Talk:Cambodian genocide

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Merge with Killing Fields article?[edit]

Should this article not be merged with the Killing Fields article since they're the same event? Plus, it seems the referencing and information in the Killing Fields article is better documented. 2001:44B8:41CD:3800:71CE:BE35:D686:51B9 (talk) 13:36, 13 March 2016 (UTC)

Perhaps. Though that article is ostensibly only about particular sites, its content seems to overlap with this page. —ajf (talk) 21:40, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

Was this a genocide?[edit]

Should we call this a genocide?

Philip Short's Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare states:

That Nuon Chea Ieng Sary, Khieu Samphân and other Khmer Rouge leaders committed crimes is beyond dispute. But if they are to be put on trial it should be for crimes against humanity, of which they are guilty and for which they may legitimately be convicted, not for genocide, of which they are innocent. The Khmers Rouges did not set out to exterminate a 'national, ethnic, racial, or religious group', whether their own, the Vietnamese, the Chams or any other. They conspired to enslave a people. (446)

Squandermania (talk) 14:17, 16 June 2016 (UTC)

The key words in that quote are "may...be convicted" and "did not set out to..." You're talking apples and oranges -- "what really happened" versus "what can get a conviction in a court". In a courtroom, intent is an important element of a crime and proof of intent is often required in order to get a conviction. In the real world, however, all that really matters is the result, which was genocide. Short was talking about the legalities, this article is about the realities. Take a look at these Google Scholar results to see just how many scholars refer to this as "genocide". Also, take a look at the definition of "genocide". It doesn't only have the narrow legal sense in which Short uses it (i.e. "to exterminate..."). The most common usage of "genocide" is simply "the deliberate killing of people who belong to a particular racial, political, or cultural group".[1][2][3]. The Khmer Rouge targeted all three: racial groups (Cham, Vietnamese, Chinese, Kola, etc), cultural groups (Khmer people that were upper- and middle-class, educated, artisans, French-speaking, Muslims, Buddhists, etc) and political groups (pretty much every group not directly affiliated with the Khmer Rouge). We have an article Genocide definitions. The Cambodian situation fits the definitions of 1948, 1959, 1975, 1976, 1981, 1982, 1984, etc.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 17:40, 16 June 2016 (UTC)


Recent Category addition[edit]

I've removed the recent problematic addition of the "Category:Persecution by atheists" from this article as inappropriate and unsupported by reliable sources. The category misleads our readers by implying that persecution was inflicted because the persecutors were atheists (people who do not believe in gods), which is nonsensical. Atheism has no goal, creed or mission; it is merely the absence of belief in deities. While reliable sources say there has been persecution by totalitarian dictators and regimes, and communist regimes, and anti-clerical movements, and some of these even maintained a stance of "state atheism", there is no causal relationship between atheism and persecution of religious individuals. We already have more appropriate and accurate categories for this kind of persecution: Category:Anti-religious campaign in the Soviet Union, Category:Anti-clericalism, Category:Persecution by communists, etc. Articles asserting causal persecution by a lack of belief have been deleted in the past. Xenophrenic (talk) 16:47, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

Democratic Kampuchea was officially an atheist state, Religion was also banned, and the repression of adherents of Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism was extensive, The Category:Persecution by atheists fit well here, Democratic Kampuchea was a state atheism governed by atheists and that officially promoted atheism. The Category:Persecution by atheists it is includes articles of violence or persecution carried out by atheists or atheist goverments against adherents of religions. Prevent people from freedom of worship and to impose on them that they are atheists or non-religious, burning and closing of churches and temples is persecuted (In the case of the oppressed was an atheist), then, is persecuted by the atheists.--Jobas (talk) 17:40, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
You are correct that the religious were persecuted, and you are correct that Cambodia assumed a position of state atheism. But you are confusing the persecution conducted by communists as "persecution by atheists", which is nonsensical. That makes as much sense as adding "Category: Persecution by people with black hair". According to the cited sources in this article, the persecution was propagated by the communists upon the religious (and religious institutions) because regime didn't want to compete with religions for influence over the populace. Atheism is just the absence of belief in gods; there is no "persecution" component to it. The persecution comes from the communist regime and from totalitarian dictators. Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 18:12, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
The persecution was led by people who identified themselves as atheists, They were athiest outspoken, Their actions were an attempt to remove religions of these communities through the policy of persecuting the religions and their followers and by followers of imposing a policy of atheism, forceful tactics to promote atheism, through the so-called atheistic countries. If not athiest then persecuted by whom? Christians?.--Jobas (talk) 18:21, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
The persecution, according to the sources, were by the polity in control at the time. The people may have identified themselves as atheists, and males, and left-handed, and fond of bird-watching, but the persecution (and also the establishment of state-sponsored stance of atheism) was a product of the communist or fascist government. See the difference? Xenophrenic (talk) 18:29, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
The source cited they imposing a policy of atheism in not peacful way, and the "The state recognizes no religion, and supports atheistic propaganda in order to implant a scientific materialistic world outlook in people.", and forceful tactics to promote atheism. These acts it called persecution that done by self identified atheists, They ban on religion and they killed and tortured followers of different religions. And they tried to impose atheism in various ways on the population? What you called killing people for their faith and harassment them and an attempt to impose atheism officially in all ways? Persecuted? and by whom?--Jobas (talk) 18:47, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
I don't see that quotation anywhere in this article. Which paragraph is it in, please? Xenophrenic (talk) 19:05, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
impose atheism in various ways on the population from preventing worship and closing churches and torture people for practice it.? Were are taling about State atheism as states and goverments who run official policy of anti-clericalism and Anti-religious and its aim to and promoting state atheism.
Wessinger, Catherine (2000). Millennialism, Persecution, and Violence: Historical Cases. Syracuse University Press. p. 282. ISBN 9780815628095. Democratic Kampuchea was officially an atheist state, and the persecution of religion by the Khmer Rouge was matched in severity only by the persecution of religion in the communist states of Albania and North Korea, so there were not any direct historical continuities of Buddhism into the Democratic Kampuchea era.--Jobas (talk) 19:12, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
Which paragraph, please? Xenophrenic (talk) 19:19, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
The Khmer Rouge, under its policy of state atheism,[12] actively persecuted Buddhists during their reign from 1975 to 1979.[13] Religion was also banned, and the repression of adherents of Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism was extensive. And according to Kiernan, the "fiercest extermination campaign was directed against the ethnic Cham Muslim minority.
Try to read WP:COMMONSENSE.--Jobas (talk) 19:22, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
I read WP:COMMONSENSE a long time ago. Has it changed since then?
I agree that the Khmer Rouge actively persecuted religious people, and also ethnically different people. I also agree that they established state atheism. But adding a category of "Persecuted by atheists" is not only a violation of WP:SYNTH, but it is also nonsensical. Are you still unclear as to why? Xenophrenic (talk) 19:33, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
Really? Why not adding Persecuted by atheists, When the Khmer Rouge were state atheism governed by atheists and that officially promoted atheism.--Jobas (talk) 19:40, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
Because being atheists (i.e.; not believing in gods) has nothing to do with persecution. If you add a "persecuted by atheists" category, you will mislead our readers into thinking they persecuted people because they are atheists, which is ridiculous. Xenophrenic (talk) 19:46, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
Has nothing to do? They persecuted people because they are believers, the Khmer Rouge were state atheism governed by atheists and that officially promoted atheism and they persecuted people with religions because they are believers, they tried to force on them atheism, by baning religions and other act of persecution. The Khmer Rouge under its policy of state atheism, they banned religions and persecuted Buddiest and Muslim and Christians, How being atheists (i.e.; not believing in gods) has nothing to do with persecution.--Jobas (talk) 20:01, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
Now you are repeating yourself, without addressing the issue at hand. Do you have a reliable source which says "persecuted by atheists"? Or are you still talking about persecution of the religious by communists who happen to also be atheists? I don't see anything in the atheism article which says part of being an atheist is that you must burn churches or force people to suddenly not believe. I'll hold off on replying until you've provided a reliable source for this article which conveys specifically "persecuted by atheists", rather than persecuted by communists or totalitarian regimes.Xenophrenic (talk) 20:16, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
here: Wessinger, Catherine (2000). Millennialism, Persecution, and Violence: Historical Cases. Syracuse University Press. p. 282. ISBN 9780815628095. Democratic Kampuchea was officially an atheist state, and the persecution of religion by the Khmer Rouge was matched in severity only by the persecution of religion in the communist states of Albania and North Korea, so there were not any direct historical continuities of Buddhism into the Democratic Kampuchea era.--Jobas (talk) 20:19, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
Xeno, between this and your stunning admission elsewhere that you were completely unaware of the connection between the word "slave" and the Slavic peoples of Eastern Europe, I'm really starting to lose my respect for you. Guess what—I'm an atheist, too! However, as an atheist, I have no problem admitting that the extraordinarily effective destruction of the Buddhist spiritual center of Cambodian society by the Khmer Rouge was a clear case of persecution by atheists. To argue that "there is no causal relationship between atheism and persecution of religious individuals" is to argue against the usefulness of the category itself. If that is how you feel, you are free to nominate it for deletion.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 22:24, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
Howdy, TTAC. I think you were reading a little too much into the discussion about slaves. Gently prodding an editor, who may be prone to more personal opinion than established fact, to start providing sources is a little different than a "stunning admission elsewhere that you were completely unaware of the connection". I'm sorry if you are losing respect; I'll try to earn it back. As for the category itself, I'm arriving at the same conclusion: it doesn't appear to be a very useful category, and may well end up on the chopping block. Decimation of Buddhists by a communist regime is persecution by the Khmer Rouge establishing communist control, not atheists, even if every last person responsible disbelieved in deities. The "Buddhist spiritual center of Cambodia", to use your description, as well as religions in general, was a threat to the political subjugation and control of the populace that the KR tried to establish and maintain, none of which has to do with atheism. God bless, Xenophrenic (talk) 22:51, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
Some quick, light reading for you in: 50 Great Myths About Atheism by Russell Blackford and Udo Schüklenk (2013); check out Myth #27 (about "atheists" being responsible for all the ills in Cambodia, USSR, Mao's China, etc). You're probably already aware, since you are an atheist, but just in case... Oh, and if you are going to join this conversation in earnest, perhaps you could point me to the reliable sources I've been asking for above? Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 23:10, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
Russell Blackford is a writer, philosopher, and critic, he it is not a historian and scholar.
According to the historian Geoffrey Blainey wrote that during the twentieth century, atheists in Western societies became more active and even militant and he wrote: "the most ruthless leaders in the Second World War were atheists and secularists who were intensely hostile to both Judaism and Christianity", (source: Geoffrey Blainey; A Short History of Christianity; Viking; 2011; p.543), and "Later massive atrocities were committed in the East by those ardent atheists, Pol Pot and Mao Zedong. All religions, all ideologies, all civilizations display embarrassing blots on their pages".
In Julian Baggini's book Atheism A Very Short Introduction, the author notes that "One of the most serious charges laid against atheism is that it is responsible for some of the worst horrors of the 20th century, including the Nazi concentration camps and Stalin's gulags". (source: Julian Baggini; Atheism a Very Short Introduction; Oxford University Press, 2003, pp. 85).
Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge also instigated a purge of religion during the Cambodian Genocide, when all religious practices were forbidden and Buddhist monasteries were closed. (source: Encyclopædia Britannica Online - Cambodia History; accessed 10 November 2013),
Albania under Enver Hoxha became, in 1967, the first formally declared atheist state (source: Majeska, George P. (1976). "Religion and Atheism in the U.S.S.R. and Eastern Europe, Review." The Slavic and East European Journal. 20(2). pp. 204–206.), Enver Hoxha's regime conducted a campaign to extinguish religious life in Albania. and Article 37 of the Albanian constitution of 1976 stated that "The State recognises no religion, and supports and carries out atheistic propaganda in order to implant a scientific materialistic world outlook in people." (source: Elsie, R. (2000). A Dictionary of Albanian Religion, Mythology, and Folk Culture. New York: NYU Press. p. 18. ISBN 0-8147-2214-8.)
Atheist and anti-religious policies in the Soviet Union included numerous legislative acts, the outlawing of religious instruction in the schools, and the emergence of the League of Militant Atheis to intensify the persecution. (source: Richard Pipes; Russia under the Bolshevik Regime; The Harvill Press; 1994; pp. 339–340)
After Mao, the Chinese Communist Party remains an atheist organization, and regulates, but does not completely forbid, the practice of religion in mainland China. (source: Rowan Callick; Party Time – Who Runs China and How; Black Inc; 2013; p.112), (source: "International Religious Freedom Report 2007 — China (includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau)". U.S.Department of State. 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-02.)
You still keep ignore sources, There been persecution that done by an atheist states, and atheist leaders. So you like or not that dose not changed facts of Persecution by atheist states and leaders.--Jobas (talk) 01:41, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Hi, Jobas. Blackford is a philosopher and scholar, and so is Schüklenk (Professor of Philosophy at Queen's University), and so is Julian Baggini, whom you just quoted. And atheism is a subject of philosophy. Coincidence? Have you located a reliable source which says people were "Persecuted by atheists", rather than at the hands of a communist regime or a totalitarian state? I don't see it in any of the sources you just mentioned. I read your quote by Baggini, and I kept reading. Do you see where he said, "...some anti-atheist assumptions are just that--assumptions and not facts. [...] This was not atheist fascism but an expressly Catholic one. [...] The fact that the Soviet Union was an avowedly atheist state doesn't mean that atheism can be blamed for the mass murders committed by the communist dictator Joseph Stalin. He goes on to say that it isn't atheism or even original Marxism to blame, but "Soviet communism, with its active oppression of religion" to blame. And "In fact, even though it was officially atheist, it is not even true to say that the Soviet Union and the Church always had an antagonistic relationship. Stalin permitted the formation of the Moscow Patriarchate, a central body for the Russian Orthodox Church." What do you suppose he means? Atheism is an absence of belief in gods. Atheists don't close churches, arrest priests or outlaw religion -- blame for that oppression is on the dictators and the totalitarian states. The category template is misleading. Xenophrenic (talk) 15:05, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Blackford is a philosopher still not historian. but that is not the issue.
The name of category is Persecuted by atheists, It mean to include act of Persecution that done by atheist or self identified atheists, or atheist goverment and states, this not important what is the defination of Atheism for you or me, because it is not the place for that argue. The Category is about acts of Persecution that done by atheists, which I already provided reliable source about the Persecution acts, and the self identified atheists leaders as Pol Pot and Enver Hoxha and that these dictators and the ″totalitarian″ states were officaly atheist state (so how the Category don't fit here)‎. According to the historian Geoffrey Blainey wrote that during the twentieth century, atheists in Western societies became more active and even militant and he wrote: "the most ruthless leaders in the Second World War were atheists and secularists who were intensely hostile to both Judaism and Christianity, (source: Geoffrey Blainey; A Short History of Christianity; Viking; 2011; p.543), and "Later massive atrocities were committed in the East by those ardent atheists, Pol Pot and Mao Zedong. All religions, all ideologies, all civilizations display embarrassing blots on their pages, "The agressive speard of atheism in the Soviet Union alarmed many German christians, "Later massive atrocities were committed in the East by those ardent atheists, Pol Pot and Mao Zedong. All religions, all ideologies, all civilizations display embarrassing blots on their pages, "In 1923 the Soviet machine denounced the celebrating of Easter and Christmas. Two years later the Soviet Government founded the League of Militant Atheists in order to intensfiy its crusade ... This was one of the most vigorous persecutions of Christians in Europe since the heday of the Roman Empire. The Leagu Militant Atheists was an atheistic and antireligious organization, The League was a "nominally independent organization established by the Communist Party to promote atheism." the leagu played an important rule in killing and imprisoned the priest. Thousands of churches were closed, some turned into temples of atheism.
The Russian Orthodox Church, for centuries the strongest of all Orthodox Churches, was suppressed by Russia's atheists (source: Geoffrey Blainey; A Short History of Christianity; Viking; 2011; p.494).
In 1999, the Communist Party launched a three-year drive to promote atheism in Tibet, saying intensifying propaganda on atheism is "especially important for Tibet because atheism plays an extremely important role in promoting economic construction, social advancement and socialist spiritual civilization in the region". (source: China announces "civilizing" atheism drive in Tibet; BBC; January 12, 1999)
The Christian solidarity derived from mobilisation against domestic political opponents was reinforced by the more distant threat constituted by the militantly atheist Soviet Union. (The Cambridge History Of Christianity, Vol. 9 p. 172)
I dont see in this source the word totalitarian, but i'm see atheists, don't till me now that Geoffrey Blainey is not reliable source.--Jobas (talk) 18:28, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, Blackford is a philosopher and scholar, and so is Schüklenk (Professor of Philosophy at Queen's University), and so is Julian Baggini, whom you just quoted. And atheism is a subject of philosophy. Coincidence? Did you have a point?
this not important what is the defination of Atheism for you or me --Jobas
It may not be important to you, but it is important for our readers. When you add the category "Persecution by atheists", you are telling our readers that there is persecution because of atheism, which is not true and is not reliably sourced. Hopefully you can understand that. Please let me know if you do not. A category which says "Persecution by XXX" means the persecution is because the subject is XXX. A category which says "Persecution of XXX" means the persecution happened because the subject is XXX. If you intended the category to mean something else, you will need to reword it.
Your Blainey quotes say three things. (1) Blainey says some ruthless leaders (he doesn't name who) in the Second World War were also atheist or secularist, and that is very likely, since there are billions of secularists and atheists in the world. (2) Blainey also says that Pol Pot and Mao were atheist and they also committed atrocities, which I think is also true. (3) Blainey says all religions, all ideologies, all civilizations can be the source of bad things, which is very probably true — but atheism isn't a "religion" or an "ideology" or a "civilization". Blainey does not say anyone was "persecuted by atheists". In fact, what Blainey was actually saying is that not all war and violence is promoted by Christianity, and he gives examples of non-Christians (Mao, Pol Pot) to support his point. You would know this if you read the sentence just before the ones you quoted on page 543.
Perhaps this quote about people like Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, etc, would be helpful to your understanding: "Individual atheists may do evil things but they don't do evil things in the name of atheism." The blame for that lies with "dogmatic and doctrinaire Marxism", or totalitarianism, etc. (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion; Pgs 315-316)
don't till me now that Geoffrey Blainey is not reliable source --Jobas
Anybody can be a reliable source, and any source can be deemed non-reliable or inaccurate, depending on the specific content being sourced. You'll have to be specific about what you would like to source to Blainey in a Wikipedia article. Xenophrenic (talk) 12:45, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Xeno, you are demanding an impossibly high standard of evidence, similar to claiming "oppression by communists" is an invalid category unless the sources proffered explicitly describe avowedly communist dictatorships as practicing the same "true communism" envisioned by Marx (and further aver that Marx's ideas inevitably require gulag). Your argument culminates in the reductio ad absurdum where we declare all ideologies irrelevant and focus instead on the one common denominator: "Oppression by dictatorship." Ideas like secularism, atheism, and even communism may not inherently require mass killing in theory, but communist governments are likely to discover the necessity of violence and coercion if they are faced with a sufficiently large and powerful propertied elite (of the sort that exists in every society)—and the extreme brutality employed by secular governments such as, say, the Ba'th in Syria might be at least partially explained by the difficulty of upholding secular rule in a cultural environment of deeply ingrained and profoundly conservative religiosity. I repeat that it is bad form to render a category effectively invisible by purging it from articles to which it is (justifiably) applied, and that it is incumbent upon you to nominate this category for deletion or drop the stick.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 20:20, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
What I, and Wikipedia, demand is any evidence at all, and if that is an "impossibly high standard" for you (and Jobas) to meet, then I suggest therein lies a very big clue. Further, my argument has nothing to do with ideologies, only about atheism, and misattribution to it under the guise of a category.
but communist governments are likely to discover the necessity of violence and coercion --TheTimesAreAChanging
Bingo. Now we are in the same page, and you've correctly identified the source of the oppression. As for removing articles which have been inappropriately placed in this (mostly nonsensical) category, that would be a logical and necessary prelude to nominating the category for deletion (or alternatively, showing that the category actually has utility). Do you disagree? Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 12:45, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
We are talking past one another, as all too often happens on Wikipedia. For this reason, it would be preferable to achieve consensus through the input of the broader community, preferably at "Categories for deletion." This is an admittedly complicated matter because, while all communists are atheists, not all atheists are communists. Atheism is a necessary precondition for the Khmer Rouge attempt to completely abolish all organized religion, but not a sufficient cause in and of itself.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 21:26, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
I don't think we're talking past each other as much as talking in two different directions. As I noted before, I am considering CfD, but I have no intention of launching it prematurely without first getting a solid handle on where & how it is being used and misused. You are very correct that this is a complicated matter, and even your observations about "all communists" and "all atheists" are not as absolute as you just stated, and there is significant nuance involved. "Religion" is a competing and incompatible entity where certain variants of communism are concerned, but "atheism" is merely a byproduct, and not a requirement of (and certainly not a cause of) any persecution under communism. Much of the confusion is apparently due to the term "state atheism", which is actually a completely different beast than actual atheism, and is more akin to a government policy of general anti-religion. Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 19:08, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
This category "Persecution by atheists", not category "Persecution because of atheism", The category is about act of persecution committed by atheists noting more nothing less, dozen of source include your Richard Dawkins, cited that there been act of persecution committed by atheists, the category dosen't argue the reason of the persecution. But still the soruces show that the Atheist states as Soviet and ect try to establish atheism throughout society by force and persecution, and creating atheist organizations as League of Militant Atheists to help the goverment to promoted atheism. So how an atheist state and atheist organizations as League of Militant Atheists who played role in persecution people of religion, and tried to force and promoted atheism dont fit under category "Persecution by atheists".
Even if it was in the name of a Communist ideology, but that ideology was explicitly atheistic? and who can deny that that Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot were influnced in their. Religious persecution by the Marxist–Leninist atheism which advocates the abolition of religion and the acceptance of atheism?, So how "Persecution by atheists" don't fit here when they Persecuted people of regions and try to force on them atheism.
You asked that to show you source that there been acts of Persecution that done by atheists, I gave the source of Geoffrey Blainey, it was very clear, "the most ruthless leaders in the Second World War were atheists and secularists who were intensely hostile to both Judaism and Christianity" and "Later massive atrocities were committed in the East by those ardent atheists, Pol Pot and Mao Zedong″.
Well Richard Dawkins is not historian, Under the state atheism of the Soviet Union, there was a "government-sponsored program of forced conversion to atheism." (source: Religion and the State in Russia and China: Suppression, Survival, and Revival, by Christopher Marsh, page 47. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2011.) and (source: Inside Central Asia: A Political and Cultural History, by Dilip Hiro. Penguin, 2009.) which is an act of Persecution, This program included the overarching objective to establish not only a fundamentally materialistic conception of the universe, but to foster "direct and open criticism of the religious outlook" by means of establishing an "anti-religious trend" across the entire school. (source: Statement of Principles and Policy on Atheistic Education in Soviet Russia, translation from Russian, Stephen Schmidt, S.J., transcribed P. Legrand, page 3). --Jobas (talk) 12:43, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
You appear to have duplicated your comment. See my comment above dated 12:45, 13 July 2016 (UTC). I look forward to your response. Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 14:02, 13 July 2016 (UTC)