She’s got a mouth that produces a lot of mindless babble:
Former Howard Government MinisterÂ Amanda Vanstone is very keen to makes Islam seem as benign – or as threatening – as ChristianityÂ in her column forÂ The Age. Trouble is, to do so she must torture history in a way that is astonishing – and sad:
The Muslim and Christian religions have much in common.
The reason is for that is simple, of course, even if Vanstone’s conclusion is misleading: Mohammed cobbled bits from Christianity to create his new faith but then, as a warrior himself, added the war-like twist that makes the two faiths profoundly different.
Islam holds no monopoly on the production of radical fanatics. Hitler is a good example.
Pardon? Is Vanstone suggesting here that Christianity produced Hitler? In fact, Hitler was at war with Christianity, asÂ he himself explained: “National Socialism and religion cannot exist together…. The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity’s illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew… Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure.”
Muslim troops fought with the Allies in World War II, and Muslims in many capacities heroically stepped in and saved the lives of thousands of Jewish people.
Vanstone falis to add that the Mufti of Palestine wasÂ an ally of Hitler who recruited thousands of volunteers for the SS, that many Muslim terrorist groups such as Hamas today still sayÂ Jews are evilÂ and their land must be destroyed.
All of this is worth reflecting on now because of the heightened tension surrounding the so-called Islamic State and its recruitment of young Australians to fight its so-called holy war. Perhaps we need to be reminded of Ataturk’s common sense and goodwill.Â
Er, does Vanstone, our former Ambassador to Rome, understand why Ataturk – a hero of mine – is actually loathed by many Islamic leaders today?
What Ataturk did for Turkey would today be denounced as Islamophobic by the Left if attempted even in, say, Australia.Â As Ian Buruma explains:
Ataturk said in 1917 that he would change Turkish social life in one blow. And that, in 1923, is what he proceeded to do. Women were stripped of their veils, Islamic schools were closed and dervish brotherhoods were banned. Even wearing the Turkish fez was forbidden in the new society ruled by ‘’science, knowledge and civilization.’’
[Under Ataturk] the 1924 education monopoly law allowed only the state employees to teach, preach and interpret Islam… AtatÃ¼rk ordered that the call to prayer, ezan, had to be called in Turkish instead of Arabic. Imams were ordered to preach in Turkish. The Qur’an was translated into Turkish and printed in the Latin alphabet… AtatÃ¼rk needed a nationalized religion, an altered Turkish Islam, to protect secularism… He asked RÃ»seni Barkur, a deputy from Samsun, to write a book on nationalization of Islam. Barkur titled his book, Din Yok Millet Var, There is No Religion but Nation.,,
Article 163 of the Turkish penal code was the backbone of state control over religion. According to Article 163, any movement or person that aimed to change social, economical and political and judicial system of the state even partially based on religious principles and beliefs would be imprisoned up to fifteen years. Appealing to religion, religious books and sentiments for personal power would be punishable as well.32 Until it was abandoned in 1991, Article 163 was used to make sure no Islamic movement outside the state apparatus emerged to challenge the secular state. No civil Islamic group was legally allowed to provide religious education. The Turkish state did not want anyone other than state employees to teach, preach and even interpret Islam.
Memo to all readers of Vanstone’s column: no, Ataturk isn’t a reminder that Islam isn’t really a problem. He’s a reminder that it is, and brave steps must be taken to make it more compatible with a progressive, intellectually curious and diverse society.
That’s why I have an Ataturk poster in my study. A great Turk. A great man.
Perhaps. Perhaps not. The Armenian Genocide happened under Ataturk, so how great does that make him?
By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier
Those who want to shield today’s Turkey from responsibility for the Armenian
Genocide have sought to blame the Young Turk government of the Ottoman Empire
rather than the Republic of Turkey which was not established until 1923.
One wonders then why Turkish officials, who have tried every trick to deny
the facts of the Armenian Genocide, have not taken the easy way out by shifting
the blame for the Genocide to the long defunct Ottoman Empire.
A frequently advanced explanation is that Turks, as a proud people, cannot
accept that their ancestors committed the heinous crime of seeking to eliminate
an entire nation. Others have argued that should the Republic of Turkey blame
the Ottomans for the Armenian Genocide, it could be held legally liable as
the successor state to the Ottoman Empire.
In recent years, however, it has become clear, particularly through the
painstaking research conducted by Turkish scholar Taner Akcam, that a key reason
why today’s Turkish officials are not prepared to face their history honestly
and blame their Ottoman ancestors is that the Republic of Turkey is actually
the continuation of the Ottoman state. Indeed, many of the early leaders ofthe
Turkish Republic had been high-ranking Ottoman officials personally involved
in the implementation of the Armenian Genocide. Such an unbroken transitionin
leadership assured the continuity of the Ottomans’ anti-Armenian policies.
In retrospect, it has become apparent that these genocidal policies
stretched over a half century, starting with Sultan Abdul Hamid’s massacre of 300,000
Armenians in 1894-96, followed by the killings of 30,000 Armenians in Adanaby
the Young Turk regime in 1909, culminating in the Genocide of 1.5 million
Armenians in 1915-23, and the subsequent policies of forced Turkification and
deportation of tens of thousands of Armenians by the Republic of Turkey.
An important document from the U.S. archives, known until now to a handful
of scholars, was recently posted on an Armenian/Turkish website. It provides
incontestable evidence that Armenians continued to be uprooted from their native
lands and deported by the Republic of Turkey well into the 1930’s for purely
The document in question is a “Strictly Confidential” cable dated March 2,
1934, sent by U.S. Ambassador Robert P. Skinner from Ankara to the Secretary of
State in Washington, reporting the deportation of 600 Armenians from “the
interior of Anatolia to Istanbul.”
The Ambassador wrote: “It is assumed by most of the deportees that their
expulsion from their homes in Anatolia is a part of the Government’s program of
making Anatolia a pure Turkish district. They relate that the Turkish police,
in towns and villages where Armenians lived, attempted to instigate local
Moslem people to drive the Armenians away. =80Â¦ The Armenians were told that they had
to leave at once for Istanbul. They sold their possessions receiving for them
ruinous prices. I have been told that cattle worth several hundred liras a
head had been sold for as little as five liras a head. My informant stated that
the Armenians were permitted to sell their property in order that no one of
them could say that they were forced to abandon it. However, the sale underthese
conditions amounted to a practical abandonment.”
The Ambassador further reported: “The Armenians were obliged to walk from
their villages to the railways and then they were shipped by train to Istanbul. =80Â¦
The real reason for the deportations is unknown=80Â¦. It is likely, though, that
their removal is simply one step in the government’s avowed policy of making
Anatolia purely Turkish.”
Top be sure, in the 1920’s and 30’s thousands of Armenian survivors of the
Genocide were forced out from their homes in Anatolia to other locations in
Turkey or neighboring countries. These racist policies were followed in the
1940’s by Varlik Vergisi, the imposition of exorbitant wealth taxes on Armenians,
Greeks and xxxs, and the 1955 Istanbul pogroms during which many Greeks and
some Armenians and xxxs were killed and their properties destroyed.
This barbaric continuum of massacre, genocide and deportation highlights the
existence of a long-term stratagem implemented by successive Turkish regimes
from the 1890’s to recent times in order to solve the Armenian Question with
Consequently, the Republic of Turkey is legally responsible for its own
crimes as well as those committed by its Ottoman predecessors.
Islam, the religion of the professors:
In a certain sense it is true: the dividing line between good and evil is not between one group and another; rather, it is within every human heart. This article is trying to make that point, but also to go farther than that, to reinforce the fashionable relativism of the intelligentsia:
no moral distinctions can be made, everything and everyone is corrupt, and thus no effort against an evil such as the Islamic State is valid. Zimmerman’s line of thinking, followed out to its logical conclusion, would have the West abandon all efforts to defend itself and surrender to the global jihad.
What is astonishing is that this counsel of despair has become so mainstream, such that its author is a professor at a major university, and his piece is published in a respected newspaper. If our age weren’t so sick, both Zimmerman and the Los Angeles Times editors would never get close to any positions of influence.