Ayaan Hirsi Ali offers valid reasons why we should still be concerned over the Islamists’ intentions in Turkey. Regardless of the secularists’ impressive show of numbers in the streets of Istanbul this past week, the Islamists have more tricks up their sleeves.
Ali: “Dawa, a tactic inspired by Islam’s founder, Muhammad. Dawa means to preach Islam as a way of life, including a way of government, perpetually and with conviction. Every convert is obligated to preach Islam to others, creating a grass-roots movement. The secularists in Turkey underestimated this pillar and thus neglected competing with the Islamists for the hearts and minds of the electorate. Polls suggest that 70% of voters might still elect Gul president if Erdogan succeeds in changing the constitution so that the president can be elected directly. Any protest from the secularists against this evident popular will sounds irrational and undemocratic.”
What is indicative of European ignorance –where Islamism is concerned– can be seen in Finnish EU bureauocrat, Ollie Rehn’s (EU Enlargement Commissioner) demand for the only pillar (in this case the army) safe guarding Turkey’s democratic secularism, to stand clear of any involvement in (Islamist) Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s attempt to be made the president of Turkey.
Rehn stated concerning the Turkish armies veiled threats: “The timing is rather surprising and strange,” he said on the sidelines of a Brussels Forum on transatlantic relations. “It’s important that the military respects also the rules of the democratic game and its own role in that democratic game.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali goes on to say that:
If they (Islamists) show the same restraint and patience that have brought them this far, they may achieve their aim by continuing to court membership in the European Union. Well-meaning but naive European leaders were manipulated by the ruling Islamists into saying that Turkey’s army should be placed under civil control, like all armies in EU member states.
While the involvement of Turkey’s army –and vanguard of its secular democracy– in politics is not the best of scenarios, clearly the strengthening of the Islamists’ hold on Turkish society is much worse, and shows just how wrong headed European bureaucrats are concerning Islamism is general. EU leaders must wake up to the reality that Islamism is anti-democratic and therefore not a “third way”, anymore than communism was. More here. *L* KGS