Khmer Rouge’s Extremist Ideologies Resulted in the Murder of Many People

Posted by khmernews on January 31, 2007

Phnom Penh: A specialist in genocide and human rights said that extremist ideologies are a main factor in encouraging crimes against humanity.

In a training course on reporting information dealing with the Khmer Rouge tribunal, organized by the Club of Cambodian Journalists on the morning of the 20th December 2006, Mr. Frank Chalk said that extremist ideologies encouraged genocide and crimes against humanity in Cambodia as well as in other places throughout the world.

He explained that genocide refers to an attempt to the kill a whole racial, religious, ethnic or ethnic minority group. The purging of one of these groups is genocide.

Regarding crimes against humanity, he explained that an activity in which perpetrators do not kill a whole group but just one part of these specific groups of people who are from a particular race,  religion, ethnic group, or of a politic tendency or social class is a crime against humanity.

Mr. Frank Chalk added, “An ideology means that we are wearing glasses. Through it, we see things in a different way. Extremist ideologies are always seen in time of wars, famine and violent revolutions.

He continued that extremist ideologies could produce negative or positive results, and sometimes these results take place together at the same time. An example of the positive result of the extremist ideologies is that in some European countries it was demanded that women’s rights should be promoted and be equal to men’s.

However some examples of negative results of extremist ideologies are europeans who followed Hitler’s extremist ideologies and wanted to kill all Jewish people, and the Khmer Rouge killed all Cham people [Cambodian Muslims] because they did not give up their religious beliefs..

He asserted that in general, the people who are absorbed in extremist ideologies want to root out a group of people that they think will be a threat to their power. Instead they attempt to create a perfect society in the near future.

Professor Frank Chalk made it known that lots of researchers have been observing the process of the extraordinary tribunal. It is crucial to define which crimes in Cambodia during 1975-79 should be considered as acts against humanity.

He highlighted, “From my point of view, the Khmer Rouge mistreatment of the Cham ethnic minority group is a form of genocide in Cambodia. I believe that the killings in Cambodia were a result of Khmer Rouge’s extremist ideologies that wanted to create a perfect society in the belief that it would move forward with great leaps and bounds.”

He noted that not only Cambodia but other countries throughout the world also suffered from extremist ideologies.

Extracted from: Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.14, #4164, Thursday 21 December 2006


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