The Reina massacre, religion and rage

The Reina massacre, religion and rage

We entered the New Year with the horrific massacre carried out in Istanbul’s popular night club Reina. Savagery, cowardice, barbaric and cruel... This is where words fail. At least 39 innocent people have been brutally massacred only because they attended a New Year’s celebration. May God rest their souls in peace. I share the pain of their loved ones.

All terror acts are of course condemned, they are of course protested. The distinctive nature of the terror committed in Reina is that it was a “massacre on lifestyle.” Innocent people having fun were massacred because of their lifestyles.

The common protest phrases that are constantly used for terror acts, the calls for unity and togetherness should not oversee the “lifestyle” factor, because if rage is fed and maintained through lifestyles or life choices then unfortunately only taking security measures will not be adequate to prevent the emergence of such barbarians.

The other day, I was reading a mind-opening piece by theologian Professor Mustafa Öztürk on daily Karar. Professor Öztürk said, “In the Islamic world, particularly on the territory of Turkey, religion has almost turned into a rage ideology.” He repeated this phrase a couple of times.

The increasingly spreading disgraces such as “stigmatizing, defamation, killing of reputation and hitting under the belt in the name of criticism” also find their way in media.

Professor Öztürk stated that the cycle of violence generated by terror organizations such as the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), al-Nusra and Hashd al-Shaabi with so-called Islamic references also stem from rage.

On the first day of the year, the government’s spokespeople have condemned the terror in Reina with their strongest expressions, they emphasized that the fight against terror would continue, but they did not comment on the “lifestyle” factor.

These words from the Head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) Professor Mehmet Görmez have given me the feeling of consolation in the midst of so much pain.

“There is no difference whether this inhumane act is committed in a bazaar, a place of worship, or in an entertainment place… The only thing that differentiates the terrorist action committed tonight from others is that it aims to divide the nation and incite people based on hatred against different lifestyles,” Görmez said.

Professor Görmez also righteously said that this massacre “can never be accepted by any Muslim conscience.”

Imagine, we hear such correct, ethic and conscience voices in the name of the same religion on one hand and on the other hand there are bombs, automatic weapons, massacres and screams.

I researched the other day and found out that the first act of this kind of killing by ISIL had killed 38 Christians who were celebrating Christmas on Dec. 25, 2013, in Baghdad.

They have attacked holiday resorts, clubs, music halls, weddings, restaurants and bars…

The latest was the Christmas massacre on Dec. 19, 2016 in Berlin and the New Year’s massacre on the first night of 2017 in Istanbul. I counted some 15 attacks, maybe there are more.

We must ask “Why?” Moreover, there are terrorists coming from all religions and races but why are all the lifestyle- and religion-based terrorist acts coming from Muslim societies? Why are they; the Taliban, al-Qaeda, ISIL, Boko Haram and al-Nusra in so many numbers?