Numan Kurtulmus, the deputy prime minister of Turkey, recently announced the following at a public meeting:
Independence means being able to stand up to kafirs (infidels) by calling them kafirs.
Kurtulmus was clarifying the Turkish government’s understanding of “independence” at a local meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). He discussed “the four fundamental elements on which the new Turkey has been established,” then explained the ideology behind the AKP’s stance:
In our dictionary, kafir is not the non-Muslim. In our dictionary, kafir is the despot, the oppressor, the one who persecutes people, and the imperialist. I am talking about our economic and political independence on these lands. We know Allah is one and we do not bow down or kneel down to anyone, other than before Allah. That is why as Turkey now advances in this path, some people are getting uptight.
However, according to Islamic scriptures, “kafir” is indeed the term used to define “non-Muslim,” and this term is used universally by Muslim societies to refer to non-Muslims, or “unbelievers.”
But there is even more to “kafir” than that. Dr. Bill Warner, the author of several books and articles on political Islam, explains just how dire the “kafir” label is within Islam:
The language of Islam is dualistic. As an example, there is never any reference to humanity as a unified whole. Instead there is a division into believer and kafir (unbeliever). Humanity is not seen as one body, but is divided into whether the person believes Mohammed is the prophet of Allah or not.
The Koran says that the “kafir” must be: hated (40:30); mocked (83:34); punished (25:77); beheaded (47:4); confused (6:25); plotted against (86:15); terrorized (8:12); annihilated (6:45); killed (4:91); crucified (5:33); and warred against (9:29).
A Muslim is not the friend of a kafir (3:28).
A kafir is ignorant (6:111), evil (23:97), disgraced (37:18), a partner of Satan (25:55), unclean (9:28), and cursed (33:60).
According to the official biography of Islam’s founder, Mohammed (Ishaq 759), the kafir is also to be raped.Writes Dr. Warner:
Christians and Jews are infidels, but infidels are kafirs, too. Polytheists are Hindus, but they are also kafirs. The terms infidel and polytheist are religious words. Only the word “kafir” shows the common political treatment of Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, animist, atheist, and humanist.
The Koran defines the kafir, and kafir is not a neutral word. A kafir is not merely someone who does not agree with Islam, but a kafir is evil, disgusting, the lowest form of life. Kafirs can be tortured, killed, lied to, and cheated.
In societies like Turkey that are already inclined to hate and attack those with different religions for theological reasons, the state authorities should speak and act in a careful and responsible way. But they often don’t.
Only a handful of human rights activists are trying to change things for the better and to protect the religious minorities in the country. Their efforts are invaluable, but their number is not many and their power over politics is limited.
Representatives of the Commission against Racism and Discrimination of the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) have announced that they are filing a criminal complaint against Kurtulmus for calling on Turkish citizens “to call a kafir a kafir”:
Kurtulmus is provoking discrimination against non-Muslim citizens of Turkey and viewing them as enemies.
The activists with the IHD also called on “the press as well as the opponents of racist and discriminatory hate speech that targets non-Muslim citizens of Turkey as enemies” to support them in efforts to bring Kurtulmus to account.
Targeting non-Muslims or “oppressors” as “kafirs” is no ordinary incident in a country like Turkey, which already has a long history and tradition of attacking and murdering its non-Muslim citizens. A small verbal incitement could be enough for Turkey’s Muslim citizens to target non-Muslims through threats, or even with deadly attacks and pogroms — such as the attacks on Greeks in Istanbul on September 6 and 7 in 1955.
Anatolia, the region in which most of Turkey is located, used to have a Christian majority with sizable Jewish and Yazidi communities prior to the Turkish-Islamic invasion in the 11th century. Today, only 0.2 % of Turkey’s population is non-Muslim: Christians and Jews. And the estimated population of Yazidi is only around 350, excluding the recent asylum seekers from Iraq and Syria.
With so few non-Muslims left in the country, the Turkish government also targets “kafirs” outside of Turkey — the Western world, or “imperialists.” The Islamic hatred of “others” is insatiable; the real “despots,” as Kurtulmus describes, are not the “kafirs” but the Islamic supremacists who never tire of trying to exterminate even the tiny, defenseless minorities under their rule.