UI – Part 650 – Islam. Take Ataturk’s Lead
After WWI much of the Middle East was in transformation. The Ottoman Empire ceased to exist. However Turkey became a Nation under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. At a peace conference in Lausanne, Switzerland in October 1922 with the British, Kemal sought a vote to abolish the sultanate and reduce the Ottoman Caliphate to a ceremonial religious office with no government role. Still to be finalized was who would lead Syria and Iraq. Disbanding Islam’s Caliphate and role in government was debated and found confounding to those majority Muslim areas outside of Turkey (Anatolia). Mehmed Vahideddin, the last Ottoman Sultan (1918–1922), the 36th Head of the House of Osman, went into exile (1922–1926). He died 3 years later in Italy. A military leader became President of Turkey.
Military is important in the Islamic world. Muslim nations treasure their armies. They are large in comparison to their populations, well trained and equipped. Soldiers are used to protect the autocratic leaders. In countries where more terrorists are harbored, such as Iran, there are separate forms just to protect the Ayatollah and his clerics. This, I believe, is more out of fear for their lives from dissidents, those seeking revolution and freedom from the oppressive ways of Islam. Iran is a pure theocracy, Islam provides the constitutional pathway for this nation, as well as law, Islamic Law.
Free countries have secret service, so called, to protect leaders, more from crazed individuals that may hate the incumbent that a general population-wide underlying effort to using force t change government.
The people living in Islamic majority nations need leadership that is more open minded, secular, in nature. That means taking a risk from those religious fundamentalists that harbor hatred induced from their current leadership, mostly religious or Islamic, towards non-Muslims, Christians and Jews in particular. The risk is an open-minded approach to freedom of religions that can generate personal criticism, incarceration and attacks. This may require a military leader, as the case was for Ataturk. If these nations can open up their hearts to others, to non-Muslims, they will discover greater prosperity and opportunity. Retention of the violent nature of Islam can only harm any progress, education or modernization.
Islam is constrained by its own bile. Such anger is perpetuated by leaders as a mechanism of control. Do most citizens in the Islamic world want to live as they do, to be trained to hate, to fight and to resist that which they really do not know. Even within family structures, permitted acts of honor killing when a member causes shame seldom, if ever, engenders a peaceful, loving home. The fear of actions taken in retribution, vengeance, for disobedience or apostasy is beyond logic. Where accepted, I believe, reactions to the outcomes are suppressed by what we can refer to as Islamic political correctness (IPC). IPC hides truth, including true feelings. It dampens love for one another. It blankets fears that if proclaimed might well change the direction of aggressive acts by jihadists, or simply motivated radical Islamists. Jihadism in Islam is considered as being true to the fundamentals, the tenants of Islam. The 9th chapter of the Quran calls upon all Muslims to act as a Jihadist for Islam, violently or surreptitiously, with their fists or their money, to advance the cause of this violent ideology of hatred.
Ataturk took the sword of Islam and laid it down. He directed the people of Turkey to be free in their faith, separating the religious leaders from the government authorities. Separation of mosque and state over time led to a nation free of burqa, and enabled personal associations, men and women, in the open. Men wore suits or shirt and slacks. In time the majority embraced a more secular way of life. Schooling was co-ed. They could have chosen, not required, to adhere to fundamental Islamic teaching and practices. They did not. They same outcome would present itself if other Islamic majorities did the same. The world would be a better place.
The current President of Turkey is attempting to reverse the course, his (Erdogan) fundamentalist nature finding its way into constraints on the media and restraints on the people of Turkey that resist his Islamist overtures. I believe he will not succeed, even though he has made some gains on reversing a positive trend for the citizens of Anatolia.
For the Islamic world to change, the hearts of the people of the majority Muslim nations must be opened to freedoms and opportunity known to the free world. Suppression of those who would like to see change is much too common. Resistance is difficult when the armies surrounding the fundamentalist leaders are instructed to readily act to any form of dissension. It is not the material world that will feed them, but the grace of God. Bringing the light to the dark corners of the world can only do good things.
However, as a caveat, even in the free world there is darkness. Among the wealthier nations there is a supreme nature in the populace that what was achieved, is achieved and can be achieved, does not need God, as man is the source. Little do many know that without God, very little is possible.
Taking Ataturk’s lead, though, would be a great start for the whole world.
Grace and Peace