It was some time after the Fetullahist Terror Organization’s (FETÖ) Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 attempt in 2013. There was a trip to Rome for a high-level visit and I was among the guests invited. While chatting with other guests in the hotel lobby, a writer who was arrested post-July 15 pulled me aside and said, “This AK Party [the Justice and Development Party], [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan is going to wipe out all [religious] communities. We have to do something!” I was shocked and replied restlessly, “Where did this come from?”
Surely the “All religious communities will be wiped out” theory was a FETÖ discourse. No discourse belonging to FETÖ was local. Even though they may not appear to be FETÖ members, those who voice these theories are in one way or another involved in the plots in question. After witnessing the open attack, the invasion attempt targeting Turkey through that bloody group, the intelligence network that was ganged up in the “religious community format” on July 15, 2016, something became very clear in our minds.
They are killing us with our anger, our values, our compassion
After that attack, our minds became clearer on matters such as how the “War against Islam” theory turned into the “Islamic civil war” theory, how the “Islam’s bloody borders” project turned into the “War will settle in the heart of Islam” scenario, who is mobilized in the Muslim geography for the “Islamic civil war” as well as what kinds of new separation and conflict theories are being produced and presented beyond the ethnic and sectarian conflicts, and how Muslims’ anger toward the West is turned into a weapon targeting us in favor of the West.
We can continue to say, “Our differences are our strength,” all we like; they have already turned all of these differences into disintegration and conflict. Our “weaknesses” and “vulnerabilities” have already been transformed into destructive weapons aimed at our countries, cities, lands and minds. Such that, geopolitical plans have even made through our compassion and solidarity.
‘East front’ of Islamophobia under construction
By the way, let’s not overlook the fact that the atrocity, the oppression in Rakhine is a new chain in the vicious scenario staged through Islam and Muslims, that a new front is being opened through the blood, life and despair of Rohingya Muslims – similar to the other Muslim communities living on the East-West border line – that energy wars and a geopolitical power struggle are being carried out, that the Atlantic alliance has also chosen this community as a sacrifice for its plans to siege China.
The launch of new clashes from East Turkistan to Kashmir and India’s Muslims regions, from Pattani to Moro, is likely. There is no Islamophobia in the East, this is a Western theory and it feeds on Western racism. Ventures to surround the eastern borders of Islam – which is sieged from the west – through conflict, through the wall of enmity, attempts to confine it should be watched carefully.
Let’s consider that the “Buddhist murderers” discourse may be a discourse aimed to build the eastern front of Islamophobia, and the likelihood that this is a Western theory “served” to us. Sabotage efforts on the likely rapprochement between the Muslim world with the East have already been started. Because this war is huge; the global power standoff is not limited to North Korea alone.
Who are declaring religious communities a threat?
Let us return to the matter of religious communities, religious community debates. I personally believe that every state needs religious communities; that religious communities help keep the community standing and alive; that they even prevent social collapse during times of political instability, that they are necessary. However, once religious communities demand power and start dreaming of a religious community state, they become a threat. Because the moment the religious community mind, the organization mind becomes a state, it sets off collapse, infighting and destruction.
However, if you declare religious communities as threats, you will not be able to keep the community standing either.
The Islamism debate that started after the July 15 coup attempt, the recently reignited religious community debate is also far from this context. A debate that was served to us by other centers, other circles, that is in no way local, is growing. A new disintegration theory is being spread through other various categories, including the Sufi-Salafi category. This is an extremely dangerous situation for Turkey. It is impossible to estimate what it will lead to and it is not independent from the major destruction and disintegration projects targeting our region.
Who is serving the religious community debate to us, who is managing it?
Those planning regional clashes through the sectarian identity are also making plans to separate communities into their fibers through more micro differences. I would like to bring to your attention to the fact that the most recent debate is the product of such a scenario. FETÖ has been exposed, Daesh is being eliminated. Hence, building new identities, new fronts, new areas of conflict becomes necessary for them.
They are doing this; they prepared this debate and served it to us and we jumped at it. Yet, instead of this, we need to focus on who manages this debate, what their aims are and what kind of price they are going to make the Turkish community pay.
Let’s go back a little. Let only one of the numerous projects the U.S. has prepared in this regard be reminded. Even this alone will be enough to clearly reveal the kind of game we have become victims of.
The report prepared in 2007: Divide Islam into four categories!
In 2007, a study titled, “Civil Democratic Islam: Partners, Resources, and Strategies,” was prepared by the famous RAND Corporation and financed by the conservative Smith Richardson Foundation, which allocates $100 million annually for such research. Back then we discussed this quite a bit.
The report presents a Washington- and London-based strategy on how Islam and Muslims can be controlled with the theory that “Unless Islam and Muslims are integrated to Western democracy, values and the global order, a clash of civilizations is highly likely.”
US, UK and Israel’s ‘religion-building’ for Muslims
Cheryl Bernard, who wrote the 88-page report is wife to Zalmay Khalilzad, then U.S. President George Bush’s adviser for the Persian Gulf and South Asia. The report that perfectly overlaps with the U.S.’s operations in the region, including Turkey, is a clear indicator of claims that the U.S., which stopped “nation-building” since the September 11 attack, started “religion-building” with the U.K. and Israel.
In the report, Muslims are divided into four categories as, “fundamentalist, traditional, modernist and secular,” and a strategy is suggested:
“The seculars cannot be trusted due to their anti-imperialist and socialist ideas. Neither can the fundamentalists or traditional Muslims... Any possible rapport between the fundamentalists and traditionalists must be prevented. They should be encouraged to fight against each other. The only ones that can be trusted by the U.S. and Europe are the modernist Muslims who limit the Quran in directing the masses. This group should be supported. The fundamentalists must be weakened and destroyed.” This is it in a nutshell. To elaborate further:
This is the road map for Islamic infighting!
1. First, support modernist and secular Muslims. For this: Form modernist leaders, models and cadres. Publish and distribute their works. Allow them to address the masses. Give prominence to their ideas in Islamic education. Indoctrinate youth with the sense of pre-Islamic and non-Islamic history. Strengthen secular cultural institutes and activities.
2. Support the traditional Muslims against the
fundamentalists. For this, encourage disputes between them. Prevent any alliance from forming between the two factions. Bring the modernists and traditionalists close to each other. Increase the number of modernists in traditional institutes. Reveal differences among the traditionalists. Exaggerate the differences between the Hanafi sect and other sects.
3. Fight against the fundamentalists. For this, question their interpretation of Islam and contradictions. Exaggerate the results of their violent acts. Encourage journalists to expose negative aspects – such as corruption – of the leaders within this faction. For these messages, target the youth, religious traditional societies, Muslim minorities and women. Prevent any sympathy toward their actions and prevent them from becoming heroes.
4. Fastidiously support the seculars . For this, encourage them that fundamentalism is a common enemy. Prevent secular Muslims from forming an alliance with anti-U.S. forces, nationalists and leftists. Support the idea that religion and the state are separate in Islam and that this does not endanger one’s faith.
5. Support the “Western Islam” theory. Here, the idea is to spread terms such as German Islam, American Islam, Turkish Islam, Malay Islam and the opinion that “there is no common Islamic world.”
Let’s come to our senses.
How independent is the current debate on religious communities from this project? Everybody needs to think once more what they are debating, what they are siding with or what they are against, on whose behalf they are speaking and whose gun they are pointing to who.
In other words, we need to pull ourselves together.