragedy, that Turks committed a genocide against Greeks, killed his family because they were Greek and burned “Smyrna,” and based these statements on intentionally vague references to the internet.

As noted above, the Hitler claim is baseless, and Greece’s unprovoked 1919 invasion of western Anatolia and population exchanges Turkey and Greece agreed to undertake by treaty after 1923 are wholly irrelevant to the events of 1915. That time was spared to take irrelevant and historically false information about unrelated events from one who is neither an expert, nor possesses knowledge related to the issue in dispute, while the community excluded from the development of CHG38M for two years was only allowed to present ten minutes of material, raises additional troubling questions concerning the motive for including the Armenian module in CHG38M.

Its proponents claim the motive for developing CHG38M is to eliminate the impetus for genocide. There can be no better goal than to promote unity, tolerance and acceptance among people of different races, ethnic backgrounds or religions. However, the motive CHG38M’s proponents allege is not supported by (i) the covert manner in which the Armenian module was developed; (ii) that it was not prepared based on a critical analysis of the objectives of Ottoman Armenian revolutionaries or events taking place before and during WWI; (iii) is contrary to, and ignores the work of, expert academicians; (iv) is based upon and/or contains selectively referenced content that is either false, or war time propaganda, published to establish a rationale for entering, and to motivate the Entente powers’ reluctant public to engage in, WWI.

Rather, the conduct of CHG38M’s proponents suggests that the Armenian Module was developed as a tool to use Toronto’s education system and its students to promote the desire of one ethnic community to stigmatize and vilify another less politically connected one. That is undemocratic, divisive and the antithesis of what, and how, we should teach impressionable young adults.

I urge you to (i) encourage the Toronto School District Board to replace the Armenian module in CHG38M with the study of an indisputably uncontested genocide, such as that of the Cambodians, and (ii) to reiterate Canada’s support for, and again encourage Armenia to accept, Turkey’s proposal for a joint historical study of the events of 1915.

Canadian citizen