Living by the ‘de jure’ sword

Living by the ‘de jure’ sword

Islamists often – but not always – come in two flavors: Those who would decapitate an infidel, take out his heart and eat it in front of cameras, like the “freedom fighter” in Syria; and those who have the same sentiments and goals but pursue smarter means to Islamize the whole universe, including “lesser Muslims,” through “de jure” methods. The most preferred de jure methodology is “majoritarianism.”

Turkey is the world’s best example of how smartly smarter Islamists function – and how de jure!

On April 15, 2013, the world-renowned Turkish pianist Fazıl Say was sentenced to a 10-month suspended prison sentence for tweeting and retweeting words that some Muslims, all Islamists and “independent” judges thought insulted Muslims and their faith.

A couple of days ago, Turkish-Armenian linguist and former columnist Sevan Nişanyan was condemned to 13 months in prison (not suspended) for alleged blasphemy against Muslims in a blog comment.

Mr. Nişanyan’s “Hrant Dink-style” conviction came on the same day a parliamentary commission, with the majority of votes from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies, passed new restrictions on the sale and consumption of alcohol, the Islamists’ nemesis beverage.

As this column was written, the lawyer and women’s rights activist Canan Arın was awaiting trial which could put her in jail for five years because, in a conference speech on “child brides,” she had criticized the Prophet Muhammad for marrying, according to some accounts, a 9-year-old, and President Abdullah Gül, for marrying, according to official accounts, a 15-year-old. Mrs. Arın has been prosecuted for “denigrating the values embraced by all or a part of the society,” and for “insulting the president.”

Ironically, this trial takes place in a country where the government, in rhetoric, has launched a campaign against child brides. Turkey looks like a lost soul: Marrying a 15-year-old girl is normal but the government fights underage marriages and an activist who criticizes child marriages faces a five-year prison sentence!

Fortunately, criticizing rape or sexual harassment has not yet fallen into the catalogue of crimes under the heading “denigrating the values embraced by all or a part of the society,” since Turkish criminal statistics show that quite a number of Turks have embraced both as their values.

Only a few weeks before the inflow of “halal courtroom news,” a Turkish sociologist had likened atheism to autism, not because both words start with an “a” and end with the suffix “ism,” but because he believed that autistic children cannot go to heaven. The professor, who happens to be the chairman of an association that should provide care and education for autistic children, even proudly unveiled his plans to provide therapy for autistic children “so that they could become faithful children.” In a saner country, of course, the sociologist would have been forced to have therapy “so that he could become a saner scientist” – if not arrested for child abuse.

And three days ago, Mahmut Macit, a senior member of AKP’s Ankara provincial board, flared up about insults against believers with a tweet that read: “My blood boils when spineless psychopaths pretending to be atheists swear at my religion. These raped types should be annihilated.”

Mr. Macit probably falls into the third category of Islamists: Those Islamists who officially belong to the second category but cannot hide their true sentiments that they actually belong to the first category.

You may dislike Mr. Macit, or condemn him for his remarks which no prosecutor will think “denigrate the values embraced by all or a part of the society.” But at least you must thank him for being honest while his second-category peers quietly praise him, even while publicly denouncing him.