Sunday, August 6, 2017

Review of Turkey: Cold War-Era Origins Of Islamism And Its Rise To Power – Analysis


This afternoon I came across an article - Turkey: Cold War-Era Origins Of Islamism And Its Rise To Power – Analysis by Behlül Özkan of the Hudson Institute. Here below are my comments:
The author, Behlül Özkan, in his article seems too hesitant to call a spade a spade when it comes to Kemalism. He portrayed it as a modernist movement. The sad fact is - it was, in essence, an anti-Islamic ideology in which Islam had nothing to do with Turkey.
That was an absurd proposition given Turkey's demography who are 99% plus Muslims.
Kemalism was more secular - an uglier one - than fundamentalist secularism of France. It was only a question of time when people would go back to their religious roots, and dump this aberrant ideology, something that we have seen throughout history, esp. in the last hundred years.
Even decades of Soviet secular, God-rejecting, rule could not extinguish the influence of Orthodox Christianity among the Russians in the USSR once the regime collapsed there. The same would be the case with China once its communism ultimately collapses in the altar of growing capitalism.

Extremism of any kind is bound to fail. If President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is Islamic-minded let him be reminded by the teachings of his own faith that rejects extremism of any kind either in public or private life or matters and strongly recommends Shura or consultancy on all matters. Otherwise, remorse would wait him for his alleged authoritarianism in both the worlds.
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Interested readers may like to read my article that discusses abuses of Kemalism, which I gave as a lecture at University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1982, which was subsequently posted in Al Jazeerah and the Media Monitors Network in 2004-2005.

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