Lobbyist Landed Sensitive Position
community will watch closely the actions of Babikian as the new
Citizenship Judge in Mississauga
Members of the
Turkish community of Canada vow to scrutinize every move of Aris
Babikian, the former executive director of the Armenian
National Committee of Canada (ANCC) as a citizenship judge.
On July 1st, 2009 Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism
Minister Jason Kenney announced the appointment of Aris Babikian
as citizenship judge for a three-year full-time term in Mississauga,
an act deemed highly inappropriate by Turkish Canadians who have
long been the very target of Babikian's relentless hate propaganda.
In his new role, Babikian will be responsible for making
decisions regarding citizenship applications, presiding over citizenship
ceremonies and administering the oath of citizenship to new citizens.
and Immigration Canada web site claims that a comprehensive screening
process is being used to determine the suitability of candidates
for the position of citizenship judges
Turkish community of Canada is having their lawyers look into
this screening process, as well as the results of Babikian's
written exam and the oral interview. Babikian, a hard-line
Armenian political lobbyist, has displayed bias and hatred towards
Turks, has been against dialogue and reconciliation, and clearly
does not possess the cross-cultural sensitivity that is a prerequisite
for the appointment of a citizenship judge. Turkish Canadians have
been very aware of the work and approach of Aris Babikian
for many years and their questioning of the appropriateness of Babikian's
appointment is quite legitimate.
Babikian on Sudan (April 24, 2008):
"Sudan is today using Turkish arms to kill the people
Sudan is today using the same tactics - including starvations
and deportations - used by the Ottoman Empire against Armenians
concern about Babikian is not just his lobbying efforts towards
having the tragedy of 1915 in Ottoman Turkey recognized as a genocide
in Canada. Others work for that purpose too. But it is no exaggeration
to describe Babikian as the most aggressive anti-Turkish
lobbyist in Canada. He not only attacks modern Turkey on every opportunity,
but he has been a main source of tension between the Canadians of
Turkish and Armenian origin with his radical language that vilifies
and intimidates Turkish Canadians. When hate-inciting anti-Turkish
posters were hung on Carleton University walls last year, Aris
Babikian's explanation was that it must have been done by Turks:
after all, evil could only be associated with Turks! His
anti-Turkish zeal also led him to incomprehensively declare Turkey
as an accomplice to the atrocities in Sudan. In the same frame of
mind, following the Lebanon crisis of 2006, he wrote against Turkey
sending peacekeeping troops to Lebanon. Babikian has gone so far
as to call Turkish culture "barbaric" and Turkey
"fascist". Without any doubt, Babikian
is far from satisfying one of the main official criteria for the
position of citizenship judge: "cross-cultural sensitivity."
As the executive
director of Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC),
Babikian has been a forceful figure against reconciliation
between Turks and Armenians in Canada. Aris Babikian and
the ANCC are direct affiliates of a minority ultra -nationalist
political party in Armenia, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation
(ARF / Dashnak). It was a terrorist group ("Justice
Commandos for the Armenian Genocide" founded in Lebanon) considered
to be the military wing of the ARF that claimed responsibility for
the assassination of the Turkish Military Attaché in Ottawa in 1982.
RCMP has yet to bring to light the perpetrators of this terrorist
act, including the local help they must have received.
Babikian on peace mission between Israel and Lebanon (September
representatives of Armenian National Committee of Canada
(ANCC) today met with Lebanon's ambassador to Canada, His
Excellency Raymond Baaklini, to discuss the Canadian-Armenian
community's anxiety and concern in regard to the participation
of Turkish troops in the UN peacekeeping forces in Lebanon
president, ANCC, and Aris
the committee's national office Executive Director, handed
letter opposing the inclusion of the Turkish forces in the
UNIFIL peacekeeping mission between Lebanon and Israel.
The ANCC representatives said it is ironic that a country
which has the world's worst record of human rights abuses
and ethnic cleansing of its minorities is being called upon
to participate in a peace mission.
radicalism and anti-reconciliation position, Babikian seems
to have too much influence on and unmatched access to the Government,
especially in the last four years. With a simple search on the internet,
one gets a quite clear picture of his activities. This year on April
24th, Canada came to an even more hawkish position than Armenia
itself (e.g. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship,
Immigration and Multiculturalism Mr Rick Dykstra's
statements in the Parliament) and it is possible that Babikian
and ANCC might have been responsible for this unpeaceful
position. ANCC - following the ARF lead - is very much opposed
to the normalization process Turkey and Armenia are engaged in.
Fortunately, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Lawrence Cannon
has recently stated in the Parliament that Canada does support this
show that ANCC and Babikian supported Agop Evereklian
in the last parliamentary elections. Defeated in the elections,
Evereklian soon afterwards became Chief of Staff for
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister, Hon.
Jason Kenney. It is also well-known that ANCC
has in the past awarded Mr Kenney for his support to
the Armenian cause. The Minister in charge of the file dealing with
the Turkish-Armenian historical debate and its reflections on Canada's
multicultural mosaic, has a chief of staff supported by the political
lobby group ANCC and this lobby groups executive director
gets appointed to a decision making position on Canadian citizenship.
The overall picture looks very inappropriate.
Looking at the
arguments ANCC and Aris Babikian publicly engaged
in, the radicalism of Babikian seems to have disturbed even
the Canadian Armenians who have criticized his ARF/Dashnak
approach for the divisive role it plays within the community. Perhaps
his leaving the ANCC is a result of this. In any event, under
the circumstances, rewarding Babikian by appointing him as
a citizenship judge seems hardly the appropriate thing to do in
the service of Canadian multiculturalism.
Babikian have gone beyond legitimate or reasonable advocacy
on behalf of their community by viciously attacking another community
at every occasion. This mentality does not deserve to be rewarded,
not in our multicultural, mutually-respectful society. The criteria
for appointment seem to have been grossly ignored, creating a potential
for the abuse of this position. Turkish Canadians in Mississauga
and around Canada will monitor closely how Babikian will
conduct himself in any public office he may be appointed to as a
result of political reasons.