The Turkish Taliban
by SHEIKYERMAMI on APRIL 9, 2010
Turkey is now ruled by the Justice and Democratic Party (Adalet ve Kalkinma, AKP)- – a party under the Gulen’s control. Abdullah Gul, Turkey’s first Islamist President, is a Gulen disciple along with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Yusuf Ziya Ozcan, the head of Turkey’s Council of Higher Education.
Under the AKP, Turkey has transformed from a secular state into an Islamic country with 85,000 active mosques – - one for every 350- citizens – - the highest number per capita in the world, 90,000 imams, more imams than teachers and physicians – - and thousands of state-run Islamic schools.
Gulen has stated that “in order to reach the ideal Muslim society ‘every method and path is acceptable, [including] lying to people.’”
This individual has amassed a fortune – - over $30 billion – - for the creation of a universal caliphate.
The Ayatollah Khomeini was forced to leave Iran by the Shah, but he found refuge in Iraq, and lived there for years until Saddam Hussein booted him out. Saddam considered him a potential threat to the Sunni despotism that, disguised as “Ba’athism,” had reigned, more and less harshly depending on the ruler and the outside circumstances, in Iraq for decades. And when he had to leave Iraq, it was not clear where Ayatollah Khomeini could go. He couldn’t return to Iran. But he also couldn’t or wouldn’t be taken in by any other Muslim Arab state, for they were all ruled by, dominated by, Sunni Arabs. They would not likely give refuge to a fanatical Shi’a Muslim who might hearten local Shi’as (in such countries as Bahrain, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen). In any case, he would be regarded with natural hostility and distrust, not unmingled with contempt, by Sunni Arabs.
But there was one country that was wiling to take the Ayatollah Khomeini in. And that country was not a Muslim state, but France. Famous for offering refuge to all sorts of revolutionaries and dissidents in the nineteenth century, the French government, or some in it, no doubt were moved by the Morality Play that was artfully constructed. According to it, the Shah, being vainglorious (he was that), and his court, being corrupt (it was that), and the regime, being allied to the Americans (it was that), was certifiably on the side of the Devil. And therefore Khomeini must have been a brave, tiers-monde debout-les-damnés-de-la-terre fighter for freedom, with – who could expect otherwise? – a special fondness and interest in Islam. But why not, and what was wrong with Islam anyway?
So he settled down, did this fanatic, into a comfortable existence at Neauphle-le-Chateau. And there he was not prevented from acting, not prevented from receiving visitors, not prevented from recording tapes full of calls for the violent overthrow of the Shah. Those tapes were then smuggled back to Iran, re-recorded by the tens of thousands, and then sent all over Iran to be listened to by others, including the rural poor and the urban bazaris. They were eager to listen to this fiery orator who was also a learned Shi’a theologian, and could appeal without any effort to the texts and tenets of Islam for support as he painted the Shah as an enemy of Islam because the Shah was a friend of, and defender of, Infidels.
Thirty years of the Islamic Republic of Iran have passed, and the hell is there for all to see. The hell of Khomeini, no sooner coming to power than reducing the marriageable age of girls to nine years, because that was good enough for Muhammad. And the hell of the execution of many of the members of the former regime, including people who were not wicked at all – such as Amir-Abbas Hoveyda – but the very best of the ancien regime, to be supplemented, later on, by the killing of some of the best Iranians in exile, such as Shahpour Bakhtiar, who had during World War II joined the French Resistance, and who, as a member of the Iranian resistance to Khomeini, having escaped the Gestapo, was many decades later murdered in Paris by Khomeini’s agents.
It is amazing to me that no one in France has seen fit to utter a mea culpa (much less a mea maxima culpa) for this idiocy. For despite all his faults (and they were many), the Shah was, compared to what followed, practically Winston Churchill. And if there was one thing that characterized the Shah and the ancien regime of hoveydas and tabatabais, it was francophilia, French education, the French language. The Shah himself had attended Le Rosey in Switzerland. French lycees flourished in Teheran. The Shahbanou herself was part of the francophilia that in Iran was as notable a feature as it had been of pre-Revolutionary Russia. England was always, in Iranian eyes, the suspect, the enemy. England was the country of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. But France offered the “perfected civlisation” of Chamfort.
And yet it was France that, in offering the Ayatollah Khomeini what he could not have obtained anywhere in the Muslim world — that is, asylum — made possible the rise of Khomeini and the founding of the dangerous Islamic Republic of Iran. In Neauphle-le-Château Khomeini recorded those tapes which were then smuggled back into Iran and tens of thousands of copies made, and those copies sent all over Iran. The lessons of the Great Leader and Learned Theologian (an ayatollah, forsooth) Khomeini were listened to, with attention, with rapture, with fanatical faith by those sharpening their knives for the Shah, and those hoveydas, and those tabatabais.
Whoever, in the French government, had the bright idea of granting asylum to the Ayatollah Khomeini, helped to bring down the country where la francophonie and francophilia were kept alive. It was madness. And it should have been foreseen, for it was all utterly predictable, save for one thing, the other development so necessary to the resistible rise of Khomeini.