Washington News Forum

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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Revival of Crusades: Infantile crusader Tancredo

Prof. Yuruk Igriboz


One is indeed surprised to see the recent changes in the
bookshelves of bookstores. Under philosophy and religion,
books on Islam, Sufism and Rumi have significantly increased.
There are a couple versions of The Holy Koran, including the
excellent translation and interpretation by Yusuf Ali first
published in English way back in 1937. This will undoubtedly
ensure that eminent Christian clergyman will no longer have
excuses such as ' I don't know Islam' or 'I don't know Arabic'(1).
Koran does not only contain a good part of the Old Testament
but also treats Muhammed, Jesus, Moses and the other preceding
enlightened at the same level as saints and holy guides directed
by God. Thus a Southern Baptist clergyman's recently claiming
Muhammed as deamonic does not only reveal his ignorance but also
insults all of the teachings and love of Jesus. Similarly, as the
Bishop visiting St.Mary's Chapel in Ephesus complains of lack of
Christians around can not see hundreds of Moslems praying and
burning candles on site. Most recently American Taliban's lawyer
blamed his religion, Islam for his client's derelict criminal
behavior. Bookshelves on history display a different version,
namely versions of blame, discrimination and hate. A book titled
'Jihad' by Paul Fregosi starts by torture of Bragadino after his
defeat by Lala Mustafa Pasa in Cyprus on August 17, 1571 and
ferments it as kindling of terror all the way up to 1980s.
This is a blindfolded vision of history since our history is
glazed with victors of booty. Starting with Asian khans, Huns,
Greeks, Romans, Ottomans and the British, all the victory we
glorify resulting in the so called Empires depended on booty,
a deadly misunderstanding of human success. When it comes to
terror, according to Western sources Moslems learned terror
from Crusaders who cut open living people looking for jewels
and gold (2). Moreover, if we are really honest about terror
and related human sufferage, how are we going decipher our
glorius past related to ages of discovery, exploration and
industrial revolutions.

We can not callously say ' past is past and let us look at
the future' which has been taken granted since Inquisition.
Interestingly, orientalists as well diagnosed by Edward Said (3)
do not go into detail about the power games and accumulation of
wealth during these glorius years of exploitation which
segregated the exploited people all around the world(4). Can
World Wars, holocaust, crimes behind the iron curtain, African
demises and most recently Kosovo where Christians were both
victims and the accused be alibis for our civilization ? Why is
it so that the bulk of underdeveloped and oppressed parts of the
world tend to be Moslem where the oppressors were and are our
close allies ? Are we going to delay answering these questions,
as we delayed revealing the contents of Nag Hammadi and Dead
Sea Scrolls where love of God was considered to be synonymous
with human love and men with women (5)?

History has shown that both Christians and Moslems have
significantly deviated from their founding principles and
slaughtered their very own brethren for political and economic
reasons (e.g., crusades, inquisition, sheriat). However, times
have changed. During all these years, as we have acquired weapons
of mass destruction and considered it as advancement of
technology civilization and thanks to the media, clergy and
education, we have also developed a profound hate against each
other, both of which have proven to be deadly. This hate, not
surpisingly is not only between religions, nations and ethnic
groups but also within our own neighborhoods not overlooking
crimes and the hazardous material we consume. We smuggle people
to slavery. Where do they go to work ? We smuggle drugs. Who
consumes them ? We make arms and sell them. Who dies and who
profits from them ?

Thus attributing terror and human demise to a certain religion
is an open and dishonest discourse, very unintelligently
veiling the etiology of our problems as well as provoking a
revival of crusades which we can only remember with sorrow and
shame. And yet, very unfortunately, this very process is indeed
recently revived and verified by the Colorado Congressman Tom
Tancredo who thought of nuking Mecca as a remedy to stop terrorism(6).

Prof. Dr. Yuruk Iyriboz: Revised & Updated from Turkish Forum July 21,
2002 version

1. C-Span 2, Broadcast: Race, Ethnicity & Culture National Conference
for Community Justice Jan. 2,21,2002
2. Crusades. BBC Broadcast 1999
3. Said, E. Covering Islam
4. Wheatherford, J. Savages and Civilization
5. Pagels, E. Gnostic Gospels
6. Tancredo's Interview with Pat Campbell @ News Radio 540WFLA. 7/14/05