On the borderline of craziness

On the borderline of craziness

Whistling while the national anthem of a rival team was being played and whistling and chanting slogans during a moment of silence for the innocent victims who lost their lives in the Paris massacre – these shameful acts took place just the other night in Istanbul. 

The prime ministers of both Turkey and Greece were watching a friendly football between the two nations. These very ugly actions occurred while the Greek national anthem was playing and while a moment of silence was being observed for the victims of the Paris Massacre.

“Football hooliganism” is a fact everywhere in the world. However, the footage of what happened in Istanbul the other day shows us that this is not entirely football hooliganism but rather the outpourings of a seriously worrisome build-up of political rage. 

Were there not, also, similar ugly outbreaks during the national team’s game with Iceland in the Central Anatolian city of Konya, immediately after the Oct. 10 massacre conducted by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Ankara? 

I applaud the coach of our national team, Fatih Terim, the captain of our national team, Arda Turan, player Olcay Şahan and other footballers who reacted to this ugliness. They made us proud when our faces were red with shame.  

Boiling with rage  

Why do we like angry rallies and demonstrations so much but are not interested in conferences, museums, exhibitions and concert halls? 

Why do angry speeches that are full of revenge thrill us?  

Don’t we ever experience these incidents when angry crowds attack and vandalize homes, offices, political party buildings, hotels and branches of banks?  

Do we need to be reminded of the atrocities that occurred in Sivas, Çorum and Maraş? 

Wasn’t it just yesterday that the Kurdistan Communities Union, a supra organization of Kurdish groups that includes the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), provoked the Oct. 6-8 events, in which bloody vandalism occurred?

These are all serious and bloody lessons showing us how crowds, boiling with rage and fed by anger, can become barbarous. 

Political anger and the desire for conflict, as seen in these outbreaks in stadiums, are alarming signals of where we may be dragged to. 

God is great 

The chanting of the angry crowds “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) demonstrates how religious cognition has been molded into a political slogan, emptying the profundity it actually contains. The place of profoundness has been filled by rage, something that is sad and very concerning.

The expression “Allahu Akbar” is being used by angry crowds in one location and elsewhere before beheadings and the killing of innocent people by bombs. 

This magnificent expression has somehow become the slogan of angry crowds and crazed militants. 

The call to prayer of the followers of Muhammad starts with “Allahu Akbar” five times a day and ends with “La ilaha illallah,” (There is no deity but God). 

Now, every Muslim has to ask: When crazed crowds attack, torch and destroy this and that, when terrorists massacre innocent people with bombs and when they chant “Allahu Akbar,” what kind of “Islam” are they showcasing to humanity? One should ask how they are fueling Islamophobia with these acts.

It is genuine Muslims who should react the most to this. 

Shared right: Moderation  

Political polarization, angry political speeches and conflicting political styles nurture the sick psychology in the masses. 

Weren’t the Talibans, the al-Qaedas and the ISILs of the world all born and cultivated in regions that are always full of clashes and rage? 

Look at their discourses; they are no different than Hitler’s. There is a rage at the level of craziness, and there are “hostile” people who physically need to be destroyed. 

I suggest that the political science departments of universities conduct academic studies associating the language and style of terror organizations with those of Hitler and Stalin to compare their perceptions of the “enemy.”

If a society is polarized to an extreme extent by everyday sentiments such as religion, sect and political support or provoked with angry political speeches, then we are being pushed down a very dangerous path.

It means we are on the borderline of insanity. 

There is one absolute right above all ideologies: Moderation, mercy and tolerance.