Foreword (About Racism)
In the year 1983, when I was a student in the Faculty of Divinity, Erzurum, I went to Malazgirt for some reason. I started to chat with the person sitting next to me on the bus on the way back to Erzurum. When I learnt that he was from Diyarbakir, I said to him: Once Diyarbakir was a little troubled, I hope everything is alright now. He looked at me carefully and said: But we were right in our cause. Rather surprised, I asked what his cause was. He answered me: They told us that we were Turk, and we took up arms to prove that we were a different nation.
Born in the western part of Turkey, in Manisa, and been to the eastern part of Turkey for university education, I was faced with an open view of racism to such an extent for the first time. I asked him: Have you heard of Badiuzzaman Said Nursi? When he said he had heard of him, I said: Look; he is from Bitlis (located in the eastern part of Turkey), and today many people benefit from his works. On the other hand, our Prophet was neither Turk nor Kurd, but he is the Prophet of us all. Islam is a cause beyond races; it embraces all races and makes them brothers and sisters. Turks and Kurds are two nations that shared the same land for centuries, that believe in the same religion, that have the same ideals and that are ready to sacrifice their lives if need be for the sake of the same values.
I marked that as I approached the matter from religious perspective, he became quite milder: You are right; we are indeed one and together.
Having united in common values that way, an intimate atmosphere formed and our travel to Erzurum continued in a friendly way.
I applied to work as a teacher when I finished university and was appointed to Diyarbakir. In this beautiful place, I worked as a teacher of religious subjects in the Central Religious Personnel Training School for four years between 1988 and 1992 and I even married in Diyarbakir. We spent very nice times with those beautiful people whose mother tongue was different from my own.
One day, while conversing with one of the students, I saw that he had a racist tendency and said to him:
I am a Turk, but today I am trying to be of benefit to you. If I happen to go to the US one day, I will try to benefit them, too. Having such a universal religion as Islam, we should not get tricked by racism, which is forbidden in religion.
Nowadays, it upsets me, too, just as it should upset everyone who has love for this country, that our country could not yet overcome certain ethnic problems. Actually, people of this country are not faced with too great problems to solve. I believe that we will overcome all the problems together, with little effort. I hope that this humble work of us will help us solve certain problems.
With the hope of happier days all together!
Istanbul - 2008
Ass. Prof. Şadi Eren
The Reality of Race
What makes one gain value is not the race that one belongs to, but the virtues that one possesses.
The religion of Islam accepts races as a reality. Allah states in the Qur'an:
O humankind! Surely We have created you from a single (pair of) male and female, and made you into tribes and families so that you may know one another (and so build mutuality and co-operative relationships, not so that you may take pride in your differences of race or social rank, or breed enmities). Surely the noblest, most honorable of you in God's sight is the one best in piety, righteousness, and reverence for God. Quran, The Chambers (Al-Hujuraat); 13 (49:13)
What is intended in the verse with the words female and male is the Prophet Adam and Eve. All mankind is descended from them. When we take into account that Adam was the first prophet at the same time, we can say that all the humanity is the grandchildren of a prophet.
In the verse, the reason behind separation into different races is explained as people's knowing each other. Indeed, every nation has its own peculiar characteristics, and it is possible to determine to which nation one belongs by looking at these characteristics. Just as different sections in an army such as air and ground forces can be differentiated with the help of their properties, nations are also differentiated from one another by looking at their peculiar characteristics. Just as the diversity in the army is not a reason for dispute, belonging to different nations should not be turned into a reason for clashes. It is not the race to which one belongs that makes him/her gain value but the virtues that one possesses. Otherwise, in every nation there are both good ones and bad ones.
Races are Colorfulness!
Races are the diverse colors and patterns in the carpet of humanity.
Allah has based His art and creation on colorfulness. For instance, colors are seven in number; the notes representing sounds are seven; tastes are diverse.
It is a beauty coming from the program of the Divine determining that there are different races among human beings. Different designs and patterns in a carpet do but add to its beauty. If the rainbow were of one color, it would not be as beautiful as now. Different races and nations have also added different beauties to our world. The existence of different races in our country (Turkey) resulted in an immense richness of culture. The different cuisines, music and architecture styles in the east and the west, the north and the south of our country make us a 'great nation.'
The Color of Allah
(O Muslims, say: "We take) the "color" of God (the "color" that He has put on the whole universe, not the color some party put upon themselves through some rites in the name of religion). " Who is better than God in coloring, (and whose color is better than God's)? Quran, the Cow (Al-Baqarah); 138 (2:138)
Yunus Emre says, having learned the lesson from the Qur'an: We love the created, because of the Creator. However, not everybody can be as mature as Yunus Emre. The following incidence is narrated:
While a group of people were performing the duty of Hajj (Pilgrimage), a Muslim of the white race grimaces when he sees a black person. The black person approaches the friend of the person who grimaced, and then says:
Ask my Muslim brother who looked at me grimacing; did he not like the paint or the painter?
In Qur'an, there is the expression 'the paint of Allah'. It is stated that the
most beautiful paint is the 'paint of Allah'. (Al-Baqarah, 138)
An indicating meaning of the verse is seen in humanity. While humans are common in the essentials (organs, etc.), they are different in such respects as sound, face, color, and so on. The Qur'an states:
And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the diversity of your languages and colors. Surely in this are signs indeed for people who have knowledge (of the facts in creation, and who are free of prejudices). Quran, The Romans (Ar-Rum); 22 (30:22)
Where do the Races come from?
It is not difficult for the power that creates from the same earth colorful flowers to create from the same Adam and Eve the races with diverse characteristics.
A friend of us who graduated from METU, one of the outstanding universities of Turkey, had suspicions about religion. Once, while talking, he asked; Have you ever had a black friend? I said no. He said that he had: I got to know them closely. They are quite different from us. I cannot help but think; If Adam was created as white, then where did these black people come from? Do they have another Adam for themselves?
I said: That they just have different color and some different characteristics does not necessitate that we should be looking for another Adam for them. For instance, an automobile factory produces different models and paints them in different colors. We do not look for other factories just because of difference in model and color. Just like that, Allah created Adam and Eve in such a way that all the races would come out, and in time He created the races., It is not difficult for the power that creates from the same earth colorful flowers to create from the same Adam and Eve the races with diverse characteristics.
The Qur'an says that man is created out of a specially sifted extract of clay. (The Believers, 12). As it is narrated, Allah asks Gabriel to bring from the soils of the earth with different qualities. Gabriel brings from the white, black, and red soils with different characteristics. Allah molds these with His 'hands of power', makes the statue of Adam and then blows spirit into him. This way, the first human being was created.
It is understood that the genetic composition of Adam and Eve had all the characteristics of all races. These characteristics in time led to the onset of races. Thus in different places, different races and tribes came into existence.
It is a divine choice that in humanity there are different races.
Babel was the greatest and most famous city of the Sumerians built in Old Mesopotamia in the antiquity. The ruins of the city, which is 88 km far from Baghdad, have come to this day. In the Qur'an, in Surah al-Baqarah, in verse 102, this city is mentioned.
Babel is one of the oldest centers of civilization; the Hanging Gardens of Babylon is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
One of the things that earned Babel fame is the tower there. As is narrated in the Old Testament, the Tower of Babel was built by the descendents of Prophet Noah to reach up to heaven. The languages of these people who became proud of what they did were changed by Allah and they could not communicate any more, and then they spread all over the world. This event is called tabalbul-u aqwam (tribes speaking different languages) or tashaub-u aqwam (ramification of tribes).
In negative nationalism, with a racist style, a similar catastrophe occurs: No race and nation respects other races and nations, understands their language and gets on well with one another any more.
What is racism?
He who calls for racism is not from us; he who fights for racism is not from us; and he who dies for the sake of racism is not one of us. (Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him; Muslim, Imara, 57)
Solutions to our problems are present in the Qur'an and in the hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Those who do not know them, may doubt, for example about racism, whether their love for their nation would be regarded as racism. However, the answer to this question is given with the following event in the Era of Bliss (the time of Prophet Muhammad, PBUH):
One of the Companions of the Prophet asks: O Allah's Messenger, would one's love for one's tribe and nation be regarded as racism? The Prophet answers:
No, it would not. Racism, rather, is one's helping one's tribe in injustice/wrongdoing.(Ibnu Majah, Fitan, 7)
If one discriminates between people in favor of some just because they are from one's own tribe, and if one defends them while knowing they are wrong, it means that one has helped injustice. However, let alone perpetrating something unjust, it is not seen right at all even to accept it. This is because just like accepting unbelief is unbelief itself, so, the acceptance of injustice is injustice.
The Theory of 'Superior Race'
There is no superior race, but there are 'virtuous people' and these virtuous people may well emerge from every race.
Those who base their ideas on racism see their race as the superior one. For example, Jews accept themselves as the 'chosen race'. According to Jews, the most superior race is that of the Jews and the other nations are created to serve them.
We see that in the history of Islam, some Umayyad Rulers supported 'Arab racism'. Those saw the Arabs as the 'noble nation and the other Muslim nations as slaves. This shallow thinking offended other people, and their rule could last only 85 years. The verse by Namik Kemal is just the answer to such ideas:
You should rise, you deserve a higher place,
Coming to the world is not a talent.
No boredom human has, to serve people.
Neither with age, lineage, nor position,
Nor with property; loftiness is but with perfection.
That's to say; one's worth does not depend on one's age, position, or property. His/her value is proportionate to the perfection/integrity s/he has. Whoever has belief, good morals and good deeds, is high in value.
Races are mixed up!
Fighting for race is wasting time and even blood.
In our country or anywhere else across the world, those who follow a 'pure blood racism' show up now and then. Even though it may be possible to claim it in some parts of the world, it is not possible to assert this 'pure blood racism' in Turkey. This is because after Muslims conquered this land, people from almost everywhere emigrated and settled here.
It is a reality realized also by the current generations that even in the recent past, people from the Balkans, Middle East, and Central Asia came to this country and settled here.
In this respect, 'a pure blood race' is not possible for Turkey. Especially, throughout centuries, Turks and Kurds have mingled with one another through
intermarriages, and have become inseparable like bone and flesh.
Though it is necessary to make a great effort for a 'more prosperous Turkey', it is a waste of time and even blood to follow a cause of the racism of Turks or Kurds.
The Tendency for Racism
Racism is a fanaticism.
The racist loses conscience and justice.
As a requisite of his creation, man feels a closer affinity for his/her own relatives. It is also a reflection of this relationship that s/he loves the nation s/he belongs to more than others. Actually, there is no problem so far. However, if some exaggerate this love for their tribe and nation and transform it into hatred for others, then problems start. The first is quite normal, while the second is fanaticism and is harmful.
A similar case is seen in politics and football. It is quite normal for one to support the political party or the football team that one favors. However, if it turns into such a mentality as thinking that 'those who are from my party are good, but the others are bad; those who are from my team are friends, but the others are enemy', grave problems will follow..
Man should be fair and conscientious. S/he should accept that those from his/her own nation can sometimes be wrong, and should refrain from such generalizations as those from among us are always right.
We may belong to different races, but first of all, we are all humans.
Rather than seeing human as human and evaluating him/her accordingly, some put race and nationality forward and judge accordingly.
Somebody with racist inclinations asks an esteemed Professor this question:
If two people of different races were about to drown in the sea-one of them were of your own race and the other of another race and if both of them were Muslims and they both had similar qualities- which one would you rescue first?
The Professor answers:
I would draw lots, and rescue the one who wins!
It is not necessary that we expect everybody say humanity is my nationality, and the earth my country; of course everybody has a nation and land that they belong to. However, this belonging should not lead to denying others.
The Point where Racism Ends
Among the questions of the grave, there is no such a question as Which race do you belong to?
One might earn the rank of an army general in this life, but when he dies, his death prayer is performed as a normal male not as a general. This is because with death, ranks and positions come to an end and everybody is left with their own deeds.
People may benefit from their relations with their relatives and from sharing the same nationality. However, this benefit is until a certain time. The Qur'an points out this:
Then, when the Trumpet (of Resurrection) is blown, there will no longer be any ties of kinship among them (which will be of any avail), nor will they ask about one another (as everyone will be too engrossed in their own plight to think of others). The Quran, The Believers (Al-Muminun); 101 (23:101)
That is to say, when the doom breaks, everybody cares for their own selves, and there remains no time to think about other's problems. That day nothing avails man but good deeds. Even being the son or daughter of a prophet cannot save one.
The son of Prophet Noah
The things that make man gain value are such virtues as faith and high ethics. Otherwise, even being the son or daughter of a prophet cannot save one.
One of the sons of Prophet Noah did not believe. A flood was imminent for those who did not believe. While the waters were rising, Prophet Noah said to his son with mercy both as a prophet and as a father: Embark with us, my son, and do not be with the unbelievers! However, the son did not get on the arch saying: I will betake myself to a mountain that will protect me from the waters! At that time, a wave came and the son of Noah got lost in the flood.
Prophet Noah says: O my Lord, my son was of my family (as a believer), and Your promise is surely true (for my believing family members), and You are the Most Just of judges.
Allah says: O Noah! He (being an unbeliever) is not of your family. He is one of unrighteous conduct (which embodied his unbelief). So do not ask of Me what you have no knowledge of. I admonish you so that you do not behave as one among the ignorant.
Prophet Noah then says: O my Lord! I seek refuge in You, lest I should ask of You what I have no knowledge of. And unless You forgive me and have mercy on me, I will indeed be among the losers." Hud (The Holy Prophet); 42-47 (11:42-47)
As it is seen, even being the son of a prophet does not save one.
The Danger of Racism
The harm of racism has been extremely hard both for the world and for our country.
When he observed creatures, Charles Darwin reached the conclusion that the strong survive, while the weak become extinct. Some social scientists accepted this idea, which was actually not true, as valid for human races, too. It is called 'Social Darwinism'. Adolf Hitler, moving from these ideas, founded the Nazi racism in Germany. To him, the most superior race was that of the Germans and they should rule the world.
Hitler agitated the public with these ideas. He stirred up the crowds with his effective discourses. These excitements and commotions led to the outburst of the Second World War. Germany conquered Poland. Uniting with Italy, Germany fought against England and France. Then the war spread to other fronts and grew into a world war. In that bloodiest war that the world has ever seen, 47 million civilians and 15 million soldiers lost their lives. Only in Russia, more than 20 million people became victims of the war. Many countries, especially Germany, turned into ruins. % 70 of the factories in Europe became useless.
The Spirit is of no Race!
Man is composed of spirit and body. While the body belongs to a race, the spirit does not.
Whatever race humans may belong to, they are responsible for their deeds in the other world, not for their race. There is no criterion like Whoever belongs to this race goes to Paradise, the others to Hell. However, there exists the criterion The believers will enter Paradise, while the unbelievers will go to Hell. Being a believer or and unbeliever is not limited to one race. Almost in every race, there are believers and unbelievers.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says:
In the Final Day, Allah will not ask you about your lineage. Surely, the most superior one of you in Allah's presence is the one who abstains from evils most. (Muslim, Birr, 33)
Our Prophet says in another hadith:
Allah does not look at your property and your physique; but He looks at your hearts and deeds. (Ibnu Majah, Zuhd, 9)
Descendants of the Prophet
All of us are descendants of a prophet. Our ancestor Adam was a prophet.
While teaching in Ankara Çamlıdere Religious Personnel Training High School, during a lesson one of my students said:
Teacher, I am a descendant of the prophet.
Firstly, I thought that he was of the lineage of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), I asked him if they had a family tree. My student said laughing:
I don't know it exactly, but I never doubt that my lineage goes back to Prophet Adam. In this respect, everybody can say that they are descendants of a prophet. This is because the first man Adam was at the same time the first prophet.
Indeed, this clever answer astonished me and all of us. Actually, we knew that we were the descendants of Adam, but we had not thought that we were all descendants of a prophet.
What suits the descendants of a prophet is not fight, but peace and friendship.
All Humans are Brothers and Sisters
All of us are the different kinds of fruit that grow on the different branches of the tree of humanity.
Prophet Noah is also called the 'second Adam'. Some say that all the human races on the earth now are descended from the three sons of Prophet Noah 'Ham, Sam (Shem) and Yafas (Japheth)'. The reason for this is that the unbelievers were killed all together in the flood at that time, and that the generations that followed descended from Prophet Noah and from the ones who embarked the arc with him. Actually, if we go a little back, we see that all of the humans and all the races come from Adam and Eve. From this respect, it is possible to see all the humans as relatives that have come from the same mother and father.
In Surah Hujurat, in the 13th verse, it is pointed out that humans are descended from the same ancestor; also, in the same surah, a special brotherhood is emphasized:
The believers are but brothers Quran, The Chambers (Hujurat); 10 (49:10)
The brotherhood here is not of a descent kind, but it is a brotherhood that comes from faith. This brotherhood will continue for ever. As for the brotherhood in lineage-related terms, it loses its validity even in this world; brothers from the same mother might become enemies. If they do not share a bond of belief, this lineage bond does not mean anything in the other world.
Enmity toward Arabs
When there are serpents everywhere, the bite of a fly is not bothered much.
Badiuzzaman Said Nursi says that the greatest obligatory duty of this time is the unification of Muslims. Of course, this unification does not mean that all Muslim countries gather under the same flag, but it means political, military, economic and cultural cooperation. Today, in Turkey, some people might have a hatred for Arabs on such grounds as that Arabs betrayed us in the First World War; they united with the English and shot us from behind. Arabs, too, might have a hatred for Turks with the English devices that Ottomans exploited us for 400 years and retarded us. However, at the time when the Ottomans ruled these places, petroleum was not yet known and they did not have anything else that could be exploited.
Although in the Second World War, Germany and Italy together caused great damage to Holland, Belgium, England and France, today they have all come together under the same roof of the European Union. While they unite together in spite of grave problems, it is of course not a good situation that the Muslim world is in bits. The Muslim world should leave aside the problems among themselves that are like only 'fly's bites' and should deal with the snakes that want to devour them.
Positive and Negative nationalism
Television can be both beneficial and harmful depending on how it is used; and nationality is just like that.
Everything may have both positive and negative kinds. For instance, if one asks whether TV is beneficial or harmful, the answer should be It depends on how it is used. This is because it can be both harmful and beneficial. We can evaluate nationalism similarly. It is just beautiful and beneficial for everybody to naturally love their own nation. However, if it turns into hatred toward those from other races and nations, it is of course harmful.
Positive nationalism is one's caring for those from one's nation and taking pains to solve their problems. In this kind of nationalism, there is no blaming and rejection of other nations; here the case is, just like one's having closer ties with one's own relatives, one engages in more cooperation with those from one's own nation.
Negative nationalism, on the other hand, is an approach in a racist way. In this kind of nationalism, one sees those from one's own race as superior. Those who think this way prefer the ones from their own race to others even if they are wrong. It is one of the typical characteristics of negative nationalism to feed on others, devouring them.
Criterion in Loving one's Nation
Nationalism requires sacrifice for one's nation. Real nationalists are those who are beneficial to the nation.
Before Islam, the saying Help your brother regardless of whether he is the oppressor or the oppressed. was quite famous among Arabs. The religion of Islam emerged and did away with many superstitious and unjust traditions then. Accordingly, Islam abolished the wrong of seeing one's tribe as superior.
One day, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used the saying Help your brother regardless of whether he is the oppressor or the oppressed. The Companions were very surprised. They asked; O Allah's Messenger, we have understood helping the oppressed, how can we help the oppressor? The Prophet explained:
Preventing his/her oppression/wrongdoing is helping her/him. (Tirmizi, Fitan, 68)
Of course, in every nation there are those who are oppressed and those who oppress. The duty on every one of us is to help those around us who are oppressed, and to try to prevent the oppression of the oppressors.
If one who says I am a nationalist. does not take care of the oppressed and cannot say Stop! to the oppressor, s/he is not sincere in her/his cause of nationalism, but deludes herself/himself.
The Story of Three Oxen
Let the people say 'You! Me!' and remove unity,
For nations this is the doom.
M. Akif Ersoy
There were three oxen living in a meadow. One of them was yellow, one was black and the other was mixed-colored. They would grass back to back and would never leave each other. The wolf craved to eat them but could not approach them. For this reason, in order to attain its goal, the wolf thought of separating them. One day when the mixed-colored ox was away from the other two, the wolf came closer to the yellow and black ones and said to them: How beautiful you are! However, this mixed-colored friend of yours does not suit you at all. When the two consented, the wolf said; Drive it away from you! When they asked how to do that, the wolf replied: If you help me, I will drive it off from you. One of them held the throat of their friend and the other held the feet, and thus helped the wolf. The wolf tore the mixed-colored ox apart with great appetite.
Another day, the wolf, which got hungry, approached the yellow ox while the other was away and said to it: How beautiful your color is! But your friend is black and doesn't suit you. With the help of it, the wolf tore the black ox apart. Finally, the wolf stood in front of the yellow ox and without needing any trick, it directly said: I will eat you The yellow ox became aware of the seriousness of the situation. However, it was too late and there was nothing to do. Hopeless, it mumbled:
Actually, we had been defeated on the day when we let the mixed-colored ox be eaten and deserved this end.
Fight for What?
While we have more important things in common that make us one and together, what is the fight for?
Our country sometimes witnesses sad events. Clashes between groups that have different views and ideas harm the lives, properties and peace of our people. Such events are most often the blind fight between those who want essentially the same things. The story by Mawlana reflects this truth:
Four people from four different nations had become friends and were traveling. They did not have money. Somebody gave them one lira (currency in Turkey) out of pity. The Arab among them said:
-Friends, let us buy inab with this money. I fancy inab.
Inab meant grapes in Arabic. The Persian objected:
-No, let us buy angur.
Angur also meant grapes in Persian. The Greek then said:
-No, friends, neither inab nor angur... In this hot weather, we would like istafil very much. Let us buy istafil.
Istafil meant grapes, too, in Greek. At last, the Turk could not stand it:
-I do not want any one of what you have said. We should buy üzüm with this money.
Üzüm meant grapes, as well, in Turkish. They started to quarrel; inab, angur, üzüm, istafil... Then the quarrel turned into fight; they were now punching one another with their fists. At that time, a wise person was passing by. He asked why they were fighting and listened to every one of them. At last, he understood that these four people all said the same thing, and wanted grapes. He took their money from them and said:
- Stop, do not fight! I can bring you with this one lira what you all want. Just trust me. This one lira of you can do all that you want.
He thus headed for the bazaar, bought grapes for one lira, and put the grapes in front of them. The fight and quarrel ended.
A Cause beyond Races
The religion of Islam is universal; it is the religion of not one single race, but of all races.
Before Islam, in Arabia, a nomadic style of life was prevalent. The people living there did not know about civilization. They lived separately in tribes. Some tribes like Quraysh were held superior to other tribes; some tribes, on the other hand, were not respected at all. Especially black people were not seen as human beings. The religion of Islam rose like the sun and saved them from the darkness of ignorance, and abolished the traditions of Jahiliyyah (ignorance) that they had revered. Islam ended the tradition of primitive tribalism and counted humans as equal before justice.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says:
Humans are the children of Adam; and Allah created Adam out of earth. (Abu Dawud, Adab. 111)
He also said:
Islam has cut off the racism of the age of Jahiliyyah (ignorance). (Tirmizi, Jihad, 28)
When they become Muslims, there is no difference between a master from Kuraysh and a slave from Abyssinia. (Ahmad B. Hanbal, II, 488)
Bilal-i Habashi was a black slave. After accepting Islam, he became the 'master of muazzins-the person who recites the call to the prayer' and has always been remembered with respect.
Being a slave from Persia, Salman-i Farisi became one of the outstanding companions.
Najashi was the king of Abyssinia; he believed in Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) without seeing him. When he died, the Prophet led his death prayer in the absence of the deceased.
The envoys sent by the Prophet spread across the world and relayed this universal message everywhere and today, they continue to do so.
The First Racist
The first racist is Satan.
He boasted about the material he was created from and deemed himself as superior.
What makes man gain value is not things like lineage and property, but values like wisdom, high ethics and similar virtues. However, Satan, who clashes with Islam in terms of all criteria of value, is deluded in the issue of race, too, and he deludes others. What took place is as follows:
Allah creates Adam and asks angels to prostrate before him. All angels prostrate but Satan, who is among the angels, does not. To Allah's question: What prevented you from prostrating, when I commanded you to do so?" Satan answers: I am better than he, for You have created me from fire, and him You have created from clay." The Quran, The Elevated Places (Al-Araf); 11-12 (7:11-12)
Similarly, it is a Satan-like manner to see those who are of one's race and nationality as superior and those who are not, as inferior. The view of Jews that they are chosen by God and other people are in a way servants for them has led to many problems and continues to lead. It is well known that Germans started World War II with the supposition that they were the superior race.
Values that make a Nation 'Nation'
Our nationality is one body.
Its soul is Islam; its intellect is the Qur'an and faith.
Badiuzzaman Said Nursi
The word 'nation' is defined as a community of people who have formed a unity of destiny under the same state roof. The word millah (nation) is originally Arabic and means religion or sect; a congregation who adheres to a religion or sect. However, from the beginning of the 20th century, this word has started to be used with the meaning of a group of people who descend from the same ancestor.
Unity of language, religion, land, culture, history and ideal and such essentials are among the basic values that make a nation 'nation'. However, it is not obligatory for every nation that these values are present. For example, although the people of Switzerland speak four different languages, with the unity of history and land they have continued their existence as a balanced country for centuries. Though the American community is made up of very different races, they managed to unite around such essentials as the unity of land, religion, and ideal.
Because the elements that make up the nation are not found all together in every nation, even some of those who have gone far in racism have been obliged to say If language and religion are one, the nation is one, too. Therefore, it seems the most secure way to take the values language, religion, land as essential, independent of race. If these three are together, a strong nation will emerge; if one of them is missing, it is still regarded as a nation.
The Word 'Nation' (Millah) According to the Qur'an
Our intellect resembles a torch with feeble light. The Qur'an, on the other hand, illuminates our world like the sun.
Formerly, while children were taught some basic Islamic information, the answer to the question Which nation are you from? was answered as I am from the nation of Abraham. Here, nation means religion. In the Qur'an, it is mentioned as 'the Nation (Way) of Abraham' (For example, see Al-Baqarah, 130-135; Al'-Imran 95; An-Nisa, 125)
The lineage of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) goes back to Prophet Abraham (PBUH); the essentials of his religion depended on that of Prophet Abraham, as well. For this reason, Allah asks our Prophet to follow the nation of Abraham, that is, his religion.
In another verse the following is stated:
Never will the Jews be pleased with you, nor the Christians, unless you follow their way of faith and life (nation). The Quran, The Cow (Al-Baqarah); 120 (2:120)
In some religious works, we see the expression 'the nation of Islam'. This explains a positive nationalism that gives preference to religion, not to race. Those who share the same land and who believe in and practice the same religion should form a strong nation among themselves.
The Pit of Fire
Separation and division mean loss of strength; and out of unity emerges power.
In the Era of Bliss, in Madinah, there were two tribes named Aws and Khazraj. There had been wars called Buas between them that lasted more than a century, and when Islam came, they forgot all enmity and became brothers/sisters.
One day, outstanding figures of both of the tribes came together and were chatting friendly. Having seen this brotherly atmosphere, an old Jew named Shas Bin Qays was disturbed by their unity and solidarity. He said to one young Jew: Go sit next to them. Remind them of the days of Buas and the former wars; recite some of the poems that they recited at those times.
The youth aptly did what he was told. After a while, people of Aws and people of Khazraj started to quarrel and get angry with each other. The situation became so tense that both sides said: If you wish we can have such a day. Dare you! They drew their swords, prepared to fight. The situation was relayed to the Prophet immediately. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who came to the place with his Companions, began by saying: O Muslims, what happened to you; why are you behaving like that? and went on to say:
While I am with you, do you follow a cause of the time of ignorance? Allah has sent Islam to you, saved you from unbelief, uprooted the traditions of the ignorance and united your hearts. After all these, do you return to your former unbelief again?
After this speech, Aws and Khazraj understood their mistakes and that they had been tricked; they cast their weapons away and embraced one another tearfully. They asked for each other's forgiveness. Thereupon, these verses were revealed:
O you who believe! Were you to obey a party of those who were given the Book, they would turn you, after your faith, into unbelievers.
How do you disbelieve, seeing you are the ones to whom God's Revelations are recited, and His Messenger is amidst you? Whoever holds fast to God, he has certainly been guided to a straight path.
O you who believe! Keep from disobedience to God in reverent piety, with all the reverence that is due to Him, and see that you do not die save as Muslims (submitted to Him exclusively).
And hold fast all together to the rope of God, and never be divided. Remember God's favor upon you: you were once enemies, and He reconciled your hearts so that through His favor, you became like brothers. You stood on the brink of a pit of fire, and He delivered you from it. Thus, God makes His signs of truth clear to you that you may be guided (to the Straight Path in all matters, and be steadfast on it.)
There must be among you a community calling to good, and enjoining and actively promoting what is right, and forbidding and trying to prevent evil (in appropriate ways). They are those who are the prosperous.
Be not as those who split into parties and followed different ways after the manifest truths had come to them. Those are the ones for whom is a tremendous punishment.
On the Day when some faces turn bright and some faces turn dark. And as to those whose faces have turned dark (they will be told): "What, did you disbelieve after having believed? Taste, then, the punishment because you used to follow the way of unbelief!"
As for those whose faces have turned bright, they are (embraced) in God's mercy, therein abiding forever.
These are God's Revelations: We recite them to you in truth, and God wills not any wrong to the world's people.
(How could that be so, seeing that) to God belongs whatever is in the heavens and on the earth, and to God are all matters ultimately referred (and whatever He wills occurs).
The Quran, The Family of Imran (Aal-Imran); 100-109 (3:100-109)
Islam and Christianity in terms of Racism
When the Quran is read carefully, it is seen to address not one nation, but all the humanity.
Renowned Orientalist W. Montgomery Watt says:
According to the general view held by many Christians, the eventual religion of the whole world will be Christianity. However, this is quite far from being certain. It is enough to touch on just one point to clarify the situation: Some of the leading Christian countries today have fallen into a catastrophe of racism. Now, it is of course not possible for a religion that cannot cope with the catastrophe of racism among its adherents to contribute to the solutions to the problems of the world. Among the outstanding points where Islam is superior is its success in founding the brotherhood/sisterhood of humanity and its depth in faith. In its cause to provide the frame of future's sole religion, Islam is, without doubt, a strong contester. (W. Montgomery Watt, Islamic Revelation in the Modern World, p. 173)
Indeed, though the Christian missionaries are painstakingly working all over the world, Islam is spreading much faster. For example, white people's building separate churches for the black in Africa put these people off and they choose not Christianity but Islam.
The following event is narrated about the issue:
As is known, Africa is a continent where the black race is prevalent. In the previous century, missionaries worked hard for Africans to become Christian. As people there were poor in general, they sent them canned food and called them into Christianity. When some of those who were called into Christianity said: OK, we will also come to the Church this week. they replied: Do not haste; we are going to build a separate church for you.
However, when Muslims went there to invite them into Islam, they did not show them a different mosque; they performed their prayers together. This has speeded up African's entering Islam; to such an extent that a missionary official was obliged to report this, while he was informing Vatican about the situation in Africa:
They eat the canned food that we send, but they leave the table saying 'Alhamdulillah-thanks be to Allah'.
Many of those who have black skin may well have a pure and white spirit; it may be that many of those who are of the white race may have darkened spirits.
Black Balloons Fly, too!
What makes balloons rise is not the color outside, but the essence inside. (Lyle D. Flynn)
While wandering in the amusement park of the city, a small black child was engrossed in watching the balloons of a balloon-seller. Balloons of all colors were shining brightly.
All of a sudden, a red balloon accidentally broke off and flew away; it rose so high it could no longer be seen.
So many people gathered to watch the scene that the seller thought it a good idea to loose another balloon for publicity and let another one with bright yellow color. After that, he loosed another with white color.
Having watched the colorful balloons fly one after another with admiration, the black kid said: Sir, if you loosed a black balloon, would it rise as high as the others?
Smiling with an understanding look, the man loosed a black balloon.
While loosening his fingers and letting the balloon into emptiness, he said:
Son, what makes these balloons rise is not the color outside, but the essence inside. (Lyle D. Flynn)
The Racism of the 'Ignorance'
Racism is a remainder of the Age of Jahiliyyah (ignorance) before Islam.
When a computer that works slowly is formatted, it starts to function better. Before Islam, the Arabs were like a machine that functioned very slowly. The religion of Islam ordered their lives anew and exalted them. Thus, humanity replaced violence, civilization replaced nomadic life, and improvement replaced backwardness. The Qur'an mentions the mentalities of the time before Islam as 'ignorance'. For example, the supposition that Allah is far away and that 'He does not interfere in this world any more' is a supposition belonging to the Age of Ignorance; putting effort not into the cause for the rightful religion, but into that of false and futile things is the patriotism of the Ignorance. (See the Quran, Aal-Imran, 154; Al-Maidah, 50; Al-Fath, 26)
Racism is also among the remnants of the Ignorance. First Muslims who accepted the principle that 'believers are brothers/sisters', which was brought by Islam, left nomadic life style and tribalism, and formed a civilization, setting a good example for other nations.
The Son of the Black Woman
Returning from a mistake is a virtue; but insisting on a mistake is a mistake bigger than it.
Abu Zarr, one of the Companions, quarrels with Bilal Habashi one day and insults him saying: Black woman's son! When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) hears about the event, he gets very angry and says to Abu Zarr:
O Abu Zarr! You did really blame Bilal because of his mother's color! Then you still have the mentality of the Ignorance.
Abu Zarr becomes extremely sorry for the things that he said with an instant anger and that he did not really want. He starts to cry and casting himself to the ground, puts his face to the earth. He then says:
I swear to Allah, I will not lift my face off the ground, until Bilal treads my cheek with his feet. He apologizes to Bilal again and again.
Bilal raises Abu Zarr from the ground and hugs him saying this face is worth
of not treading but of kissing.
Seemingly, even the Companions, who are the most distinguished personalities after the prophets, could sometimes make mistakes. However, they did not insist on their mistakes, because they knew that it is a virtue to turn back from a mistake, and that insisting on a mistake is a bigger mistake than that mistake.
Salman, the son of Islam
Islam is the 'upper identity' of the nations belonging to it.
Islam has ended the 'superiority of lineage' and taking pride in it. In a gathering where the Companions were present, Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas suggested some of the outstanding ones of the Companions to list their lineage. He himself listed his own from beginning to the end. In the crowd, Salman-i Farisi, who was from Persia, was also present. He did not have a renowned descent to take pride in like others from Quraysh. He did not know his lineage in detail, either. When Sa'd offered him to list his lineage, he answered:
I am Salman, the son of Islam... I do not know my descent as you do. There is one thing I know; it is that Allah has honored me with Islam.
Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) was also disturbed with the unnecessary suggestion of Sa'd to list lineage, which resembled the mentality of the Ignorance. He liked this meaningful answer of Salman so much that he said: I am Umar, the son of Islam, too.
When the Prophet heard of the event, he also liked Salman's answer very much, and said: Salman is from me, from my Ahl al-Bayt (the family of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). (Ibnu Hisham, Siratu'n Nabawiya)
I was deaf and blind before. I found myself with Islam.
Malcolm X was one of the black Muslims who accepted Islam in the US. He was born in Omaha in 1925, and he was martyred in New York in 1965. Firstly, he entered Islam just as a reaction to the white; he said in his speeches that God is black. However, when he went to the sacred places for Hajj (Pilgrimage), he saw people of all colors circumambulating the Kaaba, in Mecca, he understands that racism is not in Islam and abandons his former ideas. This is because he ate from the same plate with people who had dark blue eyes and yellow hair and prayed together with them on the same line.
He wrote these to his wife from Mecca:
You won't believe it but with people who had whiter skins than white, I drank water from the same glass, and ate from the same plate. We were all brothers. I am no longer a racist Muslim. Our real prophet, Prophet Muhammad has forbidden racism.
When he returns, he explains Islam as a religion beyond races.
Sultan Selim, the Grim and the Unity of Islam
It was a useless cause to be the sultan of the world,
It was better than anything to stick to a saint.
Sultan Selim, the Grim (Selim I)
Sultan Selim, the Grim formed the Unity of Islam to a great extent with the military campaigns he made to the East, and he obtained the title 'the caliph of Muslims', having brought the 'Sacred Trusts' to Istanbul. The translation of one of his poems is as follows:
The fear of a possible clash and separation in my nation troubles me even in my grave. While the only solution to defy the enemy is to be one and together, if our nation does not do it, my heart becomes deeply wounded.
Idris-i Bitlisi is one of the scholars of Selim's time. This person provided the unification of the Kurdish and Turkmen tribes in the Eastern Anatolia with the Ottomans, by talking to their chiefs.
Mehmet Akif and Nationalism
I cry, I cannot make cry; I feel, I cannot say.
My heart does not have a tongue, how fed up with it I am. M. Akif Ersoy
Mehmet Akif experienced the last period of the Ottomans and the first stage of the Republic, and he felt the sufferings of our people deep in his heart and shared these feelings of his in poetic form with other people.
Those who read his collection of poems, Safahat, can easily see Akif's sufferings in the lines of that book.
In the last period of the Ottoman Empire, while some intellectuals among whom was also Mehmet Akif were supporting the idea of the Unity of Islam, some others held the idea to gather Turks under the same flag (Turanism).
Mehmet Akif says about the issue:
A myth named 'Turan' did we hold;
Not little did we try saying 'Myth, but aim!'
Many a country have we bidden goodbye, to that end.
The bygone said 'Farewell, do but pity your country.
Wasn't your nationality Islam? What is tribalism?
Why did you not hold on to your nationality?
'What does 'Albanian' mean, does it exist in Shari'a?
It is but unbelief to put nationality forward.
M. Akif Ersoy
Though born and brought up in Istanbul, Mehmet Akif was originally Albanian. In the last period of Islam, some of the groups in the Ottoman Empire wanted to form separate countries, but never became happy. Then, they missed the time of the Ottoman Empire very much. Mehmet Akif explains it in one of his poems as follows:
Turk cannot live without Arab, whoever says 'can live' is mad,
And Turk is Arab's both right eye and right hand.
Come together, otherwise the end is onvious despair,
Neither state is left, for God's sake, nor religion!
'Civilization' means to devour you for long;
Wants firstly to separate and then to devour.
Though Albanians should set an example for you,
What is this confused politics, what is this false cause?
I believe many of you fail to see the wrong path that you take,
Do finally expel the bandit that guides you!
Hear this from me, me who is, yes, an Albanian...
I can say no more... Here is my wretched country!
'O Youth of this Country!'
O youth of this country! Do not try to imitate the foreigners!
While speaking to people, some address a certain nation. Badiuzzaman, though, addresses the youth this way:
O sons of this land! Do not try to imitate Europeans! How can you reasonably trust in and follow the vice and invalid, worthless thought of Europe after the boundless tyranny and enmity it has shown you? No! No! You who imitate them in dissoluteness, you are not following them, but unconsciously joining their ranks and putting to death both yourselves and your brothers. Know that the more you follow them in immorality the more you lie in claiming to be patriots! Because your following them in this way is to hold your nation in contempt, to hold the nation up to ridicule! (Risale-i Nur, The Seventeenth Flash, Fifth Note)
It is quite meaningful that, in this address to the youth, Badiuzzaman says O youth of this country without naming any race, because in this sacred land, which many nations passed by through migrations or settled in, diverse nations live together today, too. It is not possible to gather them under the same name. Those who tried to do so could not succeed. The bond that keeps the children of this paradise-like land, ninety-odd percent of whom are Muslims, is Islam. It is a proof of this that in Eid and Friday prayers, all people, young and old, liberal and radical alike come together in mosques like brothers.
The Nationalism of Islam
'I know our nationality only as Islam.' Badiuzzaman Said Nursi
Said Nursi evaluates nationalism from Islamic perspective this way:
Our nationality is a body. Its soul is Islam, its mind is the Qur'an and faith. (Münazarat, p. 99)
As is known, if a body does not have soul, it avails nothing; if it does not have mind, it does crazy things. Just like that, the soul of the positive nationalism is Islam, and its mind is the Qur'an and faith.
A Muslim, regardless of which race s/he belongs to, gets and should get her/his soul and spirituality from Islam. For instance, although, today, some of the Hungarians and Bulgarians are Turk, as they have not taken soul from Islam, they have almost nothing related to being a Turk.
On the other hand, a Muslim measures, decides, and analyses things not solely with his/her own mind, but with the criteria of the Qur'an. For example, his/her own mind may lead him/her to see those from his/her own nation as superior. However, when s/he looks at the Qur'an, s/he sees that superiority is with piety; so s/he evaluates the matter in accordance with his/her own mind, but in accordance with the Qur'an.
The Reality of Religion in the East
That the majority of the prophets emerged in the East, and that the majority of the philosophers emerged in the West is like a sign of the Divine determining
that the essential that will improve the East is religion.
When the East is mentioned, mostly the world of Islam comes to mind; and when the West is mentioned, it is the Christian world that we associate. Each nation has its own peculiar characteristics. For example, in the eastern communities, religion is more influential than in the western ones. Badiuzzaman Said Nursi delivers a speech in the First National Assembly. In this speech, one of the points he emphasizes is the difference of our community from the western communities. Governors should see this difference and carry out their duties accordingly. Said Nursi points out the following:
The congregations of this nation of Islam, even if they themselves do not perform their prayers and are sinful, want to see the governors as religious. Furthermore, in the eastern provinces, the first question they ask about all the officers is Does he perform his prayers? If he does perform, they put their complete trust in him, but if he does not, no matter how apt and capable, he is still doubtful in their eyes.
One day, there was a riot in the tribes of Bayt-ush Shabab. I went there and asked: What is the reason? They said: The head of our province do not perform the daily prayers, and drinks raki (an alcoholic drink). How can we obey such irreligious people? Those who said it did not perform the prayers themselves and they were even bandits. (Mesnevi-i Nuriye, p. 99-100)
Turks and Kurds
Without first separation entering a nation, enemy cannot.
As long as hearts beat all together, canon cannot intimidate it.
M. Akif Ersoy
According to Badiuzzaman, who was born in Bitlis, spent much of his life among Turks and who wrote his works in Turkish:
Kurds are true citizens of Turks; they have been their companions at Jihad (any earnest striving in the way of Allah) for a long time. (The Letters)
Turks are the greatest heroes of the armies of Islam. (The Flashes)
They are the heroic standard-bearers of Islam. (Emirdağ Lahikası II)
Badiuzzaman said in his work Nutuk (Address), which he published after the declaration of the constitutional monarchy in the year 1908, a time whose conditions fairly resemble those of today:
Turks are our mind, and we are their strength. We together make up a good man.
A poet and a calligrapher would wander about together. When they were asked about the mystery of this intimacy, they replied:
One of us can read, and the other can write. When separate, we are incomplete.
But when we come together, we complement one another and become literate.
Each nation has its own peculiar characteristics. It does not mean that these characteristics should be found in every individual of the nation, though. However, when the nation is judged as a whole, this trait can be seen. In his expressions above, Badiuzzaman points out the outstanding characteristics of the two nations and emphasizes the importance of unity.
An Excerpt from the Letter Sent by Badiuzzaman to Celal Bayar and Adnan Menderes
Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, who passed away in the year 1960, wrote a letter to the president and prime minister of the time, not long before his death. In the letter, it is possible to find prescriptions for some of today's problems yet to be solved. Said Nursi writes:
Sixty five years ago, I wanted to go to the University of Al-Azhar. Thinking that 'it is the madrasa (school) of the world of Islam,' I also decided to take a lesson in this sacred madrasa. However, it was not possible. With His mercy, Allah gave an idea to my soul: Just as Al-Azhar is a universal madrasa in Africa; a bigger school of science, a university of Islam is needed in Asia; as Asia is bigger than Africa, it should be bigger than Al-Azhar. So that the communities of Islam such as those in Arabia, India, Iran, Caucasia, Turkistan, and Kurdistan do not get tricked and spoiled by negative racism. So that it brings about the development of the true, positive, sacred, and universal nation, the nation of Islam, and the true application of the law of the Qur'an. So that the positive and religious sciences get reconciled and the civilization of Europe makes complete peace with the truths of Islam. So that the students of schools which teach only positive sciences and the students of schools which teach only religious sciences help each other and form solidarity; to that end, at the center of the eastern provinces, and at the same time in the middle of India, Arabia, Iran, Caucasia, and Turkistan, I have worked to build a university, where both the positive and religious sciences would be taught, in the form of Al-Azhar University and with the name of Madrasat-uz Zahra; for this, I have worked just as I have worked for the Risale-i Nur Collection for fifty five years.
Firstly, Sultan Reşad appreciated it and gave twenty golden liras only to make the building; after I returned from captivity in World War I, they agreed to give150 thousand liras, at the time when the value of lira was higher for the same university, with the assents of 163 deputies out of 200 in Ankara. Mustafa Kemal was also among them. Therefore, by allotting a sum close to 5 million liras, in today's value, back at that time they gave more importance than everything to the foundation of such a valuable university. Even some of the deputies who were very lax in religion and who supported westernization and getting rid of traditions did sign for it.
Only two of them said: We are now in need of westernization and civilization more than traditional and religious sciences.
I said as an answer:
Let us imagine the impossible; even if in no other way it were needed, with
the indication of the fact that the prophets in general arose in the East, and that the majority of philosophers emerged in the West, although it is the feeling of religion more than the influence of philosophy and sciences that will really improve Asia, if you do not take this natural rule into account, and abandon the Islamic traditions in the name of westernization, and have another foundation than religion, even then, for the good of the country, you still need to support the religion and the truths of Islam certainly in the eastern provinces which are in the center of four to five great nations. I will tell you one small example of this out of thousands.
When I was in Van, I said to a Kurdish student of mine who cared about his country: Turks have served Islam very much. How do you see them?
He said: I prefer a Muslim Turk to my sinful brother. I care more about him than my father, because they really serve belief.
After some time, this student of mine went to school in Istanbul while I was in captivity. When I came back, I saw him. As a reaction to the racist teachers, he also took another way with ideas of Kurdish racism. He said to me: Now I prefer a Kurd, even if he is rather sinful or even irreligious, to a righteous Turk.
Then I saved him through a couple of talks. He then totally agreed that the Turkish are a heroic army of this nation of Islam.
O Deputies who ask questions! There are nearly five million Kurds in the East, nearly a hundred million Iranians and Indians, seventy million Arabs, forty million Caucasians. I ask you: For these brothers who are neighbors, brothers, and who need one another, which one is necessary; the religious lesson that this student gets in the madrasa in Van, or the second state of this student, that is, not regarding the Islamic sciences and learning only the philosophical sciences that would mix these nations up and that teach only thinking about those who are of the same race and that do not accept the brotherhood of Islam? I ask you!
After this answer of mine, those who were against traditions and who supported westernization in all aspects stood up and signed their consents. I will not name them. May Allah forgive their faults, they passed away. (Emirdağ Lahikası II)
Our enemy is ignorance, absolute necessity and conflict.
We are going to fight these three enemies with the weapons of craftsmanship,
knowledge and unity.
With 'enemy', mostly external enemies come to mind. With Jihad, too, what comes to mind is, in general, war against external enemies. Badiuzzaman Said Nursi approaches those notions from different perspectives in these sentences:
Our enemy is ignorance, absolute necessity and conflict.
We are going to fight these three enemies with the weapons of craftsmanship, knowledge and unity.
(Tarihçe-i Hayat, Life Story)
Ignorance is being deprived of knowledge; absolute necessity is poverty; conflict is disunity.
The cure for ignorance is knowledge, for necessity and poverty is craft, and for conflict is unity.
It is a sacred Jihad to take pains to get rid of ignorance and to become a 'community of knowledge', to try to be financially strong, and to try to remove the conflicts in the community.
No community of Islam can withdraw from such a Jihad. This is because these enemies are the common enemies of all ages and of all communities.
The Call for Fraternity
All of us are humans.
When I was a child, there was a song that was quite popular:
If only the whole world believed this,
Once believed it,
Would that life became a festival.
That humans took each other by the hand,
That unity reigned,
That we went on to the eternity.
It is a nice wish to want all of the people of the world take each other by the hand and live peacefully but such an ideal has not yet been realized in any age. The wish to realize it in our country should not be regarded as a utopia; there are a lot of examples of it in our history. In the Ottoman State that existed more than 600 years, not only groups of Muslims from the same religion but also non-Muslim minorities lived peacefully.
With the hope of happier and more peaceful days, together...
I listened to a commentary on the ten-year-long Iraq-Iran war: Iraq and Iran fought; one million people lost their lives; both countries kept their previous borders; none of them earned anything. Countries selling weapons won this war.
In the last 30 years, because of terrorism, tens of thousands of our people died. In an explanation made toward the end of 2007, it is stated that the financial result of the terrorism in our country in 23 years is about 300 billion dollars. This appalling figure shows quite well who the terrorism benefits. Some powers do not want a strong Turkey, and it is possible through detaining our nation with certain events.
The writer of our National Anthem, the late Mehmet Akif Ersoy says:
Let the people say 'You! Me?' remove unity,
This is the doom itself for nations.
The Ottoman State embraced many nations in its body. These nations lived as brothers under the same state roof for centuries. As descendants of the Ottomans, the duty on us is to set the best examples of living together. Our religion commands it; our history shows it; and our cultural foundation is quite suitable for it. The circumstances we are in also point out that there is no option other than unity and solidarity. We believe that the people of this paradise-like country will act with foresight, and instead of chaos and upheaval, they will opt for peace and prosperity.
Our country experiences the excitement of a rebirth. The fact that a nation which shaped history is regarded as a 'developing country' for a couple of centuries, deeply upsets our people who have love for this country and who work for it. Now, it is time for material and spiritual improvement. It is time to show, again, the whole world how the real civilization should be.
May Allah be with us!
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