Islamofascism Against Secularism and Human Rights
ISIS, Erdoğan, the United States, and the importance of secularism in the Middle East.
An Islamofascist Organization (ISIS) has Attacked
On Wednesday, June 11 the armed organization known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) raided Turkey’s Mosul consulate and abducted 49 Turkish nationals along with 31 truck drivers. The total of 80 people included consulate staff and their families, as well as three children. The day before, ISIS assumed control of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, in the northern province of Nineveh.
- Life is words in action, literature is action in words.
- Humans are about to destroy their spaceship Earth. Some of them are aware of this and they try to change the course of events. Will they succeed? Will more humans be alarmed and do something?
- Literature is vital and translators are messengers of world peace.
- Though I shall focus on the literary scene in Turkey and its problems regarding freedom of expression, I shall not omit the other parts of our planet. Today local is global and vice versa.
- Tarık Günersel is a poet, playwright, aphorist, librettist and short story writer. He is the president of PEN Turkey and an ex-member of the PEN International Board. He studied English Literature at Istanbul University. A self-exile after the military coup in 1980, he spent four years in Saudi Arabia with his wife Füsun and their daughter Barış, teaching English. A dramaturg at Istanbul City Theater since 1991, he has acted on stage and screen and directed some of his plays. He proposed World Poetry Day in 1997 which was accepted by PEN International and declared by UNESCO as the 21st of March. His translations into Turkish include works by Samuel Beckett, Vaclav Havel and Arthur Miller. His works include The Nightmare of a Labyrinth (mosaic of poems and stories), and How’s your slavery goin’? His Oluşmak (To Become), a “life guide for myself,” includes ideas from world wisdom of the past four millennia. He has recently initiated the Earth Civilization Project with the support of several intellectuals from various parts of the planet.
From Mosul ISIS announced the following orders, which are based on their interpretation of Shariah law:
* Women shall remain at home unless it is very necessary to go out.
* All men shall pray in mosques five times a day.
* Whoever steals will lose a hand. (So easy to condemn someone and cut off his hand, if not his head…)
* Everything considered to be signs of paganism shall be destroyed: All tombstones, sculptures, and monuments.
* The captured officials unable to escape from Mosul shall be given a chance to repent, or face beheading.
Islamist Prime Minister Erdoğan’s Responsibility
Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan’s AK Party government has been buying oil from and has given approximately $800 million to ISIS, which uses that money to obtain arms and recruit fighters. This means that Turkey’s current government has been a major aide to ISIS. From this we can gather that Prime Minister Erdoğan’s AK Party government has not only been working against secularism in Turkey, but in the Middle East as well.
Atatürk’s Legacy is Vital
Turkey’s first president Mustafa Kemal Atatürk always said: “Peace in the homeland and peace in the world.” That was his ideal and his leadership was significant not only for Turkey, but also for various oppressed nations. That was over 80 years ago. Today Prime Minister Erdoğan’s AK Party government has been trying to re-establish some sort of a revised Ottoman Empire, and the United States has tried to use his desire for an ideal Middle East to its advantage.
In The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, written in 1996, Samuel P. Huntington claims that Turkey should get rid of Atatürk’s secularist legacy, forget the ideal of uniting with the West, and become an Islamist partner of the Middle East. “But a strong leader is necessary,” Huntington added. And so the US chose Erdoğan to act as its tool in Turkey and the Middle East.
The US Must Apologize for Islamofascism
This strategy is nothing new. In 2003 the US government invaded Iraq for oil and to fulfill other imperialistic goals. Since 1950 (and perhaps earlier), it has been trying to use Islam for strategic purposes. That strategy has proven to be fatal for secularism, and thus also for human rights. Ultimately, it has proven to be anti-American.
The US Had Better Learn…
… to work with secularist governments that may disagree on various issues.
Prime Minister Erdoğan must go…
… if we want contribution to peace in Turkey and the Middle East. He has now banned news and comments on the kidnapped Turks.
Turkey is heading towards Presidential Election under increasingly chaotic conditions. The alternative candidate for President recently announced by the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) is Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu. He has provoked a variety of reactions. More on this later.