Friday, May 19, 2006

Thousands March in Support of Secularism

"God is great!" and "I am the soldier of Allah" shouted Alpaslan Arslan, who killed one judge and wounded four others in response to a court ruling in Turkey which had further restricted Islamic dress in official places of work.

Judge Mustafa Yucel Ozbilgin, 64, who was shot in the head, died after six hours on the operating table. The other four wounded during the incident were still in hospital on Thursday, with at least one of them in intensive care.

Immediately, I was reminded of the murder of the Iranian historian, linguist, researcher and lawyer, Ahmad Kasravi, in the court room by Fedayeen of Islam in 1946. Fedayeen of Islam (Devotees of Islam), were a terrorist organisation backed and supported by Ayatollah Khomeini, and many of its remaining activists are now in high positions of power. The fatwa to murder Kasravi, was issued because of what Kasravi wrote in his books. Yet the previous generation of Iranian "intellectuals", who were so active in political protests, did not dare or deem it necessary then to march against the religious dictatorship in the Iranian society.
Instead of confronting the religious despotism which held the society back and prevented Iran from further development, they saw the Islamists as their partners in their political objectives against the establishment. A tragic policy which dragged Iran into the dark ages and the Iranian "intellectuals" themselves paid a heavy price for, when the Islamists finally seized power in Iran in 1979.

The people in Turkey, however took to the streets in their thousands, marched to the mausoleum of the founder of the Turkish secular state, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, in Ankara on Thursday, voicing their support for secularism. "Turkey is secular and will remain secular," shouted the crowd.

Lets hope what happened in Iran will not repeat in Turkey.


Anonymous said...

جناب آذرمهر، با اجازه لینک می دم. مرسی از مقالاتتون.

Aryamehr said...

Azarmehr-jaan, I had an entry on this as well:

It's a damn shame what has become of our honor and dignity. Turks today pay homage to their modern founder while Iranians sat back and watched the Arabo-Muslim Islamic Republic erect a public lavatory over the mausoleum of modern Iran's founder.