How are we going to get over this barbarity?’

11.01.2015 Habertürk
Translated by: Turgay BAYINDIR /
Orjinal Metin (tr-1/8/2015)

Prof. Nilüfer Göle is one of the leading names in contemporary sociology in Turkey. We can say that she has dedicated her life to to the work of helping the Islamic world and the West to acquire unbiased knowledge about each other in order to get closer. Because of her attitude, she has been continuously criticized, and even partially ostracized by her own ‘secular’ neighborhood. So she left Boğaziçi University years ago and chose to work at the School for Advance Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris.
I had the chance to talk to Prof. Göle a couple of hours after the Charlie Hebdo killings. She was in shock, she said: ‘The situation is very serious. Horrible! This is not even terrorism anymore, it is barbarity!’ In her opinion, foremost in Germany, Islamophobia will escalate in most European countries in the coming days. Moreover, Turks living in Europe will be affected by this situation as well as all other Muslim minority groups.
When I asked, ‘What can be done then?’ I received a very pessimistic response: ‘If, for example, Turkey was governed by the AKP of 5 years ago that was valued and taken seriously in the West, and this government were to condemn this barbarity unequivocally, something could have been done. But it does not look like this will happen. So the situation is dire.’
 
ON THE SAME DAY AS THE ANTI-ISLAM NOVEL
 
Later, I talked to Riva Kastoryano, a researcher from Turkey who works on inssues such as immigration and xenophobia at the Center for International Studies and Research in Paris. She underlined that fact that this was the biggest terrorist attack in Paris since the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) conducted bombings in a Paris train station in 1995, and the fact that it was carried out in an extremely professional manner.
On the other hand, she also pointed out that the attack took place on the same day as the anti-Islam novel Soumission (Submission) was going to be released. The novel had been on the top of the agenda for days in France. In this novel, which also appeared on the cover of the most recent issue of Charlie Hebdo, provocative novelist Michel Houellebecq wrote about a Muslim candidate winning the presidential elections in France in 2022 with the support of the other French parties who get together against the extreme right-wing National Front.
 
WE HAVE ALL BEEN BURIED UNDER THE WRECKAGE
 
I had originally planned to write about the crisis of political Islam in Turkey for today. The completely meaningless and useless reactions to the Paris killings we have seen in our country clearly attest to this crisis. In reality, it is not surprising at all. We witnessed similar reactions after the September 11 attacks in the US in 2001 and the November 15-20 attacks in Istanbul in 2003.
Of course, the January 7 attack in Paris is different from September 11 in several ways. First of all, it brings IS(IS) to mind. However, it could very well be al Qaeda which has been recently overshadowed by IS(IS). In any case, we need to look at the changes since September 11, and carefully compare al Qaeda with (IS)IS. 
What can we do then? This is what I had written after September 11: "Before it is too late, Islamic world, religious and non-religious, right-wing and left-wing, Arab, Turk, Persian and all the rest together need to face its own reality and take itself to account for its responsibility. This is not only unavoidable but also cannot be postponed any longer. Without doubt, we will not do it because the US wants us to do so. Also, to the degree that we are successful in doing this, the West will be forced to face its own devil."
And this is the last paragraph of the article I wrote for Birikim after the Novemver 15-20 attacks: "Instead of the completely useless expressions such as 'there is No terror in Islam' or 'No muslim would do this', it is necessary to try to democratize Muslim countries, empower the civil societies in these countries, establish widespread observaion of human rights and freedoms, and institute respect for the rule of law. But our task is very difficult. It might even be impossible because none of us is ready and willing to face our own devil. And each one of us is tirelessly asking the other to bring themselves to account for their own responsibility. At this rate we will all be buried under this same wreckage."
Yes, unfortunately we have all been buried under that wreckage. All together!




Destek olmak ister misiniz?
Doğru haber, özgün ve özgür yorum ihtiyacı
Bugün dünyada gazeteciler birer aktivist olmaya zorlanıyor. Bu durum, kutuplaşmanın alabildiğine keskin olduğu Türkiye'de daha fazla karşımıza çıkıyor. Halbuki gazeteci, elinden geldiğince, doğru haber ile özgün ve özgür yorumla toplumun tüm kesimlerine ulaşmaya çalışmalı ve bu yolla, kutuplaşmayı artırma değil azaltmayı kendine hedef edinmeli. Devamı için

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