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BURAK BEKDİL > Crash of civilizations in the age of ‘Holympics’

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News from the world of “Holympics” is increasingly bordering on the absurd, humor and insanity. When I wrote “Holympic games (I) and (II)” in this column (Oct. 31, 2012 and Nov. 2, 2012), I thought that there would be no room for the international competition among the silliest to be the holiest for another year or so. I now know I was wrong.

I started the day by reading a news bulletin about a “scientific” Turkish book, “Goethe and Islam,” which proudly announced that “in addition to the controversy regarding whether Johann Wolfgang Goethe was Muslim, there is now proof that the German writer, artist and politician was not only Muslim but also Turkish!”

The author, an associate professor, documents that Goethe descended from a Turkish Seljuk officer, Mehmet Sadik Selim, who was taken hostage and taken to Germany during the Crusades. Most probably, Goethe was not a Christian since the cross was among the four things he disliked. But the other three make his Turkishness even more dubious: tobacco smoke, bugs and garlic.

But I expect Turkish scientists to work more vigorously and prove that Albert Einstein descended from a pious Muslim Ottoman family and that Osama bin Laden was a crypto-Jew. Likewise, the Islamophobes in Europe can always compete with theories that Hitler was a crypto-Muslim. Who, really, was Gandhi? Depends on who you ask. He could be a crypto-Jew, Muslim or Christian. But certainly he was not Indian. And I always thought Bill Gates’ looks betrayed his Anatolian roots. Does he not look like a typical grocer in Konya?

The competition is increasingly tough on the “rape discipline.” The week’s holy front-runners were a Muslim cleric and an Indian guru. A Wahhabi religious cleric in Saudi Arabia, Muhammed al-Arifi, has issued a fatwa (a religious edict) that permits all jihadist militants in Syria to engage in short-lived marriages with Syrian women that each lasts for a few hours in order to satisfy their sexual desires and boost their determination in killing. The cleric termed the marriage as “intercourse marriage,” and said it requires that the Syrian females be at least 14 years old, widowed or divorced.

The holy license to rape may be both holy and a license. But it marks a retreat from the usual Saudi vigor in Holympics in which team members had gone as far as legitimizing marriage with 9-to-12-year-old girls. The Saudis should work harder, especially since they face a serious Indian challenge.

In India, spiritual leader Asaram Bapu said the victim of a gang-rape who died on Dec. 29, 2012, was equally guilty for getting raped. The popular guru said the girl could have avoided rape had she taken “guru diksha” and chanted the “Saraswati Mantra.” She should have taken God’s name and asked for mercy, he added.

No doubt, that’s a great service to humanity. In the uncivilized parts of the world, women are advised to use special gadgets and alert the police in the event of a threat of sexual harassment. Just forget it, dear ladies, if faced with the threat of rape, you should take guru diksha and chant the Saraswati Mantra. Chanting while being raped may be good for your psychology.

Meanwhile, the mind that made Goethe a Muslim Turk did not forget to challenge the evil Santa Claus during his adherents’ New Year celebrations. The Islamist Anatolian Youth Association staged a demonstration before the end of the year at Istanbul University to protest Santa Claus, whom they accused of being an anti-Muslim man.

The group carried placards decrying the “decadence of morality” and stabbed a Santa Claus figure in front of curious onlookers. While being stabbed, Santa kept on smiling at his stabbers. Now you might think the group that stages the annual Santa-stabbing festivities were a bunch of mad men. But at least they were respectful of animal rights as they did not shoot Santa’s reindeer.

There is, of course, Greece’s Golden Dawn as well, but they deserve at least 20 column inches, which go beyond my editor’s space limitations.

January/11/2013

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