Characteristics of Genocide
Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction of a group of people based on their ethnicity, nationality, religion, or race. According to the United Nations Genocide Convention, genocide is defined as any of five acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group. These five acts are:
- killing members of the group,
- causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group,
- deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part,
- imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group, or
- forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Genocide is a terrible thing that has happened throughout history. The estimated proportion of the population that perished in each of the following five genocides is here provided:
- Rwandan Genocide: The genocide was carried out by the Hutu majority against the Tutsi minority and moderate Hutus in 1994. The death toll of the genocide is estimated to be between 500,000 to 1 million people, which is approximately 7% to 14% of the Rwandan population at the time,
- German Genocide: This was a genocide carried out by Nazi Germany during World War II. The death toll is estimated to be between 5.1 to 6 million Jews including some Christians and minorities of other faiths or those who unaffiliated with any religions.
- Cambodian Genocide: The Cambodian Genocide was carried out by the Khmer Rouge regime led by Pol Pot between 1975 and 1979. The death toll of the genocide is estimated to be between 1.7 to 2.2 million people.
- Armenian Genocide: The Armenian Genocide was carried out by the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1923. The death toll of the genocide is estimated to be between 1 to 1.5 million people.
- Bosnian Genocide: The Bosnian Genocide was carried out by Bosnian Serb forces during the Bosnian War between 1992 and 1995. The death toll of the genocide is estimated to be between 25,000 to 30,000 people.
In the recent Israel, Palestine war which is claimed by the Israeli side to be a war against Hamas, more than 25000 Palestinian people were killed. The population residing Gaza in 2023 was estimated to be about 2.1 million people. The proportion of the people who were killed is approximately 1% of the whole population. This number of people were killed in a very short time. This makes the trend similar to those seen in a genocide. Also this has happened in an era of very speedy advancements in technology that allows armies to have facilities such as face recognition and are definitely able to recognize soldiers and not mistake them for civilians. Countries that observe the war should as well put a difference between those who are soldiers and consciously involved in the war and those who are civilians and deserve a safe life.
A large group of Palestinians were over and over displaced in a short period of time and this alone leaves the people traumatized. Several of them lost their family members and this is the biggest trauma that could be inflicted on them. A considerable number of the Palestinians were killed in plain sight and the number keeps rising. These are characteristics of genocide and the world should with no hesitation condemn Israel and this should not be just limited to the countries that demanded ceasefire or the end of the war which were two few for a civilized world.
Freemuslim condemns all kinds of war and violence regardless who commits such crime, nor what religion they follow or where they are from. In a world of civilizations and technology that distinguishing between groups of people and even individuals is not out of reach, we should not accept unreasonable excuses and stand by and see civilians lose their lives. We urge transparency in the news and updates from the ground. We also ask people to voice their concerns. Promoting rights of oppressed people, innocent casualties of war, forcefully displaced people and civilians caught in country politics does NOT mean they are Anti-Jew comments, nor should be seen as antisemitic comments. We condemn any verbal or physical action toward anybody regardless of their faith, background, gender or religion. We ask people to become elements of positive and constructive change in the society through advocacy and peaceful steps to demand for their rights and rights of all oppressed people.