Tech workers reject Muslim registry, remind Trump of Armenian Genocide

Tech workers reject Muslim registry, remind Trump of Armenian Genocide

PanARMENIAN.Net - As of Thursday, December 15 morning, more than 1200 Silicon Valley engineers and employees signed a pledge refusing to cooperate with the administration of President-elect Donald Trump on his proposal to build a Muslim registry and implement mass deportations of minority communities.

In the petition, the employees say they have educated themselves on the history of threats like these, and on the roles that technology and technologists played in carrying them out.

"We see how IBM collaborated to digitize and streamline the Holocaust, contributing to the deaths of six million Jews and millions of others. We recall the internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War. We recognize that mass deportations precipitated the very atrocity the word genocide was created to describe: the murder of 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey. We acknowledge that genocides are not merely a relic of the distant past—among others, Tutsi Rwandans and Bosnian Muslims have been victims in our lifetimes," the petition said.

"We refuse to participate in the creation of databases of identifying information for the United States government to target individuals based on race, religion, or national origin."

The petition was created in response to the Intercept's report of Twitter being only one out of nine major tech companies publicly refusing to assist with Trump's proposal for a Muslim registry. The other eight companies — Google, Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Booze Allen Hamilton, CGI and SRA International — have not responded with any public statements on whether they would refuse to help to build a Muslim database.

Silicon Valley workers who signed the pledge promised to fight back or resign from their positions if their employers force them to conduct surveillance on minority communities or invade their constitutional rights to privacy. They also vow to ask their companies to minimize data collection and retention that could potentially be used to target minority communities.

The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres and deportations, involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.

The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.

Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, Italy, 45 U.S. states, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Argentina, Belgium, Austria, Wales, Switzerland, Canada, Poland, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, the Vatican, Luxembourg, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Sweden, Venezuela, Slovakia, Syria, Vatican, as well as the European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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