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Genocide in the Middle East:
The Ottoman Empire, Iraq, and Sudan

by Hannibal Travis (author)

Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 08:57 AM CT

Genocide in the Middle East: The Ottoman Empire, Iraq, and Sudan
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Book Details

  • Paperback: 648 pages
  • Publisher: Carolina Academic Press; 1st edition (April 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594604363
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594604362
  • Product Dimensions:
    10 x 7 x 1.3 inches

Book Description

Genocide in the Middle East describes the genocide of the Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians of the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; of the Kurds and other persons living under Saddam Hussein in northern Iraq in the late 1980s; and of the Dinka, Nuba, Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa peoples of Sudan from the 1970s to the present. It situates these crimes in their historical context, as outgrowths of intolerant religious traditions, imperialism and the rise of the nation-state, Cold War insurgencies and counterinsurgencies, and the global competition for resources and markets at the expense of indigenous peoples. This requires a more thorough investigation of the case law on genocide than has been attempted in the literature on genocide to date, including detailed accounts of the prosecutions of the leaders of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, of Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi officials after Operation Iraqi Freedom, and of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and other leaders of Sudan by the International Criminal Court. Finally, the book explores emerging problems of genocidal terrorism, cultural genocide, and structural genocide due to starvation, disease, and displacement.

“Starting in 1914 and with particular ferocity in 1915 and 1918, Ottoman soldiers and Kurdish and Persian militia subjected hundreds of thousands of Assyrians to a deliberate campaign of massacre, torture, abduction, deportation, impoverishment, and cultural and ethnic destruction. Established principles of international law outlawed this campaign of extermination before it was embarked upon, and ample evidence of genocidal intent has surfaced in the form of admissions by Ottoman officials. Nevertheless, the international community has been hesitant to recognize the Assyrian experience as a form of genocide.”

— An excerpt from Genocide in the Middle East: The Ottoman Empire, Iraq, and Sudan.

The field of genocide studies has grown rapidly in recent years, fueled by interest in the Armenian genocide, the wars in the former Yugoslavia and Iraq, and the widespread massacres in southern Sudan and Darfur. While several comparative studies of the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, and other genocides have been published, none of them focuses on genocide in the Middle East and North Africa since the nineteenth century. This book provides a comprehensive history of genocide in the broader Islamic world, with a particular focus on the twentieth century. It is of interest to general readers, undergraduates, graduate students, academics, journalists, and legal professionals, and will be useful as a text for courses on International Law, International Criminal Law, Law and Religion, Middle East Studies, International Relations, Public Policy, Criminal Justice, or World History.

Editorial Reviews

This ambitious book in its research and coverage tells a sorry tale of mankind's inhumanity and intolerance over millennia of genocidal deeds and rhetoric. A fast-moving narrative reaches from biblical times to Darfur, describing tragic events accompanied by selective quotations from their participants and observers. Genocide may be a recently invented term, but its occurrences based on a variety of causes and reasons seem to have been a deep part of the human experience of group interactions.
— Henry Steiner, Professor of Law, Emeritus, Harvard Law School, and co-author, International Human Rights in Context: Law, Politics, Morals

In Genocide in the Middle East, Hannibal Travis breaks new ground in genocide studies by unveiling the full panoply of genocidal processes in the Middle East and West Asia as no previous scholar has. But he does much more: in terms of its twentieth and twenty-first-century coverage, this is simply the most expansive, detailed, and up-to-date history of genocide we possess.
— Adam Jones, Associate Professor, Political Science, University of British Columbia Okanagan, and author of Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction

About the author

Hannibal Travis

Hannibal Travis is a professor at Florida International University College of Law. A graduate of Harvard Law School in 1999, Professor Travis has taught at Florida International University in Miami and Villanova University School of Law, and has served as a Visiting Fellow at Oxford. He graduated summa cum laude in philosophy from Washington University, where he was named to Phi Beta Kappa. His scholarhip on the law and history of genocide has appeared in a book published by Oxford University Press, and in the journals Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal, the Journal of Genocide Research, and the Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law. He has also published widely on human rights and freedom of expression, including in the Notre Dame Law Review, University of Miami Law Review, Northwestern Journal of International Human Rights, and Yale Journal of Law and Technology. Professor Travis is the author of the first comprehensive history of physical and cultural genocide in the Middle East and North Africa, entitled 'Genocide in the Middle East: The Ottoman Empire, Iraq, and Sudan' (Carolina Academic Press, 2010). He is an editorial board member of Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal, and an advisory board member of the Journal of Genocide Research and the Institute for Genocide Awareness and Applied Research. He has given lectures and presentations at the London School of Economics, Oxford, Stanford, and Yale.

Professor Hannibal Travis: United Nations Reaction Muted to Warning Signs of Genocide in Middle East

“Native Christians Massacred”: The Ottoman Genocide of the Assyrians during World War I

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