UI – Part 521 – Lose, Lose for Secularists in Turkey
The islamists are at it in Turkey. Educated by Quran only, Imams are suggesting new rules and the country’s President Erdogan finds their directives appealing. Turkey is a secularist country, but there is a State religion. It is Islam. The Diyanet, or the directorate of religious affairs, is a government department. It employs 117,000 and has one of the largest budgets. There are 90,000 mosques in Turkey. Sermons are provided each week so that the Imam’s at the lecterns speak with one voice. In 2016 a coup attempt was repelled. Erdogan used this department to call for a sala prayer to be read at mosques. Such prayers are generally used to announce a funeral, but in this case they were used to announce a difficulty being incurred by the President and to rally the religious citizens to his defense. Since before the fall of the Ottoman Empire (1924) and the declaration by Ataturk of the separation of mosque and state, when used for times of distress, sala prayers have not been broadcast, except locally for funerals.
Sins of the Muslim
Islam, as many know, does not condone gambling, drinking alcohol, music and dancing, and other activities enjoyed in the free world. Imams are not of a nature to suggest hope and joy in a person’s life. Life on earth is not what matters; it is life after life on earth that matters. Thus Islam’s design is to make life, living, on earth as miserable as possible.
The Diyanet has made recommendations, or pronouncements. Men with a degree of vanity, wanting their mustaches to match their hair color, are being told to not dye their mustaches. Holding hands, especially in public by couples, is a no-no. Certainly the concept of cuckolding put forth by extremist broadcast network CNN would be taboo. Putting a few Turkish lira down on a national lottery is gambling, not to be permitted. Nine year old girl beware; you are eligible for marriage. Be assured it will not be a man of their choosing. Certainly not of their age. These are postings, not in effect, but suggested. To many of the people, once freer than they are today, these pronouncements by the government oversight department for religion, Islam only, were intrusive and archaic. They do reflect Islamic jurisprudence. And that includes divorcing, using modern technology, via a text message.
As for child marriage the legal age in Turkey is 18. But contrast that to the USA which permits a man (or woman) having but one spouse (legal marriage). This is ignored in many Muslim communities, where multiple wives, not officially married, occur. These extras collect welfare, a jizya from infidels, as single moms without jobs. So overlooking the marriage age, following what the ulema of Islam proclaim, may occur regardless of law.
The Cliffs of the Wall of Secularism are Eroding
There is a transformation taking place in Turkey. Erdogan offers little opposition. His Islamic predilection is being gradually imposed upon the people. An avenue enabling such change is via the Diyanet, giving the Imams and Islamists a greater voice and support from the leaders.
The people were blindsided by he sala prayers proclaimed at once throughout the land. A more calamitous event taking place was suspected. Even secularists responded only to realize after that this was a cry by Erdogan to protect his power base. Allowing the fundamentalists to transform Turkey is a mistake. If it continues the fabric of their freedom will end tattered, strewn about in pieces buried in history.
If an Imam in Turkey you are employed by the government and do the government’s bidding, or you may be dismissed. Since Ataturk in 1924 this body-politic did not interfere with the declaration of separation of mosque and state, marginalizing the Islamists and making Turkey secular. However, Erdogan’s political party, Justice and Development (AK), has enabled the Diyanet to emerge as a platform for his policies, eroding the secular dominance. Via this directorate for Islamists mosques are used like Twitter or Facebook, a social media, reaching a large segment of the population at once. The State does not control religion, however, now with Erdogan, it may control the people insisting they be more religious, or more Muslim, thus more fundamentalist.
Photo: Ataturk Commemoration Youth and Sports Day – May 19
Recently crowds organized to hear Erdogan have soured somewhat, not always clapping or cheering on cue, or at the times desired by Erdogan. They are simply providing political backdrops while not appearing as the sounding board for Erdogan’s announcements he’d prefer.
The economy was stimulated, post the 2016 coup attempt, and now is finding trouble spots than are hampering continued gains. Inflation is one of them. Investors consider Turkey, according to Barron’s (1/27/2018), riskier than other emerging markets. Such a turn of events will not favor the President. The lira is weak. To succeed Erdogan should stay on the economic offensive and not a military offensive.
Say No to Islam
Let not the example of Muhammad invade a free people. Let not a much dreaded one-man rule evolve. Let not a renewal and Islamization of Turkey occur. The people should be encouraged to do what they need do to eliminate Islam as a state sponsored religion. Pray the people will remain free and choose their own path. Under Erdogan and in the presence of a well funded, wealthy, government sponsored and large Islamic fundamentalist directorate, any movement in opposing the direction desired by the AK will enable the President to ID more dissidents to be sidelined, imprisoned, and eradicated. There will be no freedom of press. Journalists critical of the current regime will continue to be marginalized and quieted. Resistance must be strong. The voice of the opposition must be loud and able to organize in large numbers voters against Erdogan and his Party and Party affiliates in future elections (next: 2019).
Yet, think of the savings by the government if Turkey did away with the Diyanet, causing its support to come from the private sector, the Islamists themselves.
The Dreams of Erdogan
Erdogan’s dream is to raise a pious generation. He has engaged the Diyanet to assist by establishing more schools and classes to teach the Quran and the tenants of Islam. However the numbers that first filled the classrooms are declining, down 30% of what they were. Education in such schools is sub-standard and limited to ideological elements. A broader education is preferred. Erdogan’s focus needs to be on the economy, fulfilling promises made, and job creation (not political positions). Erdogan had a leaning towards practices akin to the Muslim Brotherhood, but failures on their part to confront elements of the Arab Spring, although this movement has struggled, has given free people more hope. A practice to hire cronies and family members does not help Erdogan’s cause, as people begin to realize he, like so many politicians, are in it for himself, not the people. Are people becoming tired of Erdogan. Have they had enough?
Too much censorship. Too much Islam. Are the Islamists now actually losing their newest battle against extreme secularist rules and regulations? The people may be telling Erdogan they do not want more Sharia Law of the Muhammad militancy model. The dreams of Erdogan if left unabated will become the nightmares of the people, except for the fundamentalists.
Beware the President of Turkey still controls the military and the Diyanet. Troops and tanks are now rolling into Kurdish territory, in Syria, to fight against political and ideological opposing factions. The Kurdish militia is considered a soft target for Erdogan’s might. Those same uniformed representatives of Turkey can be used against Erdogan’s dissidents, a common practice of Islamist autocrats.
Erdoğan off the Rails
(Comments in this section from an article by Robert Spencer (read)).
“The Republic of Turkey is a continuation of the Ottoman Empire,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Feb. 10, 2018.
“The Republic of Turkey, just like our previous states that are a continuation of one another, is also a continuation of the Ottomans,” Erdoğan said in remarks he made during a commemoration ceremony to mark the centenary of the death of Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II at the Yıldız Palace in Istanbul.
(But remember this! After WWI) – Ataturk established the Turkish Republic as a repudiation of the Ottomans. He abolished the caliphate and sent the last caliph into exile. He outlawed public manifestations of Islamic piety such as turbans, and mandated the wearing of Western-style hats, declaring that “the civilized world is far ahead of us. We have no choice but to catch up. It is time to stop nonsense, such as ‘should we or should we not wear hats?’ We shall adopt hats along with all other works of Western civilization. Uncivilized people are doomed to be trodden under the feet of civilized people.” He also mandated that Turkish be written in Roman rather than Arabic characters, and forbade imams from preaching anything other than the sermons they received from the Ministry of Religious Affairs, which never sent sermons touching on political aspects of Islam. Ataturk placed other restrictions on Islamic practices, and introduced secular, Western-style marriage laws. “Islam,” said Ataturk, “this theology of an immoral Arab, is a dead thing.” But he hadn’t reckoned on Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Grace and Peace