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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Secularism: Another face of Masonic Lodges? PART ONE

By: Naveed Tajammal

To understand the implications of secularism, if ever implemented in Pakistan and it’s results, the best analogy can be of the Turkish Ottoman empire (Osmanli). As presently, most of our modern intellectuals are influenced by secularist thoughts. The result, no doubt of studies and findings written by a western mind, which has absolutely no grasp of issue at hand. By this, I also mean our own people, who think as per the perceptions of the alien, yet remain Pakistanis, by virtue of a citizenship. It is their schooling and lack of in depth study which leads them astray, as I have repeatedly written, that, the change of educational pattern has been the root cause of our intellectual decline. An almost similar phenomenon was found in the Turkish Empire too.

A study of history or a past, lays bare the mistake of others, a rational mind must study and analyze these faults, and try and steer himself of similar problems and, voice them for an inbuilt dangers, it brings, to an old historically established entity, with it’s culture, custom, traditions and language. All, totally battered, yet the spark still remaining which can be rekindled. Hence this discourse, or article.

To give an insight on the Turkish dichotomy, in all aspects especially after the, “Tanzimat “edicts of 1839 and 1856, I will extensively quote from the little remaining works of ,”ZIYA GOKLAP”, also known as Zia Keuk Alp, a Turkish writer(1876-1924),the recurrent theme in his writings, was the question of how, the Turks should adopt the western civilization, and how this effort should be harmonized with the Turks. That is, the two historic traditions, their Turkish, and Islamic backgrounds, or in other words, what the Turk as a nation and Islam as their religion would look under the condition of contemporary civilization. Goklap, was not the only one, who had raised this issue, others too had anticipated or influenced him. Although, he had died in the early phase of Mustafa Kamal’s drastic reforms, from which the Turk is still reeling from and slowly, reverting back to his roots(Islamic).Which shows, that in the end, you cannot impose, “ideas” which have no bearing on a nation which has old foundations/roots and a past history, infusion of new races is, but, a process, but as long as the base of the pyramid remains and retains a dim memory and still retains it’s old language, a revival can always take place.

A nation devoid of roots, is like a ship without a rudder, to steer it in the high seas, which being uncharted too. It is thus, the job of a writer, to show his reader a path or give some directions and then, leave it to them, to decide to adopt it, or not, as they deem it proper.

Mustafa Kamal’s extreme and drastic secularism cost the Turk his true identity ,and he lost his roots, his dress and insignia, but the laws of Allah are eternal, you always revert to the original at one epoch of time or the other, under a new leadership and for the better.

Though Ziya, was guilty of adding in the new Constitution, the clause of secularism, as he was the member of a committee which had prepared the new Constitution in 1924. He, for this is held and blamed by the critics for Turkey’s political misfortunes. The bulk of Zia’s work suffered and were lost as, the root was a change of script to the Roman mode of alphabet, a process started later, after the death of Zia by Mustafa Kamal and Ismet Pasha.

We too, today find ourselves on the crossroads, our intellectual harps and argues for the western mode of education, the funds are unlimited and by now, we have people trained to implement these policies, a major effort and implementation has already been done in guise of modernization and rooting out the mode of Urdu medium education is on the anvil to be hammered into oblivion. By assent of powerful people, clueless of our past.

In the Turkish history, in the mid 19Th century when Freemasons were taking roots, our lands were being annexed by the British and, we were to face a despotic English Rule for another 100 years. Freemasons cultivated and launched Mustafa Kamal Pasha to secularise Turkey. A rule which ransacked and destroyed our society and has made and left us with many a breaches or divides in our nation. By leaving open the Pandora’s box filled with creations of the British Policies which unfortunately, we still, unwittingly adhere to.

The Turkish intelligentsia, was beset with European ideas as they strove for a change, for the sake of change, hence developed various pressure groups with vested interests as will be explained in the subsequent articles, which forced, “The Sultans”, to bring changes but here it should be borne in mind that it was not the actual Turk, who was actually clamoring for the change, but various alien races which then composed more than half the population of the Turkish Empire ,led by various schools of thoughts with different ethnic backgrounds and religions too. So attempts with the help of the then super powers were started, to reorganize the political, legal and administrative structure of the Turkish Empire. To understand the background of this agitation, termed as “Tanzeemats”, or reforms, one must first understand the composition of the Turkish Empire. At the start of the 1900s, the Osmanli Turks numbered only ten million out of which one and a half million lived in the western lands i.e. the Balkans, the Arabs numbered seven million and three hundred thousand were Jews. The rest of the population was composed of various Aryan races, the Slavs, Serbs, Bulgarians, Pomaks and Cossacks, Greeks, Albanians and the Kurd who were Muslims. Muslims in the Empire in the above mentioned time were just 50% and the rest 41% were Greek Orthodox Christians, 6% were Catholic Christians and the rest 3% were jews, Druses, Nestorians etc. In the European provinces, two third of population were Christians, and only one third were Muslims. The total population of the Turkish Empire in 1910,including Egypt and other regions nominally under the Sultan’s sovereignty was 36,323,539.Averaging 25 to the square mile in the Wilayats (Provinces), however, directly under the Turkish Government were only almost 26 million people.

In view of the above, to understand the secular movement as stated earlier, one has to understand the pressure groups, by virtue of which, the population of various cities then was, Istambul (1,150,000),Izmir (250,000),Baghdad (145,000),Damascus (145,000), Alleppo (122,000),Beirut (118,000), Adrianople (81,000), Brusa (76,000), Jerusalem (56,000), Kaisarieh (72,000), Karbala (65,000), Monastir (53000), Mosul (61000), Macca (60000), Homs (60000), Sana(58000). These were the cities with above 50000 population. In the first decade of the 20th century the possessions of the Sultan in Europe were stretching continously across the Balkan Peninsula from the Bosphorus to the Adriaticc lying on the East mainly between 40 degree and 42 degree and in the West between 39 degree and 43 degree north. It corrosponded roughly to the ancient, Thrace, Macedonia with Chalcidice, Epirus and a large part of Illyria which construed the administrative divisions of Istambul or the previous HeadQuarters of the Eastern Byzantine Empire of the Romans.However, in December 1898,Crete was granted independence under the protection of none other but Britian,France,Italy and not to miss Russia the old foe of the Turks.In fact these were the outer pressure groups which were instigating and had also instigated and forced the then Sultan fifty years back when the reforms were first announced. Egypt,though still, nominally,under the Turkish Empire was almost independent since 1841 and the British had become it’s big brother since 1881. Hence the independence of the egyptians from the Turkish Empire was no independence at all as they had gone from a muslim rule,under the Sultan, to the Christians,under the British. In Africa,the two remaining main cities were Tripoli and Ben Ghazi. So we see the reforms which were the forerunner of the eventual secularism had started almost 75 years before the clause of secularism as it was, inserted in the Constitution of the Turks. The bulk of the cities above quoted had the population of various sects of Christians which were the standard bearers of the eventual turn of the events.

(Naveed Tajammal is a historian with no parallel. He is researching in history for over 26 years. Although his area of focus is Indus Basin and the Muslim History but he has an equally good command over world history).

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