بإمكان العلمانيين الأتراك
: أيان هيرسي
أنجلوس تايمز- 9/5/2007
كيف يمكن للإصلاحيين الأتراك
أن يوقفوا الإسلاميين الذين
يقومون بتحطيم العلمانية
secular Turkey survive democracy?
reformists can stop the Islamists who have chipped away
at Turkey's secularism.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, AYAAN HIRSI ALI, a former Dutch
legislator and women's activist who now lives in the
U.S., recently published her memoir,
AND LIBERAL Turks have had a rude awakening from years
of deep slumber. Kemal Ataturk's heritage is about to be
destroyed — not by an invading power but from within,
by fellow Turks who yearn for an Islamic state.
since Ataturk, Turkey has been divided into those who
want to run state affairs on Islamic principles and
those who want to keep Allah's will from the public
proponents of Islam in government, such as Prime
Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Foreign Minister Abdullah
Gul and their Justice and Development Party, have been
remarkably successful. They have exploited the fact that
you can use democratic means to erode democracy,
employing a powerful strategy.
pillars of that strategy are worth discussion.
first is Dawa, a tactic inspired by Islam's founder,
Muhammad. Dawa means to preach Islam as a way of life,
including a way of government, perpetually and with
conviction. Every convert is obligated to preach Islam
to others, creating a grass-roots movement.
secularists in Turkey underestimated this pillar and
thus neglected competing with the Islamists for the
hearts and minds of the electorate. Polls suggest that
70% of voters might still elect Gul president if Erdogan
succeeds in changing the constitution so that the
president can be elected directly. Any protest from the
secularists against this evident popular will sounds
irrational and undemocratic.
second pillar is the improvement of the economy. No one
can deny that when the secular parties were in power,
the Turkish economy was in tatters. Since Erdogan took
office, growth has been strong, with inflation down and
foreign investment high.
third pillar is taking control of two types of
institutions in a democracy: those designed to educate
civilians (education and media) and those designed to
keep law and order (police, justice and the secret
an initial attempt at Islamic revolution failed in 1997,
when the military engineered a "soft coup"
against elected Islamists, Erdogan and his party
understood that gradualism would yield more lasting
power. They surely realize that Islamizing Turkey
entirely is possible only if they gain control of the
army and the Constitutional Court, the two institutions
that have helped preserve Turkey's secular state.
recent Constitutional Court ruling annulling the
nomination of Gul for the presidency, after the military
warned that it is the guardian of secularism, is only a
temporary setback for the Islamists. Erdogan and Gul
have another trick up their sleeves.
they show the same restraint and patience that have
brought them this far, they may achieve their aim by
continuing to court membership in the European Union.
Well-meaning but naive European leaders were manipulated
by the ruling Islamists into saying that Turkey's army
should be placed under civil control, like all armies in
EU member states.
hindsight, Turkey's secular liberals have only
themselves to blame. They underestimated the power of
Dawa, they failed at growing the economy and they have
not realized that members of the EU have been
important trait of liberalism, however, is the
opportunity to learn by trial and error. Turkish secular
liberals must start their own grass-roots movement, one
with the message of individual freedom. They must
restore the confidence of the electorate in entrusting
Turkey's economy to them, and they must reconquer the
institutions of education, information, police and
must also make EU leaders understand and respect the
fact that the army and the Constitutional Court —
besides defending the country and the constitution —
are also, and maybe even more important, designed to
protect Turkish democracy from Islam.
back true secularism does not mean just any secularism.
It means secularism that protects individual freedoms
and rights, not the ultra-nationalist kind that breeds
an environment in which Adolf Hitler's "Mein
Kampf" is a bestseller, the Armenian genocide is
denied and minorities are persecuted. Hrant Dink, the
Armenian editor, was murdered by such a nationalist.
is this mix of virulent nationalism and predatory Islam
in Turkey that makes the challenge for Turkish secular
liberals greater than for any other liberal movement
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من حق الزائر الكريم أن ينقل وأن ينشر كل ما يعجبه من موقعنا . معزواً إلينا ، أو غير معزو .ـ