The French often are the butt of jokes here, but last month they turned the tables and are teaching our elected officials about leadership. With the support of President Nicolas Sarkozy, the lower house of the French parliament and the French Senate recently passed a bill that makes it a crime to deny the Armenian Genocide.
On a daily basis, the Turkish government and their agents conduct a systematic campaign of denial of the Armenian Genocide in the U.S. and around the world, trying to erase history. It is a history in which 1.5 million innocent people lost their lives in 1915 at the hands of Ottoman Turkish troops simply because of their race.
It is a crime against humanity that has been perpetrated by many governments since then.
Once the French president signs this bill, whoever publicly denies the Armenian Genocide in France will be subject to prosecution and will face monetary penalties or jail. While it doesn’t address the larger issue of Turkey coming to terms with its past and paying reparations to the affected Armenian families, it does take a stand on the side of truth and justice.