Jihad romance: We’d love you dearly if you converted!
According to the findings of an international survey, Turks adore themselves but not any other nation, and the world does not care much for them overall. Yet maybe it is better this way, as “to love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance,” according to Oscar Wilde; or to quote Paul Valery “love is being stupid together.”
It looks as though the Turks have faith in a lifelong romance. According to Transatlantic Trends, an annual survey of public opinion, 85 percent of Turks have a favorable view of their own country — where even ducks can be raped (“Man rapes duck in Turkish village – Hürriyet Daily News – Sept. 14, 2012).
But this “un-love” for other nations is not unrequited: Only 42 percent of the EU12 and 43 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of Turks and Turkey.
And according to an Islamist columnist, Turkey, (post-Assad) Syria and Libya should spearhead efforts to build an “Islamic commonwealth.” “Those were the days,” this columnist wrote with a painful longing for the good old days when even “non-Muslim women in Muslim lands had to cover their heads with a scarf.”
According to another Islamist columnist the only way we can come to love America is if the whole country converted to Islam! Simple, just like Malcolm X did, he wrote. Sure, he promised, we shall love America if Americans lived true Muslim lives and “therefore, they did not kill, steal or provoked enmity.” Perhaps the Americans should consider this generous offer if they want to be loved by the Turks and other Muslims. Once in a love affair, the now Muslim-Americans and Turks can be stupid together.
But being Turkish is quite a face value these days: on the Middle East kidnapping market Turkish passports are real top value. Before the second kidnapped Turk in Lebanon was freed, Yemeni tribesmen kidnapped a Turkish bus driver in the country’s south to push the government to release a jailed kinsmen. At the current pace of kidnappings, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs may soon have to launch a “Special Department for the Release of Kidnapped Nationals.”
Turks may prefer to be “unhappy alone than unhappy with someone else.” But it is sad that the famous motto we all learned at school in the 50s to the late 80s is still enjoying overwhelming popularity despite the collapse of Kemalism: “A Turk’s only friend is a Turk.” Religion per se has failed to spark the love affair Turkish Islamists hoped it would ignite with other Muslim nations. Apparently, Muslimness does not suffice: Which sect are you? Which tribe are you? Do you believe in Shariah? Are you secular? Do you shake hands with women? Why do you have your wedding ring on your left hand? Are you an Arab Muslim or non-Arab? Why did your ancestors enslave ours for centuries?
Perhaps more... Even Sunni Muslim Turks and Sunni Muslim Kurds are killing each other in one of world’s most violent conflicts of the past half century. Apparently, there will be further bloodshed as long as Turkish bigwigs believe that “a common faith” can solve this dispute. Remember how the Turkish interior minister called the PKK fighters a few months ago? “Oh, they are pork-eating Zoroastrians!” And, more recently, how did a lawmaker from the ruling Justice and Development Party refer to them? “Ah, oh, uh, these kids are Armenian converts!”
We have no means to know if the honorable lawmaker knows things we don’t, like whether the Turkish authorities perform human skull tests to determine the race of enemy fighters. We don’t know either if that lawmaker is equipped with a surreal talent to tell a body’s ethnic background just by looking at a photograph.
But in this age of Sunni-Muslim-Turkish supremacy, nothing should be surprising. Dear seven billion plus inhabitants of the world: We will love you if you convert to (Sunni) Islam and adopt Turkishness! No deadlines, but just be smart enough not to miss this chance.