Spirituality in the age of terrorism
Ismail Bardhi/ Daily Sabah, Turkey
It has now become imperative in political discourse to analyze the new meanings of the terms “terror” and “terrorism,” as well as their implications in international politics. To a certain extent (and according to the needs of the moment, i.e. the needs of the powerful), the old and traditional meaning of these terms is still being used for conflicts and situations that are considered local and, globally, harmless or lacking any global range or dimension.
Following the paranoia created by the re-established momentum of 9/11 in contemporary history, the recoined use and recent meanings that are devoted to these terms are nowadays applied in the undetermined complex called “Arabic-place-ethnicity-religion-and/or Islam.” State terror is now exclusively considered defensive and preliminarily justified. However, it still includes para-state terror and international “anti-terrorist strategies,” along with wars, torture, extraordinary interpretations, extraterritoriality and extra-legality of pre-trial detention, secret detention, man-made droughts, pollution, climate change, famine, etc. Language is not only a means for overcoming conflicts through necessary and welcome negotiations, but also provides a potential space for conflict. Language can (but should not) be as much a weapon as anything else. Therefore, the language “policy” must be researched, as the political (but not politics) “precedes” the language. This is not just a matter of freedom of speech, but also a question: “Who, for what purposes and under what conditions sets these rights and that freedom or that which causes violence?”
And, here comes again a sad drama for humanity, and sustenance for politics. It’s about the latest or last event that took place in a country so far from us – in New Zealand. History is filled with such events, and scriptures have shown the true face of infidelity and the danger coming out of it. But then punishments were somehow proof of the abuse of belief and believers. And what to do with man? He likes to be deceived; he has fallen in love with Darwin’s animalistic “origin” – wants to be turned into a monkey again. Politics has, as its main sustenance, terrorism, while religion has love and guidance that is why the greatest pain and problem is why have we, heavenly religions, allowed to be subjugated to dangerous, scary games, which are only consuming man. We fell prey to the Sept. 11 games. Imagine, in our time, when everything is somewhat under our control, this expression has been transformed into a myth, for which today the innocent are paying the price, instead of the guilty ones, those who should be punished.
Let’s hear history
Without going into the depths of history, I want to say that from this century, which is becoming famous for its history filled with blood and corps, we are not taking any lessons. “Why?” is a very important question to be asked in this regard. History without God has been depicted by all religions as very dangerous and one that doesn’t do a thing, except for crime and punishment. Such history, knowing where the danger is coming from, relied on power, once of materialism and now of the material, or as a great Serbian chauvinist Dragosh Kalajic has put it, on the power of the dollar, which has become a god. Everyone is bowing before this little god, this god of paper, except the true believer.
Sept. 11, was a spectacle that witnessed something great and scary. Instead of those who organized, planned and executed it to come out, they hid so as to become a myth, a permanent power of punishment and fear. In their stead, those who were not supposed to, came out: The church and the mosque, heavenly religions, although their duty was to sit down, to purify themselves, to submit to God with their prayers. But, what did they do? They rushed toward the myth, which was forbidden to them by God, because religion within itself has never had, has not and will not have violence, and hence allowed themselves to admit that there is violence in religion. Who gave this right to the representatives of heavenly religions!?
Were they the holy scriptures and believers? No! Yet, are we believers innocent for that? No, we are equally guilty, because we are giving support to our representatives, who have no spirit or imaan, but only outward look and power, which is no more than a deception.
Good and evil
What was the fault of the Christian people, in this case of New Zealand, to experience the sin of a devilish-terrorist man!? We must be aware that we live in this world where both good and evil, peace and war have existed and continue to exist. Unfortunately, I cannot find the sibling to this terror: Is it terrorism or what? Or, maybe, it is anti-terrorism? It seems that both are terrorism. This kind of acting has become ridiculous: As soon as an incident takes place, instead of shutting it down, it is turned into an exclusivity, and instantly those millions and millions of homeless, starving, expelled, persecuted are forgotten, not to speak about the pain and punishment they suffer. Today, innocent people are being punished each day at airports all around the world. I’m not talking about suspicion, but concretely about their punishment and humiliation. They have made us suspect each other, and that suspicion has become a kind of sustenance, by spying and cheating on each other.
The fear of terror
Even the weakest believers have had, and still have, a perception about religion, in the sense that they fear evil, terrorism and especially organized terrorism, which in no case is accidental, and whose beginning and end we are not aware of, because it doesn’t stem out of religion, but out of power, out of the desire for power – and politics has such desire. Politics is organizing it; politics has made it a kind of sustenance and has turned us into monkeys; or into players in a football game: Today you will “score,” tomorrow I will “score.” And what can the masses do – they shout, although there are among them those who understand correctly the game of terrorism. But the masses, at this time when freedom has been taken from them and fear increased in every segment of life, are afraid to drink water, are afraid to feed, because almost everything is out of its wish – not by chance. The issue is why we believers allow ourselves to be deceived, regardless of all good intended sincerity, or the words of New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, which were deeply humane and wise words, which enable the creation of peace and stability (it was a moment that made me realize that humanity has not died yet); as well as the politeness of the Christians in fighting this terrorism.
There is something else here which deceives us, and my appeal is for us not to fall prey to such filthy games of those who organize and are not “seen.” We in fact must fight them: If it’s about politics, we should not vote for them; if it’s about religious hypocrites, we should not trust them. The best thing that politics can do today is to show the real face of “Sept. 11,” and what was really behind it. The war on terrorism has turned into a very dangerous and scary game.
To sum up: I am glad and proud of being a Muslim, of belonging to a religion that has forbidden me to commit crime and punishment; that has allowed me to respect both the believer and the nonbeliever; that has taught me to be cautious toward hypocrisy and the hypocrite; that has obliged me not to vote and support the devil in the form of man and the man in the form of the devil; That has told me to sit “only with the devoted and