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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Even The "Moderate" Muslim Nations Are Scary

I thought Turkey was supposed to be a bastion of secularism in the Middle East? An outpost of Western ideals in the dictatorial Muslim world? Here's a reminder that even Islam's moderate practitioners don't quite fit the model for co-existence with Western Civilization.

Novelist to go on trial for insulting Turkey
A prize-winning novelist goes on trial tomorrow accused of belittling Turkishness in the latest and strangest of a string of cases spotlighting the country's stuttering reform process.

[Elif Shafak's The Bastard of Istanbul's] treatment of the mass murder of Ottoman Armenians in 1915 has attracted the attention of Kemal Kerincsiz, the nationalist lawyer behind last December's trial of Orhan Pamuk, Turkey's best-known author.

In Shafak's case, he has surpassed himself, hauling her to court for comments made by characters in her novel. Sitting in his cramped Istanbul office, Mr Kerincsiz does not take long to find one of the offending passages.

"I am the grandchild of genocide survivors who lost all their relatives at the hands of Turkish butchers in 1915," he reads, quoting Dikran Stamboulian, a minor Armenian character. "There's plenty more where this came from," he says.

"I oppose all violence," Mr Kerincsiz says, "but if you call somebody's grandfather a butcher, there is no telling what reactions will be."
There you have it; the standard Muslim refrain: I oppose violence, but if you in anyway insult me or make me angry I will visit violence upon you in the name of Allah. Thank God they "oppose all violence" huh? Imagine if Muslims ever got...violent?


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