“The Institute for Research of Genocide of Canada”: Genocide Deniers, Hypocrites, and Character Assassins

By Ambassador James Bissett
Friday, 18 Feb 2011

Printer-friendly versionSend to friend



Former Canadian Ambassador in Yugoslavia James Bissett, Chairman of The Lord Byron Foundation, unveils some disturbing facts about a gauche Bosniak outfit that has tried to “ban” Dr. Srdja Trifkovic from speaking at UBC Vancouver next week. It's an eminently postmodern, grimly amusing little story...

A Bosnian-Muslim propaganda front, calling itself The Institute for Research of Genocide of Canada, has tried to have Dr. Srdja Trifkovic “banned” (South African Apartheid-style) from speaking at the University of British Columbia next Thursday, February 24. What is outrageous is that, over the years, the “Institute” has indulged in World War Two genocide denial of the sort that would make David Duke blush. It has also attempted to blacken the reputation of one of Canada's most highly respected soldiers, and to make patently false claims about its standing in the “Bosnian-Canadian” community.

GENOCIDE DENIAL – Before the “Institute’s” director, Emir Ramić, and his cohorts remove the incriminating material, please take a look at their featured article “Examination of Serbian Deaths in Jasenovac Camp” – a nauseating piece of Holocaust denial – and then contrast it with an authoritative source, such as the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Contrast the “Institute’s” hate-filled ravings with the entry on “Jasenovac” by Menachem Shelach, Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, 1990, p. 739, which says, “Some six hundred thousand people were murdered at Jasenovac.” The Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team estimated “that close to 600,000 … mostly Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies, were murdered at Jasenovac."

"A historical revisionist like Trifkovic should not be allowed to lecture in an academic context,” says the “Institute.” This is the moral and intellectual equivalent of David Irving demanding measures against the Yad Vashem Center (at which Dr. Trifkovic, incidentally, delivered the keynote speech at a symposium on the Holocaust in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Yugoslavia in June 2006). Historical evidence clearly suggests that the magnitude of the crimes that were committed at the Jasenovac death camp during the Second World War exceed anything that happened at Srebrenica in 1995 by not less than thirtyfold. In nature those crimes were unspeakably more gruesome.<?xml:namespace prefix = o />

SELECTIVE MEMORY -- What happened to the Armenians during the First World War constitutes a genuine case of "genocide," unlike what happened to any one side during the Bosnian war of 1992-95.  Nevertheless, I am not aware of the "Institute" seeking to ban or castigate as "genocide deniers" those Turkish government officials -- meaning ALL Turkish government officials, from Prime Minister Erdogan and foreign minister Davutoglu downward -- who are adamant that what happened to the Armenians is NOT a genocide.

CHARACTER ASSASSINATION – An indication of the lengths this disreputable organization will go to misrepresent the facts and slander the name of anyone who might take a different (i.e. more objective) view of the events that took place in Bosnia in the early 1990s is the item posted on their web site on December 26, 2010, entitled “The Shocking Account by Raped Bosniak Women and Criminal Undertakings of Lt. General (Ret.) Lewis Mackenzie.”

During the war in Bosnia, the Muslim leadership in Sarajevo became furious when General Mackenzie - who was representing the United Nations – was not deceived (as many journalists were) by the blatant propaganda generated by the Muslim side and by his insistence at remaining impartial. In an attempt to have him replaced, the Muslims concocted false charges of rape and misconduct against him. These charges were so obviously fabricated they were summarily dismissed by responsible authorities. As the general was able to prove, he was not even in Bosnia when many of the alleged offences took place.

Despite the facts, the “Genocide Institute” continues to slander the good name of General Mackenzie. Its web site contains a long list of so-called rape victims who relate in lurid detail how they were raped – sometimes seven or eight times – by the Canadian officer. They even claim that during some of these rapes the general was “protected ‘– not by UN troops but by heavily armed “Chetniks.” The stories are so obviously fabricated that to those who know the General personally – as I do – can only wonder at the seriously psychotic nature of individuals who would repeat these lunatic charges.

MISREPRESENTATION – Outrageously, Emir Ramic purports to speak “on behalf of more than 50.000 Canadians of Bosnian origin” when demanding a “ban” on Trifkovic. Bosnia is primarily a geographic term, and people of “Bonsian origin” are in fact Serbs, Croats, or Muslims (who have taken to calling themselves “Bosniaks” in the 1990’s). Statistically, of those 50,000 Canadians some 22,000 are Muslims, 17,000 Serbs, and 9,000 Croats. It is to be hoped that the Bosnian-Muslim community in Canada has enough common sense not to allow Mr. Ramic to claim to speak on its behalf. As for the Serbs and Croats, the claim is patently preposterous. It is the equivalent of the IRA claiming to speak on behalf of all Northern Irishmen, Protestants included. It is the equivalent of Hezbollah claiming the authority to represent all people of “Lebanese origin,” Christians and Druze included.

HYPOCRISY – When it suits its peculiar agenda, the "Institute" wants to promote the decisions of international bodies, such as The Hague Tribunal (ICTY), as sacrosanct and final: after the Tribunal’s verdict is pronounced, for instance on Srebrenica, no debate is allowed – the issue is no longer a matter of opinion. At the same time, its activists demand the revision of the 1995 Dayton Accords and in particular they clamor for the abolition of the Republika Srpska established under Dayton. This demand is in clear contravention of a key political decision of the highest international body of them all, the United Nations... the body which is the founder of The Hague Tribunal itself. A subsidiary is to be kowtowed to unthinkingly, but its originator is to be defied, as it suits the political needs of the “Institute” and its abettors.

AS FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, let me note that the UBC powers-that-be have not responded directly to the call for Trifkovic’s “ban,” but rather by re-circulating the 2009 “Respectful Debate” memorandum to students and staff by the University President, Professor Stephen Toope. Written in the context of the controversy surrounding an event related to the Middle East, it reiterated the University’s respect for free speech and its demand for respect for opposing viewpoints. Only indirectly does it address the attempt of one group to prevent another from articulating its views, thus thwarting “discussion across boundaries and across preconceptions” that Professor Toope asserted the UBC favours.

Personally, I would have preferred a more specific answer to this issue. The reaction to a specific wrong should include, but should not be limited to, a blanket condemnation of all similar wrongs. Pope Pius XII has been criticised, rightly, for using oblique and indirect language to condemn real and present wrongs. While not of the same order of moral magnitude, the reaction by USB authorities is not qualitatively different.

JUST A COINCIDENCE? – Let it be noted that the “Institute for Research of Genocide of Canada” uses for itself the acronym “IRGC.” That acronym is more commonly associated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. While conceivably accidental, the coincidence is not altogether inapt.