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Thursday, 30 November 2006
What Turkey's secularists want, or should want

There is no chance Turkey will be admitted to the E.U.

It should put the blame right where it belongs. That blame belongs to Islam, and to the way Muslims have historically treated non-Muslims. But since the Cult of Muhammad was replaced by the Cult of Ataturk, and Islam at least provided with a rival in the Cult of the Turk and the Turkish Nation, now is perhaps the time for secular Turks to use the denial of Turkey's admission as a way of encouraging more secularism rather than a retreat into the psychic consolation prize of more Islam. Erdogan and his primitive followers should not be allowed to use what they will paint as "Christian hostility" to further the cause of Islam. Rather, the intelligent Turkish secularists, who make up about one-quarter of the population, should realize they took Kemalism for granted for too long, and did not do enough to defend and expand upon what Ataturk accomplished, nor did they ever make clear what was wrong with Islam -- using for that pedagogic task the examples of all of the Arab states and Iran. That would have been enough. That would have been more than enough.

Who to blame for Europe's Nay-saying neinsagen gigantic and obvious NO? The horrible Iranians. The even more horrible Arabs. It is they, and "their Islam," that gave nice "moderate" and "forward-looking" Turkish Muslims such a bad reputation, and now just look at what they've gone and done, those Arabs and Iranians -- they've turned the West against us.

Keep up that theme. Spread it around. If you are a secularist in Turkey, you want that certain rejection used for your benefit, and not for the benefit of Erdogan and Erbakan and all the rest. You want to weaken Islam, and to turn the Turks away from the Iranians and, above all, the Arabs. Even if Turkey cannot become a member of the E.U., you want it to become more like a European, i.e., non-Muslim state, and less like one more Muslim one.

Don't you?

Posted on 11/30/2006 9:02 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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