They were so fixated on how a Muslim should not celebrate Christmas.
Any outside observer would think that full-bearded old Muslim men were wandering around laughing “ho ho ho” on New Year’s and were coming out of mosques in Santa Claus costumes, trying to cheer everybody up...
You would think there was a spree of buying gifts to each other for New Year’s even in the most conservative families...
You would think that some of our people, who want to fully live their religion, were forced to eat dried nuts and fruits every New Year’s Eve. Seeing all this reaction, you’d think our pious people were bullied into celebrating the New Year...
As a matter of fact, in this country, none of our “haji uncles” were dressed up as Santa and nobody was forcing dried nuts down somebody’s throat at gunpoint.
Well, what was the reason for all that fanfare about Muslims not celebrating Christmas? What was trying to be done?
It was quite simple. It was some kind of bullying that could be summarized as “Others, too, will live the way I live,” or an imposition that can be summed up as “Now, I rule in this country. Everybody has to live the way I do.”
This was the atmosphere intended to be created. And against this atmosphere that was trying to be formed, none of the statesmen came up and said, “Don’t be ridiculous, everybody can live the way they wish, what is it to you? Why do you interfere into the lives of others?”
But, despite everything, it is true that the Reina massacre did not occur because of this atmosphere created. Even if such an atmosphere was not created, such a massacre could have taken place. As a matter of fact, in France and Germany, similar massacres took place even though such an atmosphere was out of question.
But it is also correct that those who wanted to associate this massacre with this atmosphere, a golden opportunity was created for them. A horrible perception has been formed. It has caused people now to instill the utmost grudge against each other.Seven Q&A
1- What is the symbolic importance of targeting Reina? Even though it was quite outdated domestically, it held an important place in Turkey’s international image.
2- How come the massacre took place despite all warnings? Even with all the warnings, alarms and intelligences, there was only one policeman on duty at Reina.
3- What could be the main aim of the Reina massacre? There could be 80 aims, but the most basic one is inciting hatred between people who celebrate the New Year and those who don’t.
4- What now? Are we not going to discuss security weaknesses? I guess we won’t because some of us are working hard to prevent the debate instead of working hard against the weakness.
5- What will happen to those who put a gun to Santa Claus’ head? You may be against New Year’s celebrations, but when you start expressing it with violence and arms, then it is a hate crime.
6- What can be said about the statement released by the head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet)? It is very important. “There is no difference between committing this inhumane massacre in a marketplace or a sanctuary,” he said. I wish a similar sensitivity would have been shown before New Year’s Eve and in Friday prayer sermons.
7- Will there be any procedures taken against those who praise terror? I am also very curious on this. At such a time when social media is so closely monitored and everybody is detained, let us see if anything will be done to those who wrote “The infidels have been removed, it feels good...”