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'A Real Muslim cannot be a Terrorist'
Nuriye Akman, Zaman, 03.23.2004
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It appears that al-Qaeda network has a cell in Turkey. You explained about the religious side of the matter. Does it has different meanings as well?

One of the people in the world I hate the most is [Osama] Bin Laden, because he spoiled the bright appearance of Islam. He created a dirty image. Even if we try to fix that terrible damage with all our best, it would take years.

We will tell about it everywhere in different platforms. We will write books about it. We will say, 'this is not Islam.' Bin Laden replaced Islamic logic with his feelings and desires. He is a monster, as are the men around him. If there is any one similar to them, they too are nothing more than monsters.

We condemn this observation. However, prevention of this in a world appears to be Islamic -and I stated earlier that I do not accept an Islamic world. There are only countries in which Muslims live- of Muslims solving their problems.

It becomes of question of will they think differently when they elect their leaders or will they do reforms. For the growth of well-groomed generations, Muslims should solve their problems. Not only in the terror issue, which is certainly not approved by God, but also drugs and cigarettes, which are another of God's prohibitions. Dissension should also be added to the list.

Hassles and not overcoming poverty are also frowned upon. To be lead by others in contempt, to put up with this leader, to always be insulted are others.

As [Mehmet] Akif [Ersoy] said: slavery, various troubles, addiction, accepting things out of habit and derision are commonplace. All of these are God's anathemas placed primarily on our nation. Overcoming of them, in my opinion, depends on being a just man and that is to be a man of Allah.

These pro-terror people grew up before our eyes in Muslim families. We thought they were Muslims. What kind of a process have they undergone such that they turned out to be terrorists? Aren't we all guilty?

Our guilt is the guilt of a nation. It is the guilt of education. A real Muslim, who understood Islam in every aspect, cannot be a terrorist. It is hard for a man to stay as a Muslim if he becomes involved in terror. Religion does not approve of killing a man to reach a goal.

But of course, what kind of efforts did we make for them to be raised perfect? With what kind of elements did we tie them up? With what kind of responsibility have we raised them that we now wait for them not to engage in terror.

We have not set forth the required sensitivity if being bound to Islamic values, fearing God, having a promise of an afterlife or just the fact that they would be opposing rules of the religion are not enough to stop one from engaging in terror. Even now, there are some methods to deal with this subject. We are trying to stop them [from devoting their life to terror].

We say it should not be. That is, it should not be a lesson of culture and morality. [The inclination towards a life of terror] should be wiped out in the institutions of education. We say that every requirement of life should be given to one at school. Information on health should also be given. Physicians should teach that class, I say. Classes related to life and home life are better taught there.

Relations between spouses should be taught well. How to raise a child should be taught very well. The issue is not just that. Turkey and the Islamic world suffer from narcotics. The Islamic world suffers from gambling and embezzlement. Almost every one is a thief in Turkey. Some places that were supposed to be reached were reached. However, there are places that cannot be reached. You cannot question them. You cannot call them to account. Thus, those are covered, sealed and left alone.

All these are the ones who grew up among us. All of them are our children. How come some were raised as tough guys? How come some were raised as boors? How come some rebelled against human values? How come they came to their own nation and blew themselves up as a bomb?

All these people were raised among us. That is, there was something wrong with their education. That is, the system has some deficiencies, some points to be questioned. These need to be removed. This means raising a human was not the first priority. Meanwhile, some generations were lost, destroyed, wasted.

The unsatisfied youth became the ones with no spirituality. Some gave them a couple of liras or made them robots. They drugged them. Nowadays, this has been talked about. It is in the magazines. They were disabled to use their minds. They were used as murderers with the excuses of ideals or goals and made them to kill man. They wanted to achieve certain goals by using them.

A friend of ours had gone to Israel. He stayed in Palestine for a while. He told me a very interesting thing. He is a very bright one doing his Doctorate there. "I stayed in Israel five or six months. They made an offer to me to be involved in the executive committee," he said.

Who made the offer?

"I was offered by Israelis," he said. "A Palestinian prevented me. I realized that the Palestinian was a weapons merchant. He has some business in it. He wishes the business to go on. Perhaps, some other very close ones think the same." Therefore, some want to make a living by keeping these kinds of incidents fresh.

These people are turned into robots. It could be said that same thing occurs in Istanbul in my humble opinion. Perpetrators of terrorist attacks are sane, believing people, they are not the ones who are outside the mosque and attempting the work.

Maybe his religious knowledge is weak. He must have a master or a hodja, and maybe he said, 'such and such could be killed.' Many were killed in Turkey. That group killed this person, the other killed this person. On March 12, everyone was into a bloody fight. The military came and intervened. On September 12, people were out for each other's blood. Everyone was killing one another.

By killing the others, some were trying to reach a goal. All were terrorists. Those sides were terrorists; these sides were terrorists. But, they were labeling it. One was saying, "I am doing this in the name of Islam." The other was saying, "I do it for my land and people." A third was saying, "I am fighting against capitalism and exploitation." Those were all some sayings. The Koran names "sayings". Those were the things of no value. But, people just kept on killing. Everyone was killing in the name of an ideal.

In the name of those 'ideals' many were killed. Someone at the top would say, "Remove this," and it was. That was saying, "remove", this was saying it as well. Perhaps, there were such directives for you and me; however, fate did not allow it. There was something that I clearly had a hold of that said: "he should be removed as well."

Those were all terror. Not only Muslims, but all people were doing the same. Since everyone did it one after another, this turned out to be a "doable" thing. It was made a habit out of that. Everyone began to get used to it. Killing a man is an evil action. One of my dearest friends broke the backbone of a snake. He was a theology graduate and now a preacher. I did not talk to him for a month. I said: "That snake had the right to live in the nature. What right did you have to break its backbone?"

Now the situation is such that in some place if 10 persons killed 20 and if the numbers were not as high as expected, we would say, "that is good, not many died." This violence was becoming accepted by the people. "Good that we are saved by the death of 20-30," we say. This means, they made the society accept this.

Education can prevent this from happening. Prevention is the rules and regulations of the State. Now, some segments are showing reactions, are willing to intervene with tiny little things. Some circles exaggerate tiny little issues, perhaps they have not intervened because of an armor created so to speak.

They are exaggerating. There is a remedy for this business. The remedy is to teach it directly. It should be explained that Muslims cannot be terrorists. Why should it be explained? If you did something evil, even if it is tiny as an atom, you will pay for that.

Yes, killing a man is very big. The Koran says that killing one is the same as killing all. Ibn Abbas says, a killer of a man will stay in hell for eternity. This judgment is also true for unbelievers.

This means, that man is subjected to the same thing as an unbeliever is. That is, the killer of a man is equivalent to an atheist and one who does not accept Allah and The Prophet. Now, if this is the fundamental of the religion, then it should be taught through education. They do not do it.

After September 11, we saw that Muslims tend to complicate theories a little more. Does it always have to be the "others" who are guilty? Does it always have to be that they want us to be the bag man? Why there is no culture of self-criticism in Islam?

Now, it is necessary to correct the statement of, "Islam does not have a culture of self-criticism." There is self-criticism in Islam. Everything is questioned by Muslims, except for holy messages.

I do not think such self-criticism exists in others. For example, The Caliph Omer represents Islam. While he delivers a sermon at the minbar (pulpit), a woman objects to him saying, "You said this wrong. This is how it should have been said."

An army commander says that he had been treated with this and that. An unknown GI leans on his sword and says, "Sir, this thing you do is rebellious. If you are not right, we will do this to you."

Scholars and theologists have discussed and debated Islamic issues so many times that these fill countless volumes. Every one had criticized the other in Islam. These criticizms had been met within a sensable tolerance. For example, Ghazali had written a tahafut (a critic on incoherences of philosophist). Then, someone else had replied to that. Had there been a state of Islam at the time, these people would have been punished. However, they had said nothing. That man lived. There are many different thoughts.

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