In Kuwait, Hamad al-Naqi received a 10-year sentence, the maximum, for allegedly insulting Muhammad, his wife, and their friends. Al-Naqi claimed his Twitter account was hacked and someone else sent the messages. If true, that would be a very deadly way of getting someone else into trouble, right? Elsewhere, on the “Arab Spring” front, the Tunisian minister of religious affairs has sought indictment on blasphemy charges of Jelil Brick, a longtime dissident fighter against the former dictatorship who lives in Paris and makes YouTube videos. Brick previously survived an Islamist assassination attempt.
But unlike those Arab countries, Turkey has been a secular republic for decades. Its “progress” toward Islamization could not have been more obvious for the last few years, but the Western mass media generally ignores the evidence. The only thing that would save Turkey is if the current regime gets voted out of office before things go beyond a point of no return, and such an electoral defeat is not on the horizon.
I’d address this issue in my regular column in a Turkish newspaper — but I can’t since that was cancelled within a few minutes of my sending in an article (not published) that criticized the government.
I’d have a correspondent in Turkey write about this for you, but my Turkish friends — even ones who have historically been courageous — are now all too afraid to do so. I could possibly publish something about it in the journal I edit, Turkish Studies, but only because a Turkish government-inspired effort to get me removed as editor failed miserably.
Meanwhile, the court system in Turkey is — as you can see, above — being undermined. Tens of thousands of graduates of Islamic madrassas are now recognized as holding the equivalent of a college degree so they can be put into high civil service posts from which they will administer the state with as much Shariah as they dare implement this week.
For a decade now the Justice and Development Party has been in power, marching toward Islamism with far greater patience than the Muslim Brotherhood could ever muster. It has now crossed the point of no return. I could provide scores of other examples. Here’s one: a liberal Turk who was extolling the ruling party not long ago explained that his family’s babysitter wears “Islamic” garb, even though she isn’t a believer. Why? Because if she didn’t wear those clothes in her Istanbul neighborhood when she’s walking to work at his house, she’d be beaten.
Ponder on what Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish republic, warned:
Those who use religion for their own benefit are detestable. We are against such a situation and will not allow it. Those who use religion in such a manner have fooled our people; it is against just such people that we have fought and will continue to fight.
But now in Turkey that fight is a distinctly uphill one.