by Halil Necatioglu*

Because Iraq invaded Kuwait, a violent war has begun in the Middle East. The places where many great Muslim Scholars and saints, such as Imam Abu-Hanifa and Abdul-Qadir-i Geylani, lived and were buried are under fire. Bombs are pouring down on Baghdad, the storytale city of golden domes, whose beauty is legendary and in the adage: "There is no beloved like one's mother, and no place like Baghdad." Thousands of people are in the midst of blood, billions of dollars are being lost, and cities are being destroyed.

Abandoning the cold war, the East and West blocks brought an atmosphere of spring to Europe. Consciously, foresightedly and devotedly they removed the threat of war from there. Now the sinister black clouds have settled over the helpless Islamic countries.

Instead of turning their dear homelands into war fronts, couldn't the Islamic nations have escaped from such a situation as the Europeans did? Of course they could have. But, many Islamic countries have fallen into the hands of unforesighted or treacherous administrators. The people cannot get loose from their grip; they cannot make these traitors and oppressors fall. These worthless, stupid, opportunistic and selfish administrators who are the puppets of imperialism never feel a twinge of conscience about dragging their people down the wrong road to disaster.

The super powers directing world politics are super cruel; there is nothing they will not do for their own interests. Where is culture, civilization, justice, humaneness, freedom, brotherly affection, equality, love, respect, law and the International Human Rights Charter? They are all just words and delusions, and a double standard and prejudice applied every time and everywhere. What is the real reason for the Gulf War? Oil, billions of dollars, greed and self interest! Are the coalition governments there because they are the loyal and sacrificing guards of world peace and the voluntary apostles of freedom and independence to the oppressed and innocent people? You can bet not. They are there just for their own interests to ensure that oil wells are not taken from their hands. They are there for the purpose of better protecting Israel and to divide Muslim countries and bring them to a state of hostile camps. They are there with the hope that the map of the Middle East will be changed, that some of the nations they protected will get land and that some of the countries will be shared. If they were really supporters of freedom and independence, they would not have helped and built up Saddam against Iran.

We [Türkiye] should not have become involved in this ugly game. In fact, we should have used our power to prevent the war and put forth our opposition. Contacting other Middle Eastern and Islamic Countries, we should have tried to solve this matter by peaceful means and negotiation. We should not have been a partner to the death and oppression of innocent people.

These steps were not taken; wrong decisions were made. War has come to our door. Just yesterday the western powers provoked and supported Saddam and used him against Iran. Today they are encouraging us to destroy him. Tomorrow they will set up games to destroy us. Responsible parties must not trust them and immediately change these wrong decisions. It is better late than never. If you ignore the crusading mentality of the Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Bulgarians, and Russians, and the works of the imperialists, in the end you will be harmed and full of regret; then it will be too late.

All believers, honest intellectuals, and persons of conscience, foresightedness and good intention should quickly unite and strive with the existing possibilities to establish peace and improvement. Salvation is in truthfulness; contentment is in peace; safety is in fearing Allah; and happiness is in service to the truth.

*Translated by Aisha Asli Sancar (Halil Necatioglu is a Muslim scholar and leader in Turkey. This article was first published in the February 1991 issue of Islam, an Islamic periodical published in Turkey)