Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Dead Man in Istanbul

The Nation, an extreme left wing publication, posts an obituary of a murdered journalist.

Hrant Dink (1954-2007) Hrant Dink, the courageous editor of the Armenian-Turkish newspaper Agos, was murdered in the middle of the day on Friday, January 19, on a city street in front of his office in Istanbul, by a 17-year-old man he had never met.

Hrant Dink was outspoken under Turkish jurisdiction where speaking certain political opinions can trigger arrest, conviction or worse.

A long road ahead for Turkey: In Turkey, people are prosecuted and sometimes murdered because they are of an ethnic group or religion that others do not like. And the law, specifically Article 301 of the penal code, sends people to prison for their ideas when these ideas are taken as “an insult to Turkish identity.” Sometimes this law provides the twisted justification for those who turn convictions into death sentences.

Even as the juvenile killer and associates are moved into solitary confinement, the newspaper Zaman reports 'Crime does pay' for growing number of disillusioned youth. The Islamic country of Turkey is having internal problems and long time observers are going public with concerns about the present government and its control over the ancient populations.

Turkey’s suicide: With Salafism - the Saudi brand of radical Islam - biting into the Turkish political jugular, the joke is that the despised Bedouins of Arabia have finally conquered the "Ottoman Empire." The most primitive and backward form of Islam is increasingly at home in the heartlands that had formed the core of the most powerful Muslim state for five centuries. Now the question isn't whether our old ally can overcome its internal difficulties, but which of its troubles will overwhelm it first.

Turkey's educated elite is in much the same position as Germany's elite during Hitler's rise to power. Imagining that the Islamists would sputter out, progressive Turks failed to act. Now Turkish civilization - so great for so many centuries - is unraveling the way Germany's did in the 1930s. Turkish intellectuals made the classic error of underestimating the common man's capacity for hatred and lust for blind revenge.

Salafism is a fundamentalist practice of Islam. There are five pillars to the faith and second only to the belief that a human warlord was the last temporal prophet of an eternal divinity, is the duty to the Salah. Five bows towards Mecca per day.

Salah is an Arabic word to mean a spiritual relationship and communication between the creature and his Creator. Salah is one of the five pillars of Islam. Salah is to be performed with mental concentration, verbal communication, vocal recitation, and physical movement to attain the spiritual uplift, peace, harmony, and concord. Salah is not to be confused with prayer; the latter could be interpreted as supplication (Du'a).

Prostrating the body into submission is not prayer as the west understands the meaning of the word. The Salah is an act of ritual obedience to divine authority as expressed by humans. Combined with “the common man's capacity for hatred and lust for blind revenge” the mixture becomes very deadly.