Turkey’s New Mosque a Monument to Western Decline

Turkey’s New Mosque a Monument to Western Decline, by Bruce Thornton.

Last week Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that on July 24 Hagia Sophia, for a thousand years one of Christendom’s most storied and significant churches, will once again become a mosque. …

Until recently Turkey had been a poster-boy for the dubious globalist consensus that liberal democracy and free-market capitalism are the destiny of all humanity, including Muslims. In 1923 founder Kemal Atatürk created Turkey to be a modern Western nation-state, with religion separated from the secular government. He abolished the caliphate, closed Islamic courts, gave women equal rights in divorce and inheritance, allowed them to vote, restricted sharia to religion, and secularized education for females as well as males. In 1934 Hagia Sophia was turned into a museum, part of Atatürk’s program to recognize Turkey’s pre-Muslim history and strengthen Turkey’s modern global identity and prestige.

Islam is stronger than western culture:

But over the years it took the military to maintain this modernizing, secular program in the face of the more traditional and conservative Muslim masses and their discontent. Starting as mayor of Istanbul in 1994, Erdogan became their champion, and as president has abandoned Atatürk’s democratic, secular program: He has jailed more journalists than any other country, and built 17,000 new mosques. Nearly a century of efforts to reconcile Islam with liberal democracy are failing under Erdogan’s incremental Islamization. Turning Hagia Sophia back into a mosque is an important sign of his success, and a gesture of defiance of the “rules-based international order.” …

One constant of [recent]history is the totalizing role Islam plays in Muslim societies, and the depths of a religious fervor now nearly extinct in the Christian West, where Christianity has been driven from the public square, and relegated to private and, at holidays, commercial life.

Given that religious focus, [Bernard Lewis] writes, “In most Islamic countries, religion remains a major political factor,” for “most Muslim countries are still profoundly Muslim in a way and in a sense that most Christian countries are no longer Christian.” …

Profound error of western elites:

Given how secularized the West is, we discount faith and its doctrines and look for material, economic, political, or psychological causes of jihadist terrorism and violence, from the lack of economic development to justified anger over the West’s sins such as imperialism, colonialism and modern versions like globalism.

Moreover, our fashionable civilizational self-loathing leads us to accept these specious causes, even to the point of whitewashing Islam’s long history of violence in the name of Allah, and styling Islam, as presidents from both parties have done, as the “religion of peace.”

This bad habit explains as well the relative indifference of Western politicians and clergy to Erdogan’s announcement that one of the West’s most glorious and beautiful cultural treasures, already partially defaced by its first conquerors in 1453, will be turned into a venue for the faith that attacked, plundered, occupied, and enslaved Westerners for a thousand years, and continues today to slaughter and enslave Christians. …

Worst of all, we allow mosques to arise on Western lands and solicitously protect them, even as many are centers of jihadist recruitment and indoctrination. Germany alone has 2400, 900 of which are controlled by Turkey. Yet Saudi Arabia will not allow a single church on its territory, and punishes Christian evangelism with death. Other Muslim countries restrict, according to sharia law, the number and size of Christian churches, which are frequent targets of vandalism or destruction. Turkey continues to forbid new churches, though a few years ago it did allow a new church to be built — the first in 90 years. …

The left excuses its brothers in totalitarianism:

Why does the West’s history of brutal slavery remain an indelible stain on today’s Westerners, while Islam’s much longer and more brutal history of slavery, not just of Africans, but of millions of Europeans, is scarcely mentioned, though it continues to this day?

Or why are the richest, freest women in the world defended by militant feminists against sexist “microagressions,” while in many Muslim countries, the misogynistic customs and laws, including polygamy, veils, genital mutilation, honor killings, and inequality before the law, are, when not just ignored, admired as exotic chic by ignorant Western activists?

Accepting a double-standard is always a sign of weakness, inferiority, and fear.

hat-tip Stephen Neil