"Hamshen" NGO expresses concern over the fate of Hamshen Armenians
converted into Islam. President of "Hamshen", Ivan Krbashian, told
Yerkramas newspaper of Krasnodar (Russia) that the authorities of
Krasnodar region have refused for the 4th time to register "Hemshliner"
cultural union of local Muslim Armenians.
Krbashian thinks that the religion they practice is the main reason for
refusal. It's not a secret that the representatives of International
Organization for Migration transporting Meskhet Turks to the USA
already talk of sending Hamshen Armenians the same direction together
with Kurmanji-speaking Kurds.
In 17th century, Armenians of Hamshen region of Western Armenia
were forcefully converted into Islam, and a new ethno-religious group
speaking Hamshen dialect of Armenian came into being. There were around
600 Muslim Armenians in Ajaria (Georgia) in 20s of 20th century. In
1944 Hamshen Armenians together with Meskhet Turks and Kurds were
exiled to Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. In 70s, part of them resettled in
the region of Krasnodar, and today around 1000 Muslim Hamshen Armenians
live in Apsheron, Belorechensk and other settlements of the region.
Source: AZG Armenian Daily, Yerevan, 05/05/2005
Original Title: "Will Muslim Hamshen Armenians be banished from Krasnoder