21 August 2006

946) Letter to Dr Francisco Arce, El Camino College, Ref: Biased presentation by Armenian scholar Dr. Levon Marashlian

From : Kirlikovali kirlikovali@cox.net
To : Dr. Francisco Arce fmarce@elcamino.edu
Cc : "Bilici, Lutchminia" Lbilici@elcamino.edu, fbaker@elcamino.edu

To : Dr. Francisco Arce, Vice President of Academic Affairs, El Camino College

Re : A biased presentation by Armenian scholar Dr. Levon Marashlian on the alleged Armenian Genocide that took place in the El Camino College Campus Theater on Tuesday, May 9, at 1:00 pm

Dear Dr. Arce,

On May 9, 2006, I attended a lecture presented by the history department of El Camino College regarding what they abeled to be the Armenian Genocide. The lecture was a two hour long tirade of Dr. Marashlian wherein he used the guise of higher education and the name of El Camino College, a taxpayer supported institution, to propagate anti-Turkish hatred, influencing innocent mionds of countless young men and women. . .

I was appalled to see that such a lecture, an almost tangible display of odium and bitterness toward ethnic Turks andAmericans of Turkish heritage, had been supported and organized by your history department. This endorsement of Dr Marashlians blatantly biased and offensive lecture has undoubtedly alienated many of the students especially those of Turkish and/or Muslim descent.

Educating the future of our country is a responsibility El Camino College has always embraced, through your mission statement declaring the philosophy of the college to be, to meet the educational needs of our diverse community and ensure student success by offering quality, comprehensive educational opportunities. Since when do the educational needs of our community include clouding the minds of unsuspecting students with one-sided propaganda? This presentation was directly in conflict with the mission of the college, and has undermined the educational philosophy and authority of the administration.

The administration of El Camino College cannot possibly endorse the presentation of a set of data skewed and doctored to support a message condemning a group of people, while maintaining the integrity of the institution, claiming in its Statement of Values, We act ethically and honestly toward our students, colleagues and community, and We work in a spirit of cooperation, while recognizing our differences. In an effort of uphold your Statement of Values, I suggest that it is incumbent upon the history department to present the other side of the conflict in an informative, unbiased, and strictly academic manner, similar to how slavery and the Civil War are taught in our public schools.

If our children were taught the Civil Rights Movement from the point of view of the Ku Klux Klan, the presentation would be labeled as one-sided, biased, and skewed. Dr. Marashlians presentation of the Armenian-Turkish conflict has proved comparable in that it was one-sided, biased, and skewed. While under the First Amendment, Dr. Marashlian is given the right to express his beliefs, my rights to express my views freely through equal time and under equal set of conditions were trampled upon. As a public institution, I don't see how you can find it unacceptable that El Camino College support the forum for hatred Dr. Marashlian created through his lecture.

As a tax-paying, decent, and concerned citizen, a longtime reader and student of history, and a knowledgeable person on this topic, but above all, as someone whose grandparents were devastated by the very events which were deliberately misrepresentatd by the above named Armenian scholar, it saddens me profoundly that the history department of El Camino College has confused the virtue of education and academia in their support, by design or default, of the propagation of hatred in our community. It is incumbent upon El Camino College to uphold the mission of the college and the integrity of the administration, presenting this issue in an appropriate manner. The first step in this process being an unbiased presentation of the issue in its entirety, including the counterpoint. After all, you would not even remotely consider covering other controversial subjects like abortion, gun control, war in Iraq, and others, from only one aspect, one angle, one view, would you? Why then is this double standard when it comes to Turkish-Armenian conflict? Is it because the other party are Turks or Muslims?

I sincerely hope that despite this blatant disregard to ensure the students quality and comprehensive educational opportunities, in the future, you will be able to fulfill the mission of El Camino College.

I am here to help you do that anyway I can. Thank you for your kind attention to this sensitive issue.
Ergun Kirlikovali
A concerned Turkish-American
9741 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine, CA 92618
Phone: 949-788-1050

PS: I have commented on this biased lecture by the Armenian scholar extensively in my column at www.turkla.com and you can click on the following link to read the whole article:
http://www.turkla.com/yazar.php?yid=4 "Armenian Scholar At Ease With Censorship"

PPS: Here is another link where an educational TV channel conducted an interview with me some five years ago providing the other side of the story to most frequently asked five questions by the media and disinterested third parties:
http://wwwturkla.com/yazar.php?mid=525&yid=4 "CONNECTING THE DOTS ON THE 'ALLEGED' ARMENIAN GENOCIDE"


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