tarik ali'nin önümüzdeki haftasonu türkiye sosyal forumu
'nda sunacağı son konuşması/makalesidir:
was benedict's most recent provocation accidental or deliberate? the
bavarian is a razor-sharp reactionary cleric. a man who organises his
own succession to the papacy with a ruthless purge of potential
dissidents and supervises the selection of cardinals with great care
leaves little to chance. i think he knew what he was saying and why.
choosing a quote from manuel ii paleologos, not the most intelligent of
the byzantine rulers, was somewhat disingenuous, especially on the eve
of a visit to turkey. he could have found more effective quotes and
closer to home. perhaps it was his unique tribute to oriana fallaci.
the muslim world with two of its countries---iraq and afghanistan--
directly occupied by western troops does not need to be reminded of the
language of the crusades. in a neo-liberal world suffering from
environmental degradation, poverty, hunger, repression, a 'planet of
slums' (in the graphic phrase of mike davis), the pope chooses to insult
the founder of a rival faith.
the reaction in the muslim world was predictable, but depressingly
insufficient. islamic civilization cannot be reduced to the power of the
sword. it was the vital bridge between the ancient world and the
european renaissance. it was the catholic church that declared war on
islam in the iberian peninsula and sicily. mass expulsions, killings,
forced conversions and a vicious inquisition to police the cleansed
europe and the reformist protestant enemy. the fury against 'heretics'
led to the burning of cathar villages in southern france. jews and
protestants alike were granted refuge by the ottoman empire, a refuge
they would have been denied had istanbul remained constantinople.
'slaves, obey your human masters....for christ is the real master you
serve' said paul (colossians 3: 22-24) in establishing a
collaborationist tradition which fell on its knees before wealth and
power and which reached its apogee during the second world war where the
leadership of the church collaborated with fascism and did not speak up
against the judeocide or the butchery on the eastern front. islam does
not need pacifist lessons from this church.
violence was and is not the prerogative of any single religion as the
continuing israeli occupation of palestine demonstrates. during the cold
war the vatican, with rare exceptions, supported
the imperial wars. both sides were blessed during the first and second
world wars; the us cardinal spellman was a leading warrior in the
battles to destroy communism during the korean and vietnam wars. the
vatican later punished the liberation theologists and peasant-priests in
latin america. some were excommunicated.
not all christians joined in the crusades old and new. when pope urban
launched the crusades the norman king of sicily refused to send troops
in which sicilian muslims would be compelled to fight against muslims in
the east. his son, roger ii, refused to back the second crusade. in
doing so they showed more courage than the leaders of contemporary
italy, who are only too willing to join the imperial crusades against
the muslim world.
'to make sure of being right in all things', said the founder of the
jesuits, ignatius loyola, 'we ought always to hold to the principle that
the white i see i should believe to be black if the hierarchical church
were so to rule.'
today most catholic prelates in the west (including the bavarian in the
vatican) and politicians of centre-left/right worship the real pope who
lives in the white house and tells them when black is white. amen.