Sunday, January 23, 2005

Bush haters in Turkey: Conning conservatives

"UPI International Editor Claude Salhani describes a startling assertion by a Turkish commentator. "We perceive George W. Bush like Osama bin Laden," Beyza Bilgin, a theology professor at Ankara University, is quoted as declaring, "Both think they have a mission [from God]."
Since Mr. Bilgin used the pronoun "we," the comment appears to convey a common point of view among Turks. Yet, as a Turk I strongly disagree."

"What bothers me more, however, is Mr. Bilgin's second statement, i.e., that assuming a mission from God puts someone in the same category as terrorists. That is simply absurd. In fact, many great men and women of faith have believed in a God-given mission, and they were far from being akin to al Qaeda operatives. In the modern world, there are many passionate believers who simiarly feel they are chosen by God but don't possess a violent agenda at all.

Actually, this should be common knowledge. One wonders, though, how this cannot be grasped by otherwise rational people. The problem may not with their rational faculties, but rather with their agenda."

". . . the local "Bush haters" in question depict the U.S. as a deadly enemy of Turkey and the Islamic world, which is a disastrous misconception. It not only feeds terrorism and conflict, but stifles what Muslims can learn from America.
Let me add that Americans often say Turkey is a model for other Muslim nations. I have appreciated that sentiment and should like to return the compliment. America is also a model for Muslim nations, because it presents a powerful testimony to the compatibility of deeply held religious belief and modern life."
Forum: Bush haters in Turkey: Conning conservatives - The Washington Times: Commentary - January 23, 2005

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