What does the future of genocide look like?

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kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If the past 40 years are any indication, we can expect more instances in the future of genocide. Fundamentally, genocide is one category of human being seeking to exterminate another category of human being out of prejudicial notions regarding race, ethnicity, and/ or religion. The last century, beginning with the decimation of Armenian villages and towns by the Ottoman Turks and continuing through the Holocaust, the reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, the attacks by Hutu against Tutsi populations in Rwanda, the genocidal campaign waged by Serbs against the Muslim population of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the deliberate slaughter of secessionists in the region of Darfur in Sudan, and the brutal, ethnically-influenced fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the recent past gives lie to the post-Holocaust refrain of "Never Again." Unfortunately, yes, there will be more instances of genocide.

The most prevalent examples of genocidal practices today mainly involve the actions of the Islamic State militias in Syria and Iraq, as well as the Taliban's campaigns against Afghanistan's Hazara population, a Shi'a Muslim people who ascribe to Sufiism, which makes them apostates to all Sunni and many Shi'a. Ancient Christian populations in Iraq and Syria are under sustained attacks by Islamic State militants in a deliberate effort to force Christians to convert to Islam or die. Ethnic conflicts in countries as disparate as Burma/Myanmar, Nigeria, and others, as well as China's protracted strategy of eliminating any semblance of Tibetan national identity and the troubling pattern of anti-Semitic policies and activities across Europe and North America all constitute genocidal or examples of potential genocidal developments. To the extent that Jewish populations around the world are increasingly under attack in campaigns that include the use of ancient and discredited propaganda (e.g., references by anti-Semitic activists to the Russian-devised "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and the continued unfounded accusation across the Muslim world that Jews use the blood of non-Jews in their rituals, the so-called "blood libel"), then the prospects for another genocide directed against Jewish populations seem frighteningly real. 

In the aftermath of the Holocaust, it was widely believed in many regions of the world that another genocidal campaign such as that waged by Nazi Germany against Europe's Jews could never be repeated. It didn't take long for that assumption to prove flawed. There is no reason to believe another genocide will not occur again in the not-too-distant future.

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