Friday, September 07, 2012

"Conquest of the heart" (Hurriyet)

Another home run by Burak Bekdil:

About three months ago, Turkey’s top Islamic cleric, Professor Mehmet Görmez, introduced a new understanding of the concept of “conquest.” According to Professor Görmez, “In Turkish history there has never been occupation... but there has always been conquest.”

What distinction was Görmez trying to make from taking a foreign land by force? According to Professor Görmez, what the Turks have done throughout history was not “[occupy] lands or destroy cities and castles,” but was simply “the conquest of the heart.” In other words, the Turks had not occupied, for instance, Constantinople, but had merely “conquered the Byzantine hearts” there. How very romantic!

And what was the fancy term the head of the Turkish ulama deemed most appropriate to describe the Turks’ millennia-long westbound journeys? According to Professor Görmez, “One of the two pillars of conquest [of the heart] is to open up minds to Islam and hearts to the Quran.” An interesting view.

What was it when Christian armies took the lands the Turks had taken from Christians? Occupation. What is it when Turks take lands by force? Conquest of the heart. What is the difference? Because when we occupy we do not occupy, we benevolently open up non-Muslim minds to Islam and non-Muslim hearts to the Quran. Very well. But then why did the non-Muslims whose hearts must have been conquered by the Muslim Ottomans remain non-Muslim for centuries and, at the first opportunity, revolt against their benevolent conquerors for freedom?

Are Turks considerate of “the other”? Nearly one in every five Turks living in Germany thinks Jews are inferior people, and one in every 10 thinks Christians are inferior people. But more than 90 percent of them consider themselves religious.

The conquest of the heart... And the heart of the matter: According to the same survey, nearly half of Turks say they hope there will be more Muslims than Christians in Germany in the future. The conquest of the heart.

History tells us that the missionary mindset is not specific to Muslims. But it just sounds pathetic if 1.3 million Turks want to make 80 million-plus Germans Muslim, or if a handful of Hindus wanted to make America Hindu, or if a few Christians want to make China Christian.

By the way, why do the 6.5 million or so Jews not want to make the 300 million-or-so people of the United States overwhelmingly Jewish?
Read the whole thing.

(h/t Herb)