Monday, 18 July 2016

Turkey, where the lines are now drawn [updated]

 

[UPDATE: Let me alert you to an exceptional piece by Chris Trotter on the events of the weekend, and how Erdogan has used them since: Erdogan Lives - And Secular Turkey Dies.]

PhilMyth

In Turkey over the weekend there was a military coup against the democratically-elected leader. Naturally, there was a knee-jerk reaction around the west to oppose the coup, and uphold the democratically-elected leader.

But in a country where the majority votes Islamist, this would be a mistake.  In country likes this, democracy can beome almost wholly the lethal description of it: like three wolves and a sheep voting for dinner – with the Islamists ready to tuck in. Just another reason to support the checks and balances of a constitutional republic over the lack of real checks in an unlimited democracy. [See: Why the United States was Designed as a Republic: to prevent the tyranny of the majority]

In Turkey, in Egypt and right across the faith-based Middle-East, the military is often the last vestige of any secular check on rising Islamism. There is some evidence from the weekend that was the major motivation for the military rising against Erdogan.

Turkey

As far ago as 2007 it was becoming clear Turkish secularism would need support. "Turkish secularism is gravely threatened,” said Robert Spencer, “and millions of Turks are deeply concerned that their country could become an Islamic state."

The only response that has ever gained traction in the Islamic world has been not just a de-facto laying-aside of Islam's political and social character, but a self-conscious elimination of that character – and [Kemal] Ataturk's Turkey has been the site of the greatest success of this approach. Ataturk realized that there would be a recrudescence and reassertion of political Islam whenever there was a revival of religious fervour. Thus Kemalism presented itself not as "moderate Islam," nor as an Islamic construct at all, but as an explicit rejection of political Islam in favor of secularism. That is, it was never presented as an Islamic construct or justified by Islamic teachings, but was an explicit rejection of certain traditional aspects of Islam.

As historian Scott Powell noted just a few years ago, the tension  was already simmering. “The AKP party, led by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, though democratically elected, has a platform that contradicts the secularist tenets of Turkey’s constitution. If it isn’t stopped by the court, another military coup is likely to occur.” A military coup because “the Turkish military have long been defenders of the secular Kemalist tradition.” Which is the reason, in reverse, that

Late on Saturday night, just 24 hours after the attempted coup, hundreds of supporters of President Erdogan swarmed into Taksim Square – the pulsating heart of secular, modern Turkey – to celebrate their victory with shouts of Takbir – ‘Allahu Akbar’, meaning ‘God is Great.’

How has the country of Ataturk become the country of Erdogan? Because “Turkey reflects a Middle East in cultural regress.”

Turkey once seemed to be moving towards liberal democracy. It enabled a secular culture to flourish. It joined NATO. It was an ally of the West in a Soviet-dominated region.
    But today Turkey is moving towards Islamism and nationalism. Its president suppresses protest and press freedom while increasing his own power. It has been ambivalent over the crisis in Syria unfolding on its borders.
    Turkey's retreat into illiberalism is sad. It's also alarming. Another Islamist power in the Middle East won't just make that region even less safe, but ours too.

So it you found yourself over the weekend on the side of someone who has suppressed free speech, where they still selectively enforce the jizya tax, where they murder people for apostasy and are still beheading people in the name of Islam -- and to protect their "honour" – where “Erdogan has unleashed the Islamist mobs,” then just consider it possible you may be mistaken.

Rubin

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30 comments:

  1. Thanks for that. Watching the news on the weekend gave me no idea of who the good and who the bad guys were. I would usually think it's more likely the military are the bad guys, but when I heard the Turkish gov't were calling for someone in the US to be extradited, I started to wonder....

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    1. Ditto. Good Lauren Southern lines and it's nice when Chris Trotter is in accord with us for a change.

      Rick

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  2. If the attempted coup really was Gulen inspired, then it wasn't in the cause of liberalism, it was in the cause of an Islamic power play. Gulen is more of a stealth jihadist than Erdogan.

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  3. I think you could take a lesson from Turkey, Peter. Ataturk suppressed Islam through laws that, as a leftitarian, you would oppose, but since his passing those laws have been steadily eroded to where Turkey is now on a precipice. Islam is incompatible with liberty and needs to be suppressed. Doing so doesn't violate liberty. It defends it.

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    1. Separating religion from the state and "supressing Islam" are not the same things. When the US occupied Japan after WW2 they did not suppress the Shinto religion, even though this had provided the ideological motives for going to war. Rather they outlawed any connection between Shinto and the state apparatus, and made the emperor recant any divine status that he had previously claimed. The result was a resounding success, with not one US serviceman being killed by hostile forces during occupation. Supressing the religion as such would have been counter-productive, and would have seen a very different result. This is what you need to do to remove Islam as a threat, not suppress the religion as such.

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    2. Well, they are actually, because there is no separation of Church and State in Islam.

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    3. We need to stop Islamic immigration, kick out all non-naturalised muslims, monitor the mosques and bulldoze any that show even a hint of promoting jihad. We need to make the West Islam unfriendly and provide sanctuary to apostates. The way things are going, and France is a prime illustration, there will be no West within a few decades, and the leftitarians will have had a good hand in that.

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    4. I agree with Mark and in my opinion Ataturk's suppression is what leads to this trouble. His revolution's twilight (old TFR reference anyone?)revisits the old problems plus interest. Boomerangs back. Chickens come back to roost. Other metaphors. The moral victory was not won in the day just suppressed and repressed for future generations.

      Same story as usual, same thing Labour 4.0 did here.

      Rick

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    5. Well, it's no mistake that Islam has risen as Kemalism has waned. If it wasn't for Ataturk, Turkey would never have been brought into the modern world. And your logic is just plain wrong. Islam is a supremacist totalitarian ideology, but you're saying that it becomes supremacist and totalitarian if you try to suppress it. By that logic no one should ever have suppressed the Nazis because to do so would be to empower the Nazis.

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    6. "The moral victory was not won in the day just suppressed and repressed for future generations."

      And that was the mistake of the Kemalists. Not to follow through with an all out intellectual assault to thoroughly seal the deal.

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    7. @ Richard - This discussion started rationally, but it's degenerated to you ranting like a crazy man. There was no separation between Shinto and the Japanese state, to a greater degree than Islam (the Japanese Emperor who led them into battle was also their god). This was resolved by the US making it clear that the only way the Japanese could keep their religion was if it remained a personal affair, and the link to the state and Emperor was firmly broken. They were very clear that Shinto insofar as it was a personal religion would be allowed, but Shinto insofar as it was part of the state apparatus would be abolished. By contrast an attack on the Japanese personal religion likely would have seen an insurgency. The Japanese had to either accept a change in their religion, or face obliteration

      You need to read 'Nothing less than Victory' by John Lewis. It details 12 key wars throughout history (include the US-Japan) and provides brilliant insights on how peace was ultimately secured. The clear lesson from this is that you win wars not by trying to obliterate the enemy (an impossible task when you regard all Muslims as the enemy and there are several billion of them), but my destroying the enemies *will to wage war*. Decisive military action is a necessary ingredient, but by itself is not sufficient. If you don't provide an incentive for the enemies people to adopt peaceful ways (using both carrot and stick) they will come back at you as a threat again and again.

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    8. When I say that Islam has no separation of Church and State, I mean that it is doctrinally opposed to separation of Church and State. Unlike other religions, which can accommodate separation (and I assume Shintoism could), Islam cannot. It has a complete and total divinely given plan for the arrangement of human affairs that is beyond Muslim choice. The more devout muslims are not simply arbitrarily trying to impose their whim, or some kind warped perverted idea of Islam. They are implementing Islam as it is meant to be and as it has always been. If you propose forcibly separating Islam from the State, then you are inescapably going to war against it, because it attacks one of the very essences of Islam. And contrary to what you seem to think, I don't propose all out war with Islam or Muslims at all. I propose isolating it from the West and letting it destroy itself. How? By defending our Western way life and giving zero support to Islam. We don't need to import savages into the West. Western civilisation is too special to import savages.

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    9. "If it wasn't for Ataturk, Turkey would never have been brought into the modern world."

      Can't know that, and it's like saying without slavery no cotton gets picked. You're not thinking of 'the seen and the unseen' economics, if you know what I'm referring to?

      "you're saying that it becomes supremacist and totalitarian if you try to suppress it. By that logic no one should ever have suppressed the Nazis because to do so would be to empower the Nazis."

      That's right, like Mark and the book he cites, I'm marking the difference between suppression and victory. Why must you conflate them?

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    10. On the contrary. I can know that because I know Islam well enough to know that it is incapable of rising up to anything. If Ataturk hadn't done it, someone else would have had to, and failing someone else, it never would have. As for suppression and victory, the two are not mutually exclusive. Suppression of evil is an essential step in putting something back in its box on the road to achieving victory. The Kemalists didn't fail because they suppressed. They failed because they didn't seal the deal by making the Turks fully aware of the connection between Islam and what it produces. There are many Turks that do know, but ultimately not enough.

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    11. Of your assertion sandwich two things stand out you might expand upon.

      You say you 'can know because you know well enough to know.' Can you run that again more reassuringly? Are you saying you're right because you say you are?

      Secondly, 'suppression of evil is an essential step' you assert again. If we're having a conversation here let's not just have you repeat your opinion like one of those scrolling advertising signs at the bus stops. Do you have no reply to Mark or me or the premise in Lewis' book?

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    12. You gave me your opinion, and I gave you mine. I'm not interested in trying to convince you of anything, Rick. From past experience I already know that reaching a conclusion, or a truth, does not interest you. Winning does. And I'm not interested in that.

      I pointed out to Mark that to separate Islam and the State is necessarily to suppress Islam, because Islam has no room for separation of Islam and State. It demands their fusion. It is a system for the total control of human affairs. It is totalitarian. And you are witnessing the rise of its most devout practitioners all over the world today. It needs to be, not just suppressed, but smashed into oblivion. And I say that without ranting.

      That you are more concerned about the hurt feelings of Muslims, because some concerned people want to stop their immigrating to the West, because they, quite reasonably and rationally, want to defend against atrocities such as this...

      http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=f92_1469036246

      ...so far as I'm concerned, puts your more on side with the savages.

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    13. Surely you don't expect to get by only by saying you're right? For your opinion to have credibility you've got to nourish it with evidence and reason.

      You see Mark doing that, and I've given you some arguments too. We'd be happy to expand on them. If you see yourself and others only as blurting opinion at each other it's no wonder there's no advance. Like two TV sets pointed at one another.

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    14. "You gave me your opinion, and I gave you mine. I'm not interested in trying to convince you...so far as I'm concerned, puts your more on side with the savages."

      I haven't been listening have I? All these years you're only seeking to signal what your in-group is (aka virtue signalling) and to signal that I'm in an out-group. No convincing, no meeting of minds. Just dog whistles. So you think everyone else is doing the same, including me.

      What do you even get out of that? Scooby Snacks?

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    15. Mark has hardly nourished anything with evidence and reason. He told me I'm ranting, offered Shintoism as an equivalent of Islam, and told me I should read John Lewis. I haven't disputed what he said, but instead pointed out that Islam is not the same as other religions, that it does not allow for the separation of Mosque and State, and that to forcibly prevent their union IS to suppress Islam, the very thing he claims you shouldn't do. That's a fact, and neither of you have acknowledged it, or asked if I have evidence to back it up. You simply allude to Henry Hazlitt or Von Mises, or someone, and gave me your opinion that suppression doesn't work, blah blah, so any facts about Islam, our actual enemy, goes down the gurgler. In order to defeat the enemy, you must understand your enemy, but last time I had an exchange with you you were denying an enemy even existed. It should be clear why I say you are more aligned with the savages.

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    16. I take that as a 'yes', you do simply seek to signal yourself and others as in/out group and that's your whole agenda. Like a farmer tagging sheep ears who has become rather carried away and started on humans.

      You've moved right on to justifications/excuses for doing so. Well then there's no debate here, no meeting of minds if you're honest about it. Why would we do more than allude to Hazlitt or von Mises if you lack the will or perhaps ability to deepen the inquiry?

      Care to try something different?

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    17. Yep, take no answer to mean what you want it to mean. Your charge wasn't worth responding to. What would be interesting would be a discussion of Islam, of the problem it presents us with, and of how to adequately and properly deal with it. That might be possible with Mark T, but it isn't possible with you.

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    18. Richard - If all you mean by "suppression" is to force a separation between church and state, then we agree. But the word implies, and you have suggested yourself that it should extend further than that into personal belief systems - a distinction you are not making, and a distinction that was critical in the victory over Japan. In pre-1945 Japan you could reasonably assume that near 100% of Japanese saw no possibility of spitting their religion from the state, but a split was forced on them nonetheless, and the religious doctrine had to adapt accordingly.

      It's also the case that 100% of Muslims don't want a theocratic state, and that's the reason that most victims of Islamic terrorism are Muslims. The battle is between various interpretations of their doctrine. To be sure the increasing danger from those who do want a theocratic state is a worrying trend, but it's counter-productive to regard the Muslims who don't want it as equally the enemy, and supress them as well.

      I believe you when you say that Islam when taken literally and consistently leads to a theocratic state, but religions by their nature can't be 100% consistent and surivive. If they were 100% consistent the Christian church would have supressed the Renaissance, the Vatican would still rule over much or Europe, and the Christian church would still be persecuting scientists.

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    19. Richard - If all you mean by "suppression" is to force a separation between church and state, then we agree.
      But the word implies, and you have suggested yourself that it should extend further than that into personal belief systems -

      In the context of Turkey, I was saying that was the mistake of the Kemalists. To not seal the deal through education. Kemal Ataturk suppressed Islam and brought Turkey into the modern world. Between then and now there's been more than one military coup to keep Turkey secular each time Islam started to regain a foothold, but education is the only thing that can make ongoing military coups unnecessary. It is what is required to seal the deal. Anyway, they failed, so we are going to have to deal with the consequences of that.

      Outside of the context of Turkey, and addressing specifically the forcible separation of Islam and State, I think you missed my point. To forcibly separate Christianity, is not to suppress Christianity, because union between Church and State is not a religious requirement of Christianity. I don't know, but I suspect that's the case for all religions, except for Islam. In Islam it is a religious requirement. Therefore, if you forcibly prevent it, you are suppressing it, and that is how a devout Muslim will see it.

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    20. " a distinction you are not making, and a distinction that was critical in the victory over Japan. In pre-1945 Japan you could reasonably assume that near 100% of Japanese saw no possibility of spitting their religion from the state, but a split was forced on them nonetheless, and the religious doctrine had to adapt accordingly."

      I think you are comparing apples to oranges. Shinto Japan and global Islam are two different beasts. In our own countries, we don't have to separate them, because they don't have control. Even so, we are dealing with Jihadists murdering people now on a daily basis. A suicide bombing in Germany, by a muslim migrant. A pregnant woman stabbed in the street yesterday in Germany, by a muslim migrant. An axe attack on a German train, by a muslim migrant, and so many more, all in the past few days. In the face of the idea that Islam should be separated from the State, they will just laugh at you, or sneer, and carry on doing what they're doing. This is a growing problem that needs to be solved.

      "It's also the case that 100% of Muslims don't want a theocratic state,"

      Given that the global jihad is entirely about enslaving the world under Islam, I'm a bit perplexed as to what you base that claim on. Clearly, massive numbers of Muslims do believe in a Caliphate.

      " and that's the reason that most victims of Islamic terrorism are Muslims. "

      They are victims because devout muslims consider them to be not devout enough, so they treat them as their religion teaches them to treat them. They are victims of their own religion.

      "The battle is between various interpretations of their doctrine."

      The battle is really between devout and less devout. Between the four mainstream schools of Islamic jurisprudence, there is no important disagreement over interpretation. They all largely agree with each other, but differ on small matters. When an Islamic spokesman tells you it's about interpretation, they're either lying, or deceiving you. More often than not, they are being deceitful.


      "To be sure the increasing danger from those who do want a theocratic state is a worrying trend, but it's counter-productive to regard the Muslims who don't want it as equally the enemy, and supress them as well. "

      It is a war, so it should be very worrying, and we need to act to win this war. That alternative is to lose. Perhaps you don't think there is a war. For arguments sake though I'd ask you to humour me and explain how you'd determine which muslim does or doesn't support the victory of Islam in this war so that you know, without a doubt, they're on the side of freedom and a surviving West.

      "I believe you when you say that Islam when taken literally and consistently leads to a theocratic state, but religions by their nature can't be 100% consistent and surivive. "

      Which is why I like the idea of isolating Islam. Let it stand or fall on it's own merits.

      "If they were 100% consistent the Christian church would have supressed the Renaissance, the Vatican would still rule over much or Europe, and the Christian church would still be persecuting scientists."

      Christianity has enough good in it to allow it to evolve and improve itself. It has shown that it can, and it has. You can live perfectly happily alongside Christians without fear of being head chopped. Even the worst of them, those Westboro nutcases, will not behead or murder you.

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    21. Mark, think of this interaction here as philosophically as you are the content. You think your ideas, facts, arguments are being presented to somebody disposed to process them. Are there any facts and evidence for that?

      Richard isn't processing the information that way any more, I don't know if he ever will again. All that you say is grouped into "opinion" and he will tell you you're in an out-group or in-group. I'm in the 'savages' out-group. Isn't that all this transaction really consists of, time and again? The pretense of discussing ideas is actually quite thin and he has literally admitted to what I've said here.

      Can you see what I see? High IQ people like us end up paralised, spinning our wheels for decades rather than practice libertarianism. If he can be reasoned with this isn't the way. It's like giving welfare to poverty, and you do understand that principle consistently in another context! Before we try to change someone else's mind we must first makes sure they have one.

      No disrespect Richard! Your past estimate of what debate can be justifies repeating this habit. Nobody ever listened to you, they just bludgeoned you with opinions, so the only safe strategy was to respond in kind. Wont you experiment with trusting Mark to appeal to reason just in case he is?

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    22. Mark your argument is a mess. There is simply no comparison between early 20th century Shintoism, Christianity during the Renaissance, and present day Islam. Richard has been very patient trying to explain this to you.

      You cannot separate the 'good' Muslims from the bad ones. Many western governments have tried this only for the children of 'good' Muslims to become radicalised and go on killing sprees. Bad idea.

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    23. This line was supposed to read as either ignorant, or deceiving. The gentleman in the video I just posted the link to agrees when he points out that IS is nothing new, that interpretation has been consistent for 1400 years.

      "When an Islamic spokesman tells you it's about interpretation, they're either lying, or deceiving you."

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  4. The Islamic State salute, which signifies a united Umma is widely known (although few know its meaning), but I didn't know the Muslim Brotherhood sign.

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2016/07/16/today-president-erdogan-presents-the-rabba-salute-affirming-ideological-alignment-with-muslim-brotherhood/

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  5. Letter from Herr Merkel to Erdogan.

    Ich werde sehr bald die Türkei in der EU haben. Willkommen Bruderschaft

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  6. A brave and rational man amidst a sea of savagery. Hopefully he lives to spread his message for a long time.

    http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/5597.htm

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