Re: Reform in Islam
- My internet had a problem. So I am late in explaining my thoughts on
Reform in Islam.
REFORM IN APPLICATION OF ISLAM:
A conscious effort to reform the application of Islam was made only
in Turkiye, among Moslem countries. A whole new scheme was imposed
on a mainly Moslem people. I have two points here:
1) The model of laicism in Turkey does not work.
2) The efforts to reform Islam can only come from within the Islamic
countries, and not from Moslems living in Western countries.
Let me take the second point first. To live in a Western country may
distort the vision of a Moslem, because the "West" is supposedly
democratic and pluralistic. Some Moslems living in a Western
country carry a definite urge to reform their countries, but they
live sheltered lives thre as outsiders. A Moslem in a Western
country may have different roles : a "collobo" of the West or a
misfit or a well adjusted individual. But when he conceives a
mission to reform Islam outside the sphere of Islam, he may become a
tool of the West, a tool of the so called democratic revolutions of
Soros type. Because A Moslem living in the West does not experience
the Imperialism of the West, he is not at the receiving end, he is
at the giving end. Therefore any Moslem trying to reform Islam from
the West becomes automatically a suspect.
As for the first point that is laicism in Turkiye, a conscious
effort was made in Turkiye, but ended up in failure. Maybe it was
conceived as not to reform Islam but to neutralize it.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was the spirit behind the efforts made in
1920s and 1930s to reform Turkiye. He has carried out various
1) Creation of a Turkish Nation: Changing the former Islamic
identity to a Turkish one.
2) Modernization model taking the shape of Westernization.
3) Laicization of the society along the French model.
The reforms mentioned above became the corner stones of the new
Republic and became embedded in the successive Constitutions.
Together these reforms came to be known as Kemalism after Mustafa
Kemal Ataturk. And the acid test for every Turk then onwards till
very recently was whether he was a Kemalist or not.
The first project mentioned above became more or less succesful. We
have become a Nation of Turks more or less. Millions of Turks like
me owe their nationalistic outlook to Mustafa Kemal. But two
genuine movements have opposed this trend: separatist Kurds and the
ideas behind our present government, AKP (Justice and Development
Party) . This present party in power is neither Kemalist nor
Nationalist. It is a believer in Ummet, and also the prime
collaborator of the West which is an anachronism.
The second project mentioned above, that is Westernization was
carried out by various "reforms" and it has resulted in our entering
to NATO, becoming a tool of the West (contrary to the Foreign policy
of Ataturk) , and losing the independence of Turkiye to the West.
And the third project has resulted in atheism, deism and agnosticism
among the urban elite.
Let's see these reforms in chronological order:
1923: Establishment of the Republic
1924: Abolition of the Caliphate
1925: Abolition of the Moslem Religious Orders
1925: Abolition of Fez and enforcement of Western style clothing
1925: Abolition of Islamic time and calendar , embracing Christian
1926: Changing the Civil Law from he Islamic one to one borrowed
1928: Removal from the Constitution the sentence : "The religion of
the Turkish Republic is Islam"
1928: Embracing the Roman script.
1931: Establishment of the Turkish Historical Institution
1932: Establishment of the Turkish Language Institution
1934: Right to vote for Women
1935: Changing the weekend from the Moslem Friday to Christian Sunday
Some of these reforms are related to Nation Building, some to
Westernization, some to Laicization. Nation Building reforms, by all
means yes. Removing the expression on the official religion from the
Constitution, yes. But two of the above mentioned projects
(Westernization, Laicization) have resulted in the creation of a
dual personality in Turkiye: One Western and the other Eastern.
These two souls have fought ever since, a Cold War between them. So
a Turkish personality at peace with itself did not develop in
Turkiye. The Cold War was between a religious Ottoman mind and the
Westernized and rootless (rejecting the Ottoman past) urban elite
who held the power until recently.
Ever since my childhood we were frightened with the bogeyman of
religous fanaticism. There was always the danger of the reaction, it
was said. So we grew up in an atmosphere in which Islam was a
threat. We were foreign to Islam. Then after the migration of rural
masses to big cities in the 1950s, in thirty years time we have
begun to see a new type of Turk, girls with headscarves, men being a
success in business life although religiously oriented. And to top
it all they began to ask for their rights. Right of religious
freedom, right to wear headscarves, right to belong to religious
orders. So these rural hordes and these people coming from small
towns have dared to to ask for their rights. They have begun to
organize. We were wondering where they were hiding all these years.
And worst of all they have won the elections for metropoles like
Istanbul and Ankara. Then they have won the first place in the
general elections. The Establishment reacted by staging the 4th coup
d'etat of the Republic, and by resorting to measures like forbidding
the girls with the headscarves from attending the Universities .I
read instances in which a Medical Faculty student graduating 1st was
banned from the faculty because she was wearing a headscarve. With
incidents like this a terrible Cold War was unleashed by the
Establishment against the religious people. In a travesty of
Westernization women of bidonvilles were taught ballet etc. I have
all the newspaper clippings to witness these. It was a farce.
But with this oppression and corruption of the Establishment the
religious side has gained strength and captured power of government
in 2003 in a land slide victory at elections.
The present position of Turkiye is de facto renunciation of the
principles of Kemalism, but it still can not be said so openly.
Revision of Kemalism has begun with the death of Ataturk in 1938.
This trend of revision has culminated in coming into power of the
above mentioned Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2003.
Ironically this religiously oriented party has become the main
collaborator of the West, because in order to liberate the forbidden
religious headscarves and to liberate the religious sphere they have
chosen to colloborate with the "democratic" West. Because the
previous attempts at religious freedom were spurned and suppressed
by the Military and Civilian bureaucracy. And AKP thought they have
found the solution in joining EU and getting support from USA. The
result was that we have given ground on every important issue from
Mosul-Kerkuk to Cyprus. And the head scarves were found to be
religious items by EU Supreme Court. So AKP and along with them
Turkiye has lost ground in every important issue.
How did I notice that something was wrong with our Kemalist
orientation on religion ? I knew that there was something wrong with
the interpretation of events as seen by our eyes, that is the urban
elite, but I did not know what and to what extent. Let me give an
example, I am a follower of Yoga from 18 years onwards. After 30
years of Yoga, I discovered that Yoga was the same as what the
forbidden Sunni religious Orders were doing. I discovered that what
was being tried to be abolished in 1925 was not the religious orders
itself but the idea behind it, namely Mysticism. And I have been
practising Mysticism for 30 years. Then everything was easy. I have
quickly learned what is what. (I do no belong to any religious
order by the way).
So my point is, forced Westernization and French style Laicism has
resulted in fragmentation of the Turkish Psyche into two. Then when
the oppressed part came to power (AKP) it has resorted to the West
for democracy and the West demanded payment.
The establishment of the Kurdish State in Northern Iraq is the
beginning of the end for Turkiye. This Kurdish state was
accomplished by the West thru collaboration of successive Turkish
governments and passivity of certain state institutions which
everybody in Turkiye knows but I cannot name them openly, they are
protected by laws. We Turks are losing , because we in Turkiye are
fragmented. And the West knows this, and they are playing us against
each other just like the last days of the Golden Horde. If we would
have chosen Secularization of AngloSaxon style instead of French
style Laicism, we could have been spared all these internal troubles
and face the outside world as one bloc, and solve the Kurdish
problem in the old way. But now we are losing.
As for the hatred part, Northern Iraq is partly why I hate the West.
The rest is that, the West is racist, imperialistic and capitalist.
They have exploited the World for the last 300 years, and plan to
exploit it for the next 300. Is there anything left to say ?
Halim Sibay Tugsavul
1) There are people who hate the West in Turkiye, these may be
religiously orthodox people, Kemalists, socialists, nationalists and
volkists ( I myself is a Volkist) . So do not jump to conclusions
hastily. So addressing myself to "certain individuals": use your
brains first, assuming that you have them. Any person living in
Turkiye and does not feel hatred towards the Kurdish supporting EU
and USA is a .Any person who does not feel remorse on Mosul-Kerkuk
and Cyprus is a .Just look and read. God has given us a brain to
think with and a heart to feel pity and sympathy to the people that
one thinks of one's side.
2) Again in response to "certain individuals", to say what I have
said is "a big lie" implies that I am a liar. In that case we in
Turkiye, are living in this "big lie" for long, long years. Also to
say to another person you are a liar is very easy over the medium of
internet. The point is to say it face to face. I am listed in the
Ankara phone directory, so I am waiting.