New Union of Islam

We need a new Union of Islam. This movement that emerged as Ottoman politics and ideology a century ago must now be revived with a new spirit. This ideology that addressed the expansive geography and vast horizon of the empire contributed to the region through great thinkers and statesmen. This idea that belonged to the eliminated Ottoman Empire was eliminated along with the empire. Because, they the goal was a horizon locked up within the borders of Anatolia to be dominant. This way, the official style of an ideology dependent on the West became the sole option. This is the meaning of the elimination of the first assembly. Akifs, Hüseyin Avnis among others having no room in the new assembly is indicative of this. As Nurettin Topçu's father-in-law Hüseyin Ulaş, from whom Topçu drew inspiration, faced prosecution in Erzurum, Akif, another inspirational man, had to immigrate to Egypt with the effect of the same prosecution.

The intellectuals from Ottoman ideology movements to beyond Anatolia were either exiled or sent to the gallows or imprisoned. All ideals that did not connect to the West and were not stuck within the borders of Anatolia were rejected. Thinking with a broad horizon was as rejected as the empire. The Ottoman Empire was eliminated with its state, institutions and movements. The Union of Islam and Pan-Turanism also got their share from this. As a matter of fact, even the elimination of unionism is a product of this. Because unionism was also an Ottoman movement. It was imperial; it was concerned with the East, Caucasia and the Muslim world. It was suggesting a vision beyond Anatolia to Turks. With the post-Ottoman era, the state was forced to isolate itself from its imperial and global character. The “Islamic world” horizon presented by Akif at the Süleymaniye Lectern through Abdürreşid İbrahim's views was denied and banned.

In his Süleymaniye Lectern poem, Akif really writes about the journey of the Union of Islam. He takes us on a journey through Muslim communities. We wander through East Turkestan, India, Caucasia. We associate ourselves with the problems of Muslim communities. You live with a worldwide Islamic understanding. With your heart and mind, you position yourself in a horizon that embraces the Muslim ummah. You join the flow of the reawakening. All Muslim lands and Muslim countries look to Istanbul. The light is expected to switch on there, to spread there.

The new Union of Islam is going to rise from the imagination of a mosque lectern in Istanbul. The ontological union is formed from God's uniting Muslims who turn from different directions to Masjid al-Haram (Quran). This union understanding (becoming joint by coming together) is Islam's ontological community. It is all Muslim communities taking place in a joint imagination. The awareness formed around this joint imagination overcomes all borders and states. Political awareness is secondary, community awareness is primary. This is the meaning of an ummah community. Hence, Allah calls out in the Quran to the ummah, to tribes, people and communities. He makes the believers a community within the awareness of the same social existence. Its gathering characteristic becomes manifest not in a political body but in the spirit of a social entity. The believers are obliged to start understanding this from the union of Islam. Power is in the community. It is in a faithful spirit in the community. This spirit can be led by a community that “enjoins in the good and forbids evil.” The wise, the thinkers and scholars all come to joy and excitement for the revival of this spirit.

In the first period of the Union of Islam, the union was established on a political basis. Now, the union must be established on a social being basis. All Muslim communities must take place within this sense of belonging. When we accomplish this, the power wars surrounding political structures will decrease. Borders and walls will no longer be able to build prison communities for the sake of security. We are going to be resuscitated with a revival that activates social awareness and raises a cultural and moral being. Istanbul is going to give birth to ideas again, become the center of dynamism and mobilize our communities around a new horizon. Fights will be put up to be revived beyond the sharing of property. The Istanbul Union of Islam idea is going to rise with new journeys. This journey is going to give birth not to rebellion and bloodshed but to illumination and a way. Revival and renewal will be born, not an insurrection or revolution. An ideology and union that encompasses geographies will be born, not imperialism and division. The era of dictator republics (People's Republics) will end and democratic, participatory politics open to consulting will become dominant.

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