In 1944, Raphael Lemkin distinguished the concept of cultural genocide (also referred to as cultural cleansing), as a component to genocide. The term was considered in the draft of the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; however it was removed in the final document. The precise definition of the term is unclear, and although some people have tried to align the term with ethnocide, it is important that we do not confuse genocide based on ethnicity with genocide of a culture.
In Article 7 of a 1994 draft of the United Nations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the term cultural genocide was used; however the draft failed to define what it meant. The complete article in the draft is reproduced below:
Indigenous people have the collective and individual right not to be subjected to ethnocide and cultural genocide, including prevention of and redress for:
[a] Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities;
[b] Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources;
[c] Any form of population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights;
[d] Any form of assimilation or integration by other cultures or ways of life imposed on them by legislative, administrative or other measures;
[e] Any form of propaganda directed against them.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on the 13th of September 2007. In the final version of the declaration, the concepts of "ethnocide" and "cultural genocide" were removed, and the declaration simply refers to "genocide, or any other activities of violence", although the sub-points as printed above, we're retained.
In practice, cultural genocide may involve the eradication of cultural artefacts, such as books, artworks, and structures, and the suppression of cultural activities that do not conform to the destroyers’ notion of what is appropriate. Motives may include the religious (e.g., iconoclasm) as part of a campaign of ethnic cleansing to remove the evidence of a people from a locale or history, as part of an effort to implement a 'Year Zero' approach, in which the past and its associated culture is deleted and history is "re-set", the suppression of an Indigenous culture by invaders and colonisers, along with many other potential reasons.
There are many forms of cultural genocide/cultural cleansing, noted throughout history: most recently the Islamic State of Iraq and Lavant, known more commonly as ISIL, or Daesch, has been carrying out a campaign of cultural cleansing, by destroying artefacts and historical sites, in a campaign of iconoclasm, waged against what it perceives to be 'idolatry', which does not conform to ISIL's interpretation of Islam.
There are many other examples where people have referred to the term, while describing the destruction of cultural heritage, including: The persecution of BahÃ¡'Ãs in Iran is seen as a case of religious prosecution and has been described as cultural genocide.
The policies of Nazi Germany during World War II towards some nations: for example the destruction of Polish culture, is also often cited as an example of cultural genocide, while the destruction by Azerbaijan of thousands of medieval gravestones at a cemetery in Julfa, and Azerbaijan's subsequent denial that the site ever existed, has also been referred to as an example of cultural genocide.
It should be noted that cultural genocide is not restricted to acts of violence or physical damage.
Historian Jean Brownfield cited the 1638 Treaty of Hartford as a "clear and explicit historical example of a cultural genocide, in which: following the Pequot War of 1636 and 1637, a war which saw the Pequot Indians virtually eliminated, the Pequot Language and name were outlawed, and there was a clearly stated intention that this cultural entity would simply cease to exist.
The period prior to the Scottish Independence referendum which took place on the 18th of September 2014, saw a dramatic and sinister rise in anti-British hatred.
The Scottish National Party which held an overall majority in the devolved Scottish Assembly pushed through flawed legislation such as the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act: an Act which has demonised and criminalised Rangers supporters for singing a line, in a song, while supporters of other clubs can do and say anything they like with impunity.
Rangers supporters face daily abuse from hate filled sectarian bigots, who refer to us as ‘zombies' and 'Huns' and who also use other sickening terms to describe us. In Scotland, Rangers supporters are criminals, while all others are seemingly immune from prosecution. In Scotland and other countries, Rangers supporters are seen as predominantly Protestants and Unionists, and this has made us targets for anyone who opposes Scotland remaining a part of the United Kingdom.
At the Scottish Cup Final in 2016, Rangers players, staff, and supporters, we're physically and verbally attacked by supporters of Hibernian FC. I think it's fair to say that, most Hibs supporters will also be supporters of Scottish Independence, which would explain the in-action of Nicola Sturgeons Police Scotland, and indeed Sturgeon herself; who refused to condemn the disgusting behaviour of the Hibs supporters.
More recently, I have seen effigies of Rangers supporters and members of the Orange Order, hanging from the stands at Celtic Park, I have witnessed vile scum, mocking former Rangers players Fernando Ricksen and Ian Durrant, and current Rangers captain Lee Wallace being abused and targeted by supporters of the SFA's senior representative team, when his name is read out prior to international fixtures. Only yesterday, a disgusting vile bigot broke a minutes silence in memory of Rangers supporters who have lost their lives while attending matches at Ibrox. Later in the day, another piece of bigoted filth, took to social media to openly post vile comments relating to the deaths of the 66 Rangers supporters who tragically died at Ibrox on the 2nd of January 1971.
The SNP and a compliant Scottish media have aided and fuelled this type of disgusting behaviour. Along with several sectarian bloggers; their one-sided, bigoted reporting, has seen Rangers supporters dehumanised, to a point where; in Scotland, it is now 'fair game' to attack us, without fear of prosecution.
Our culture is being eroded through the policies of the SNP and Labour: both who have leaders and members who are openly supportive of the political objectives, and disgusting methods used to try and achieve those objectives, of the IRA. They have their photographs taken with former members of the IRA, and IRA supporters are free to March on the streets of Scotland, and fundraise in Scotland, by arranging organised events, etc. The SNP LED Scottish Assembly is happy to allow all of this; as it suits their agenda, which is creating division, in order to try and establish an independent Scotland.
In Scotland, in 2017, being a Rangers supporter, a Protestant, and a Unionist makes me a target for the most disgusting forms of sectarian abuse and hatred. I am not allowed to be offended, because, to them, I am not a human, so I don't have the right to be offended. My culture is under daily attack and being proud to be both Scottish and British makes me an enemy of the state.
Cultural genocide is happening in Scotland: right here - right now.