This essay shall investigate the application of the term genocide to chapters in Australian history. In concert with an exploration of possible genocidal movements in
Australia, this essay will also consider the national reception and understanding of possible genocide in an Australian context. The matter of genocide is in any case, incredibly complex, whilst in Australian context, it becomes a necessarily political endeavour. Thus, I have attempted to isolate significant instances of possible genocide, outline their historical circumstances and consider whether or not these episodes are indeed genocidal. Following this, I will consider the prominent case of denial that operates within Australian society. This say be performed in reference to both political and economic motivations, and questions of national identity.
It is clear that the ‘invasion’ of
Australia by English colonialists resulted in the commencement of the imposition of a foreign system upon Indigenous Australians. The system included government policies such as dispossession of land, protection, assimilation, integration and the stealing of children which resulted in inequality and denial of basic human rights for Indigenous Australians. Recently historians and other cultural commentators have begun to question whether or not this process of colonisation resulted in genocide, or at least the attempted genocide of the Indigenous peoples of
Australia. Questions of genocide can be divided into two distinct historical phases: that of dispossession and dispersal, and later processes of assimilation, culminating in the ‘Stolen Generation.’
Commentators who advocate the stance of genocide in relation to the first phase of colonist-Indigenous contact primarily refer to Tasmania and
Queensland. Initial Indigenous-colonist contact in
Tasmania can be characterised benign in comparison to latter action. The Indigenous peoples were categorised as ‘savages’ who were in dire need of European guidance in civilisation and Christianity. Thus, there were a number of attempts to civilise and educate the Indigenous population; however, they were in nearly every case unsuccessful. The source of conflict between the two inhabiting populations is regulated to the control and use of land; meaning access to food and water. This is supported by the coinciding increase in deaths and a dramatic increase in colonial immigration, resulting in the European population growing by over 100% between 1815-1830, with pastoralists claiming large areas of land. Agriculturally processing Aboriginal hunting land necessarily resulted in severe food shortages for the Indigenous population, thus guerrilla warfare ensued. The interaction between the two populations intensified in violence, culminating in the “Black War” between 1824 and 1830. The official record of death is placed at a rate of 1:4 Europeans to Aboriginals killed. Eventually, in 1834 the remaining population of Tasmanian Aboriginals, est. 200, were placed on Flinder’s
Island. Here, in what one academic terms, “the first concentration camp” in human history, the population rapidly declined, with only 80 of the original 200 remaining in 1847.
The issue of genocide in
Queensland is primarily related to the actions of the Queensland Native or Mounted Police. The concept of ‘Native Police’ originated in the Southern states in the 1830s; involving the use of a number of non-local Indigenous men, led by a white officer. In reaction to increasing violent interaction between the two occupying populations, whose causes are naturally similar to the Indigenous peoples of Tasmania, a
Queensland force was formed in 1848, led by Fred Walker. A. D. Moses notes that under
Walker the Native Police, despite the use of a degree of physical violence, were relatively benign. However, due to this lack of violence,
Walker was dismissed due to pressure by local pastoralists in 1855. Consequently, the Native Police, along with local militias, became active in killing any discovered congregation of Indigenous peoples. It is interesting to note that in official discourse, the activities of the Native Police were referred to as ‘dispersing’, however it was widely and publicly acknowledged that this was referring to physical extermination. Indeed, the murder of the Indigenous population was general public knowledge, and to some regarded almost as a sport. This is eloquently displayed in the writing of the British High Commissioner in 1883, Arthur Gordon: “the habit of regarding the natives as vermin, to be cleared off the face of the earth, has given the average Queenslander a tone of brutality.” Whilst it is clear that large-scale slaughter was enacted upon the Aborigines, it is exceedingly difficult to estimate the totality of deaths. However, a widely accepted estimate places Aboriginal deaths at 10, 000.
Perhaps the most controversial issue of genocide in
Australia is the matter of the ‘Stolen Generations’. This term refers to the often forcible removal of part-Aboriginal children from their natural families. The official dates normally allocated to the ‘Stolen Generation’ are 1900 to 1969, however as Colin Tatz relates, this process began in
Victoria in the 1840s. The removal of children from their natural families was a process enacted within a wider ideological framework. Rather than an isolated attempt at assimilation, the removals were an integral part of an attempt to ‘breed out’ the Aboriginal population. In that, part-Aboriginal children would be given the appropriate chance to assimilate into white culture, whilst eugenically based laws prevented and limited the procreative abilities of the ‘full-blood’ Indigenous population. Through this joint process, notes A. O. Neville to the 1937 Conference of the Protectors of Aborigines:
Are we going to have a population of one million blacks in the Commonwealth, or are we going to merge them into our white community and eventually forget that there were any Aborigines in
It is evident that Neville is arguing for the latter outcome. Furthermore, this statement by Neville is consequential in that it offers the ‘smoking gun’ required to meet a legal definition of genocide. Despite the government enquiry, Bringing Them Home: The ‘Stolen Children’ Report, as with other instances of Aboriginal history, discovering the number of children who were removed from their natural family is controversial and inexact. The report itself estimated that one in three part-Aboriginal children were removed, however other sources estimate one in ten.
The application of the term genocide to Indigenous Australian history is not isolated to these three ‘instances’. Despite the above scenarios being the most cited occurances of genocide, there exists a degree of debate over the application of the term, even amongst the so-called, ‘black armband’ historians. When working within the legal definition of genocide as outlined by the UN Convention, it is increasingly difficult to apply genocide to the first phase of Indigenous-colonist contact. The issue of Tasmanian Aboriginals demonstrates a case in point. Although the Aboriginal population suffered near total decimation after the arrival of the colonists, it is not clear that this is genocide. Firstly, a large number of Aboriginal deaths may be regulated to introduced foreign disease and malnutrition. It may be argued that in preventing the Indigenous population access to land, which was essential to their hunter-gatherer economy, that the coloniser’s enacted Article II section C. of the UN Convention on Genocide. However, there is ample evidence that initially, the colonisers did attempt to ‘teach’ the Indigenous population farming techniques. The colonist practice of restricting access to water and land was economically derived: dispossession, yes. Genocide, no. Furthermore, the murder of large numbers of Aboriginals during the Black War also does not allow for consideration under the UN definition of genocide. Whilst the technicalities of the war were clearly unfair, and would ultimately result in Aboriginal slaughter, the Indigenous population did actively engage in the conflict. Concerning the relocation of Tasmanian Aboriginals to Flinder’s
Island, the so-called, “first concentration camp,” the matter of intent is highly ambiguous, and perhaps unlikely. The figure largely responsible for this relocation, George Robertson, has been largely judged to have not intended to destroy the remaining indigenous population.
The problematic nature of declaring the Tasmanian ‘episode’ is also reflected in the
Queensland case. As with
Tasmania, both disease and malnutrition were a significant contributor to Aboriginal death. Similarly, the Indigenous population clearly involved itself in the conflict. Indeed,
Queensland represents the highest mortality rate for colonists. However, within
Queensland, one can perceive a large degree of intent to destroy or eliminate within both historical records, and the method of destruction. One such records has a pastoralist stating: “Desperate disease calls for strong remedies, and while we may regret the need for a war of extermination, there exists…a cruel..but necessary need for it.” However, it would seem that the ‘genocidal’ intent and action of the colonists was driven by the notion that the Indigenous population posed an economic obstacle; once the Aboriginals no longer posed such a threat, this genocidal action abated. Despite this, it seems reasonable to assert that this ‘episode’ was indeed, genocidal: there is both intent and action to eliminate the Indigenous peoples. However, Justice Wilcox, in the case of Nulyarimma & Ors. Vs. Thompson states:
“there is an element of intent in all the killings. A squatter who shot at the Aboriginals in reprisal for them spearing his cattle must be taken to have intended to kill individuals…it cannot be necessarily presumed that he intended to destroy the group, as such.
However, it can equally be argued that the massacre of Aboriginals in
Queensland was State supported, although at times only implicitly: thus, there is both intent to eliminate the group, and an, if multifaceted, agent.
In contrast, it would largely seem that the matter of genocide in relation to the
‘Stolen Generation’ and the eugenic policies surrounding are indeed a case of Australian genocide. These practices can be said to adequately meet the definition of Article II of the UN Genocide Convention B., D., and E. In that, these practices resulted in a catastrophic amount of “serious mental harm” to the group, acted to restrict its procreative capacity and involved the forcible transfer of children. Thus, this episode of Indigenous-colonist interaction can be stated to be a definite source of genocide in Australian history.
Despite the surmounting evidence for genocidal chapters in Australian history, there exists an active intellectual, political and social body that denies the use of this term in Australian historiography. Perhaps most prominent amongst the academic or intellectual white blindfolders, is Keith Windschuttle. Windschuttle passionately decries the use of ‘genocide’ in relation to Australian history:
There was no genocide in
Australia. The idea that
Australia, as some writers have said, was the moral equivalent of Nazi Germany in its treatment of the Aborigines – I think that view is completely false. In fact, I think it’s grotesquely false. The original settlers, and the colonial authorities, wanted to civilise and modernise the Aborigines. The last thing they wanted to do was exterminate them. There was no policy about this. There was no policy at either the government level or amongst the settlers themselves, to wipe out the Aborigines, to drive them off the land.
Windschuttle’s first mentioned cause of concern is that in utilising the term, ‘genocide’
Australia is being compared to the machinations of Nazi Germany. Indeed, there exists a wide resistance to the use of the term genocide in Australian history due to its connotations with the Holocaust. For historian Inga Clendinnan, the use of the term is utterly inappropriate: “I remain persuaded that the…invocation of genocide…was not only ill-judged, but a moral intellectual…and political disaster.” However, for Clendinnan, the issue is that in using this term in an Australian context, one is diminishing the experience of the victims of the Holocaust, whilst Windschuttle is concerning with a sullying of the Australian name.
As stated above, there exists a great resistance to genocidal history in
Australia. For political actors, such as John Howard, there is obvious political and financial incentive in denying a genocidal chapter to Australian history books. Indeed, it would appear that this financial/political aspect has also filtered through to Australian society at large. The ‘fear’ of reparation and land rights notes Andrew Gunstone, is voiced by both politicians and their voting public: “there is a fear of Indigenous rights…manifested in the notion that Indigenous rights would result in a separate nation…and would disadvantage whites.” It is clear that finance and politics provide a degree of motivation for denial, however, it is possible to detect a strain of rhetoric in denialism that is located within the realms of national identity and remembrance.
The existence of Aboriginal history, whether inadvertently, acts to question and challenge the legacy of non-Indigenous past in
Australia. John Howard has vocalised his unease with the challenging question that the consideration of Indigenous history in general, and the matter of genocide in particular poses to the non-Indigenous population who wish to take pride in their national past in which he refutes the use of “silly terms” such as genocide, and is appalled at the historians attempt to induce shame upon current Australian’s for past wrongs.
Various dissenter’s on the genocidal debate seem over achingly concerned that Australian genocide is at odds with the Australian national character that is comprised of egalitarianism, mateship and morality. As Colin Tatz notes, for many Australian’s it is impossible to conceive that our (non-Indigenous) national ancestor’s committed genocide as this is in opposition to our (non-Indigenous) national ‘pioneering legend’ of mateship and morality. Indeed, this allergy to Indigenous history in general on the basis of a national identity can be seen in Wayne Goss’s demand that the term, ‘invasion’ be removed from
Queensland school textbooks. The importance of morality to national identity is also displayed in such arguments that deny genocide on the basis, that if it were committed, ‘we’ would have prosecuted it. Denialist’s display the classic behaviour of individual’s who attempt to overcome cognitive dissonance by rejecting the factor that produces this troublesome position: the denialist finds it impossible to reconcile the positive aspects of Australian history with its accompanying negative facets. Thus, the denialist rejects any historical evidence that contradicts their absolutionist, positive historical identity.
Although at times ambiguous, it can be reasonably stated that
Australia history does entail genocidal moments. The actions and policies of the Queensland Native Police, in addition to local militias, can be stated to be genocidal acts that involve State sanction. Furthermore the ‘Stolen Generation’ and the eugenics program that surrounded it are also another example in which the relations between Indigenous and colonist became genocidal in nature. Yet, in spite of the dedicated research of the so-called ‘black armband’ historians and the Human Rights Commission, that genocide has been committed against the Indigenous peoples of
Australia is denied. The reasons for this denial are multifaceted, however it is clear that they are motivated by both financial and political issues, in addition to an attempt to maintain an obscure ‘pioneering’ legend. The issue of genocide in
Australia will likely be an ongoing debate, as both the black armbanders and white blinfolders are unlikely to disappear into the bush. It is hoped that this endeavour may continue to provide insight into Australian past and future.
Attwood, B. 2001. “The Stolen Generations and Genocide: Robert Manne’s In Denial: The Stolen Generations and the Right” Aboriginal History. vol. 25. pp. 163-173.
Brautlinger, P. 2004. “Black Armband Versus White Blindfold: History in
Australia” Victorian Studies. Summer 2004. pp. 655-675.
Breen, S. 2003. “Fabrication, Genocide and Denial” History
Australia. vol. 1 no 1. pp. 73-85.
Brehrendt, L. 2001. “Genocide: The Distance Between Law and Life” Aboriginal History. vol. 25. pp. 131-147
Corthoys, A. & Docker, J. 2001. “Introduction. Genocide: Definitions, Questions, Settler-Colonies” Aboriginal History. vol. 25. pp. 1-15.
Fabricating Aboriginal History http://sunday.ninemsn.com.au/sunday/includes/fetchcontent.asp?purl=/sunday/cover_stories/transcript_1286.asp accessed on 22/10/06 at 10:00 am.
Gigiotti, S. 2003. “Unspeakable Pasts as Limit Events: The Holocaust, Genocide and the Stolen Generations” Journal of Politics and History. vol. 49 no. 2. pp. 164-181.
Gunstone, A. 2004. “Reconciliation, Nationalism and The History Wars” Paper for the Australasian Political Studies Association Conference.
History News Network. http://hnn.us/comments/7988.html accessed on 20/10/06 at 1: 20pm.
Larbalestier, J. 2004. “White over Black: Discourses of Whiteness in Australian Culture” Borderlands E-Journal. vol. 3 no. 2. http://www.borderlandsejournal.adelaide.edu.au/vol3no2_2004/larbalestier_white.htm accessed on 20/10/06 at 2:00 pm.
Minogue, K. 1998. “Aborigines and Australian Apologetics” Quadrant. September 1998. pp. 11-21.
Markovich, D. 2003. “Genocide, A Crime of Which No Anglo-Saxon Nation Could Be Guilty”
University Electronic Journal of Law. vol. 10 no.3. http://www.murdoch.edu.au/elaw/issues/v10n3/markovich103.html accessed on 22/10/06 at 3:00 pm.
Markus, A. 2001. “Genocide in
Australia” Aboriginal History. vol. 25. pp. 57-70.
Moses, A.D. 2001. “Coming to Terms With Genocidal Pasts in Comparative Perspective: Germany and
Australia” Aboriginal History. vol. 25 pp. 91-115.
Moses, A. D. 2002. “An Antipodean Genocide? The Origins of the Genocidal Moment in the Colonisation of
Australia” Journal of Genocidal Research. vol. 2 no. 1. pp. 89-106.
Palmer, A. 1998. “Colonial and Modern Genocide: Explanations and Categories” Ethnic and Racial Studies. vol. 21. no. 1 pp. 89-115.
Tartz, C. 2001. “Confronting Australian Genocide” Aboriginal History. vol. 25. pp. 16-36.
 I have placed ‘invasion’ in such grammatical marks in order to recognise that the use of this term is highly contested in Australian society. However, it would seem that invasion is indeed the correct term for the instance of English arrival upon Australian shores.
 Naturally, other states are also discussed, however it would seem that attention is primarily placed upon these two states. The focus on
Tasmania can be possibly regulated to the attention it is given by Keith Windschuttle in The Fabrication of Aboriginal History.
 In this way, European superiority was defined within Ethnocentricism: on the notion of superiority by culture and civilisation, rather than race.
 Moses, A. D. 2002. “An Antipodean Genocide? The Origins of the Genocidal Moment in the Colonisation of
Australia” Journal of Genocidal Research. vol. 2 no. 1. pp. 89-106. p. 96.
 Moses. “An Antipodean” p. 91
 Brautlinger, P. 2004. “Black Armband Versus White Blindfold: History in
Australia” Victorian Studies. Summer 2004. pp. 655-675. Quoting Lloyd Robson. p. 660. Moses. “An Antipodean” p. 99.
 Note the emphasis upon relatively. It is difficult to present an argument concerning the Aboriginal Australians without using language that is offensive or racist, or at the very least may come to resemble right-wing rhetoric. However, the emphasis here is upon genocidal acts, and thus those activities which operate outside this sphere are considered to be less damaging in nature.
 Moses. “An Antipodean” p. 100.
 Moses. “An Antipodean” p. 100; Brautlinger. “Black Armband” p. 663;
 Tartz, C. 2001. “Confronting Australian Genocide” Aboriginal History. vol. 25. pp. 16-36. p. 25.
 Moses. “an Antipodean” p. 100. Brautlinger. “Black Armband” p. 663; Tartz, C. “Confronting Australian” p. 25.
 Tatz. “Confronting” p. 24.
 Markus, A. 2001. “Genocide in
Australia” Aboriginal History. vol. 25. pp. 57-70. p. 65.
 See Tatz. “Confronting” especially pp. 24-25.
 Brautlinger. “Black Armband” p. 666.
 Moses. “An Antipodean” p. 99. However, Robertson in viewed negatively historically. This stance is taken by Henry Reynolds, who argues that despite the outcome, the government did not intend to exterminate the Tasmanian Aborigines. Lyndall Ryan however, argues that there is a clear case of intent within the actions and policies of the Tasmanian Europeans. See Fabricating Aboriginal History.http://sunday.ninemsn.com.au/sunday/includes/fetchcontent.asp?purl=/sunday/cover_stories/transcript_1286.asp accessed on 22/10/06 at 10:00 am.
 Moses. “An Antipodean” p. 100.
 See Moses. “An Antipodean” pp. 99-101. Also see: Palmer, A. 1998. “Colonial and Modern Genocide: Explanations and Categories” Ethnic and Racial Studies. vol. 21. no. 1 pp. 89-115.
 Brehrendt, L. 2001. “Genocide: The Distance Between Law and Life” Aboriginal History. vol. 25. pp. 131-147. p. 140.
 For an excellent discussion of how these practices meet the legal requirements of the UN definition see: Markovich, D. 2003. “Genocide, A Crime of Which No Anglo-Saxon Nation Could Be Guilty”
University Electronic Journal of Law. vol. 10 no.3. http://www.murdoch.edu.au/elaw/issues/v10n3/markovich103.html accessed on 22/10/06 at 3:00 pm. For the purpose of this essay, I have simplified the argument. However, it must be noted that it may be the case that not all of the children were forcibly removed. Yet, it is clear that many were forcibly removed, resulting in alarmingly detrimental affects to Indigenous peoples involved. For the problematic nature of ‘forcible removal’ see: Attwood, B. 2001. “The Stolen Generations and Genocide: Robert Manne’s In Denial: The Stolen Generations and the Right” Aboriginal History. vol. 25. pp. 163-173. p. 167
 Interestingly, and quite possibly not coincidental, Ann Corthoys and John Docker in their introduction to the Aboriginal History issue on genocide provide a detailed analysis of ways in which Australia’s policy and interaction with the Indigenous peoples does in fact merit comparison with Nazi Germany. See Corthoys, A. & Docker, J. 2001. “Introduction. Genocide: Definitions, Questions, Settler-Colonies” Aboriginal History. vol. 25. pp. 1-15.
 Breen, S. 2003. “Fabrication, Genocide and Denial” History
Australia. vol. 1 no 1. pp. 73-85. p. 77. For a discussion that echoes Windschuttle, see: Minogue, K. 1998. “Aborigines and Australian Apologetics” Quadrant. September 1998. pp. 11-21. p. 14.
 Quoted in Gigiotti, S. 2003. “Unspeakable Pasts as Limit Events: The Holocaust, Genocide and the Stolen Generations” Journal of Politics and History. vol. 49 no. 2. pp. 164-181. p. 165. Also quoted in Larbalestier, J. 2004. “White over Black: Discourses of Whiteness in Australian Culture” Borderlands E-Journal. vol. 3 no. 2. http://www.borderlandsejournal.adelaide.edu.au/vol3no2_2004/larbalestier_white.htm accessed on 20/10/06 at 2:00 pm.
 Gunstone, A. 2004. “Reconciliation, Nationalism and The History Wars” Paper for the Australasian Political Studies Association Conference.
Adelaide. 29/9/04-1/10/04. p. 6.
 Bautlinger. “Black Armband” pp. 658-660.
 Gunstone. “Reconciliation” p. 6; Moses, A.D. 2001. “Coming to Terms With Genocidal Pasts in Comparative Perspective: Germany and
Australia” Aboriginal History. vol. 25 pp. 91-115.
 Tatz. “Confronting:” p. 17. Larbalestier. “White over Black” p. 26.
 Tatz. “Confronting” p. 30.
I’m quite puzzled. Could you explain to me how come what you handed in as “your”
essay, is found on the web?
I would appreciate a (good) explanation.
I have posted my final essay for reln2310 on my blog http://www.arielsexegesis.wordpress.com .
I regularly post my work on the internet on the basis that a) I have posted it on there
after I have handed in the assignment, it wouldn’t be deemed that I had plaigairised
it. b) I thought it would be very unlikely that another essay would be on the internet
that fat the exact contours of the essay topic – or would begin with stating the
provided esssay topic. Further, if you look at the “Most recent posts” sidebar on the
right of my blog, I have posted the short pieces written for this course, from week
2-6. Including, “2006-08-14
4:05:10 am Fundamentalism”, “2006-08-15
2:48:55 am Science and religion: philosophy”, “2006-08-28
1:12:08 am Psychology of Apocalyptic Fundamentalism Review”, “2006-08-29
2:40:04 am Review: Authoritarian or Authority-Minded”. These were all posted after
handing my assessment in. I have also placed other essays that I have written for other
courses, – for example, the essay on the holocaust – gypsies, the disabled and
homosexuals, was written for HIST2704 – Genocide, Persecution, Reonciliation and Revenge.
Further to my defence, it is very difficult to get fully referenced and lengthy essays
on the internet, for free – aside from sites like, ‘Religion-Online’, or other free
academic sites. However, my blog is obviously not one of these sites, nor have I stolen
articles from any of these sites.
I post my assessment onto my blog to have an audience wider than myself and the
appointed marker. Although not every post is commented on, it is interesting and
enjoyable to have someone to comment and perhaps challenge my interpretation on a given
I am sorry if this has caused any confusion. In future, I will wait until it is marked
before I post any of my assessment onto my blog.
The term and concept jihad is one of the most misunderstood and ill-used words in modernity. This essay seeks to challenge the prevalent conception of jihad as representing ‘holy war’ or offensive violent acts which are supported on a religious basis. In order to purport this, a consideration of jihad, both in lesser and greater terms must be carried out. However, due to the western pre-occupation with the lesser jihad, it is necessary to focus upon this facet of the concept of jihad; attempting to consider the subject without the Eurocentricism that dominates western arguments. The examination of the concept of jihad, lesser and greater, involves an attempt to understand their historical context, and consider the influence of the said context. Furthermore, I will also examine the different representations of jihad through Islamic history, from classical notions to the present. Whilst this is not a definitive guide, it aims to provide a clearer understanding of this important Islamic concept.
Lesser or external jihad, as one Muslim author refers to it, is complex in both its meaning and in the history of its application. In contrast to the common Western perception, ‘jihad’ does not translate into ‘holy war’, nor does the term itself necessarily connotate violence. Jihad is most commonly translated into ‘utmost effort or struggle in the path of God’. Lesser jihad can be applied to many aspects of the ‘external’ world, and is not restricted in its application to physical violence or armed combat. Indeed, it has been widely noted that the writers of the Qur’an chose the term, ‘jihad’ in favour of the array of Arabic terms that denote physical violence, such as ‘harb’ (war), sira’s (killing) and qutal (killing). This choice is indicative of the broader meaning of jihad.
Despite this, the concept of jihad is historically, and conceptually connected with physical violence.
The doctrine of jihad was determined in the latter half of the second century, according to the Muslim calendar. The concept of jihad is clearly derived from pre-Arabic society; in which tribal war was considered lawful, and if fought defensively, was considered additionally justified. Whilst the nature of pre-Islamic
Arabia can be considered of high influence in the construction of jihad, even more imperative was the social climate in which Islam experienced its formative years. Indeed, as Armstrong notes, Muhammad and the early Muslim community came to
Medina in 622 C.E as religious refugees, and would remain under threat of extermination for the next five years, “Muhammad and the first Muslims were fighting for their lives and they had also undertaken a project in which violence was inevitable.” Thus, jihad developed out of the pre-exiting attitudes present within Arabic society, and more importantly in direct reaction to the social climate in which Islam developed.
Clearly, a doctrine concerning armed combat within Islam was inevitable, however, it must be emphasised that jihad allows violence only on the basis of defence,
Q: 190-193: And fight in the way of God with those who fight you, but aggress not: God loves not the aggressors. And slay them wherever you come upon them, and expel them from wherever they expelled you; persecution is more grievous than slaying. But- surely fight them not by the Holy Mosque until they should fight you there; then, if they fight you, slay them – such is the recompense of the unbelievers – but if they give over, surely God is All-forgiving, All-Compassionate.
The above passage, which calls for physical aggression, clearly outlines the defensive nature of jihad.
Jihad, when considered in relation to physical combat, was later given extensive legal consideration, which constricted its application further.
A prominent jurist, Averroes (b. 1126 C.E), for example, expounded upon the doctrine of jihad in his text, Al-Bidāya. Here Averroes explains that an enemy may only be attacked if safe-conduct has not been granted. If this is the case, however, only the able-bodied and arm bearing men of the community may be attacked. Evidently, the application of jihad to physical combat was restricted by both its defensive status and further moral ideals. Therefore, offensive action as taken by Muslim states throughout history may not be considered as acts of jihad.
Whilst classical conceptions of the lesser jihad are concerned primarily with jihad in relation to physical combat, jihad has come to be concerned with wider social issues, beginning in the latter half of the 19th century. Lesser jihad, in the modern context, is primarily concerned with the betterment of Muslim society. This includes providing educational resources on and within Islam, and general socio-economic issues present within the Muslim world. For example, feminist Muslims, are currently taking part in ‘gender jihad’, “the struggle in the name of God toward socially recognised and institutionalised gender parity.”
Many Muslim theologians consider the economic advancement of Islam also a matter of jihad. An example of this can be found in 1975, when President Bourgaiba of
Tunisia called for an economic jihad,
Tunisia, which is an Islamic country suffers from a certain degree of decline and backwardness, that bring disgrace on us in the eyes of the world…Escaping this backwardness is jihad obligation… 
Clearly, the lesser jihad, despite its early concentration upon physical defence, is and has been applied to a wide range of external concerns, reflecting the flexible nature its name.
A consideration of jihad necessarily concentrates upon the lesser jihad; due to its wider impact upon global history, and indeed the emphasis it receives in Islamic legal and religious texts. This necessity results in a less than adequate understanding of the greater jihad. The origin of the concept of the greater jihad is widely debated. The oft-quoted hadith of Muhammad, who spoke after returning from battle, “We return from the little jihad to the greater jihad” points to the greater jihad being formulated in early Islamic history. Whilst some scholars consider the greater jihad to be a product of the late 19th century, Peters convincingly argues that the Golden Age of Islam resulted in the internalisation of the lesser jihad creating the greater jihad. Despite its historical ambiguity, the greater jihad has become of great religious importance within the last two centuries. Indeed, for some contemporary Muslims, the greater jihad has become the sole and only appropriate interpretation of jihad.
Whilst the lesser jihad is the struggle against external forces, the greater jihad is concerned with the inner struggle between good and evil within the individual. However, the greater jihad is intrinsically connected to the lesser jihad.
It acts as a necessary precondition for acts of defensive jihad, whilst acting as a basis from which improved social conditions may be achieved. Nasr states that Islam is based upon the notion of equilibrium,
The flight to peace by the soul is necessitated by the establishment of an equilibrium, both outward and inward which is necessary for vertical ascent.
Essentially, the greater jihad, a largely ascetic concept; it is concerned with overcoming the baser elements of human life: renouncing attachment to material objects, greed and lust, in an attempt to reach the divine within the human existence. For example, performing the zakāt, one of the five pillars of Islam, this requires that one give to charity up to ten percent of personal income, involves the struggle against inner greed, which helps to establish economic equilibrium in the external world, whilst establishing frugality within the person. Greater jihad pertains to the struggle within the person to establish a connection with divinity within this life.
Evidently, the concept of jihad is indeed far removed from the western perception of this doctrine as holy war. Lesser jihad neither advocates offensive physical violence, nor is it wholly concerned with armed, physical combat. The struggle in the path of God, whether it be to protect one’s land, as was the case in the Crusades, or establish gender equality, mobilises the Muslim community to advance itself. Lesser and greater jihad are co-existent concepts: neither can exist without the fulfilment, or attempt to carry out the other. Jihad is an essential part of Islam, as a religion and as a society; it seeks spiritual and secular excellence within the individual and community as a whole.
 See especially Pipes, D. 2002, “Jihad and the Professors” Commentary vol. 114 no. 4 pp. 17-21; Ellens, J. 2004, “Jihad in the Qur’an, Then and Now” ed. J. Ellens The Destructive Power of Religion, Violence in Judaism, Christianity and Islam Westport, U.S.A.
 Nasr, S. 1987, Traditional Islam in the Modern World, K.P.I,
London. p. 29
 Noorami, A. 2002, Islam and Jihad, Prejudice versus Reality, Zed Books,
London. p. 49;
Lawerence, B. 1998, Shattering the Myth, Islam Beyond Violence, Princeton University Press,
New Jersey. p. 168; Heck, P. 2004, “Jihad Revisited” Journal of Religious Ethics v. 32 no. 1 pp. 95-128. p. 97.
 Peters, R. 1996, Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam, Marcus Wiener,
New Jersey. p. 2. The Muslim calendar, begins with the fleeing of Muhammad and the first Muslims from Mecca to Yathrib (later
Medina) which is why it is called Hijra. This has been dated to July 16th 622 C.E.
 Peters. Jihad in Classical p. 1.
 Armstrong, K. 1995, Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet, Victor Gollancz,
New York. p. 168
 The notion of a religious doctrine that is concerned with secular well-being may seem as inappropriate to the Western, secularised mind. However, it must be stressed that Islamic countries, and within Islam itself, experiences no such secularism: religion remains a central concern of the society, and is inseparable from secular law and values.
 Averroes. (1996) “Al-Bidāya” in Peters, R. 1996, Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam, pp. 27-42 Marcus Wiener,
New Jersey. See pp. 32-35. Averroes states that if a community is attacked, the following members of the said community may not be slain: women, children, the ill, the elderly, peasants, hermits and the insane.
 Further to this, there exists scant evidence for the conception that the wars of early Muslim history were wars of conversion. These wars were neither jihad driven, but were wars of conquest and political hegemony. See Lippman, T. 1995, Understanding Islam, An Introduction to the Muslim World, 2nd ed. Muridian,
New York. pp. 115. It should also be noted that the calling of expansionist Islam, which I have not considered here, can be largely considered defunct. The classical notion that the Imām is obliged to raid enemy territory annually, was neither applicable to the Golden Age of Islam (c.750-1500) nor is their any evidence to the contrary. Further to this, there also exists considerable restrictions concerning who may call the Muslim community to both expansionist and defensive jihad (aside from individual defensive jihad). Within Shi’ite Islam, expansionist jihad can only be waged under the leadership of the rightful Imām. As the occultation of the last Imām was performed in 873 C.E, it is considered unlawful for jihad to be called. Furthermore, Noorani notes that traditionally, jihad, for the community, whether it be expansionist or defensive, must be declared by the clergy in fatwas.
 This is not to say that jihad as defensive action against offensive action is still not important to the modern Muslim world.
 Religious doctrines, as outlined above, are intrinsically connected to the society in which they are formed, and reside within. Therefore, the classical concern with warfare is connected to the pre-Islamic Arabic society that was characterised by tribal war-fare. As this does not dominate the Muslim world, it was inevitable that the doctrine of jihad would change in relation its social conditions.
 Abugideiri, H. 2001, “The Renewed Woman of American Islam: Shifting Lenses Toward ‘Gender Jihad’” The Muslim World, vol. 91 no. 1/2 pp. 1-18. p. 2
 Hopfe, L. 2005, Religions of the World, 9th ed,
Prentice Hall, New Jersey. p. 349
 Peters. Jihad in Classical p. 117
 Peters. Jihad in Classical p. 187
 Miller, R. 2000, Muslim Friends: Their Faith and Feeling, An Introduction to Muslim Orient, Longham. P. 253
 Waddy, C. 1990, The Muslim Mind 3rd ed.
New Amsterdam, Lanbam. P. 103
 Nasr, Traditional Islam p. 28
This is quite interesting.
“Is it proper to commemorate the extermination of Gypsies, Romani, homosexuals and the disabled as part of the Holocaust”
This essay shall approach the commemoration of the disabled, the Gypsies and the homosexuals as part of the Holocaust. The Holocaust shall be defined as the Nazi extermination of a group on the basis of Nazi eugenics in an attempt to create a homogenous gene pool. According to this definition, the disabled and the Gypsies are also victims of the Holocaust, along side the Jews. However, this definition excludes the homosexuals from such recognition. This essay shall detail a necessarily brief history of all three groups, justifying the inclusion in the above definition. However, despite the ease of such an argument, this essay shall explore in its conclusion, the validity of the term ‘the Holocaust”, positing that it is in itself, a deeply problematic term.
The Nazi persecution of the physically and mentally disabled was their first step in their quest for racial purity. The Nazi attempt to eliminate the disabled population began with the introduction of two laws on 14th July 1933: the Law for Prevention of Progeny With Hereditary Disorders, and the Law for Prevention of Genetically Disabled Offspring. These two laws enforced sterilisation for those deemed to be disabled: resulting in up to 300, 000 sterilisations being performed in the 1930s. The second major step, for both the disabled community and the Nazi eugenic program, came with the ‘euthanasia’ of the Knauer child in 1939. This case became the pretext for the development of the child euthanasia program in 1939. This program involved the recording of all births which displayed deformity or disease. These reports were sent to a centralised board, which decided whether or not the child, under the age of three, shall live, or be, “cleaned.” Initially, the termination of chosen children was carried out by the local hospital.
However, in 1939, with the expansion of the euthanasia program to include adults and children above the age of three, the Nazi’s first gas chambers were built, “T4”, to perform the exterminations on a larger, and more centralised scale. T4 was closed in 1941 in relation to public outcry to the killings. The official death count is 70, 273, however, this is estimated to be low, and does not include the deaths of the disabled that were killed after the official closure of T4. Significantly, the individuals trained for the operations of T4, and the construction of the centre’s mechanics of death, were transferred to the Nazi concentration camps in 1941.
The Gypsies are another group that was singled out for at first persecution, and then extermination, under the Nazi eugenic program. The Gypsies, as with the Jews and the disabled, were considered to be a threat to Nazi racial purity. They were deemed to be:
“primitive…racially inferior, with particularly inferior intellect and morals…[they pose] a special racial and economic threat. They are an even greater danger to racial purity.”
Thus, the Gypsies were sterilised under the Law for Genetically Diseased Offspring of July 14th 1933. Subsequently, the Gypsies were variously detained in ‘Zigeunlager’, and had their citizenship revoked upon the basis of being defined as, “aliens”. From 1936-1939, the Nazi’s ‘registered’ the Gypsy population, variously resulting in deportation, incarceration, or to be left alone. Importantly, as Sybil Milton notes, the Gypsies were among the first to be exterminated after the commencement of the Second World War, whilst in many cases Gypsy deportation preceded Jewish deportation.
The tension that exists in including the Gypsies in the Holocaust is based on a number of factors. First, the lower percentage of population killed is considered problematic. However, establishing the number of Gypsy deaths under the Nazi regime is highly problematic. Gypsy deaths in the concentration camp system were not always recorded as such, and further to this, Gypsy deaths that occurred outside this system were not recorded. Furthermore, Brenda and James Lutz point out that the lower percentage can be related to locality and the related degree of Nazi authority: in areas of Nazi dominance, the Gypsies were as likely to be persecuted as the Jews. However, Lutz states that the majority of Gypsies in occupied
Europe resided in areas that exhibited a, “degree of antipathy towards Nazi policies.” Another prime point of contention in this debate is that the Nazis did not pursue a policy of extermination against all Gypsies, and that their policies did not exhibit the same aggression as they did with the Jews. It is clear that a number of Gypsies were left alone by the Nazis. However, this brief amnesty was not applied coherently. Whilst at first, ‘pure’ and ‘sedentary’ Gypsies were exempt from deportation and sterilisation, in the later years of the Nazi regime, ‘pure’ and ‘sedentary’ Gypsies were deported, sterilised and exterminated. Furthermore, the Nazis only classified 10% of the Gypsy population as, “pure.” Additionally, as Henry Friedlander notes, while Himmler may have attempted to ‘save’ pure Gypsies, it is clear that by the time Himmler announced as such, that many ‘pure’ Gypsies had been deported to Auschwitz.
Historians such as Yehuda Bauer have argued for the exemption of the Gypsies from the Holocaust on the basis that the Nazi campaign against them was not as aggressive as the Jewish Final Solution. However, there are obvious reasons for a lack of fervour against the Gypsies. They represented a far smaller percentage of the population than the Jews: 0.05, rather than 0.5. Furthermore, the Gypsies occupied a rather lower socio-economic status than that of the Jews: a campaign against them did not need to deal with politics and influence. It is clear, that despite discrepancies, the Gypsies were a victim of the Holocaust: they were selected for sterilisation, deportation and extermination on the basis of their racial threat to Aryan blood.
The homosexuals are another group that were persecuted under the Nazi regime. However, the Nazi persecution of homosexuals may not be included in the Holocaust under its current definition. The Nazi attack on homosexuality began in July 14th 1933 with the introduction of the Law for Prevention of Hereditary Diseases and in November 1933 with the introduction of the Law Against Dangerous Habitual Criminals and Sexual Offenders. This situation was augmented in 1935 with the introduced subclause A to Paragraph 175, making homosexuality illegal. Nazi homophobia can be seen to have been drawn from a number of quarters: firstly, homosexuals did not fulfil the procreative responsibilities of the German male; indeed, the stereotyped homosexual man was the antithesis of the Nazi masculine ideal. Perhaps most motivating was the fear of a homosexual plague: the notion that homosexuality spread. This was deemed to be a threat of huge proportions to the gender segregation that occurred in the Nazi Youth and SS organisations.
It is clear that a level of persecution was performed against the homosexual community by the Nazi regime. 175A and other introduced laws saw the incarceration (in prison, psychiatric wards and concentration camps), castration, and extermination of 1000s of men. Estimates consider between 5000 and 15000 men were killed under the guise of homosexuality by the Nazis. However, this persecution was neither wholesale, nor systematic. Further, homosexuality was never fully understood by Nazi Germany, and was not categorised as a genetic problem; thus, it was not deemed a threat to the Aryan gene pool. This can be exemplified by a consideration of the recorded reasons for castration. Geoffrey Giles notes two laws that allowed for the castration of homosexuals: the Law for Prevention for Hereditary Diseases and the Law Against Dangerous Habitual Criminals and Sex Offenders. Castrations were mainly carried out under the second law: according to official records, only 14 castrations were performed under the first, whilst 1 123 were performed under the second. Whilst these operations are ultimately abhorrent, it is clear that the Nazis did not largely define homosexuality as a eugenic problem. The Nazi persecution of homosexuals was based on a desire to eradicate homosexuality. This ultimately, resulted in the incarceration, sterilisation and death of many men. However, the homosexuals were not singled out on the basis of their race: they could in fact avoid persecution.
The exclusion of homosexuals from the Holocaust points to the extremely problematic, ethical position that this term inhabits. Ultimately, a definition of the Holocaust must exclude certain groups that experienced Nazi persecution. However, in doing so, one robs those groups of recognition, and any commemorative affects.
Yet, the inclusion of a group whose persecution was less stringent and based on different criteria than those already included, necessarily devalues the initial groups experience. However, one must stop and question the validity of placing such a distinction that is surely, “a qualitative concept carrying moral judgement.” The persecution of Jews, Gypsies and the disabled resulted in similar classification and designation for death under Nazi eugenic policies. Yet, for many homosexuals, or even other prisoners, the Nazi regime provided the same treatment: incarceration under extremely inhumane conditions, and death. Gavriel Rosenfeld notes that increasingly, the Holocaust is coming to designate those who were incarcerated and killed in the mechanics of the Nazi concentration camp system. Furthermore, Rosenfeld comes to question the validity of the term the Holocaust in its totality, primarily on its matter of devaluation through inclusion and exclusion, and in relation to the wider use of the term in popular culture. Perhaps terms, such as the shoah, shall come to recognise each groups Holocaust experience, whilst the Holocaust shall come to recognise all groups of Nazi persecution. As I have demonstrated, the term the Holocaust is deeply problematic, and ultimately devalues a group’s experience. However, the definition as provided initially, does aid one to engage with the genocide of the Jews, Gypsies and the disabled under the Nazi eugenic program.
Bauer, Y. &
Milton, S. 1992. “Correspondence: Gypsies and The Holocaust” The History Teacher. vol. 25 no. 4. pp. 513-525
Dunk, H. 2002. “The Holocaust: Remembrance and Education” European Review. vol. 10 no. 1. pp. 53-61.
Friedlander, H. 1994. “Step by Step: The Expansion of Murder, 1939-1941” German Studies Review. vol. 17 no. 3. pp. 495-507.
Giles, G. 1992. “The Most Unkindest Cut of All: Castration, Homosexuality and Nazi Justice” Journal of Contemporary History. vol. 27 no. 1. pp. 41-56.
Jenson, E. 2002. “The Pink Triangle and Political Consciousness: Gays, Lesbians and the Memory of Persecution” Journal of the History of Sexuality. vol. 11. no. 1. pp. 319-349.
Lewy, G. 1999. “Gypsies and the Jews Under the Nazis” Holocaust and Genocide Studies. vol. 13 no. 3. pp. 383-404.
Lutz, B. & Lutz, J. 2002. “Gypsies as Victims of the Holocaust” Holocaust and Genocide Studies. vol. 9 no. 3. pp. 346-359.
Micheler, S. 2002. “Homophobic Propaganda and the Denunciation of Same-Sex Desiring Men Under National Socialism” Journal of the History of Sexuality. vol. 11 no. ½. pp. 95-130.
Milton, S. 1991. “Gypsies and the Holocaust” The History Teacher. vol. 24 no. 4. pp. 375-387.
Mostert, M. 2002. “Useless Eaters: Disability as a Genocidal Marker in Nazi Germany” The Journal of Special Education. vol. 36 no. 2. pp. 155-168.
Muller-Hill, B. 1988. Murderous Science: Elimination By Scientific Selection of Jews, Gypsies, and Others in Germany. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Oosterhuis, H. 1997. “Medicine, Male Bonding and Homosexuality in Nazi Germany” Journal of Contemporary History. vol. 32 no. 2. pp. 187-205.
Rosenfeld, G. 1999. “The Politics of Uniqueness: Reflections of the Recent Polemical Turn in Holocaust and Genocide Scholarship” Holocaust and Genocide Studies. vol. 13 no 1. pp. 28-61.
Milton, S. 1991. “Gypsies and the Holocaust” The History Teacher. vol. 24 no. 4. pp. 375-387. p. 378; Milton, S. 1992. “Correspondence: Gypsies and The Holocaust” The History Teacher. vol. 25 no. 4. pp. 513-525. p. 516; Friedlander, H. 1994. “Step by Step: The Expansion of Murder, 1939-1941” German Studies Review. vol. 17 no. 3. pp. 495-507. p. 497.
 From this point on, I shall refer to those whom the Nazi regime persecuted and killed on the basis of physical or mental disability as simply, ‘disabled’. However, it must be noted that the Nazi’s definition of ‘disabled’ was incredibly wide; it included: “congenital mental defect, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, chorea, blindness, deafness, severe physical deformity, alcoholism.” Muller-Hill, B. 1988. Murderous Science: Elimination By Scientific Selection of Jews, Gypsies, and Others in
Oxford. p. 28
 Friedlander, p. 496
 The euthanasia of the Knauer child would seem to be one of those cataclysmic accidents of history. The case which is widely argued to be the basis for the following ‘euthanasia’ program was petitioned for, on a number of occasions, by the child’s father. See: Mostert, M. 2002. “Useless Eaters: Disability as a Genocidal Marker in Nazi
Germany” The Journal of Special Education. vol. 36 no. 2. pp. 155-168. pp.159-160. Others also consider the Knauer child to be the pretext for the child euthanasia program. Fiedlander. “Step by Step” p. 497
 Mostert. “Useless Eaters” p. 498.
 Mostert. “Useless Eaters” Mostert lists various methods of termination by local hospitals. See
 T4 housed the first extermination performed by carbon monoxide poisoning in Nazi Germany. However, the first mass killing of disabled adults was performed by the SS in Pomeria and
West Prussia in 1939. Mostert. “Useless Eaters” p. 163; Muller-Hill. Murderous Science. p. 41.
 Friedlander. Step by Step. p. 498;
 I refer to the ‘Gypsies’ here with all due recognition of the Roma and the Sinti. The term, ‘Gypsies’ is used for literary ease.
Milton, S. 1991. “Gypsies and the Holocaust” p. 380. Quoting:
Nuremberg Document NG 684. File 4942. 5/2/1940. Letter: Senior State Attorney, Dr. Meissner of the Gratz Circuit Court to the Reich Minister of Justice,
 The designation of “Gypsies” as “alien” parallels the Jews classification. Lutz, B. & Lutz, J. 2002. “Gypsies as Victims of the Holocaust” Holocaust and Genocide Studies. vol. 9 no. 3. pp. 346-359. p. 347. Another significant parallel between the Gypsies and the Jews in terms of Nazi classification is the dual designation as group ‘4’, under the division of territories: those under group 4 were to be exterminated. Muller-Hill. Murderous Science. p. 55.
Milton. “Gypsies” p. 375.
Milton. “Gypsies” p. 378; Lutz. “Gypsies as victims” p. 351.
 Lutz. “Gypsies as victims” p. 354.
 Lutz. “Gypsies as victims” p. 368.
 See Bauer, Y. 1992. “Correspondence: Gypsies and the Holocaust” The History Teacher. vol. 25 no. 4. pp. 513-525; Lewy, G. 1999. “Gypsies and the Jews Under the Nazis” Holocaust and Genocide Studies. vol. 13 no. 3. pp. 383-404. Guenter Lewy is vitally concerned that the Gypsies are not included in the Holocaust. However, his analysis proves to be based on a number of historical omissions. For example. Lewy states that Gypsies were only persecuted in the last three years of the war.
Milton,. S. 1992. “Correspondence: Gypsies and the Holocaust” pp. 513-525. p. 519.
 Friedlander. “Step by Step” p. 500.
 Bauer. “Corresspondence” p. 512
 Friedlander. “Step by Step” p. 498.
 Giles, G. 1992. “The Most Unkindest Cut of All: Castration, Homosexuality and Nazi Justice” Journal of Contemporary History. vol. 27 no. 1. pp. 41-56. p. 47. As with all groups that faced Nazi persecution, the introduction of laws merely represents the first official decree of persecution against such a group. All groups underwent varying forms of persecution and marginalisation prior to the implementation of Nazi ideology in Nazi Germany.
 Micheler, S. 2002. “Homophobic Propaganda and the Denunciation of Same-Sex Desiring Men Under National Socialism” Journal of the History of Sexuality. vol. 11 no. ½. pp. 95-130. p. 95
 Micheler. “Homophobic” p. 96.
 Oosterhuis, H. 1997. “Medicine, Male Bonding and Homosexuality in Nazi
Germany” Journal of Contemporary History. vol. 32 no. 2. pp. 187-205. p. 189.
 Herman Von Ver Dunk notes that commemoration results in both a strengthening of bonds amongst survivors and helps prevent the reoccurrence of the initial events. Dunk, H. 2002. “The Holocaust: Remembrance and Education” European Review. vol. 10 no. 1. pp. 53-61. pp. 61-62. Erik Jensen notes the importance of the “Gay Holocaust” to the current GLBT political community. However, Jensen also notes that the Gay community, “has remembered the Gay Holocaust often independently of historical research.” Jenson, E. 2002. “The Pink Triangle and Political Consciousness: Gays, Lesbians and the Memory of Persecution” Journal of the History of Sexuality. vol. 11. no. 1. pp. 319-349. p. 320. The politics of ‘collective memory’ are deeply embedded in the study of the Holocaust. Rosenfeld notes that the notion of ‘uniqueness’ developed out of attempts to include others in the Holocaust, and in the rise of arguments concerning the place of the Holocaust in contemporary American life. Rosenfeld, G. 1999. “The Politics of Uniqueness: Reflections of the Recent Polemical Turn in Holocaust and Genocide Scholarship” Holocaust and Genocide Studies. vol. 13 no 1. pp. 28-61. p. 35.
 Rosenfeld. “The Politics of Uniqueness”. p. 47.
 Rosenfeld. “The Politics of Uniqueness” p. 48.
 See Rosenfeld. “The Politics of Uniqueness” for a detailed discussion.