Right Side News 30 April 2012
By Andrew Bostom
A review-essay on Marked for Death: Islam’s War Against the West and Me , by Geert Wilders, Regnery Publishing, May1, 2012, 256 pp. As I told the Editor of The American Thinker, Tom Lifson:
"Although lengthy, this review-essay will provide readers with a definitive understanding of one of the West’s most important political leaders, whose grasp of the civilizational jihadist threat, and willingness to combat it, are unequalled.”
The Amsterdam Rijksmuseum’s current exhibit “Ottomania” punctuates ongoing commemorations marking 400 years of Dutch-Turkish relations. With depressing predictability, the Turkish media erupted in fury over a 1683 print on display which celebrates the defeat of the Ottoman jihad campaign against Vienna. Consistent with disparaging images commonplace in that late 17th century era, the print depicts Mehmed IV, the Ottoman sultan (r. 1648-1687), lying forlorn in bed following the humiliating defeat of his grand vizier Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha at Vienna. A salient detail of the print shows the royal bedside commode adjacent to a Koran, placed, ostensibly, for use as toilet paper.
Shortly afterward, during his recent visit to the Netherlands as part of the same commemorations, Turkish President Abdullah Gul labeled Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders an “Islamophobe.” Interviewed by the Dutch mass-circulation daily De Telegraaf, Gul claimed Wilders represented “an extreme voice, which feeds radicals.” Gul further accused Wilders of engendering “a negative us-against-them climate [that] is developing in the whole of Europe, which is laying the foundation for ethnic religious discrimination.” Responding to Gul’s denunciation, Wilders tweeted with appropriate disdain, “Turkish humor: Christian-teaser, Kurd-basher, Hamas-friend and Islamist Gul complaining about tolerance.”
In 2009, Turkey declined to receive a Dutch parliamentary delegation if it included Wilders. At the time, a Turkish spokesperson insisted that Wilders was “such a fascist that besides in Turkey, he would not be welcome in other European capitals.” Wilders, in turn, this past November, 2011 observed, aptly
Gul’s Islamic regime and his party colleague, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, are no friends of the West and therefore not of the Netherlands either. President Gul is not welcome. Turkey has no place in the community of European values and there’s no reason for a party. Anyone who looks further than their own nose can see that the regime of Gul and Erdogan is killing off Turkey’s secular constitution in order to re-Islamise the country.
On August 28, 2007, the same day that Abdullah Gul became Turkey’s President – replacing his secular predecessor, and further consolidating the ruling Islamic Adalet ve Kalk?nma Party’s (AKP’s) hold on power — MEMRI published excerpts from a chilling, virulently Jew-hating interview given by Gul’s and Prime Minister Erdogan’s mentor, the late (d. February, 2011) former Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan. The interview originally aired July 1, 2007, as part of Erbakan’s campaign efforts in support of Islamic fundamentalist political causes before the general elections of July 22, 2007, and the AKP’s resounding popular electoral victory over its closest “secularist” rival parties.
Erbakan, founder of the fundamentalist Islamic Milli Gorus (National Vision; originated 1969) movement, mentored current AKP leaders President Gul, and Prime Minister Erdogan, both of whom were previously active members of Erbakan’s assorted fundamentalist political parties, serving in mayoral, ministerial, and parliamentary posts.
The modern fundamentalist Islamic movement Erbakan founded has continued to produce the most vile strain of antisemitism extant in Turkey, and traditional Islamic motifs, i.e., frequent quotations from the Koran and Hadith, remain central to this hatred, nurtured by early Islam’s basic animus towards Judaism. Indeed, the shared overall Weltanschauung of Erbakan, and his mentees Gul and Erdogan, is characterized by Jew and other non-Muslim infidel hatred, accompanied by rejection of Western Judaeo-Christian and Enlightenment values, and the revitalization of an aggressive, Neo-Ottoman, Sharia-based Islam in Turkey. Their collective movement’s “success”—the apotheosis of an Islamic fundamentalist revival fully evident within a decade of secular autocrat Kemal Ataturk’s 1938 death—can be gauged, notably, via the findings from a lengthy U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) report issued March, 2012.
The report recommended that the U.S. government designate Turkey as one of the world’s 16 most egregious violators of religious freedom, sharply downgrading Turkey’s status from a prior “watch” list country, to the worst offender’s category, designated “Countries of Particular Concern.” Specific offenses cited, included:
- interfering with “minority religious communities’ affairs; societal discrimination and occasional violence against religious minorities; limitations on religious dress; and Antisemitism in Turkish society and media.”
- denying “non-Muslim communities the rights to train clergy, offer religious education, and own and maintain places of worship.”
- continuing longstanding policies that “threaten the survivability and viability of minority religious communities in Turkey.”
- restricting the religious freedom of “the Greek, Armenian, and Syriac Orthodox Churches, the Roman Catholic and protestant Churches, and the Jewish community”
- regarding Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus, Turkey “supports numerous arbitrary regulations implemented by local Turkish Cypriot authorities…[which] limit the religious activities of all non-Muslims living in northern Cyprus, deny these religious communities the right to worship freely and restore, maintain, and utilize their religious properties, and threaten the long-term survival of non-Muslim religious communities in the area.”
The USCIRF report further suggested that the U.S. government prompt Turkey to “abolish Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code which restricts the freedom of thought and expression and negatively affects the freedom of religion or belief.” (Not mentioned by the USCIRF report was the fact that this negation of freedom of thought and expression was in accord with the mainstream dictates of Islam’s Sharia—as articulated, for example, in the Cairo Declaration, to which Turkey is a signatory.) In addition, the report also acknowledged that “even starting a discussion on genocide of Christians [note: a jihad genocide] that occurred 100 years ago is a criminal offense in Turkey.” And the USCIRF concluded somberly, noting,
Every year that passes without substantial religious reform places these minorities in greater peril and helps seal their fate. In the Arab Spring, Turkey holds itself out to be an Islamist model. But it is no model for religious freedom. We have waited for ten years for the AKP to make a real difference in the Christians‘ fate. We can no longer sit by and just ?Watch.