The sermon

The sermon

The head of our Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) is very upset about the clash between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Gülen Community. He said, “The fight among the pious is harming our religion; it is distancing our youth from religion.”

Now, stealthily, he has inserted it in the Friday sermon, saying things like, “Do not turn your back on each other; do not stay cross at each other. There should not be any animosity; you are all brothers and sisters.”

Well, yes, but…

All throughout Islamic history, were there seven money cases found in the bedroom of any one of the pious? Doesn’t it distance our youth from religion, to pile dollar banknotes in shoe boxes, to fly to the umrah with black money, to turn the sacred lands into a center for distributing tenders? Dear hodja, why don’t you say a few words regarding these matters? Isn’t it necessary to cover these matters even if only with a few words?

We read it on the papers every day. There are many children of the Cabinet ministers… There is the son dealing with foundation affairs, the daughter with villas, and then there is the swindler brother-in-law and then the father-in-law who take commissions…

There are other brother-in-laws who carry bags full of cash, and then there is the mother-in-law who was able to buy 44 apartments with her retirement pension. You know how to give a brotherhood sermon… Why don’t you give another one on dynasty matters?

They have accused a Chief of General Staff of being a terrorist and jailed him, despite saying, “They have conspired against us. They said we were going to bomb a mosque. I am calling out to those without a conscience. How can an army who advances calling the name of God, with cries of ‘Allah’ bomb the house of Allah?” Where were you then, hodja? Didn’t the Diyanet, which had a vision, ideas to say from Reiki to Yoga, have any words for the army?

You collect money during the holy month of Ramadan to send to Somalia and Myanmar. The prosecutor who was removed from the Deniz Feneri (Lighthouse) file, didn’t he openly say, “There is a power who is protecting the thieves of alms; I call this power the emperor of thieves.” Since alms, the zakat, are the field of interest of your directorate, the Diyanet… Isn’t it yours? Or is it the Atomic Energy Authority?
They have called him the leader who has gathered all the features of Allah SWT. From political parties to the chamber of tailors, from the association of café owners to the cooperative of egg producers, everybody has condemned it. Didn’t we hear the Diyanet’s reaction? Didn’t your directorate hear this polytheism, fetish, did they, hodja? When brothers are at the throats of their brothers, we fuel their fight and send truckloads of arms there. Why don’t you say, then, that they are brothers? Syrians who take refuge in our country are the human beings, and the other Syrians are monkeys, is that so hodja?
The have said they drank bear inside the mosque; you have not said anything. There were inappropriate acts in the mosque, they have accused; you kept silent. They have said mosques were made barns during the Atatürk era, you again keep quiet. To slander, to keep quiet before a slander, is that correct, hodja? If Atatürk converted all the mosques into barns, then who has established the Directorate you are heading, the Mass Housing Authority (TOKİ)?

Look, yesterday there was the first hearing for Ali İsmail’s case. He was beaten to death in the middle of the street. It could be this Friday, the other Friday. It can be any other Friday.

Do you consider asking this question in any of the sermons, hodja?

*Yılmaz Özdil is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this piece was published on Feb 4. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.