by Barry Rubin
I’ve already written about how former President Bill Clinton, in line with the Obama Administration’s thinking, acted as an apologist and even booster of Turkey’s Islamist regime. Now the State Department is doing it. Indeed, this is a fascinating little example of how thoroughly Islamists bamboozle the West.
The State Department issued its annual religious freedom report. If you look at the section on Turkey, you will see that a main—perhaps the main—source is Mazlum-Der, which is the Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed People. What could be better than human rights and helping oppressed people?
Unfortunately, Mazlum-Der is a front for the Islamist government in Turkey and the main oppressed people it’s concerned about are Hamas, Hizballah, and others of that ilk.
In fact, this group is headed by an Islamist member of parliament for the Adiyaman district who comes from the ruling party, Faruk Unsal, who has been personally involved in repressing those criticizing the regime through trumped-up treason charges! [To hide Unsal's identity, his name appears only on the Turkish, not the English language site, and neither tell you about his political role.]
As for the group, to give an example, on May 1 it organized a rally in
So the State Department, by using a radical group as a source, falls into the Islamist trap in several ways:
--Religious Muslims in
--There is no mention whatsoever of the real oppression going on, which is of secularists who are being forced out of jobs, not given government contracts, sent to jail, sued by the government, or even facing violence.
--While the report does discuss the situation of non-Muslims in
What is particularly amazing is that the
The report's wording has to be seen to be believed:
“Officers and noncommissioned officers were dismissed periodically for ignoring repeated warnings from superior officers and for maintaining ties to what the military considered Islamic fundamentalist organizations…."
So could the
"Some members of the military, judiciary, and other branches of the bureaucracy continued to wage campaigns against what they label as Islamic fundamentalism. These groups view religious fundamentalism as a threat to the secular state.
"Reports by Mazlum-Der, the media, and others indicated that the military periodically dismissed religiously observant Muslims from military service. Such dismissals were based on behavior that military officials believed identified these individuals as Islamic fundamentalists, which officials believed could indicate disloyalty to the secular state.”
Islamic fundamentalists in the army are a threat to the secular state? Where could they possibly have gotten that idea?
Note, too, the contradiction. The army says it warns people first and then dismisses them only if they refuse to break connections to radical groups. But Islamists claim these soldiers are being persecuted because they are "religiously observant Muslims." This is nonsense.
But, remember, this is what the
And this is a violation of religious freedom? Remember that an “Islamic fundamentalist” is someone who holds a political ideology advocating
Well, at least the
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.