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Mustafa Akyol And His Specious Comparison

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Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish Defender of the Faith who thinks of himself, not accurately, as a "liberal," has had a good run claiming all kinds of things about a rightly-guided Islam. He was a defender of Erdogan, too, for a long time, but now that that is impossible, he has decided to make a comparison between the clever, ruthless, admirable Ataturk -- who systematically constrained Islam and made it possible for about one-quarter of the Turkish population to become truly secular, and therefore to mentally inhabit the same universe as non-Muslims.

Akyol does not do what, to a true secularist, grateful for what Ataturk wrought, he might have. That is, he does not contrast Erdgoan's Islamic retrograde changes with Ataturk's  un-Islamic enlightened changes, the Unenlighted and the Enlightened Despots. And he attributes to Ataturk the business of the Turks as "Sun People" which is much more to be attributed to Inonu and others who, after Ataturk's death, as part of the supercessionism that the primitive Musims of Turkey required, substituted not only Ataturk for Muhammad as an object of worship and emulation (Ataturk, for Turks,  became the Model of Conduct, the Perfect Man), but also "the Turks"  - the Sun People -- as the Best of Peoples from whom civiliation came, to replace "the Muslims" or, more accurately, the "Arab Muslims" who were the Best Of Peoples in Islamic texts and teachings and attitudes. 

No, instead Mustafa Akyol attacks Ataturk as being just like Erdogan, whom Akyol has finally discovered is not what he, Mustafa Akhol, took him for:  a proud, unapologetic Muslim leader, willing to stand up to the West but also to join the E.U., and one elected by "democratic" means, thus giving the lie, supposedly, to those who, like Mustafa Akyol, become defensive and incensed when it is suggested that Islam and democracy are essentially immiscible, since in Islam a ruler's or a regime's legitimacy comes not from the will expressed by the people, but by the will of Allah, as expressed in the Qur'an, and glossed by the acts and sayings of Muhammad as recorded in the Hadith.

The article by Akyol, then, is his attempt, by misrepresenting Ataturk, the Enlightened Despot, to make it seem as if "everyone does it." It's as if some Iranian, in denouncing the Islamic Republic of Iran, saw fit at this point to suggest that the Shah, that Ataturk manque, was "just as despotic, and therefore just as bad, as Khomeini, Judge Khalkhali, and Khamenei." No, he wasn't.

An enlightened despot, whether successful like Ataturk, or unsuccessful like the Shah, or possibly successful like Al-Sisi, is always to be preferred, and compared favorably to, the unenlightened despots of the Muslim world. Thatis something the musfafa-akyols of this world cannot ever allow themselves to recognize or admit.