BAHRA et Bet Nahrain

Those who don't learn from history
are doomed to repeat it

 Act of Cowerdness

Against Assyrian Armenian Woman

in Calgary

Calgary, Canada (CBC) The executive director of the Calgary Multicultural Centre says she's taking precautions after a slur was written across her office window in red lipstick.     Anoush Newman was shocked to discover the words "Assasian Pig" on her window on Wednesday afternoon.

Newman, who is half Assyrian and half Armenian, said the message may not mean much to anyone else, but she believes it's directed at her because of her active role in the Calgary Armenian community.

"There are … four panels of windows but this panel belongs to my office, so it's directed at me," she told CBC News on Friday.

Newman, who ran unsuccessfully in Calgary-Nose Hill for the Liberal Party in the 2008 federal election, said she always wears red lipstick in biography photos and media interviews.

"That's what scares me the most. It's personal -- the red lipstick and the Armenian Assyrian slur." Armenians preparing for April 24 memorial

Newman believes the message on the window is someone's attempt to use intimidation to deter her from continuing in her work with the Armenian-Canadian Cultural Association and its upcoming April 24 memorial in Calgary.

An estimated 1.5 million Armenians died in eastern Turkey during and after the First World War. Armenians say their people were systematically killed in a bid to extinguish the population. The Canadian government passed a resolution in April 2004 that denounced the Turks for committing genocide against Armenians in 1915.

Turkey denies the genocide charge and insists the death toll has been inflated. It argues the Armenian deaths were the result of an uprising of Armenian militants.

Communities around the world, including Calgary, hold memorials every year to honour those who died and to push for formal worldwide recognition of the Armenian genocide.

                                "We should be allowed to mourn our dead without being threatened," 
said Newman.

She called the Calgary police to report the slur but she said they're treating it as a mischief or a prank. Officers said the investigation is unlikely to go anywhere because there are no witnesses or surveillance footage, according to Newman.

"I want the community to know that there are still ignorant and cowardly people," she said, explaining why she's publicizing the experience.

By Andree Lau

© 2009 2009, Assyrian International News Agency. 


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