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Jalal ad-Din Rumi on Turks

Reader comment on item: Turkey's Last Free Election
in response to reader comment: Armenian Genocide does not exist

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Jul 6, 2011 at 14:44

sephardi wrote :

> For many centuries you were told the Turks are barbarian, animal because governments did not want to lose their power...Your governments knew very well that where ever Turks go brings human rights, wealth,justice, peace, and modern civilization.<

For a while let's leave in peace governments, even the Turkish government which for its notoriety occupies such a special place among them, and concentrate on a person who has for centuries been in such a high esteem and veneration in Turkey that today every tourist, beside being routinely sermoned on the sanctity and infallibility of Ataturk, is introduced as a matter of course to the wisdom and glory of the founder of the whirling dervishes Jalal ed-Din Rumi (1207-1273), whether on visiting a public Mewalwi performance in a dervish monastery near the gates of Galata in Constantinople or his tomb in Konya - a revered place of pilgrimages and both a source of great pride and income for the city.

True, in 1925 Kemal banned the dervish orders (tekke) and their performances but like so many of his ideas by the 1950-ies the anti-tekke laws fell into disuse and are now as firmly located the dustbin of Turkish history as Ataturk's daydreams of Turkey without Islam. On the contrary, Turkey warmly welcomed the Egyptian and Afghani request that UNESCO should celebrate the 800th birthday of Jalal ad-din Rumi which it zealously did. Turkey herself celebrated Rumi's birthday on 30.09.2007 under the auspices of the Turkish government with a dazzling performance of 300 whirling dervishes (the biggest performance in the almost 800 year-old history of the tekke) broadcasting it live to 8 countries.

In September 2007 UNESO issued a special commemortive medal in honour of Jalal ad-Din Rumi assuring the public i.al. that he is "one of the greatest comprehensive thinkers and scholars of Islamic civilization" and " one of the great humanists, philosophers and poets who belong to humanity in its entirety" whose "works, thoughts and teachings bear supreme witness, in a manner transcending all national, cultural and civilizational boundaries, to the sweet mysteries of divine truth" and whose "very broad appeal, highly advanced thinking, humanism and open heart and mind may derive from his genuinely cosmopolitan character, as during his lifetime he enjoyed exceptionally good relations with people of diverse social, cultural and religious backgrounds. Mawlana was familiar with the core message of all of them and therefore was appreciated by believers of many religions" . At last we are told that his " world ...is not exclusive, but is rather the highest state of a human being – namely, a fully evolved human. He offends no one and includes everyone, as a perfect human being who is in search of love, truth and the unity of the human soul."

Of special importance is UNESCO's hopethat "this medal will prove an encouragement to those who are engaged in a deep and scholarly dissemination of his ideas and ideals, which in turn would in fact enhance the diffusion of the ideals of UNESCO."

Let's not fail UNESCO's hope and, without aspiring to either the depth reached by the UNESCO officials and writers or to directly promoting its lofty agenda, let's disseminate some of the opinions of "the greatest comprehensive thinkers and scholars of Islamic civilization on Turks by whom he is so venerated. In his biography "Manaqib al-Arefin" or "The Acts of teh Adepts" Shams ad-din Ahmad Aflaki says the following : [ Chams ad-Din Aflaki , "Les saints des derviches tourneurs. Récits traduits du persan et annotés par Cl. Huart, Paris 1922, t.2, p.208-209]

"579. A well-known story is told that one day Sheikh Salah ad-Din hired some Turkish workers to construct a stone wall around his garden. "Efendi (My lord ) Salah ad-Din –said the master Jalal ad–Din – for this construction one needs Greek workers. On the contrary if you wanted to demolish it you should hire Turks since constructing the world is the special domain of the Greeks while destroying this very world is the prerogative of the Turks.When God created the world , he at the very beginning created the heedless infidels and gave them a long life and abundant force so that like hired workers they should do their best to unknowingly construct the down-to-earth world. They founded numerous cities, castles on tops of the mountains , settlements on hill tops in a way that these constructions after all the bygone centuries serve as models for people of later times. Yet the Divine Providence has arranged things so that these constructions step by step come into a state of disrepair. Therefore God created the Turkish people to destroy without any mercy and respect all the constructions they saw. This they have done, this they are still doing and this they will be doing it on a daily basis until the Resurrection Day. Eventually the destruction of the city of Konya will take place through the hands of the unjust and ruthless Turks."

[ 579. C'est une histoire bien connue qu'un jour le chéïkh Çalàh-ed-din, pour bâtir les murs de son jardin, avait loué à gages des ouvriers turcs. « Efendi (c'est-à-dire Seigneur) Çalàh-ed-dîn, dit le Maître, pour cette construction, ce sont des ouvriers grecs qu'il faut prendre; pour la démolition, au contraire, les ouvriers turcs sont nécessaires; car la construction du monde est spéciale aux Grecs, et la démolition de ce môme monde est réservée aux Turcs. Dieu, quand il a créé l'univers, a tout d'abord créé les infidèles insouciants; il leur a donné une longue vie et une force considérable, de manière que, à la façon des ouvriers à gages, ils s'efforcent, sans le savoir, de consiruire le monde terrestre; ils ont élevé de nombreuses villes, forteresses sur les sommets des montagnes, localités sur les hauteurs des collines, de manière qu'après des siècles écoulés, ces constructions servent de modèles aux hommes des derniers temps ; or, la prédestination divine a disposé les choses de telle sorte que petit à petit ces constructions deviennent des ruines; il a alors créé le peuple des Turcs pour démolir, sans respect ni pitié, toutes les constructions qu'ils voyaient ; ils l'ont fait ot le font encore; ils le feront de jour en jour jusqu'à la résurrection.Finalement, la destruction «le la ville de Qonya aura lieu par la main des Turcs injustes et impitoyables. » ] This opinion which should surprise, let alone offend no one except the Turks themselves was quite common among all the educated classes of the Seljuk Emirate or the Ottoman Empire. In their language (Osmalıca) the very word "Turk" was synonymous with "barbarian". Kemal's surrealist language "reform" destroyed Osmanlica but apparently it didn't do it perfectly enough.
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