Condemnation of the Adana Massacre (1909) by Shaykh al-Azhar Salim al-Bishri (d. 1916)

On the Centenary of Armenian genocide/ mass killing. this piece. It is remarkable to see how Al-Azhar of the past stood by what is right and ignore religious loyality to Sunni Ottomans. courtesy to Mohammad Fadel.


In April 1909, there was a major wave of massacres in the Cilician city of Adana (modern-day southern Turkey), in which over 20,000 Armenians were murdered and thousands of homes destroyed. Although these attacks on Armenian communities in Anatolia had intensified nearly a decade earlier during the Hamidian massacres between 1894 and 1896, in which between 90,000 and 300,000 Armenians, civilians and nationalist dissidents alike, were indiscriminately killed by Ottoman forces and mobs, the massacres of 1909 would foreshadow the even more heinous genocidal massacres of 1915–1918.

In response to the massacres, the Grand Shaykh of al-Azhar (the leading religious institution of Sunni Muslims in the world) Salim al-Bishri (who held the position from 1909 to 1916) issued a strongly-worded condemnation of the perpetrators of the massacre and all those religious authorities in the Ottoman Empire who had incited or endorsed the massacre (for more on Shaykh Salim al-Bishri, read…

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About nervana111

Doctor, blogger and Commentator on Middle East issues. The only practising doctor who write in Middle Eastern politics in UK.
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