A heinous attack took place on New Year's Eve at a nightclub in Istanbul in which 39 people lost their lives and 65 were injured. According to the reports, there were approximately 700 people in the club during the assault. Security Forces reported that the terrorist was a single person and perpetrated the onslaught in seven minutes. Security forces are still carrying out operations to capture the assailant.
The next morning all the news channels were covering this ugly terror attack. Not long ago Turkey faced two other bloody blasts in which innocent people were martyred. The first one was on December 10th, the Besiktas stadium attack where police officers and some civilians were martyred and the other one was Kayseri attack on December 17th where the bus full of soldiers leaving for a day-off was bombed. In this latest attack, those who lost their lives included tourists of foreign origin. The analysts, anchors, politicians, journalists who appeared on TV news all offered condolences to the families who lost their loved ones during this tragic event and quick recovery to the injured. Additionally, Turkish leaders received condolences from leaders from many parts of the world including Russia, Iran, the US, the EU, the EP, Britain, France, the NATO and many more. They strongly condemned the attack and offered their support.
Such gestures of goodwill are indeed welcome and at the same time extremely important in cases of emergency. However, for those who only condemn the terror attacks without offering a practical solution, it is virtually useless. The erroneous ideology of the perpetrators whether communists or radicals must be addressed in order to remove the hate harbored in their hearts. For example, those who commit such despicable massacres using the name of 'Islam' are actually murderers according to the Qur'an as the Book states that killing innocent people is outright tyranny. God forbids all kinds of violence and condemns those who are involved in such acts.
People should keep in mind that terrorism will not cease only by condemnation by world leaders, or simply by saying 'Islam is the religion of peace'. It is true that the Islam based solely on the Qur'an and detached from the fabricated sayings and erroneous interpretations is the religion of peace. However, the same does not apply for the radicals. Therefore, to solve this problem, it is essential to show these facts to the Islamic world with proofs from the Qur'an. The best way of freeing people from this radical philosophy is via systematic and accurate educational campaigns based on the Qur’an based on peace and love. Indeed, a wide-ranging campaign is urgently needed to purge the Islamic world from the superstitions inflicting it. The support of the Western world is certainly important, but the real duty lies upon Muslims themselves.
Abdullah Agar, a security specialist, serves as a model of expressing the education campaign I’ve been telling consistently for years through my books, articles and conversation programs. While performing an analysis on CNN Turk concerning this attack, Agar stated that in order to end terrorism, the authentic Islam described in the Qur'an should be narrated and love should definitively prevail all around the world. Citing a verse from the Qur'an, he told that one of the causes of the terror is that everyone has an understanding of faith on his own and each one wants to attain power to eliminate the others. They harbor hate for those having a different approach to faith like the sectarian difference. He ended by saying that all those countries involved should act in unity to work on a solution.
Following the attack, especially in the social media, the incitement of hate speeches by some radical minded people against Christmas and New Year Eve celebrations were claimed to be the cause of this massacre. Yet, celebrating the birth of Jesus is something Muslims would enjoy and not be disturbed by. Moreover, Jesus is also a prophet in Islam, someone Muslims love dearly. Indeed, some small circles want to change Turkey into a place of mourning and force people to a dark and backward life devoid of modernity, high-quality lifestyles, and entertainment. However, they will never have an affect on Turkey as long as we have our conscious fellow citizens who value and protect our homeland till the end. Besides, Turkey is a modern country where people choose how they want to live.
On the other hand, it is very well known that terrorists aim to instill fear, demoralize masses of people, and disrupt lives. They want to damage the societies by creating hatred, paranoia, and mistrust. If terror cannot make people mourn, if it puts forth a sense of awareness and solidarity among them, if people are firm about not leaving their homelands to fall into the hands of terrorists, then it means the acts of the terrorists have failed. People should be brave and continue to live their ordinary lives and not hide themselves by avoiding going out to public places. However, people should be very cautious and take all the necessary precautions for their security and inform the police immediately whenever they see something suspicious or extraordinary. It is always the people's will, their resolve, and courage that deter the terrorists.
Consequently, everyone has a duty in countering terrorism. The government and the opposing parties should join forces by leaving aside the political accounts. Moreover, the citizens should show a determined stance and act in solidarity as a way of showing their support to the state. Instead of long, unwise, vain utterances, it is important to give the right response when they face a terror attack and discuss practical solutions such as launching an intellectual campaign on a national level. National awareness should be aroused and a counter-ideological campaign should be expanded and implemented against the ideology of terror.
Adnan Oktar's piece in the Jakarta Post: