By Ekrem Dumanli
August 17, 2014
Undeniably, political Islamist groups were part of the dynamics of dissident centers where ideas were developed. I describe political Islamist groups as at the center, but they were on the periphery and they -- with the help of other groups -- used to balance the misbehavior and misconduct of those who had the power. These groups who developed arguments based on Islamic principles were talking about justice, fairness, honesty and they were appealing to the heart and conscience of the people.
So what is the situation now? The political Islamists who used to prefer to be outside of the system and raise harsh criticism of problems, now consider themselves the new owners of the state and are developing a new identity by adopting all the old institutions and establishments of the state. For example, they consider the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), which they harshly criticized in the past, a sacred organization that ensures the survival of the state and the Higher Education Board (YÖK) a leading institution that was established to raise a religious generation. And the bitter truth is that the movement that was developed to amend and even destroy the established system has devoted itself to a monolithic and submissive system based on single-party and one-man rule by sanctifying the state apparatus.
Once, the inquisitive reasoning developed by Islamist groups also paved the way for a generation of ideas. However, now, they have become intolerant of discussing an idea developed by the others, let alone generating new ideas. They have also become unable to generate value. Those who used to develop ideas have become public servants. And unfortunately, their new positions, fame and wealth prevent them from developing ideas.
Those who had gone so far as to say, "This unbeliever will collapse eventually," in the past are even saying, "The practice of killing brothers is a part of our state tradition." In the past, the Islamists used to describe themselves as "the oppressed;" however, the attribution that describes them best is "tyrants" because the same arrogant rhetoric is being employed by both the top and the social base of political Islamist groups.
Once, Abu Dharr al-Ghafari -- who was one of the first Muslims and a close companion of the Prophet Muhammad and has a reputation of being an outspoken orator who always spoke his mind -- was frequently given as an example for how a Muslim should act. It is reported that he was furious when he saw that there were officers guarding the governor's door and slapped the governor, saying, “The Prophet Muhammad has never put anyone between himself and the people, but you are putting guards between you and the people?" He was telling the truth. Abu Dharr lived a simple life; he was modest and self-sufficient, he believed that the state is there for the sake of the people. He had no property and never bowed down in prostration for the sake of wealth. He paid the price of his firm stance by living alone and dying alone, as he was told he would by the Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet Muhammad said: "Abu Dharr, may Allah have mercy upon you. You'll live alone, die alone, rise from the dead alone and enter Paradise alone." Thus, how can anyone but Abu Dharr be the best example for the Islamists who were seeking justice and equality?
Alas! Now, political Islamists rarely refer to Abu Dharr, because they have already started to enjoy the benefits of "the center." Luxury yachts, houses and watches, etc. Thus, there are no longer discussions of developing new ideas. They have forgotten about the modesty of Abu Dharr, 'Umar ibn al-Khattab's [the second caliph] profound sense of justice and the courageous dignity and resolve of Salah al-Din Ayyubi.
Now, what they face is the risk of being the slaves of the state (actually, the slaves of the wealth earned using the state's resources). Those who cannot develop an idea anymore hurl insults at others in order to consume the value generated by others. When you look at the media, you cannot see even a single piece of reflection. But there are lots of lies and insults. Unscrupulousness has become common practice in the media. Excluding only few of them, Islamists are impolite. Moreover, most of them are also unaware of their impertinence and rudeness. Too bad!
Those ronins who have lost their sacred values are wearing journalist or Twitter toll masks. Being pro-government is an understandable thing; however, resorting to religiously forbidden ways in order to prove their loyalty to the government is unnecessary. Those miserable people who are trying to find a justification for their bosses' wrongdoings do not know that they are damaging not only the political Islamist movement, but also Islam itself.
There is no difference between jihadist militants who execute others who do not think like them and mischief-makers who are wearing journalist masks and hurling insults at Muslims who do not support the same political party. While the first one is employing weapons and violence, the second is using his pen as a weapon. They are acting in such a harsh way that it is as if they would do the same if they had another weapon...
So, they were against oppression and afraid of the curse of the oppressed. What would Abu Dharr think if he had seen this picture? And what would the Prophet Muhammad think if he had seen this? I swear that the principles that the Prophet Muhammad introduced do not welcome pride, arrogance, lies, slander, teasing and mocking, the cursing of others, and giving nicknames, especially ones with pejorative implications. What can I say? O Islamists! Return to Islamic values! The Quran states: "O, you who believe! Believe in Allah," and invites us to behave ourselves.