End of the Ottoman empire

Ottoman_soldierHow the decision to enter the first world war led to political collapse, bloodshed and the birth of the modern Middle East

According to Marc Mazower from Financial Times, before the first world war, the term “Middle East” was virtually unknown. The Ottoman empire had ruled for centuries over the lands from the Sahara to Persia but did not refer to them as part of a single region. Coined in the mid-19th century, the phrase became popular only in the mid-20th. It reflected the growing popularity of geopolitical thinking as well as the strategic anxieties of the rivalrous great powers, and its spread was a sign of growing European meddling in the destiny of the Arab-speaking peoples.

But Europe’s war changed more than just names. In the first place, there was petroleum. The British had tightened their grip on the Persian Gulf in the early years of the new century, as the Royal Navy contemplated shifting away from coal. The Anglo-Persian Oil Company opened the enormous Abadan refinery in 1912. The British invasion of Basra — a story of imperial hubris and cataclysmic failure that Eugene Rogan weaves superbly through The Fall of the Ottomans — thus marked the beginning of the world’s first oil conflict.

Second, there was the British turn to monarchy as a means of securing political influence. The policy began in Egypt, which British troops had been occupying since 1882. Until the Ottomans entered the war, Whitehall had solemnly kept to the juridical fiction that Egypt remained a province of their empire. After November, that was no longer possible and the British swiftly changed the constitutional order: the khedive Abbas II, who happened to be in Istanbul at the time, was deposed and his uncle, Husayn Kamil, was proclaimed the country’s sultan. In this way the British unilaterally declared an end to almost four centuries of Ottoman rule in favour of a puppet who would allow their continued control of the Suez Canal.

This was not the only way the British could have taken over: Cyprus, for instance, they simply annexed. But the Egyptian strategy was less of a slap in the face to the local population and this kind of imperial improvisation became the template for the region after 1918, when Hashemite princes were placed in charge of one new kingdom after another for no very good reason other than their likely subservience to British wishes. A fine system it was most of the time too, at least for the British, and it is not surprising that when the Americans took over in the region during the cold war, they did their best to keep it going.

Rogan, director of the Middle East Centre at St Antony’s College, Oxford, and author of The Arabs: A History (2009), has written a remarkably readable, judicious and well-researched account of the Ottoman war in Anatolia and the Arab provinces. The Fall of the Ottomans is especially good on showing the fighting across multiple fronts and from both sides of the lines, and it draws effectively upon the papers, memoirs and diaries of soldiers and civilians. The Basra notable Sayyid Talib, the Armenian priest Grigoris Balakian and the Turkish corporal Ali Riza Eti provide perspectives that rarely make it into mainstream narratives of the first world war.

They depict fighting of extraordinary intensity — from the trenches of the Gallipoli peninsula, where Mustafa Kemal (later Atatürk) made his name, to the mountains of the Caucasus, where thousands of Ottoman soldiers froze to death. We see the plight of the Armenians in all its grimness but also the starvation that swept across much of Syria as the war ended. Between the fighting on multiple fronts, the deaths from massacre and starvation, and the almost complete dislocation of economic life across swaths of Anatolia and the Arab provinces, the war that ended Ottoman rule also destroyed many of the institutions that had sustained it.

In the second world war, Turkey made sure it remained neutral. Could not the empire have done so in 1914? When hostilities broke out that summer across Europe, the Young Turk triumvirate in Istanbul did stay out of the conflict for a few months, holding back until deciding to throw their lot in with the Central Powers.

This decision precipitated the disastrous campaigns — along the Suez Canal, in eastern Anatolia against the Russians, and in the Dardanelles in defence of the capital Istanbul — that nearly destroyed the empire completely. By April 1915, the Russians had crushed Enver’s Third Army in the east and the British were landing thousands of troops on the Gallipoli peninsula. It was at this moment of maximal threat that the Young Turk leadership took the decision to massacre Anatolia’s Armenians, a story Rogan tells with sensitivity, insight and judiciousness.

The ongoing political controversy over the genocide — Rogan rightly deploys the word but does not make too much of the dispute, consigning it to an excellent endnote — has overshadowed some critical historical questions. The basic point is that the war created a crisis of legitimacy that was especially severe in the Ottoman lands. Imperial tax-raising power was limited and the Ottoman bureaucracy did not have the capacity to organise a proper rationing system. This weakness forced it to rely much more than other states on political intermediaries and thuggish, well-armed irregulars. At the same time, the prospect of defeat made the Young Turk leadership ever more suspicious of vast swaths of the population irrespective of religion — Ottoman loyalists, refugees settled from Albania, Bosnia and all the other lost lands of the Balkans, and, perhaps above all, the Arabs.

Rogan documents the wartime repression in greater Syria in particular, which alienated so many notables. Meanwhile, starvation claimed a staggering 300,000–500,000 lives in Syria and Lebanon alone. The sense of social collapse is palpable and must have been intensified by something that Rogan does not discuss — the influenza of 1918–1919, which may have cost Iran alone up to one-fifth of its population. The losses in greater Syria and Iraq were probably just as devastating. This story of the war’s impact on social life across the region still awaits its historian.

Territorially, the ending of the Ottoman empire created the present Middle East. The new republic of Turkey eventually won independence for itself, primarily in its Anatolian heartland. Elsewhere, the former imperial provinces were handed over to the war’s victors by the new League of Nations and ruled under fictions of conditional sovereignty that they called mandates. With the exception of the as yet non-existent Israel, the map of the region that emerged in the 1920s looks much as it does today. Yet drawing boundaries round the conference table was one thing; coping with the catastrophic repercussions of four years of war was quite another. Helping us to understand the difficulties the states of the Middle East have endured since then, and the challenges they continue to face, Rogan’s book takes us back to the moment of their birth, a moment in which one imperial order collapsed and gave way to another.

The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East, 1914-1920, by Eugene Rogan, Allen Lane, RRP£25, 512 pages, published in the US in March by Basic Books

Mark Mazower is a professor of history at Columbia University and author of ‘Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews’ (Harper)

Arab Nation Hoax: Geared to Falsify Islamic History & Ruin Varied Nations disfiguratively Named Arab

Dura_Europos

Aramaean high priests of Mithras – Wall painting of the Mithraeum of Dura Europos, near Abu Kemal, Syria

By Prof. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis

 

In an earlier article (http://www.afroarticles.com/article-dashboard/Article/There-is-no-Kurdish-Nation—it-is-a-Freemasonic-Colonial–Orientalist-Hoax-/259228), I explained the reasons for which there are no Kurds, and that the notion of a Kurdish nation is a Freemasonic Orientalist hoax geared to put under an impossible umbrella many different nations spanning from Anti-Taurus Mountains to Syria, Mesopotamia and the Zagros Mountains.

 

The Hoax of a Kurdish Nation is not however the first of this kind. The first Orientalist hoax was that of the Arabic Nation. This forgery dates back to the late 18th and the 19th centuries and served as an example in the aforementioned article.

 

– By misinterpreting historical processes,

– by concealing historical evidence,

– by disorienting regional academics from having a wide spectrum understanding of their fields,

by diverting them from several related academic fields and disciplines, and – by machinating in a way to mislead regional universities, faculties of humanities, staff members and researchers and ultimately keep them at an academically underdeveloped level and disconnected from one another,

 

… the colonial academia and diplomats make sure that a vast confusion and deception prevail in the minds of targeted nations only to serve as the wrong foundation for further theoretical, intellectual, ideological and political disorientation.

 

I then briefly expanded on the Arab Nation Hoax, before focusing on the identity, the socio-political milieu, attitude and targets of the diverse nations, which for the needs of the Kurdish Nation Hoax became ‘Kurds’.

 

The revelation of the non-Arab identity of the misfortunate nations that have been labeled ‘Arab’ by the Orientalist forgers triggered the interest of several readers, who wrote to me, because they had heard totally different presentations while studying in different universities in the region. To answer their questions and illuminate the topic more extensively, I decided to come up with a summarizing, yet all-encompassing text which, although unable to fully cover the subject, offers a panoramic view of the fundamental historical realities and their existing dimensions and ramifications.

 

I will therefore first re-publish the part of the previous article which concerned the Arab Nation Hoax, then quote the questions included in the mails that I received, and finally expand properly.

 

  1. Who are those who have been fallaciously labeled ‘Arabs’

The Arabic-speaking part of the populations of Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Western Egypt are indeed Berbers, who gradually forgot Berber languages and spoke Arabic exclusively, because they accepted Islam, and consequently made of their religious language their sole language. This was a long process and the Arabization phenomenon was only of linguistic nature – not ethnic, not cultural.
Similarly, Egyptians are not Arabs, but Hamitic Egyptians or ‘Copts’, if you want, who in different eras accepted Islam and gradually abandoned Coptic language. Egypt south of Assiut was still Christian for almost 300 years after Prophet Muhammad died. Today, there is no ethnic difference between Christian and Muslim Egyptians; literarily speaking, the country is inhabited by Christian Copts and Muslim Copts.

 

In the same way, the ethnic origin of today’s Sudanese is Kushitic (Kushites being a branch of the Hamitic nations) or Nilo-Saharan; Sudan’s Kushites are Arabic-speaking natives, because after accepting Islam, they gradually abandoned Christian Sudan’s Makurian and Alodian Kushitic languages, which were later forms of Meroitic. i.e. the pre-Christian Sudan’s language which was written in hieroglyphic and linear characters. Linguistic Arabization is indeed a very recent phenomenon for Sudan’s Kushites, because the Christian state of Makuria lasted until the 14th c. and the Christian state of Alodia collapsed only in the late 16th c. On the other hand, the Nubians in the North and other Nilo-Saharan peoples in other parts of Sudan preserved however their languages down to our times, as Arabic is merely a religious language to them.
More importantly, the Arabic-speaking part of the populations of SE Turkey, Syria, Iraq, SW Iran, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Emirates and the Saudi extreme North are not Arabs but Aramaeans (a Semitic nation) who gradually forgot their own Syriac Aramaic language (a major language of Patristic Literature and an international language across the land routes of trade between the Mediterranean World, East Africa, India, and China) and spoke Arabic because they accepted Islam. Their linguistic Arabization was a gradual phenomenon characterized by the affinity of the two languages (Syriac Aramaic and Arabic) and the similarity of the two writing systems, as Arabic originates from Syriac Aramaic.
Last but not the least, the Yemenites and the Omanis are not Arabs, but indigenous Yemenites and Omanis who, after accepting Islam, gradually abandoned their pre-Islamic languages, namely Sabaean, Hinyarite and Hadhramawti, etc. and spoke Arabic. Two modern Yemenite indigenous languages, notably Mahri and Socotri, are descendants of the Ancient Yemenite languages that were of course categorized as Semitic. Mahri is spoken in Hadhramawt (Mahra) and in North Somalia, whereas Socotri is the only native language in the island of Socotra.

 

The pre-Islamic Yemenite languages are documented with a great number of epigraphic texts dating to back to more than 1300 years before the arrival of Islam; they were written in the indigenous writing that had nothing to do with the pre-Islamic Arabic writing which appears only 300 years before Islam and is provenly a deformation of Syriac Aramaic.

  1. Reactions and questions from readers

 

Simply amazing, dear Dr. Shamsaddin!

 

I am astonished with your deep knowledge of the region and its history of ethnic components. But, as far as I know from the History of the Middle East that we have been taught at Al-Bayt University (Jordan), even before the Islamic expansion (al-futuhat al-islamiyya), some Arabic tribes did come out of Arabian Peninsula to live at the Northern parts, such as Palestine and Jordan. Or, at least, after the Islamic expansion, most of the tribes of Adnan (Northern Arabs) or Madar and Qahtan (Southern Arabs from Yemen) moved to Iraq, Sham and Egypt with the armies and settled there. So, that is one of the reasons why the autochthonous populations were Arabized. 

 

The Qahtan tribes or the Yemenites settled mostly in Iraq, and the Madar tribes inhabited mostly Sham (Levant). And even after their Islamization, these tribes carried with them some of the historic enmity that pre-existed between them and which was revived in the wars between Ali and Mua’wiyyah, and later in the wars between the Umayyad dynasty and the Shia (partisans) of Ali and his successors. This is known in the books of literature and history as the hate or enmity between Ahl al-Sham and Ahl al-Iraq.

 

So, I am little bit perplexed hearing that the Arab populations are hoaxes of Orientalist Freemasons. But, of course, I do not exclude that possibility, because that waste region cannot be homogeneous, especially knowing that it has been always a crossroad of different peoples, kingdoms and civilizations throughout history.

 

 

  1. General Outline of the Response

 

Thank you for your commentary, dear friend! Basically, you make four points.

 

You first speak about subjects of Oriental History taught in a Middle Eastern university. This is addressed here:

  1. I. ABOUT UNIVERSITY STUDIES IN ISLAMIC EXPANSION & ISSUES RELATED TO ARABS

 

You subsequently refer to the wider area of SE Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, and SW Iran before, during and in the aftermath of the Islamic Expansion phenomenon, so basically late 6th and 7th centuries CE. This is discussed here:

  1. II. THE PRESCRIBED, HIDDEN NATION: THE ARAMAEANS

 

  1. III. INDIGENOUS POPULATIONS AND INVADING ARMIES IN THE EARLY ISLAMIC EXPANSION

 

  1. IV. ISLAM: THE CULTURAL ARAMAIZATION OF THE ARABS

 

and

 

  1. V. THE EARLY ISLAMIC INVASIONS: FIRST MISREPRESENTED AND DISFORMED BY THE WESTERN ORIENTALISTS, SECOND USED IDEOLOGICALLY & POLITICALLY BY THE COLONIAL GANGSTERS

 

You then mention Ancient Yemen and the Yemenite migrations. This is answered here:

  1. VI. ANCIENT YEMEN AND ANCIENT ARABIA

 

You finally discuss issues pertaining to homogeneity of the wider region. This is commented here:

  1. VII. HOMOGENEITY vs. HETEROGENEITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST

 

What follows is the main part of my response as per the above structure. Bear in mind, if you please, that this is merely a synopsis.

 

 

  1. The Dimensions of Early Islamic History Falsification by Western Orientalist Academia and the False Concept of Arabization (proper response to readers’ questions)

 

  1. I. ABOUT UNIVERSITY STUDIES IN ISLAMIC EXPANSION & ISSUES RELATED TO ARABS

 

You say “we have been taught at Al-Bayt University (Jordan), even before the Islamic expansion (al-futuhat al-islamiyya), some Arabic tribes “.

 

Within the context of modern academic disciplines, to give an example, there is ‘History of Ancient Egypt’, and there is ‘History of Egyptology’!

 

The history of the modern academic disciplines per se is an important field to also study, if one desires really in-depth understanding. Several stages of knowledge acquisition and synthesis have passed ever since Champollion deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphics and Rawlinson decoded Assyrian-Babylonian cuneiform. Many mistakes have been corrected in the process; and many alterations have been added! Such fields as History of Assyriology, History of Iranology, History of Indology, History of Islamology, etc. reveal a tremendous amount of insightful as regards how we came to conclude what he have drawn until now as conclusion in each of the aforementioned fields.

 

With the colonial presence active and destructive on Ottoman soil under many different forms, one can easily understand that the Western Orientalism did not reflect a genuine interest for discovery of the past and exploration but soon turned out to be a multi-layered tool against the past, the present and the future of the Orient. In a way, it was a real robbery of the Oriental past, and by this I don’t mean the criminal, illegal and only provisory transportation of Oriental Antiquities in Western museums, libraries, institutes, research centers, universities, palaces, public places, auction houses, and ultimately privately homes. The worst robbery occurred at the theoretical, academic, intellectual, educational and cultural level. The collection of a sizable material record of Oriental Antiquities and its study and interpretation turned soon out to be not a true reflection of the historical past but a false projection of Western concepts, ideas and theories into the past under study. The new academic disciplines of Orientalism, instead of properly and effectively rectify the earlier acquired material record of ‘Classical’ (the term is false) Greco-Roman Antiquities, were only adjusted to it to help it expand.

 

The ensued ‘systematized falsehood’ was not only diffused among the Western countries (due to the phenomenon of academic competition in an era of acute nationalisms) but also enforced in the colonial academic and educational institutions that emerged – with the deep involvement of the colonial Orientalist academia – in all these fake countries. But, by accepting the Western ‘systematized falsehood’, the modern Oriental students and scholars (who were formed under supervision of the Western Orientalists) only gravely undermined the importance of their countries’ past, severely minimized the value of their past in their nation-building process, and finally contributed to the formation of fake modern Oriental nations that are detached from their past and left without a diachronic cultural identity.

 

Here, it is good to remember the French expression ‘bon pour l’ Orient’ (lit. ‘good for the Orient’) which implied that the product under discussion was not to be consumed or used in the Occident (by Westerners – due to its lower quality specifications)! All colonial academic institutions that were setup by Western academia on the soil of Ottoman provinces and in other Oriental lands were not proper copies of the Western universities and did not diffuse the same quality and depth of knowledge. Their Orientalist masters allowed these institutions to teach / diffuse in the Orient only the portion of their knowledge that would not make the Oriental academic institutions able to rival with their own Occidental establishments. Above all, these colonial academic-educational institutions were guided by their Orientalist masters to diffuse academic knowledge altered in a way that it would not be easy for the Oriental students (Algerian, Egyptian, Lebanese, Sudanese, Yemenite, Iraqi, Iranian, Pakistani, Indian, etc.) to realize that the Western ‘systematized falsehood’ – deliberately, viciously, and against all declared Western academic values – diminished the value of the Orient and the achievements of the Oriental civilizations in order to subordinate them to the Western historiography (the values of which – quite contrarily – were extremely maximized to appear as global).

 

Several scholars like Edward Said criticized Orientalism, whereas others like Martin Bernal (in his monumental ‘Black Athena’) attacked the Western ‘systematized falsehood’ at its very epicenter, demonstrating that the ‘Classical’ civilization was subordinated to the Oriental civilizations. But to no avail!

 

In the universities of Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, all the staff members keep promoting – pathetically, idiotically and self-disastrously – the colonial ‘systematized falsehood’ that prevents them from really assessing the greatness of the Orient in its correct dimensions, from truly evaluating the historical truth and continuity of the Orient, and from detecting the detrimental harm that the Western system, which they studied (either in Paris or in Madinah), has done to their own countries, their nation-building process, and their historical heritage.

 

However, the issue is far wider and permeates all disciplines of Humanities.

 

In fact, behind Pan-Arabism (a false theory the beginning of which is retraced back to Jurji Zeydan and his Nahda movement) is hidden the (exported to the respective lands of the Orient) version ‘bon pour l’ Orient’ of the Western discipline of Arabology. But the origin of the Arabic studies in Western universities goes back to the 18th c.! The Western ‘systematized falsehood’ took more than a century to produce Pan-Arabism.

 

One can expand up to writing books and books, but here suffice it to say that the ‘systematized falsehood’ is a perplex and multileveled affair. It does not only involve inaccuracies within one specific specialization field, but it also entails a severe detachment of each specialization field from other related fields. It goes up to the level of …. prohibition of an entire academic discipline! Once, I published an article – plead for a forbidden science: Aramaeology.

 

Because, to come closer to the subject under discussion, if a student wants to focus on the early Islamic expansion, while studying Arabic language and literature and History of Early Islam, s/he has also to take compulsory courses on

  1. a) Aramaeans in the Eastern Roman Empire and in the Sassanid Iranian Empire,
  2. b) Political History of the Eastern Roman Empire,
  3. c) Political History of the Sassanid Iranian Empire,
  4. d) Political History of Pre-Islamic Yemen,
  5. e) Copts in the Eastern Roman Empire,
  6. f) Ancient Yemenite language and literature (which is fallaciously called ‘South-Arabian’, a ridiculous term coined by the masters of the ‘systematized falsehood’),
  7. g) Syriac {do not confuse the Christian Aramaic language that is called ‘Syriac’ with the modern adjective ‘Syrian’ which is used in relation with the modern fake state of Syria} Aramaic language and literature,
  8. h) Christian Kingdoms in Sudan,
  9. i) History of theological disputes in the Eastern Roman Empires,
  10. j) Religions in Pre-Islamic Iran and Central Asia,
  11. k) History of Northern – Northwestern Africa form Carthage to the Islamic Arrival.

 

The aforementioned are 11 (eleven) courses in total that should be compulsory for a syllabus of 28 courses leading to a Bachelor of Arts in History of Early Islam.

 

Certainly, the above eleven courses are not offered in the respective faculties of the regional universities from Morocco to Uzbekistan to Indonesia! Why? Because all the universities – be they state, private or religious – in the wider region of Islam are mere colonial products and therefore not one among their staff members commands a comprehensive knowledge covering all aspects related to the History of Early Islam. Consequently, no one can put the correct syllabus down on a piece of paper.

 

  1. II. THE PRESCRIBED, HIDDEN NATION: THE ARAMAEANS

 

In this subject, the support offered to the Arabization fallacy is epitomized in the following words: “some Arabic tribes did come out of Arabian Peninsula to live at the Northern parts, such as Palestine and Jordan. Or, at least, after the Islamic expansion, most of the tribes of Adnan (Northern Arabs) or Madar and Qahtan (Southern Arabs from Yemen) moved to Iraq, Sham and Egypt with the armies and settled there. So, that is one of the reasons why the autochthonous populations were Arabized. 

 

 

Here, reading these few lines, one gets the impression that, in the middle of the 7th century, Mesopotamia (there was no ‘Iraq’ by that time – in fact, this was a new name just brought to use by the invading armies), Syria-Palestine, and Egypt were almost … uninhabited!

 

Also, the aforementioned lands are wrongly divided in the above manner. In fact, these lands did not belong to independent countries; at the times of Prophet Muhammad’s early life, they were parts of the Eastern Roman Empire and the Sassanid Iranian Empire. But the local populations were basically Aramaeans (in the Asiatic part of the territories referred to) and Egyptians – Copts (in Egypt). Because of the constant Roman – Iranian wars, the borderlines between Syria and Mesopotamia used to change almost every year, but the local population was always Aramaean.

 

The Aramaeans spread first from the desert to the neighboring lands of the Fertile Crescent around 1100 BCE and, after they were organized in several small kingdoms for many centuries, they were successively ruled (at times partly and at times entirely) by the Sargonid Assyrian, Nabonid Babylonian, Achaemenid Iranian, Macedonian, Seleucid Syrian, Arsacid Parthian, Roman, Sassanid Iranian and Eastern Roman Empires. In few cases, there were some relatively small, independent Aramaean states in the Late Antiquity (539 BCE – 622 CE, i.e. the period going from the rise of Achaemenid Iran to the rise of Islam), such as Urhoy, Hatra, Palmyra, Adiabene and Rekem/Petra.

 

Centuries before the arrival of Islam, the Babylonians, the Phoenicians, the Philistines/Palestinians, and the Jews had been progressively assimilated among the more numerous Aramaeans. For most of the cases, Euphrates (Furat) river was the border between the Romans/Eastern Romans and the Sassanid Empire of Iran, so we are rather on the safe side, if we generalize saying that regularly Syria – Palestine was Eastern Roman (the term ‘Byzantine’ is another fallacy diffused by the promoters of the ‘systematized falsehood’) and Mesopotamia was Iranian.

 

In the eve of the early expansion of Islam, very sizable cities existed in the territories mentioned. Among the greatest cities of Eastern Roman Syria and Palestine, we count the following:

 

Antioch (Antakya in Turkey’s province of Hatay) – the main rival of Alexandria (although Antioch was in the inland)

 

After having been the capital city (323-64 BCE) of the vast Seleucid Empire (that stretched from Central Turkey to India and, following the formation of Arsacid Iran at 250 BCE, only from Central Turkey to the Persian Gulf – always including Syria and Palestine) that was the main rival of the Egyptian state of the Ptolemies for about 250 years, Antioch became a major city – patriarchate of Eastern Christianity.

 

This means that Antioch was as big and as important as only Constantinople, Rome and Alexandria within the entire Roman Empire, Eastern and Western.

 

However, more importantly, Antioch and Alexandria represented the two strongest and opposite to one another theological schools of Christian Theology. More on the subject:

http://www.monachos.net/library/index.php/patristics/themes/244-two-schools-alexandria-and-antioch

http://gbgm-umc.org/umw/bible/cei.stm

 

To better visualize the School of Antioch – School of Alexandria antithesis, it is quite advisable to compare it with the four schools of jurisprudence (madh’hab of fiqh) in Sunni Islam, namely those of Al Shaffi’i, Abu Hanifa, Malik bin Anas, and Ibn Hanbal. But there was bitter theological rivalry between the two Christian cities, and it was due to even greater differences at the underlying level of thought structure & systematization, and logic & logic philosophy.

 

Why does one need to expand to all this? Because the historical falsification as per which the aforementioned areas were arabized imposes any objective researcher and scholar to duly contextualize the event of the early Islamic expansion. To fully demonstrate that the term ‘arabization’ constitutes the epitome of colonial falsehood, one has to place the early Islamic invasions (and the ensuing settlement of certain populations in the areas under discussion) within the correct context. However, any historical event exists only within a context and without it, it is void and null.

 

At the times of Prophet Muhammad, the population of only one city, namely Antioch, was much larger than the entire population of all the Arabs together (anything between double and triple). Yet, the Arabs were then inhabiting a sizable area, notably the mountains of Hedjaz (the Western part of the Peninsula between Yemen and the Gulf of Aqaba) and the desert (the central part of the peninsula).

 

The same is also valid for Alexandria in Egypt, and for Tesifun (Ctesiphon) in Sassanid Mesopotamia (south of today’s Baghdad), which was at the time one of the two major Iranian capitals (Iran had always many capitals at the same time) along with Istakhr, which was located beyond the Zagros Mountains in Fars (near today’s Shiraz).

 

Beyond Antioch, there were many other sizeable cities in early 7th c. CE Syria – Palestine:

 

Edessa of Osroene or Urhay (today Urfa in SE Turkey), which had earlier been the capital of the Christian Aramaean Kingdom of Osroene (132 BCE to 214 CE) and then excelled as one of the most important cities-centers of Christianity worldwide

 

Harran (or Carrhae)

 

Beroea (today’s Aleppo – Haleb in Syria)

 

Apamea (near Hama in Syria) – former treasure city of the Seleucids and an important Christian center

 

Emessa (Homs in Syria)

 

Tadmor / Palmyra – one of the wealthiest and most sizable Aramaean states that was also one of the most important trade centers of the ancient world as it was located on geostrategic position in the land trade routes between the Mediterranean world, Iran, India, Egypt, Central Asia, and China

 

Laodicea (Latakiyeh in Syria)

 

Damascus

 

Bostra (today’s Bosra in Southern Syria close to the Jordanian border)

 

Tyr (major Phoenician city of the coast)

 

Sidon (major Phoenician city of the coast)

 

Byblos (major Phoenician city of the coast)

 

Beirut

 

Heliopolis (Baalbek in today’s Lebanon)

 

Caesarea of Palestine (known as Caesarea Maritima – south of Haifa on the coast) – a major Christian center

 

Jaffa / Joppa – a major coastal city and an important religious – literary center for both, Christianity and Judaism

 

Jerusalem

 

Samaria (today’s Nablous) – the old capital of the ancient state of Israel that consisted of the ten tribes of the Hebrews, whereas the state of Judah regrouped the other two tribes. The local population was Chaldaean Aramaean and constituted the earliest Aramaean settlement in Palestine, as they were transferred from Southern Mesopotamia by Sargon Emperor of Assyria immediately after he invaded the Israelite capital and transported the entire population of Israel to the NE confines of the Assyrian Empire (722 BCE).

 

Tiberias (Tabariyyah – on the coast of the homonymous lake in NE Palestine)

 

Philadelphia – Decapolis (Amman in Jordan)

 

Here, we cannot mention either Rekem – Petra (capital of the Aramaean Nabataean kingdom / 168 BCE – 106 CE) or Hegra – Mada’in Saleh (second capital of the Nabataean kingdom) because they both were progressively abandoned after the collapse of the local Aramaean kingdom.

 

The above list is not exhaustive. Smaller cities like Jerash in Jordan or Apollonia of Palestine are not included. To establish a complete topographical list of the local towns, villages and hamlets, one would include thousands of inhabited places.

 

The total population of Eastern Roman Syria – Palestine must have been around 5-6 million people in the early 7th c. CE. At those days, the Eastern Roman Empire, according all serious approximations, totaled 20 to 25 million people living in today’s South Balkans, Turkey, Syria-Palestine, Egypt and North Africa.

 

The same concerns Mesopotamia in its totality – either totally controlled by the Sassanid Iranian Empire or shared at times between the Iranians and the Eastern Romans. There were many densely populated cities except the vast capital, Tesifun (Ctesiphon). It is rather safe to claim that Mesopotamia was more populous than Syria – Palestine, as this had always been the case. The Sassanid Empire totaled a population larger than that of the Eastern Roman Empire as it also controlled Central Asia and the North of India; it was however less centralized. According to some estimates, in the early 7th c. CE, the Sassanid Empire totaled 25 to 30 million people.

 

  1. III. INDIGENOUS POPULATIONS AND INVADING ARMIES IN THE EARLY ISLAMIC EXPANSION

 

In face of the above mentioned, the inhabitants of Arabia in the early 7th c. CE did not total more than two to three hundred thousand (200000-300000) people. We know this as we know the approximate population of the cities where Prophet Muhammad lived or moved to, and the number of fighters who were engaged in battles that took place in order to prevent Prophet Muhammad’s rise of influence.

 

In any case, key Greek and Roman historical records dating back to the 1st and the 2nd centuries of the Christian era provide us with significant details as regards Arabia, and the documentation we get from them is quite sufficient for estimations, considerations and comparisons. Texts like the Periplus of the Red Sea (composed by an Alexandrian Egyptian merchant and captain around 70 CE) and the Geography of the Egyptian Alexandrian scholar Ptolemy (around the middle of the 2nd c. CE) are in this case as valuable as the geographical references to the area made by the great Roman scholar Pliny the Elder in his Natural History (Historia Naturalis).

 

It is to be always kept in mind that for several centuries the Roman Empire controlled a vast part of today’s Saudi Arabian territory (its NW corner) and more particularly the city – harbor of Leyke Kome (‘White Town’) which is identified with modern Umm Lajj on the coastland – although identification with al Wajh would be more conservative. Similarly, we know very well that Sassanid Iran occupied the entire coastland of the peninsula in the Persian Gulf (i.e. the coastlands of the modern states of Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Emirates and Oman) where the indigenous population was Aramaean.

 

On the other hand, we have also to keep in mind that Najran belonged to Yemen and was inhabited by Yemenites, who are not Arabs, and the same concerns the Omanis. Only the desert and the central part of Hedjaz were inhabited by Arabs in pre-Islamic times. Makah at the times of Prophet Muhammad was an unimportant village of 5-6000 (five to six thousand) people. Yathrib (later known as Madinah) was one of the few big cities of the Arabs or even the biggest, but it still could not even be compared to one of the aforementioned big cities of Syria, Palestine or Mesopotamia. Sargonid Assyrian and Nabonid Babylonian control was extended over Yathrib which is first known thanks to Mesopotamian cuneiform literature more than 1200-1300 years before the emergence of Islam. Named Yathribu, the then small and peripheral city was the location of the summer palaces of the Nabonid kings, probably because of the prevailing weather conditions and the mild summers.

 

At this point, it is easy to recapitulate. The pre-Islamic migrations of Arabian Peninsula tribes to Syria and Mesopotamia (Eastern Roman Empire and Sassanid Iranian Empire) are rather a matter of legend and not a proper historical record. Although it is certain that they happened, they were rather migrations of reigning families, which is very common across History; they were indeed accepted and welcomed locally by indigenous populations oppressed by foreign occupation soldiers, as the Aramaeans were heavily taxed and persecuted by the Eastern Roman and the Sassanid Iranian administrations.

 

The emigrated populations do not therefore represent but a small number of fighters and their families, and this means in every case only a few thousands of people (3000 – 5000) at the most. But even if we accept the hypothesis of the emigration of an entire tribe, again the number cannot be higher than 15000 or 20000 people, which is a tremendously high number of people moving, but still of minor importance for the millions of indigenous settled populations, namely the inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine and Egypt. The settlement of immigrated populations may perhaps acquire some importance at the strictly local level, e.g. the area where they exactly settled. But again, in this case, it is crystal clear that the immigrated tribes were sooner or later assimilated to the settled populations that they encountered in their final area of settlement.

 

However, any tribe originating from Ancient Yemen was not Arabic but Yemenite tribe, so quite different; this will be discussed later in this article.

 

It is however true that, after the Islamic invasions, many soldiers settled in diverse places, and mainly in the area of the first capitals of the Caliphate, namely Syria (Damascus) and Mesopotamia (Baghdad), if not for any other reasons only to ensure the new Islamic state’s administration and defense.

 

But who and how many were all the soldiers of the early Islamic armies – and when?

 

Only correctly formulated questions can lead to correct conclusions. And to properly approach and understand the subject of the early Islamic armies, we need to answer the above, tripartite question. Why? Because a great part of the existing confusion / misperception of the event hinges on exactly this point: not all the details concerning the soldiers of the early Islamic armies were properly studied and taken into account, when the verdict was announced in favor of the arabization.

 

Many view indeed the event of the early Islamic invasions as a one-moment monolith. That’s pretty absurd or deliberately / suspiciously wrong. A historical event that spans over 20 years, from the 630s to the 650s (to limit it to its main part), represents the historical evolution of an entire generation. In other words, it is not an event anymore, but rather a historical process.

 

This automatically means that the ethnic (racial) composition of the early Islamic armies changed progressively from 633-4 to 640, to 645, to 650. As one victory succeeded another from 633 to 711, a certain number of indigenous people in Palestine, Mesopotamia, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Anatolia, Caucasus, Central Asia, North Africa, India and in the Iberian peninsula adhered to Islam, and started participating in the next stage of the expansion.

 

What follows is a brief presentation of how and why this happened in a way that is still concealed from most!

 

After the Arabs accepted the Prophet Muhammad’s calling, Ali preached in Yemen’s (then new) capital Sanaa in 630, two years before the Prophet died, and all the Yemenites and the Omanis accepted Islam peacefully. As Yemen and Oman were provinces of Iran, it is very remarkable that even the Iranian chief administrator accepted Ali’s preaching. Yemen had a much larger population than Arabia itself, as ancient records clearly evidence; texts like the Periplus of the Red Sea, Ptolemy’s Geography, Cosmas Indicopleustes’ Christian Topography (written only 20 or 30 years before Prophet Muhammad’s birth), and the much hated by the biased Freemasonic Orientalist scholarship text ‘Laws on the Homerites’, i.e. the legislation of the Ancient Yemenite state of Himyar by Saint Gregentios, Archbishop of Taphar (dating in the 1st half of the 6th c. CE) include extensive and valuable information in support of the aforementioned estimates of population.

 

This means that at, until the death of Prophet Muhammad, Ali had already brought to Islam more people than Prophet Muhammad himself! At those days, the entire population of Yemen may have totaled 1 to 1.5 million people, thus outnumbering the Arabs by 5:1 to 7:1. The fact that Yemenites are totally dissociated from Arabs ethnically, linguistically and culturally will be discussed later.

 

The normal consequence of the above realty is that, when the wars started between the Islamic Caliphate on one side and the Eastern Roman and the Sassanid Iranian Empires on the other, the very early Islamic armies (633-639) consisted of Arabs, Yemenites, Omanis, and few Persian and Roman new converts and proselytes (the likes of Salman al Farsi, etc.). Following the acceptance of Islam by non Arabs, Yemenites and others, it was very common for Arabs to give Arabic names or nicknames to the new converts and proselytes (thus, for example, Salman al Farsi was also called ‘Abu Abdullah’), but this did not make of them Arabs – in anything.

 

However, at a later stage, when the Islamic armies fought at Nahavand (in the Zagros Mountains that separate today’s Iraq from Iran) and besieged Alexandria in Egypt (642), the combat forces were made of Arabs, Yemenites, Omanis, and Aramaeans from Syria, Palestine and Mesopotamia – areas that had just been invaded few years ago, during the period 633-639. In just 5 years after Islam went out of the peninsula, a very remarkable part of the Islamic armies (1/4 to 1/3 by modest estimates) was composed of soldiers who were not native Arabic speakers.

 

Subsequently, in the later stage of the Islamic expansion (650-711), Persian soldiers may have fought in Spain, and Egyptian soldiers may have fought in Northern India. So, Arabs became progressively a minority in the Islamic armies. At that level, the personal names of the soldiers mean absolutely nothing, because to Copts, Aramaeans, Persians, Berbers and others, adhesion to Islam meant immediate acquisition of Islamic personal names in Arabic.

 

We know from crosschecked sources that even in the critical middle stage of the Islamic expansion (640-650), the Islamic armies were not numerous (ex. 30000 soldiers in the battle of Nahavand). Even if we suppose that all of them were Arabs (and we know that they were not), that all of them settled in only one of the newly invaded lands, for instance Syria (and we know that they did not limit themselves in only one), again we have to admit that their numbers were so minimal that they were finally assimilated among the indigenous populations, i.e the Aramaeans or the Copts, the Berbers and others.

 

  1. IV. ISLAM: THE CULTURAL ARAMAIZATION OF THE ARABS

 

As regards the Arabization falsehood, there may be two more points to discuss, e.g. linguistic arabization and cultural arabization. Academia and intellectuals supporting the Orientalist hoax often refer to these points that are however null.

 

Linguistic arabization does not mean or imply anything; within few generations and quite recently, African Americans became English native speakers in the US, and they forgot their past native languages that they were still speaking when they forst set foot on American soil. However, they did not become Indo-Europeans, or to put it more specifically Anglo-Saxons, as regards their ethnic origin. Neither can one ascribe them to the average English or White American culture.

 

To some extent, the arabization hoax survived for so long, only to confuse everyone and have political ramifications of calamitous character (Pan-Arabism, Arab Nationalism, etc.), because there was something important missing in the syllabuses of departments specializing on History of the Islamic World.

 

As a matter of fact, it is very wrong to study Early History of Islam as only Political History or History of Religion – and this is what happened until now either in the West or in the fake states that were formed after the dissolution of the major powers of the Islamic World, i.e. the Ottoman Empire, Safavid Iran, and Mughal India. In fact, the most important dimension of the Early History of Islam, which remains highly disregarded and unstudied, lies within the field of History of Civilizations (and Cultures) – a far wider field whereby every religion is widely contextualized and highly parameterized.

 

Actually, if we intend to study the diverse acculturation phenomena that took place in the 7th c. CE onwards due to the preaching of Islam by Prophet Muhammad, we have to focus primarily not on the Aramaeans and the Yemenites, but on the Arabs. In critical terms of Cultural Studies that have to apply in this case, the Arabs by accepting Islam, were profoundly, drastically and irrevocably aramaeanized and fully acculturated among the Christian Aramaeans. Islam viewed (not within the narrow context of religion but) as Culture was the most complete rejection of the earlier Arabic culture, legends, narratives, cults, beliefs, attitudes and – generally speaking – behavioral system. Aramaean culture, legends and narratives, as evoked by the new religion, replaced Arab culture following the preaching of Prophet Muhammad.

 

It is only because of the biased, anti-Islamic attitude of the West that scholars and researchers specializing in Early History of Islam did not notice that, before and after Hijra, the opponents and enemies of Prophet Muhammad did not reject a new religion (because Islam had not yet been fully articulated) but disparate religious ideas and concepts (those preached by one of their compatriots who was neither a local magistrate nor a priest of an already known religion) that – all – constituted the foremost rejection of what had been known among as Arab culture. In fact, they reacted and opposed his teachings because what he evangelized was alien to their nomad Arab culture and drastically opposed their behavioral system to which they wanted to stick.

 

Ages old, anti-Islamic hatred and hidden political motivations against the entire Islamic World were the reasons for which 18th and 19th c. Orientalists and Islamologists deliberately left vast fields of research and exploration unexploited and unstudied, because it was crystal clear to them that the end result would not correspond at all to their prefixed ideas and pre-arranged conclusions. As it happened, 20th c. Islamologists continued advancing on the footsteps of their predecessors and in the process a wide area of academic exploration remained terra incognita.

 

To put it correctly, at the times of Hijra (622 CE), Islam was actually a ‘new’ religion only to Arabs – not to Aramaeans! Almost all the subjects discussed within the Quran and the Hadith at the times of Prophet Muhammad were known to Aramaeans (either exactly as preached or slightly different), but not to Arabs. By this, I don’t mean that the verses of the Quran were already known in the very form in which they were uttered, but that the underlying concepts, stories, and narratives, as well as the ensuing mindsets, mentalities, attitudes and behaviors preexisted.

 

In this regard, there are plenty of examples. The entire cosmology of Islam, the narratives about the Creation, the expulsion from the original Paradise, the deviance of the early mankind, the morals of the Sodom and Gomorrah people (as reprimanded and castigated by God in the story of Lot / ch. 26, 160-171), and the Flood (involving Prophet Noah – Nuh), the stories about the Pharaoh, Moses (Musa) and the Exodus, about Jonah, and the moral concepts and values that they represent, the rejection of the Christian theory about Jesus’ divinity (which had already been rejected by the great Christian theologian and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Nestorius 130 years before Prophet Muhammad was born), a great number of religious practices involving prayer, prostration, fasting, etc., the ensuing ethics and morals, attitudinal and behavioral systems preexisted among Aramaeans.

 

Particularly, the Nestorian Aramaeans’ values, behaviors, knowledge, science and esthetics heralded in a way Prophet Muhammad and, after the diffusion of Islam beyond the peninsula, took the central part and played the main role in the rise of the Islamic Civilization. Arabic writing is in fact a later deformation of the Syriac Aramaic writing. For this reason, early Islam did not appear to the Christians of the times of Prophet Muhammad as another, distinct, religion but rather a new form of heresy or a radical reassertion and rehabilitation of Nestorianism.

 

The implantation of Aramaean culture among Arabs through Islam and the early acculturation of the Arabs among the Aramaeans were the main reasons for which the populations of Syria, Palestine and Mesopotamia were immediately favorable to the Islamic armies and did not support the defense of the country to which they belonged – either Eastern Roman Empire or Sassanid Iranian Empire.

 

  1. V. THE EARLY ISLAMIC INVASIONS: FIRST MISREPRESENTED AND DISFORMED BY THE WESTERN ORIENTALISTS, SECOND USED IDEOLOGICALLY & POLITICALLY BY THE COLONIAL GANGSTERS

 

The aforementioned reality has been concealed at a global academic – educational – intellectual level, because it severely harms the ‘systematized falsehood’ that Western academia wanted to impose and did actually impose worldwide as regards the early Islamic expansion.

 

At this point, one must take into consideration that the imposition of the ‘systematized falsehood’ did not occur only in Western universities and in the derivative establishments setup in colonized countries but also within the so-called Islamic universities (the likes of Al Azhar and Madinah universities) whereby misleading, constrained and trimmed, de-contextualizing syllabuses exist only to obscure students and perpetuate the prevailing ignorance of the real History of Islam among Muslim academics.

 

As per the promoted and imposed Western ‘systematized falsehood’, the Islamic expansion phenomenon is called ‘Muslim / Islamic invasions’ or rather ‘Islamic / Muslim conquests’ (the last option is the title of the Wikipedia entry), and it is depicted as involving extensive bloodshed, fierce battles, and cruel attitudes that were supposedly imposed on an otherwise peaceful Christian Mediterranean world by some barbarians. In other words, Islam is depicted an external threat and an impending danger, whereas quite contrarily all the constituent elements of the Islam can be found on Eastern Roman territory.

 

In this regard, it is useful to add that Oriental Christianity has also been deliberately kept unknown to all Western Christian schoolchildren and students (with the exception of the very few researchers who begin their specialization in this topic only in their postgraduate studies). It is definitely paranoid for a Western schoolchild and student to be given through their general education more info about India, Buddhism, and China than about Constantinipolitan Orthodoxy, Coptic and Syriac Monophysitism, East Aramaean Nestorianism, and Oriental Christianity.

 

This hiatus is deliberate and serves the Western academics, who are the promoters of the ‘systematized falsehood’, to firmly dissociate and disentangle Islam from the Christian world. This viciously contradicts all the historical evidence. It is therefore not just a lie, but a criminal falsehood geared to be a time capsule for repetitive use any time the Freemasonic political establishment of the corrupt West intends to tarnish and demonize Islam.

 

And the aforementioned analysis of the fact that the Orient was never arabized but, quite contrarily, the Arabs have been aramaeanized through Islam clearly demonstrates that the Western negative portrait of the early Islamic expansion is totally false. Islam as Culture and Civilization was developed under determinant Aramaean impact and was never an external factor to Christians. Even more importantly, the most original Christians of the early 7th c. CE and those, who had more direct and correct info about the preaching of Prophet Muhammad, did not hesitate to either adhere to Islam or remain Christian and reject the Eastern Roman rule. This is of colossal importance because, in full rejection of the Freemasonic Orientalist colonial evilness and lies, it means that for the true Christians, the Islamic rule, administration and ‘political power’ (being wrong the term is used only conventionally here) is definitely preferable to the devious and evil Roman or Western control.

 

In addition to the above, the assumption of ‘a pre-Islamic peaceful Christian world which was interrupted by Islam’s conquering armies’ contradicts all historical sources, being viciously false, heinous and criminal because of its implications. Before the arrival of Islam, the Perso-Roman wars were not the only conflict in the wider region. Within the Roman Empire, many theological disputes ended in ceaseless conflicts and bloodshed. The rise of Arianism against official Roman Christianity in the 4th c. CE resulted in endless wars, fights, cruel oppression, and hundreds of thousands of dead. Donatism, considered as another heresy, turned North Africa to a permanent battlefield and to a land of oppression in the 4th and the 5th centuries.

 

Starting already in the 2nd and the 3rd c. CE, Marcionism and Docetism were considered as heretic theological schools and therefore persecuted. However, they survived across many centuries only to give birth to other theological schools which, under strong Gnostic impact, contrasted with Roman and Constantinopolitan Christianity, leaving even significant traces within Islam.

 

The prominent position offered to Jesus by Mani in his new religion (Manichaeism – Manawiyah in Arabic), which was preached in Ctesiphon (the Iranian capital at Mesopotamia) 400 years before Prophet Muhammad, confused Christianity while offering the newly risen Sassanid dynasty an excellent tool to attract Christian populations to a religion that incorporated elements of Gnosticisms, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism. Manichaeism had an extraordinary expansion, without war, through trade and ideological mobilization, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Despite the great impact that Manichaeism had across the Roman Empire, it was bloodily persecuted, and the same occurred later in Iran as well, when Mazdeism (a reinstatement of the Zoroastrian orthodoxy) prevailed among the Sassanids. Persecuted Manichaean communities from NW Africa, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Iran, Central Asia, and China left a voluminous material record without which it is absolutely impossible to assess the History of the Orient and therefore the History of the Islamic Caliphates. Even at its greatest expansion, Islam did not cover an area as large as that where Manicheans were dispersed worldwide – although they seldom controlled the administration of a country.

 

The two strongest theological opponents of Official Christianity managed finally to control the patriarchates of Antioch and Alexandria in the 5th c. CE. Monophysitism is today the original form of Christianity accepted by the Copts, the Western Aramaeans (in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan), the Armenians, the Georgians, and the Abyssinians. Monophysitism is actually a derogatory term given to Monophysites by their Roman and Constantinopolitan opponents; whenever mentioned across this text, it is used conventionally. The correct term would be Henophysitism; as theological system, it was the theoretical ‘child’ of the School of Alexandria. Following the rejection of the majority decision at the Council of Chalcedon (451) by the Monophysites, the schism became definite between the patriarchates of Rome and Constantinople on one side and those of the East on the other. Subsequently, Eastern Roman soldiers carried out plans of terrible persecution against the local populations. In few words, Monophysitism rejects the official Christian dogma that Jesus as Christ (Messiah) had two natures, i.e. divine and human, and stipulates that Jesus had only one. divine and human, nature.

 

On the other hand, Nestorianism was the theoretical ‘child’ of the School of Antioch and was rejected in both, the Council of Ephesus (431) and the Council of Chalcedon. Eastern Aramaeans accepted Nestorianism overwhelmingly and Iranian Christians adhered to the dogma of Nestorius in their totality. Nestorius launched the Great Church of the Orient outside Roman territory and in the beginning many Nestorian Aramaeans moved from Eastern Roman Syria to Sassanid Iranian Mesopotamia. The result was that after the middle of the 5th c. CE (so, only 130 years before Prophet Muhammad’s birth), all the populations of the Eastern Roman Empire east of today’s Central Turkey rejected flatly the official religion of Constantinople. Nestorianism spread across Iran to Northern India, Central Asia, and China leaving evidence for more than 1000 years after Nestorius, who is also believed to be a Saint by the Christians of Malabar in Southwestern India. At the antipodes of Monophysitism, Nestorianism makes clear that Jesus had only a human nature, being thus far closer to Islam than any other system of faith.

 

The fight of the terms took the forefront place of the polarization with the Nestorians introducing for Virgin Mary the term ‘Christotokos’ (Mother of the Christ) in flat rejection of the official Constantinopolitan term ‘Theotokos’ (Mother of God). Anti-Eastern Christian persecutions in the Eastern Roman Empire and the Sassanid Iranian Empire were as severe as the incessant wars between the two strongest states of the then known world.

 

All these perplex, multifaceted and endless strives came to an end and different religions and denominations coexisted peacefully within the early Islamic caliphates (the Umayyad and the Abbasid dynasties). The rise of the Islamic Caliphates was a most beneficial event not only for those among the Aramaeans, the Persians, the Copts and the Berbers who accepted the new faith but also – and this is far more important – for those who preferred to remain Monophysitic Christian, Nestorian Christian, Manichaean and other and live under Islamic Rashidun (and later Umayyad and Abbasid) Caliphate rule rather than Eastern Roman tutelage or Sassanid Iranian scepter. This is clearly evidenced by texts like the Ta’rikh Batarikat al-Kanisah al-Misriyah by Severus ibn al-Mukaffa, Coptic bishop and historian, or the Chronicle of John of Nikiû.

 

And this is exactly what the ‘systematized falsehood’ of the West does not want known to anybody about Islam. Even centuries after the Islamic expansion, the Oriental Christians preferred to live safely, securely, productively and peacefully under the Islamic Caliphate’s administration rather than to be exposed to the heavy taxation, persecution and cruelty of Constantinople or Rome. This is not strange at all. Anti-Islamism did not exist among the Christians of the early Islamic times; the wars fought were only due to the fact that the Constantinopolitan imperial power did not fully and irrevocably accept the permanent loss of their Oriental provinces.

 

Only much later, Anti-Islamism became an influential political attitude in Western Europe; this happened only after the Pope of Rome, due to his military ineptitude, economic weakness, and political fragility was placed under Frankish political tutelage. The rise of the barbarian Frankish kingdom and the prevalence of Franks in Rome (800 CE) led to the First Great Schism (867 CE) between Constantinople and Rome, which was another Frankish trickery carried out in order to fully place Rome under Frankish control and offer the barbarian Franks the chance to alter / corrupt the Catholic Church of Rome from inside. Only after these developments, Anti-Islamism appears in Western Europe as a tool of Frankish political propaganda.

 

In fact, the earliest texts of the Eastern Roman Empire that mention the explosion of Islam in Arabia (Chronicle Paschale and the Chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor) presented Islam as rather a Christian heresy, not an independent religion. This shows the religious – cultural vicinity of the two systems and, at the same time, demonstrates that the constant wars between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Islamic Caliphate between the 7th and the 11th centuries reflected basically economic and political interests and not a radical religious opposition or rejection.

 

This is another key dimension of Oriental History that the modern Western falsifiers want the entire world not to know.

  1. VI. ANCIENT YEMEN AND PRE-ISLAMIC ARABIA

 

Speaking about the Southern, Southwestern, Southeastern and Eastern confines of the Arabian Peninsula, one has to totally and irrevocably dissociate Yemen and Oman from the Pre-Islamic Arabs. The Ancient Yemenites and Omanis were not Arabs, and their languages were very different from Arabic, although they all were Semitic languages. Similarly, modern Yemenites are not related to Arabs in any sense, because Yemen accepted Islam without ever being occupied by a single Arab soldier. The so-called phenomenon of the Islamic invasions did not occur in Yemen, Oman, Somalia and the entire Eastern African coast – at all! And no Arabs settled in Yemen under any circumstances whatsoever.

 

Ancient Yemen developed its own syllabic writing system at least 1000 years before the first pre-Islamic Arabic texts are attested in Hedjaz (and this happens as late as the middle of the 3 rd c. CE). The Ancient Yemenite kingdoms of Saba (Sheba), Qataban, Awsan, Ma’in, Himyar, and Hadhramawt are documented by the unearthed epigraphic evidence and they were also constantly referred to in Ancient Assyrian, Babylonian, Iranian, Greek and Roman historical sources. Oman was always an Iranian province, and we have attested Iranian occupation of Yemen in both, the Achaemenid period (550-330 BCE) and the Sassanid times (224-651 CE). Few years, after the Roman annexation of Egypt and the death of Cleopatra (30 BCE), Octavian sent the Roman fleet as far as Aden to destroy that wealthy city-harbor that controlled the Indian Ocean maritime trade and imposed heavy taxes on all products sent from India and East Africa through the Bab al Mandeb straits of the Red Sea to Alexandria and the Mediterranean world.

 

Describing harbors, navigation details, trade centers, and products across the sea route of the trade (plus its land and desert extensions/ramifications) between the Mediterranean World, East Africa, India, Central Asia, Indochina-Indonesia, and China, the text Periplus of the Red Sea (written around 70 CE) offers a dramatic contrast between civilized Yemen and Arabia.

 

In an article titled ‘Civilized Yemen vs. Barbaric Arabia: the Historical Divide will shape the Future’, published in Buzzle (6 August 2005), I included an English translation of the text, and I analyzed extensively the specific excerpt of this text. I republish the excerpt here as well:

 

Starting by paragraph 19 of his text, the author describes the navigation at the Eastern edge of the Red Sea. He refers to Leuke Kome (“White Town”) as the first harbour and port of call on the sailor’s way to the south. Since the departure is given not from Arsinoe (Suez) but Myos Hormos (the Mouse’s Bay), which corresponds to al Ghardaq – Hurghada in the Egyptian Red Sea coast, and the distance mentioned is 1000 to 1500 stadia (1 stadium equals 185 m), we deduce that Leuke Kome must be identified as the modern coastal town Al Wadjh.

The text refers to the Roman military presence (“ekatontarchos”: a centurion, officer leading 100 Roman soldiers), Roman fiscal presence (“paraleptes tes tetartes”: a customs officer dispatched in order to get 25% of the passing merchandise as tax), as well as a land road to the Aramaic Nabataean capital Rekem / Petra of King Malichus (certainly Malichus II). The Roman garrisons ensured safety for the land trade, since the main part of the merchandises (sent to Rekem and further on to Jerusalem, Damascus, Antioch, or Palmyra) was transported from Yemen by sea to Leuke Kome. Who were the inhabitants of that place? Since Leuke Kome does NOT belong to ‘Arabia’, we can deduce that they were probably Aramaeans, possibly of the highly civilized Nabataean branch, since the text makes a striking differentiation between them and the Arab inhabitants of the coast immediately in the south of Leuke Kome.

According to the Periplus of the Red Sea, civilization ends at Leuke Kome, and starts again around Mouza that is in the modern Yemenite Red Sea coast. What lies between them is the realm of Arab barbarism according to the author of the text (paragraph 20), which reads as follows:

“Immediately after this port (Leuke Kome) starts Arabia, which is extended alongside a large part of the Red Sea. It is inhabited by various peoples and tribes, whose languages differ either a little or totally. The coastal zone features many groups of huts of the fish–eaters, whereas the inland includes hamlets and pastures, being inhabited by a people who speak two languages and have a perverted character. These people rob those who deviate from their sailing just in the middle of the sea, and come nearby their coasts. They arrest all the shipwrecked, so that they make later use of them as captives. That is why the Kings of Yemen attack them, and hold many of them as prisoners. They are called Canraites (note: this is the single time this term was used in Ancient Greek literature). Truly, any sort of navigation nearby the coast of Arabia is particularly dangerous, and this area is characterized by a lack of ports and offers few possibilities of anchorage, being full of perilous rocks, difficult of reach because of the rocky precipices, and awful from any viewpoint. That is why when we sail south, we navigate in the open sea, and as fast as possible, until we reach the Katakekavmene Neso (‘Scorched Island’). Immediately after that island, there are plenty of lands inhabited by civilized people, who have large cattle, and use camels for their trade and transportation”.

Here we are already among the ancient Yemenites! The Katakekavmene Island can be identified with Farasan islands, slightly north of the Northern Yemenite borderline. The text enters then paragraph 21, as follows:

“Beyond these areas, in the last bay of the coast that is extended on our left during our navigation, lies Mouza, which is an official (“nomimon”: controlled by the state) port of call. If we follow the correct navigation line to the south, it lies in a distance of 12000 stadia from Berenice. The city is exclusively inhabited by Yemenites, captains and mariners, and is burgeoning with commercial activity (lit. “the trade is exceeding”) since it plays a vital role in the commerce up to Barygaza, and in this business the Mouza people use their own equipment”.

 

I think that further comments are not needed. As a matter of fact, in the middle of the 1st c. CE when the Periplus was written, the merged kingdoms of Saba and Himyar had replaced Qataban, and controlled the entire Somali coast of Eastern Africa as colony (from the Horn of Africa to approximately the area of Dares salaam in today’s Tanzania). Similarly, the kingdom of Hadhramwt had the island of Socotra as colony. Yemenites had excellent navigational skills and know how, having been the undisputed masters of the Indian Ocean navigation for almost 1500 years before the arrival of Islam. Whenever we refer to Islamic times’ navigation between the Arabian Peninsula and Eastern Africa up to China, we mean that it was almost exclusively in the hands of the Yemenite Muslims who by accepting Islam started using Arabic and gradually abandoned their native language. They were called Arabs, but in fact they were not Arabs.

 

However, in today’s Hadhramawt, Socotra and North Somalia (Bossasso), two languages originating from the Ancient Yemenite languages have survived. Hundreds of thousands of people are native in these languages. Last but not the least, the decipherment of the Ancient Yemenite writing was done through constant comparisons with Ge’ez which is the writing system of the Ancient Abyssinians and at the same time the religious language of the Christian Abyssinian state of Axum. In fact, Ge’ez is a late Yemenite writing and the striking similarities helped scholars rapidly complete the decipherment of the Ancient Yemenite writing. This is not strange at all because the Abyssinians are just a Yemenite tribe that crossed the Red Sea and settled in the African coast in the second half of the 1st millennium BCE. The name Habashat has been attested in Ancient Yemenite epigraphic evidence as well.

 

  1. VII. HOMOGENEITY vs. HETEROGENEITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST

 

Speaking about the entire area of the Ottoman Caliphate (the term ‘Middle East’ being false and racist), one would however be wrong to conclude, in spite of the aforementioned, that the region has lacked homogeneity either historically or presently.

 

Homogeneity does not exclude diversification. And diversification does not mean heterogeneity.

 

In fact, before 500 years, there was an excellent, remarkable homogeneity among all peoples and nations inhabiting the vast area between Morocco and Indonesia, prior to the arrival of the Western European colonial powers. To move from the Atlantic coast to Buddhist Myanmar in 1530, one needed to cross only three borders, namely those between: a) the Berber Moroccan kingdom and the Ottoman Empire, b) the Ottoman Empire and Safavid Iran, and c) Safavid Iran and Mughal India.

 

And despite all possible local wars among Muslim governments or conflicts between Muslims and followers of other religions in the wider region of the Islamic world, there was never hatred and evilness as much as after the arrival of the alien intruders, who came from Western Europe after they had already rejected Christianity and replaced it with Freemasonic Satanism in the backstage of politics back in their countries. It is only the presence of the French, the English, the Dutch, the Spaniards, the Portuguese, the Belgians, and the Americans that opened Pandora’s Box in Asia, Africa and America, turning high civilizations to utmost misery, excruciating poverty, abject materialism, fratricidal wreckage, and compact barbarism. They found a world that looked almost like a Paradise, and they turned it to the worst version of Hell.

 

What is happening in Pharaohs country Egypt ?

baba

The Arab world being in the center of attention of the world with its lived events , yet continues shacking. Seeing existence of fairly substantial reasons that arising from inside, also abroad , is not required so farsightedness. After Tunis, Egypt, Yemen and Libya that exposed to changes in government, great perturbations are also covered Syria. But, by considering of numerous casualties at bloody events that happened in Egypt in the last days, generally, we can come to such conclusion that processes are in the uncontrolled condition and chaos is “ seating”. Egyptian army continues dispersing of protest demonstrations of supporters of Mohamed Morsi – deposed president of country that name is mentioned. For dispersing of protesters , it is used from military equipment and firearms. According to the unofficial information, during demonstrations holding at Rabia Al- Adawiya square of Cairo , including dispersing of meetings in other cities , so far, approximately 4000 people lost their lives, 10 thousand people are injured. But in official information, it is informed injuring of people more than 3 thousand , died of people more than 660. Union of Muslim Scholars called all Muslims for joining and supporting them as a protest against murdering of supporters of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt. Vice President of Egypt Mohamed El Baradei , after these counteractions resigned from his position. It is noted that supporters of Mohamed Morsi hold protest actions with request of reinstating him as a president and renewal of the Constitution. Recall that, Egyptian Court , as a result of holding researches on July 26, decided to give 15 days’ imprisonment to Mohamed Morsi who is an ousted president by army. Court was accused Morsi on collaborating with Hamas action and prison breaks in early 2011 during the revolution. Death of hundreds of people after “cleaning” operation of Egyptian Interim Government against supporters of ousted president created a state of emergency in the country. Egyptian police was attacked “Al-Iman “ mosque at Cairo. About this, it was given information by “ Al- Arabiya” Channel. According to the information, after overrun of “ Muslim Brotherhood” camp at Rabia al- Adaviya square , they specially assembled at above mentioned mosque. But before it is noted that, representatives of “Muslim Brotherhood” movement took to this mosque 260 dead bodies that’s personality is unknown. Of course, Arabian wave shaking of Egypt as remembering almost tsunami effect is not related only with internal causes. Also, existing of foreign forces that makes enough intensively processing of events in Arabian world can be considered as additional push for becoming of situation strained . Reaction of the world union to blooded action that happening in Egypt is not so seriously. Barak Obama – the president of the USA condemned violence that happening in Egypt and terminated the military training which was planned for the end of month. He said that, applying of violence – is not solving way of political differences. European Union countries differed from other Arabian countries , is not expressed strongly opinion to happening events at Egypt. According to experts, country that placed near Egyptians is Turkey. That’s why, Western countries want much more to stayed face to face turkey with all Arabian world and to make weaker. But leaders of brother country by understanding of these insidious plans at time operatively reacts for events. In the meeting of Gabala of foreign ministries of Turkish speaking countries on August 15 declaration was adopted about the situation in Egypt. It is said in declaration: We regret using force for people’s killing and wounding against the demonstrations .We estimate to kill civil people is not acceptable. We express our condolences to families whose relatives were killed, at the same time wish wounded people to recover soon .We express peace being very important and challenge reinstate security, democracy and constancy. “ Surely USA, Russia and some western states’ not going far from ”censure “ reactions show the their using ” many standards” in their policy of Islamic world. How is it that the events in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya turn Global problem and results with military intervention ,but every day being killed hundreds of people in Syria, Egypt these events are called “internal affair “ of these countries. Super powers demonstrate different attitudes to countries having rich natural resources and the countries not having profitable resources .It means that now human factor is the outside of their interest. If we approach to issue from this light it is not difficult to understand the events to leave the destiny . In Egypt referring to Khunta regime not the nation government could lead only two months .who want to live the cold war must understand it is possible to come to power without relying the people but it is impossible to keep the power. Neither as in Syria Russia’s nor as in Egypt USA and other western countries ‘ only the forces serving to people’s interests can lead the government. 2 months ago supporting military coup west ,USA now invites opposite sides to dialogue ,the people coming to force with military coup and be removed with military coup Muhammad Musavi .to fire the civil people in Egypt means to fire the democratic values . It was proved in the last 10-15 years that it is important to stay in power by fighting with nation, by threatening of nation. Cold War period was already ended at the beginning of 90 years. Governors that are together with nation, can confirm their government. Those who come in power by elective way, only can go from power by elections. It can be the historical periods of painful days, even periods in that they faced with losing danger of statehood in every nation’s fortune .But during that period, being of governor in government who is supported by nation , makes opportunity for destroying of dark clouds on country . Remembered that, it is a fact that, during 1991-1992 years, armed groups that supported by appropriate foreign forces , tried to be serious danger for our state independence that we gained newly, for civil war in Azerbaijan , tried to split of Azerbaijan in different regions .In that case, existing of Independent state of Azerbaijan had a kind of formal character. After returning to government of Heydar Aliyev in June of 1993 , national unity that getting in Azerbaijan is one of valuable moral and ideological resources. Luckily fulfilling of Heydar Aliyev his obligation during historical trial , in real sense of word , achieving of National Independence can be considered as the result of moral unity of his with nation. This humanist politics that established by Great Leader Heydar Aliyev is luckily continued in the last 10 years . Mr. Ilham Aliyev – is a person whose presidency was declared by everyone from the first day , tries to eliminate excessive radicalism in internal politics , conflicted thoughts, formation of civil political competition , democratic election struggle between government and opposition. The history proves that, only by democratic elective way changing practice of government is true way. Egyptian nation are also, the great nation that have ancient history, state system and they will be again developed by solving all problems in such situations.

Baba Taghiyev “ Irali Azerbaijan!” chairman of Public Unìon, ex – deputy

www.babatagiyev.com

www.babatagiyev.az

The Gezi Park Protests: Is Turkey becoming Egypt? (Schubel)

Posted on 07/11/2013 by Juan Cole
Vernon Schubel writes at ISLAMiCommentary:
Vernon James Schubel

Vernon James Schubel
On May 31st of this year a protest over the fate of Gezi Park, located near Istanbul’s famous Taksim Square, evolved into a series of broad-based demonstrations against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Over the next month protests continued throughout Turkey. Thousands were injured and at least four died. Serious incidents of police violence were documented, and people were detained and interrogated. Smaller protests continue to take place even now and popular opposition to the AKP is more visible than ever before.
Erdoğan responded to last month’s protests by organizing massive counter rallies of his own. In his speeches at these rallies and in subsequent weeks the Prime Minister’s provocative language about terrorism, Kurds, the Alevi minority, and the need to control the press and social media have reinforced real concerns among many Turks that their country — ruled by the AKP — is turning away from democracy and becoming increasingly authoritarian.
What began as a protest about whether to bulldoze and commercialize Gezi Park has transformed into a new social and political movement against authoritarianism that may ultimately transform the country. And, in the wake of successful protests against the Muslim Botherhood in Egypt, what impact, if any, does that outcome have on the future of Erdoğan and the AKP?
From the outset the nature and the meaning of the protests in Turkey have been contested. Among American scholars and policy makers are some who see this as the beginning of a “Turkish Spring” analogous to previous events in Egypt and Tunisia.
Taksim Square in Istanbul filled with protestors (June 9, 2013). photo courtesy of showdiscontent.com

Taksim Square in Istanbul filled with protestors (June 9, 2013). photo courtesy of showdiscontent.com
Others, meanwhile, have been quick to argue that “Taksim is not Tahrir” as Erdoğan unlike Mubarak is an elected leader. Could that logic shift now that an elected leader – Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi – has been overthrown by protestors with the assistance of the military? I will come to that later, in the conclusion of this essay.
Some have argued that the “Turkish Spring” actually began with the election of the AKP government, which has worked to end the Kemalist “Deep State”— the shadowy group of military leaders, non-elected bureaucrats and other elites believed by many to be in actual control of the Turkish state — and given voice to the democratic aspirations of the Muslim majority. This attitude of support for the AKP government should not be surprising. Among American academics and policy makers there is an influential contingent who have held up Erdoğan’s government as a model for “Islamic democracy” in the rest of the Muslim world.
Many of those same scholars have similarly been touting the transnational religious movement associated with Fetullah Gülen — a powerful cemaat (religious community) that has been a significant proponent of the AKP — as a model for Islamic reform, and which has worked hard over the last decades to build and sustain professional and institutional relationships with American academics.
Recent events in Turkey provide an opportunity to re-examine some of the assumptions that underlie the support for the AKP and Gülen movement that one finds among many American scholars and policy makers.
“Kemalist Secularism” vs. Islam
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons
The overly simplistic binary of “Kemalist secularism vs. religion,” has been frequently used by scholars, experts, and the media — as well as by Erdoğan, the AKP and the Gülen movement — to explain the divisions between protestors against the regime and Erdoğan’s supporters.
Supporters of the AKP and the Gülen movement frequently portray “the Kemalists” as totalitarians who’ve attempted to eradicate religion. For them the most significant aspect of modern Turkish history has been the state’s hostility towards religion. Hence, they see the AKP’s electoral victory as the defeat of “the Kemalist minority” who kept a Sunni Muslim majority from freely expressing their identity.
This is, of course, a deeply selective reading of Turkish history.
While it is true that some members of religious cemaats suffered from persecution during periods of Kemalist authoritarianism, they certainly were not the only ones. In fact, leftists, Alevis, Kurdish activists, and trade unionists were much more likely to have been targeted and jailed by the state over the last century.
Furthermore, while the AKP and the Gülen movement claim to speak for a long persecuted religious majority in Turkey, in reality the movement itself represents a narrow brand of modernist Islam that links together a shari’ah-minded version of Sunni piety with neo-liberal economics and Turkish nationalism.
While they are extremely well-organized and powerful, they are far from a majority. In terms of religion Turkey is in reality deeply pluralist. While the majority of the population may identify as Sunni Muslims a significant minority, somewhere between 15 and 30 percent, identify as Alevi. And in both the Alevi and Sunni communities there is a wide range of ways in which people manifest their religious identities. Beyond this there are important communities of Christians, Jews, and Arab Alawis. And there is also a relatively small portion of the population that rejects religion entirely. It is hard to see the kind of Sunni piety associated with the Gülen movement, and the religious base of the AKP, as representing a majority of the Turkish population.
Nevertheless, the AKP has tried to argue that the recent protests are rooted in a combination of anti-Muslim animus and a longing for a return to the “Kemalist past.” For example, Erdoğan has claimed that protestors in Istanbul drank alcohol in a nearby mosque despite the fact that the muezzin of the mosque in question has denied these incidents took place even after hours of interrogation by government officials.
In fact, observers noted that protestors took special care not to violate the sanctity of the commemoration of the event of the Prophet’s night journey to paradise (mirac), which coincided with one of the early days of the protests.
Most of the protestors, in fact, likely identify themselves as Muslim. Notable is the fact that among the participants were explicitly religious Muslim groups critical of the neo-liberal capitalism of the AKP.
While many of the protestors have been critical of what they see as the AKP’s desire to force its own vision of Islam on the rest of the populace, these protests have been mainly about authoritarianism, not religion.
Diversity, Anti-Authoritarianism and Pots & Pans
In actuality, there seems to be no nostalgia for “Kemalist authoritarianism” among the protest movement in Turkey. First and foremost – and especially important to note — unlike in Egypt there has been no call for a coup among the protestors.
While in general, the protest movement seems to be opposed to authoritarianism in any form, they are calling for a more inclusive and less authoritarian view of the Turkish Republic. In that respect they mirror the perspective of the popular band Kardeş Türküler, who produced a fascinating song and video in support of the Gezi protests called Tencere Tava Havasi (The Sound of Pots and Pans). This referred to the simple act of opposition to the AKP; people went out to their balconies and banged on pots and pans at specific times. This form of protest has spread throughout Turkey in the wake of Gezi Park.
Kardeş Türküler is a group that embraces the ethnic and religious diversity of the entirety of Turkey. They perform songs not only ın Turkish but also Kurdish, Arabic, Armenian and Laz. And while Kardeş Türküler are extremely popular with young people, especially college students, they are not unique in the thriving Turkish folk music scene in their embrace of pluralism and diversity.
They are representative of the worldview of a large subculture of young people in Turkey who accept their country’s diversity. These young people embrace Alevi and Kurdish culture, even if they are not Alevi or Kurdish. They support democracy as a means of protecting pluralism. Their issues are far from marginal and are instead indicative of concerns that have long been part of the Turkish cultural and political scene. Rather than a longing for a return to ‘Kemalism,’ the protests represent an important emerging new social movement built around an antipathy towards authoritarianism and an acceptance of pluralism and diversity.
Demonizing Atatürk and the Kemalists
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. photo courtesy the Republic of Turkey Ministry of National Education (Wikimedia Commons)

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. photo courtesy the Republic of Turkey Ministry of National Education (Wikimedia Commons)
In contrast, the AKP continues to refer to an “us vs. them” paradigm. For them the protests represent the last gasp of the Kemalists or “enemies of the people.” Early on in the protests Erdoğan responded to critics of new laws limiting alcohol sales by referring to the founder of the modern Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk dismissively as “a drunk.”
This drew immediate and widespread critıcism. Despite their faults, Atatürk and the Republican state had their share of accomplishments, which benefited large segments of the population. First of all, in the chaotic years following World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Atatürk (at least in the minds of many people) kept Anatolia from being colonized —which at the time was a real possibility.
In fact Turkey was the only Muslim country in the region to not be carved up and governed by foreigners. Secondly, the democratization of education led to the development of a true middle class in Turkey. Anyone who spends time in Turkey knows people whose grandparents, or even parents, were illiterate or part of the peasantry but who are now lawyers, doctors, teachers and professors.
Yes, the system is far from perfect and nowadays it is difficult to do well on the university exams, for example, without taking special private classes. But Turkey’s success in producing not only a prosperous and educated middle class is in large part due to transformations made by Atatürk and the Republicans, and that is a historical fact accepted by most Turks.
Criticism of the past is one thing, but the AKP and the Gülen movement have shifted from criticism to a kind of demonization of post-Ottoman Turkey as a totally undemocratic totalitarian anti-religious state. Yes, it might have been authoritarian. Yes, it at times persecuted its critics — but not only its religious critics. Yes, the military intervened with coups. But many people benefited from the reforms brought about in the Republican period, and the AKP risks alienating a significant percentage of the population by demonizing their shared Turkish past.
The AKP: Democracy or a New Deep State?
It can also be argued that part of the support that the AKP has garnered electorally has come not from its support of Sunni Muslims or its critique of Kemalism but rather from its advocacy of democracy. The AKP has vigorously sought to limit the power of the military so that there can never again be another coup. In general it has had the support of the people ın doing so.
Now, however, many people in Turkey fear that the AKP and the Gülen movement — rather than being forces for democratization — are in fact creating their own version of “the Deep State.”
The rise of the AKP and the Gülen cemaat is indeed frightening to many Turks. In 2011 the renowned journalist Ahmet Şık was arrested for writing a book that argued that the Gülen movement was taking over organs of the state, especially the police. His book was banned before it was even published.
Not only is there obvious press censorship and harassment of journalists, but ties between the AKP government and corporate media have also resulted in massive media censorship. It is common (and embarrassing) knowledge in Turkey that while CNN International was covering the protests, CNN Türk showed a documentary on penguins. The popular history journal connected to the news network, NTV, (NTV Tarih) was recently shut down by its administrators before it could put out an issue dedicated to the Gezi protests.
Television networks that covered the protests have suffered harassment, and there have been calls to control social media. Although police violence was obvious during the protests,Erdoğan, who initially apologized for the “excessive violence that was used in the first instance against those who were behaving with respect for the environment,” has since been effusive in his praise for “his police” and their response to the protestors whom he has equated with “terrorists.”
There are many in Turkey afraid of ultimately losing the very real benefits that they received from the successes of the last century, and being forced to conform to a new authoritarian ideology — rooted in a Weberian understanding of the connection between religious puritanism and capitalism, the religion of Islam and Turkish exceptionalism.
Parting Thoughts
It should be noted that since I wrote the initial draft of this essay a reboot of the protest movement of 2011 in Egypt has occurred – this time in opposition to the democratically elected government of the Muslim Brotherhood. This group had a grievance similar to the Gezi Park protestors — that the elected government was ignoring the rights and desires of the 50% of the population that did not support them, and was becoming increasingly authoritarian. That government was subsequently overthrown with the assistance of the military.
That is clearly not going to happen in Turkey. But it is clear that Turkey is increasingly polarized politically. Erdoğan and the AKP have a substantial base of support that will not easily erode. And yet there are cracks appearing in the conservative coalition that supports the AKP.
Women protesters in Taksim Square, Istanbul. photo courtesy of showdiscontent.com

Women protesters in Taksim Square, Istanbul (June 1, 2013) photo courtesy of showdiscontent.com
Some of Erdoğan’s more over-the-top statements, such as equating protestors with terrorists, have frankly been embarrassing to many supporters of the AKP especially among some in the Gülen movement. At the same time there are new coalitions arising in opposition to the AKP. It is fascinating to see Alevis, environmentalists, anti-capitalist Muslims, women’s rights advocates, LGBT activists and others making common cause against what they see as the growing authoritarianism of the current government.
… I began this essay by noting how some American scholars and policy makers have tended to be supportive of the AKP and the Gülen movement. I think that many of them do this because they see this as a struggle between Islam and secularism, and they wish to be on the side of the Muslim majority. I also think that many of them hold to an Orientalist belief that Muslim majority countries cannot aspire to democracy but instead to some form of “Islamic democracy.” They thus see Erdoğan and Gülen as the best alternatives to more extremist forms of Islamism. I think they have an overly essentialist view of Islam that leads them to an overly narrow view of the possibilities open to Muslims.
Certainly I would not write-off either the Muslim Brotherhood or the AKP as totalitarian movements. But they do represent forms of conservative majoritarianism. At the most they may be willing to tolerate pluralism to a limited degree, but they certainly do not embrace or celebrate it. The social movement arising out of the Gezi protests is not about secularism vs. Islam. It is more accurately about pluralism vs. majoritarian-ism.
Unlike Egypt there is virtually no possibility that the current regime will be removed by a coup. But the upcoming electoral struggle will be fascinating to observe. Like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the AKP and the religious communities that support them have the advantage when it comes to organization.
The Gezi protests have mobilized an opposition to the AKP that was previously both intimidated and discouraged, and a month and a half later that opposition is still active and vital. But there is as yet no single political party who seems to speak for the concerns of this opposition, and the question remains whether this movement will translate into votes that will change the government. (Parliamentary elections, unless Erdoğan moves up the date, are scheduled for 2015 )
Eboo Patel has said that the real struggle in the 21st Century is between pluralism and totalitarianism. This may be a bit stark, but I understand his point. It seems clear that the real conflict in Turkey, Egypt, and, in fact, in many parts of the world is between those who embrace pluralism and see it as something for which we should strive, and those who are troubled by it and believe that the religious and cultural sensibilities of the majority should, at the very least, be privileged.
Vernon James Schubel is Professor and Chair of Religious Studies and Director, Islamic Civilization and Cultures at Kenyon College in Ohio. In addition to Religion 101 he teaches a variety of courses on Islam, including Classical Islam, Voices of Contemporary Islam, and Sufism; and Religions of South Asia. His has conducted field work on Islam both in Central and South Asia. His current research focuses on the Turkish Alevi tradition. His book, Religious Performance in Contemporary Islam, was published by the University of South Carolina Press in 1993.
——
Mirrored from IslamiCommentary
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Turkey to finalise payments to Egypt in two months

Türkiye Amerikan usulü emperyalizmi öğreniyor, Mısır’a 2 milyar dolar borç veriyor!

bank-of-egypt

Turkey will transfer the remaining US$1 billion of a $2 billion loan to Egypt in two months, according to sources

Turkey will transfer the remaining US$1 billion of a $2 billion budget support package agreed for Egypt last year within the next two months, Turkish economy officials and banking sources said on Wednesday.

The loan will be a shot in the arm for Egypt, which on Tuesday failed to agree with the International Monetary Fund on a $4.8 billion loan that could ease a worsening economic crisis in the Arab world’s most populous nation.

Under the Turkish agreement, announced last September during a visit to Ankara by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy, Turkey’s Treasury loaned Egypt the first $1 billion.

Turkey’s Eximbank will now supply the second tranche in the next two months, the sources said, although the interest rate on the loan had not yet been settled.

“The Egyptians are completing the deal’s conditions at the moment. We expect them to get it done by the end of the month and the deal to come into effect afterwards,” one of the sources close to the transaction said.

“The deal will include capital goods and pre-determined projects. Egypt will soon have a short list of these projects.”

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has presided over Turkey’s emergence as a power in the Middle East over the past decade and championed the pro-democracy uprisings of the “Arab Spring”, which saw dictatorships unseated in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.

His government is keen to position Turkey, whose construction sector is heavily engaged in frontier and emerging markets in Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as a key player in rebuilding the region’s post-conflict economies.

Turkish trade with Egypt rose to $5 billion in 2012, consisting mostly of Turkish exports to the Arab nation, from around $3 billion the previous year.

Egypt has been rapidly burning through the hard currency reserves it needs to import food to feed its 84 million people. It is grappling with falling tourism, a soaring budget deficit and an atmosphere of political confrontation that has led to waves of violent street protests.

It secured $5 billion in stopgap finance from Qatar and Libya last week, which, together with the Turkish loan, will buy it time as it seeks to avert social unrest over fuel shortages and food price increases in the run-up to parliamentary elections expected in October.

Before the Qatari and Libyan loans, its foreign currency reserves had dwindled to a low of $13.4 billion in March, less than needed to cover three months’ imports.

via Turkey to finalise payments to Egypt in two months | Al Bawaba.