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Turkey and Prejudice

Reader comment on item: "U.S. and Turkey to Create Fund to Stem Extremism"

Submitted by Maurice Solovitz (United Kingdom), Sep 28, 2013 at 07:58

My Turkish friends were all educated people. They would buy books from Turkish book-stores and would comment to me about the preponderance of antisemitic and conspiratorial works prominently displayed. One work colleague (a secular Kurdish woman) admitted to buying some of these books – her justification was that "if you don't read them you cannot understand them". I can only agree with this attitude to a degree. I once purchased a scholarly analysis on the life and works of Arthur Gobineau. I felt guilt at even this foray into the intellectual undergrowth of human thought.

When I asked my Kurdish/Turkish friend if she would have been offended if I had admitted to buying a book that was essentially the equivalent of what was on display in Turkish shops but focusing on Islam, or Turkey and Islam – she became offended.

This was similar to the middle manager who informed me that "the Jews" never had it so good as they did under conditions of dhimmitude. I responded that he probably agreed then that black people should all be returned to slavery (for the same non-reason). Funny though, I felt by his non-response that this Western born and Western educated, extremely well off and Anglicized Muslim man would not have seen this return to slavery as an issue to exercise his conscience.

It is the unrestrained and unashamed addiction to racist and religiously bigoted literature that is the greatest threat to human survival. The more we fail to exercise restraint in our thinking the greater is the possibility that we will fall into 'evil'. It is a shame that this concept of 'evil' is, for most people on the left of the political divide, an emotional rather than an intellectual response. It allows them to justify atrocity after atrocity without shame.

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