Madina was bombed; the problem is much deeper, within us - KEMAL ÖZTÜRK

Madina was bombed; the problem is much deeper, within us

I could not write a happy Eid column despite the problems we are going through in the Muslim world and our country. Madina was bombed.

We were all in shock. The entire Muslim world is in shock. I am guessing what's worse from this from now on is the bombing of the Kaaba. I am sure they will try to do that, too.

I am sure, because this small mentality did the same things hundreds of years ago. The Khawarij killed Muslim caliphs, stoned the Kaaba and stole the Hajar al-Aswad stone. This mentality killed our prophet's grandchild.

This is why the problem is so deep. This problem is not one that can be explained briefly through the “superior mind.”

Is Daesh the superior mind's doing?

I witnessed Daesh's first organization in Syria and its strengthening in the region. When I entered Aleppo during the war (2013), I spoke to many alternative groups. However, there was one region we could not enter and hence we could not speak a single word with those who were there. They were wearing face masks and had different weapons. Everybody was saying “they are either crazy or are the people of a different country.” They never fought Bashar Assad's regime, they always attacked the opposition forces. Back then the first news on Daesh was reported by the Anadolu Agency (AA). As a result our offices in Aleppo were raided and destroyed.

It was said that Iran, the Assad regime, Israel, Germany, the US among many other countries were behind the arming and organization of Daesh. I too believe foreign intelligence is behind it. However, this does not mean that Daesh's mentality and creed are also formed by the superior mind.

The problem is in ourselves

Daesh's mental infrastructure, doctrines, ideas should not be sought in foreign countries but within the history of Islamic thought. The total of those resources which that mind breeds on are not in London or Tel Aviv. They should be sought in libraries containing Salafi, Wahhabi and Khawarij resources. The source of this problem should be sought in the hodjas and education systems at madrasahs in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Yemen.

There are those who claim the anti-thesis that Daesh was established and grown against the theory of secular circles and Western intellectuals who make this argument. Even though there is some truth to it, this is not the problem. What is breeding this mental structure, first Taliban, al-Qaida, then al-Shabab, Boko Haram and now Daesh, are problematic Islamic jurisprudence and doctrine books. (I would recommend you read the book titled “Çağdaş İslami Hareketler ve Şiddet Sorunu” (Modern Islamic Movements and the Violence Problem), from Beyan Yayınları, written by Professor Ahmet Demircan, who has major works in this field.)

The fight against Daesh problematic

All methods of fighting Daesh were either military or political – and I personally do not think it was done properly. And this means struggling against not the main source of the problem but the results.

Whereas the reasons that have produced, fed and spread the Daesh mentality are more internal and deeper.

Despite this, strong refutations against Daesh's doctrinal, ideological and jurisprudence arguments are yet to be written.

Last year, the Presidency of Religious Affairs (DİB) published the “DAİŞ'in Temel İdeolojisi ve Dini Referansları Raporu” (Daesh's Basic Ideology and Religious References Report) ( It is an important scholarly report that particularly examines the organization's religious understanding and ideology. But it neither found enough interest among the public nor did it create an impression in the Muslim world.

The common attitude against the Daesh problem

It is only the spread of such works that can stop the flow of human resources to Daesh and prevent the mechanism that turns Muslims into suicide bombers. Yet, the scholars of the Muslim world, their religious organizations and political structures neither show serious reaction in this regard or make any effort.

Taking joint action, making joint decisions, fighting together, are the gravest problems of the Muslim world. It is unable to take a common attitude neither politically, religiously nor in terms of the communication language.

A sad example of this was witnessed at the conference that was held for a united calendar. At the meeting held in Istanbul in May 2016, close to 50 countries decided on a common calendar, a common date for Ramadan and Eid. However, with a sudden decision, the mufti of Saudi Arabia decided not to comply and announced a different date for Eid the other day.

What is this? How can such a thing happen despite making a joint decision? How can a Muslim world that is unable to reach an agreement even on the Eid date be expected to act together in the fight against Daesh?

I am on the phone with DİB President Mehmet Görmez. He is fighting to hold his tears back. I will write the details tomorrow.

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