Last month in Berlin, Federal Interior Minister Hans Peter Friedrich was speaking of his government’s “fight against every kind of terrorism including racist and Islamist terrorists,” when his speech was abruptly interrupted by his Turkish guest, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. Mr. Davutoğlu said Islamist terror did not exist.
Recently, I tried to find out. First, I Googled “mfnxdq” and found no results. Then I tried “Islamist terror,” and the page gave me 73,400,000 results. How bizarre! The search engine had fabricated over 73 million results for something that did not exist.
Sorry, Your Excellency, you should be able to understand the term “Islamist terror” does not associate Islam with terror; it simply describes acts of terror for the advancement of political Islam. A German might feel offended by the term neo-Nazi terror, but this will not change the fact racist terror does exist. In the same reasoning, neo-Nazi terror does in no way associate all Germans with terror. It simply describes acts of terror for the supremacy of the German race.
Sadly, there can be Islamist, Christian, Judaist, Shinto, racist, atheist, secularist and leftist terror if acts of violence are committed for the advancement of any of these tags with a political connotation. The bitter truth, Professor Davutoğlu, is Islamic terror will not cease to exist just because you say it does not exist.
In fact, Mr. Davutoğlu, we can invent other types of terrorism, too. Let me begin with one: Intellectual terror. This one would refer to selective tolerance of acts of terror based on the chosen faith and/or ideology. Any mindset that would automatically produce argumentation like “Muslims don’t kill,” “Muslims never commit genocide” and “Muslims don’t commit terror” or “Christians never kill” and “No German is racist” would make mentally fertile terrain for intellectual terror.
In the World Policy Conference in Vienna last month, President Abdullah Gül said, “If we do not punish the perpetrators on the grounds of their so-called insanity, fighting terrorism will be an impossible job.” The president was referring to the Norwegian maniac Anders Behring Breivik, the confessed perpetrator of the July attacks that killed 78 people in order to “preserve European Christendom.” That was a single act of “Christianist” terror.
From a per se standpoint, President Gül was right to demand justice for a horrible act of terror. But the broader picture may be less nice than Mr. Gül would prefer. A few days after Mr. Gül demanded justice for the Norwegian massacre, he spoke of “Hamas’ hand of peace” being extended to Israel.
I wonder if Mssrs. Gül and Davutoğlu would share with us their thoughts on Samir Kuntar, who had been released in 2008 in exchange for the body of Ehud Goldwasser, one of the three Israeli soldiers abducted in 2006.
As I wrote in this column recently, Mr. Kuntar today is a hero among Palestinians, other Arabs – and possibly many Turks, too. What had made him a hero? He had killed an Israeli man in front of the man’s 4-year-old daughter and then killed the daughter by bashing her head with his rifle. Hence, a hero Mr. Kuntar is. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave Mr. Kuntar a medal for “supporting the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance.”
What, for example, would Mr. Gül and Mr. Davutoğlu think of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s medal for Mr. Kuntar? It should not be too difficult to guess. For a clue, simply refer to senior Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh’s words of gratitude to Turkey: “We thank Turkey, which hosts our brothers saved from Israeli prisons.” Brothers like Mr. Kuntar... Or sisters like Amana Muna, who arrived in Turkey as part of the Israeli-Hamas prisoner swap in October... Ms. Muna had got life imprisonment after using an Internet chat to tempt a 16-year-old Israeli to come to Ramallah where he was ambushed and killed.
President Gül has a point. Fighting terrorism can sometimes be an impossible job.