Sunday, February 7, 2010

About Sharia and Honour killings in Turkey

It was because of Mustafa A. That I started publishing my opinion stories in Turkish Daily News, now Hürriyet Daily News. Yes, I already wrote for Turkish Weekly and thought that my second article, which was all about Perception of Turkey, was good enough to be published in Turkish Daily. And it was. You can read all those columns here.

Ö and I met with Mustafa since then several times. And I follow him about his writings. I must say, he’s still one of the few Turkish columnists with an original view. Not my view, but he is not so predictable as many other writers/columnists. Sometimes I agree, sometimes not. But at least, he’s open for discussion.

But lately, his columns became more ‘political Islam’ motivated! I know that he takes his religion serious, but on the other hand he describes himself as a free-lance Muslim; he’s not that devote at all in the orthodox sense but rather naïve about the impact of his writings these days.

His last column is all about the cruel killing of a 16 years young girl in SE Turkey. This took the attention of the international press. Instead of totally condemning this terrible happening, I read excuses between the lines of his article. Here my critic and I point to several statements:

1) MA: A 16-year-old girl was buried alive by her relatives simply for befriending boys. Forensic experts found soil in her lungs and stomach, indicating that the poor kid was conscious while being buried into the ground. May God have mercy on her soul. And may her killers face punishment in this world and the next..

I don’t think that we must vent our anger about a person who commit a crime by saying; ‘I hope you get the punishment in this life and alter-life’. This reminds me about the Calvinistic and of so inhumane punishments of the middle Ages.

2) The problem is the topography of historical Kurdistan. It is a very mountainous region, which is inhospitable to trade routes, railways and highways. Hence its inhabitants have lived almost isolated from the outside world for centuries and have remained largely untouched by modernity. The same is also true for the ill-famed “tribal areas” of Pakistan, which is, again, very mountainous.

The problem is not topography but culture relativism. Do we see honor crimes in the Himalaya. By the Buddhist monks? In the inlands of Cambodia or Brazil? Do we see these honor crimes in remote areas of Finland, Iceland, Greenland, Sweden?

3) Let me explain. Of course, Islam, like other Abraham religions, has laws and punishments about sexual morality. The Koran, for example, criminalizes adultery, and thus Islamic law, or the shariah, has developed a system of regulating how it will be penalized.

No, only Islam has a set of laws and punishments for these crimes. Only Islam has set of laws, neither Christianity nor Judaism. There are no set of books, like in Islam, how to punish people when they don’t obey religious rules. Only Islam and its Sharia.

4) Dr. Stefanie Eileen Nanes, another academic who studied honor killings in Jordan, agrees. “In fact, this practice predates Islam,” she notes, “and young men who commit these murders have been quoted as saying that in these cases, despite what Islam says, tradition is stronger than religion.” And if they don’t find themselves willing to do that, they should question whether they are, too, under the influence of the patriarchal codes of male-domination, rather than the Islamic norms of justice.

Islam preserved and inherits aged old and barbarian traditions very well, as the only religion, until today, the year 2010. And what shall we do now about people who ‘left Islam’, ‘who are gays’, ‘women who are suffering because genital mutilation’? Where are the fatwa’s against those crimes? Sharia deals with many things, including politics, economics, banking, business, contracts, family, sexuality, hygiene, and social issues.
In fact with my private life. In fact it deals how 'infidels' such as me must be treated. How arrogant!

Dear Mustafa, as long as you don’t stand up against these crimes against humanity, and I don’t hear a single woman calling for Sharia law, you will be my target of fair criticism. Sharia is non discussible. It's mediaval.

Day Opening - February 7

Picking up a friend for a walk.