Islam, May 1998
A Well-Meaning, Momentous Warning
Prof. Dr. Halil Necatioglu
Islam is the truth; Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala created Adam and revealed Torah to Moses and Gospel to Jesus, also revealed Quran to Mohammed and appointed him a leader and a messenger for the entire mankind. Every human being, be it a Jew, a Christian, a Buddhist, or else, is required to believe in him, and follow his path. If one wants to attain happiness in this world and in the hereafter, there is no valid religion or belief other than Islam. Islam is the truth; Islam is the only path to follow.
Islam does not contradict reason, logic, science, or facts of life. It is also attractive, sound, straightforward, reasonable, positive, and fruitful. Hundreds of thousands of people who had other faiths have studied Islam and joined the ranks of Muslims. Almost every day we receive news about conversions to Islam.
As Turks, we have accepted Islam since the Eight Century. We have lived in compliance with Islam, serve Islam, and lead the Muslim countries. We have had significant contributions to Islamic arts, literature, and architecture. We have formed a fine, noble, and high Islamic civilization that has been admired by the world societies. Islam is the foundation of our national identity; it is the source of our traditions, lifestyle, manners, code of conduct, taste, enthusiasm, generosity, brevity, and mercy. God forbid, if we distance ourselves from Islam, we lose it all in this world and in the hereafter.
Our country has been entrusted us by our forefathers who were unselfish, generous, practicing Muslims. We owe them these lands and our victories, freedom, independence, and national anthem.
As the new generations, we are the continuation of this historic flow. In other words, it is natural for us to love Islam and comply with its rules. For instance, Zubeyde Hanim wore hijab, so will my daughter or my grandchild. Latife Hanim wore a chadoor, so will some of our sisters. M. Kemal attended the Friday prayer, delivered sermons and praised Islam; naturally, many brothers would want to attend the prayer and listen to the sermon today. The first Grand Assembly of the Representatives was initiated with prayers and recitations and consisted of Islamic scholars, shaikhs and people with beards, turbans, cloaks; verily they will be remembered with official ceremonies and followed naturally today.
All these indicate that our state, our religiosity, our hijab, our beards, our prayers, our fast, our sacrifice, our dhikr, and our recitations have historical bases; they are logical and reasonable. What is strange, unnatural, foreign, uncivilized, inhumane, illogical and unacceptable is the enmity towards them and attempts to ban them. How did this enmity towards Islam, hijab, Imam-Khatib Schools, Quran Courses and mosques started in our country? What is the intention of those who label people as revolutionary and backward, who attack and ban the companies, charitable organizations and foundations that are established by practicing Muslims? Where did this oppressive, bloodthirsty, barbaric mentality that not only disregards the basic human rights, laws, constitution, democracy and freedom but also invites a dictatorship and a coup come from? Who are these enemies of democracy, freedom, constitution, law and order, justice, rights, and belief? Who are supporting them? What is their number? What is the cure of this terrible disease?
Everybody in the country and abroad poses this question and expresses his disappointment, sorrow, and worries.
This mentality is threatening the peace in the country. The religious people are uneasy; people, divided; the enmity and hatred, at the climax. The whole country has been turned into a barrel full of gun powder ready to explode. All signs, indicators, rumors, and statements verify this fact.
We love our country, people, nation, military, freedom, religion and beliefs, and peace. We mean well yet feel extremely sorry for the present state of the country. Those who are in charge have to feel the tension among our people and realize that patience is reaching the limits. They must not allow anybody to violate the constitution, laws, and the rights and freedoms of religion, conscience, worship, trading, politics, election and being elected, education and enterprise; otherwise, they and the whole country will suffer a grave disaster.
I invite all who may concern to have common sense, conscience, fairness, and justice. Uphold the human rights, constitution, law and order, and respect the Grand National Assembly. Be respectful, patient, peaceful and calm. Keep your words, and have manners, moderation and virtue.