The divisive role of ideology in the 1994 Rwandan genocide / by Brent Patrick McDougal.
Researchers continue to explore the complexity of factors that contributed to the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. Much has been written regarding the political, economic and social factors which led to the violence. However, the role of ideology, particularly in the field of political science, has been incomplete relative to the Rwandan genocide.During the colonization of Rwanda in the late 19th century, missionaries and colonial administrators introduced an ideology of racial division known as the "Hamitic Hypothesis" to organize and exploit Rwandan life. The language of Hamitism was utilized during the 1994 genocide in print and broadcast media, suggesting a powerful ideological undercurrent that allowed Rwandans to commit violence against one another.The proposed thesis of this dissertation is that the ideology of the Hamitic Hypothesis played such a significant, divisive role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide that future literature should characterize the genocide as "ideological" in nature. Through a shift in the balance of political power that occurred with the introduction of the concept of "race" to Rwandan life through the Hamitic Hypothesis, Hutu and Tutsi embarked on a path of antagonism and violence that would culminate in genocide.While the Hamitic Hypothesis had its roots in the religious teachings of missionaries and colonial administrators, the ideology of Hamitism quickly left its religious roots and developed into a racial/ethnic ideology that would pervade every aspect of society. The ideological path of Hamitism followed the pattern of introduction, institutionalization, inflammation and ultimately ignition, resulting in mass violence of Hutu against Tutsi. The ideology of Hamitism provided a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for the Rwandan genocide.
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