Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Islamic Leader's Wisdom

When the Justice and Development Party won the 2003 election in Turkey (where is it is known as the AK Party), the un-informed anti-Islamic prejudices of both the conservative and liberal media in the west came into play.  We were assured that Turkey would become a basket case of Islamic fundamentalism.

So much for the media. 

As it happens, the party, under Prime Minister  Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has governed with a mildly progressive agenda, so much so that the Turkish economy is booming, and the Turkish response to the horrors of the Syrian regime has been stellar.

Prime Minister Erdogan is emerging as a wise and prudent leader.

POINT # 1.  Please do not believe all that you are told by the (western) popular media about life in Islamic countries.  Please understand that Islam is no more monolithic than is Christianity.




There is an Islamic minority in Turkey known as “Alevi” Muslims (NOT to be confused with the Alawite Muslim group which is the governing minority in the horrid and repressive Syrian Regime). They are regarded as “semi-heretics” by mainstream (i,e, Sunni) Muslims.

Within Turkey there has been some vandalism against properties which are owned by Alevis.
In the face of this vandalism, Turkish PM Erdogan said

“We are not the government of a certain belief or ethnic group, we are the government of all 75 million citizens,” Erdogan told a meeting of his ruling party in the Parliament. “We are the guarantor of the rights and security of all people without any discrimination.”
By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, March 6, 8:29 AM






POINT # 2.  Thank goodness for wisdom from wherever it comes. Prime Minister Erdogan’s wisdom is to be celebrated!


The Turkish Government has not been so wise and prudent in its treatment of the Kurdish minority.  That is to be lamented.

“Nobody loves the Kurds”. They are despised and rejected in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and in the former Soviet States.  They are ignored by the Western democracies.

POINT #3.  We all are wilfully prejudiced against Kurds.


Despite the ill-treatment of Turkey’s Kurdish minority, I still believe that Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey has a word which is important to consider in the U.S.A. as we begin to think about our next President.

Wouldn’t it be great if the candidates from both parties would say as Erdogan said: 

“We are not the government of a certain belief or ethnic group, we are the government of all citizens,” “We are the guarantor of the rights and security of all people without any discrimination.”

I think that Barack Obama believes this, but I wish that he would state it more clearly.

I also believe that Mitt Romney believes this.  No one, (excepting ignorant anti-Mormons) should doubt that a Romney Presidency would be religiously neutral.

POINT # 4.  If a Turkish Prime Minister can speak so powerfully about the rights and security of all people why are American politicians so wimpy?

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BACKGROUND AND SOURCES,

FIRST from AP News:



ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s prime minister on Tuesday promised to protect the country’s largest religious minority after 25 houses mostly belonging to Alevi Muslims were vandalized, raising fears for their safety.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said an investigation was launched into the vandalism in the southeastern city of Adiyaman. Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin earlier said children were believed to be behind the marking of the houses with red paint.

The incident has stoked fears of violence in Adiyaman since Alevi houses were similarly marked before the killing of more than 100 Alevis in neighboring Kahramanmaras province in 1978. Alevi houses were also marked in the same way before clashes in the central Anatolian city of Corum in 1980.

The country’s Alevi Muslims, who incorporate shamanistic traditions and do away with many customary Islamic practices, including the separation of men and women in prayer, have long faced discrimination in Turkey. They are considered heretics by many Sunni and Shia traditionalists.

“We are not the government of a certain belief or ethnic group, we are the government of all 75 million citizens,” Erdogan told a meeting of his ruling party in the Parliament. “We are the guarantor of the rights and security of all people without any discrimination.”

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SECOND   From Wikipedia


According to former minister Hüseyin Çelik, "the AK Party is a conservative democratic party [but] the AK Party's conservatism is limited to moral and social issues." The Economist characterizes the party as "mildly Islamist" while Reuters refers to the AKP as "Islamist-rooted" and "Islamic-leaning." The party objects to the frequent descriptions of it in the Western media as Islamist. In March 2010 Çelik complained that "in the Western press, when the AK Party administration... is being named, unfortunately most of the time 'Islamic,' 'Islamist,' 'mildly Islamist,' 'Islamic-oriented,' 'Islamic-leaning,' 'Islamic-based' or 'with an Islamic agenda,' and similar language is being used. These characterizations do not reflect the truth, and they sadden us.

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