Assess the role that religion played in the Armenian Genocide.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that the differences in religion played a large role in the foundation of abuse that the Turks perpetrated upon the Armenians.  With the dominant religion of Armenia as Christianity, the Muslim Turks were able to assert the primacy of their own religion on the subjugated Armenians.  This resulted in many reforms based on religious discrimination that started the pattern of abuse which laid the foundations for the Genocide.  Political and social rights violations were perpetrated on the Armenians for the religious beliefs.  For example, testimony from Christians was not admitted in courts of law and Christian homes could not overlook homes of Muslims.  The superiority of the Turks over the Armenians was established through the primacy of religion.  This form of discrimination made the vocabulary of disdain, isolation, and eventual execution easier to accept and easier to digest.  If targeting on the grounds of religion had already been established, then the groundwork is laid down for all sorts of marginalization to occur.  The targeting of a religious group without any sort of public rebuke or repudiation can lead to horrific events.  It might be for this reason that so many Americans are showing solidarity with the Sikh Community over this weekend's display of religious intolerance in Wisconsin, something that was evident in the religious subjugation of the Armenians at the hands of the Turks.

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