July 24 2020
Many Muslims, American Muslims included, no longer see world affairs through the lens of traditional notions of dominance and conquest. Islamic history now lends itself to alternative interpretations.
The primal statement of Islamic belief is the assertion of tawhid: “La ilaha illa Allah” (“There is no god but God”). The principle of tawhid refers to unity, or rather to unification. Tawhid is less about positing the oneness of a God and more about negating the fracture in the homogeneity of the divine.
The Turkish messiah scene has lately become overcrowded. Various community leaders and lone prophetic individuals claim to be the messiah or mahdi. As Islamist politics in Turkey turns into a wholly disenchanted farce, it is only natural that we witness the proliferation of heretofore-repressed messiahs, prophets and saviors.
There has been a dramatic rise in the number of incidents in which civilian Kurds are killed by armored vehicles operating in Kurdish cities. The colonial-military mentality of security personnel operating under conditions of emergency rule leads to a devaluation of Kurdish lives.
Having exploited the help of liberals and the progressive left in their ascent to power, the Islamists underwent a spectacular change of heart. Those conscientious Islamist intellectuals who had been speaking truth to power suddenly became hucksters of party politics and petty legitimizers of oppressive policies. Turkish Islamism offered the world an ugly Muslim nationalism and kleptocratic handling of public resources.
The recent American betrayal of the Kurds in Northeast Syria brought back into circulation the mantra that has traditionally served as consolation for Kurds in times of crisis: “No friends but the mountains.” Neither the sense of helplessness in the face of greater powers nor the idea of seeking refuge in the melancholy of mountains is new.
The global left is guilty of exactly the same thing as the so-called Great Powers, which have long treated the Kurds as a plaything in their strategic agendas. They want to see the Kurds living out all their fantasies of a utopian society with no thought as to whether it is to the Kurds’ actual benefit.