Tunisia, a country that embraced Islam in 648 and remained under the Ottoman rule approximately for 300 years has been the scene of uprising and conflicts for the last few weeks. It is unlikely for any person of faith, and especially a strong country likeTurkey, which is an inheritor of the Ottoman Empire, to remain reckless towards these incidents.
The wave of riots over unemployment and corruption, thought to have been sparked by the suicide of a young man who was barred from selling vegetables by setting himself on fire culminated the ouster of the president who ruled the country by anti-democratic means. It is stated that similar unrest can be experienced in countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Jordan. Indeed protests have already broken out in Morocco and Tunisia. Majority of the historians, political scientists and columnists who attempt to assess the incidents and predict the developments close at hand ignore one important fact: the definite solution that will bring the real and permanent solution to the Tunisian people and the other nations in question.
For long years the majority of the Tunisian people suffering from rampant poverty and unemployment have been subjected to severe oppression; they have been imprisoned for their thoughts, tortured for their will to live by their beliefs. These people demand an environment where they receive treatment as first class citizens, express their thoughts freely and live in welfare. They want a peaceful environment with favorable economic conditions allowing arts and science to flourish where the value of people are appreciated, joy reigns and democracy and human rights are put into effect. The path for the Tunisian people to attain this environment, and an even better and superior than what is dreamt of is the Turkish-Islamic Union.
Tunisia has not attained peace since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire
Tunisia was introduced to Islam when it was conquered by Islamic armies led by Abdullah bin AbiSar in 648. In a short time Tunisia became an Islamic country where the whole populace converted by the 7th century. After remaining under many different administrations, Tunisia attained real peace and stability when it came under the Ottoman rule in 1574. Tunisia became an autonomous province and the country held this status until 1881. Quite contrary to the tyrannical rule of the European civilizations, a peaceful and compassionate understanding of administration peculiar to the religion of Islam was prevalent under the Ottoman rule. As well as the Muslim Arabs making up the majority of the population, there were people from other ethnical and religious communities such as Berbers and Jews. These various communities co-existed in peace and brotherhood until the French occupation in 1881. France administered Tunisia by governors which initiated a great policy of cruelty as in Algeria. All sorts of opposition and pro-independence activities were bloodily suppressed. Leaders of pro-independence Islamic movements and those supporting them were exposed to severe oppression. The majority of them were arrested and tortured. France had difficulty to put an end to the reactions of the Tunisian nation who possessed a strong sense of Islam and to suppress the riots. For this reason France resorted to the classical method of every colonialist country and usedthe Dustur Party, which was originally established for the goal of making Tunisia an independent state as a puppet administration. HabibBurgiba, a “reliable man” of France was assigned as the leader of the party.
In 1959 HabibBurgabi took the authority of ruling the country all alone. Shortly after his taking the power he declared himself as the “president of the republic until his death.” Until he was ousted by Prime Minister ZeynelAbidin bin Ali in 1987 on the grounds that he was mentally unstable, he ruled Tunisia for 31 years as a “single man”.
The most important feature of the system established by Burgiba was hatred of Islam. Burgiba took mosques under strict control and banned performing regular prayer (salat) except for particular times. All Muslims aiming Islamic community were arrested for their so-called anti-regime activities and were exposed to severe torture. All Islamic education institutions, Ez-Zitouna University being the foremost, were closed. However Ez-Zitouna University which was comparable to Al-Azhar University in Egypt was an important center that kept Islamic life alive in the North Africa and educated scientists who opened new horizons for the nation. Burgiba intensified his repression to the point of appearing on the television in Ramadan with alcohol and announcing that he banned fasting on the pretext that it slowed down work pace. He also asked to make pilgrimage to al-Qayrawan, the holy city of Maghrib, instead ofMeccaon the grounds that traveling to Meccawas expensive.
ZaynalAbidin bin Ali was no different from Burgiba. When he came to power and fortified his position Bin Ali who promised that he would initiate a reform movement in the country started to oppress the Muslim population just as Burgiba. Furthermore his activities proved to be more cruel.
What is to be done is to engage in a struggle fully in compliance with the morality of the Qur’an by means of science, knowledge and culture
Following the recent riots taking place in the first month of the year 2011 ZaynalAbidin bin Ali fled from the country. Now thepolitical leaders in exile are expected to return to Tunisia and it is evident that some political changes will occur. However the path that will be followed during this transition is of great importance.
It is the natural right of the Tunisian people who have gone through hard times and cruelty to feel unease and express this in clear expressions. However it must be kept in mind that this right needs to be exercised in a way that most complies with the morality of the Qur’an. If, while exercising this right and reacting against the oppression and cruelty they have been exposed, the Tunisian people employ methods that will cause greater conflicts and hardship and tend to resolve their problems by violence, then this will also be cruelty. Methods that will give harm to innocent people, plunder goods and spread fear and horror are both incompatible with the Qur’an and far from bringing the awaited peace to Tunisia. These methods will bring more violence and oppression in a very short time and render attainment of freedom and welfare impossible.
The anti-democratic regime ongoing in Tunisia for approximately 60 years is founded upon Darwinist and materialist outlook to life. From the first day he took office, Burgiba put the system he imported from France into practice–but eliminated its democratic aspects - and implemented it strictly and mercilessly. As long as this ideology is noteradicated, it is also impossible to abolish the harm it causes. Various people will come to power, differing administrations will rule but the peace, security and democracy in the real sense of the word will never take root. For these come true, the prevalence of anti-materialist, anti-Darwinist ideology based on the morality of the Qur’an is compulsory.
For this reason the Tunisian youth must engage its struggle in the ideological sense and resist disbelief, atheism, materialism and Darwinism with science, knowledge and culture.
A very-well educated youth with superb general culture who are trained against materialist ideologies with science will guarantee the enlightened and beautiful days of Tunisia.
If these are not accomplished it is impossible to achieve the results with reactions based on conflicts, protests and violence. These activities may be the means to ousting administrations but it is unlikely to found democracy, human rights and freedom upon these methods. A system founded on violence becomes instrumental in suffering, hardship and trouble rather than bliss and joy.
The region will not attain peace without the establishment of the Turkish Islamic Unity
Apart from all these,the outbreak of riots in Tunisia reveal another truth. The trouble is not limited to the Tunisian people and tends to spread to other countries in the region that have been suffering from anti democratic regimes for long years. It is very natural that these nations that have been oppressed for more than half a century demand democracy, welfare, peace, security, freedom and relief. However the change of administrations is not sufficient for their salvation. It would only present solutions on a day-to-day basis and various other factors that may appear in time may culminate more painful situations. For this reason the solution must be absolutely sought in the path shown by Allah and our Prophet (saas). The path shown by Allah and our Prophet (saas) is the unison of the entire Islamic world around a spiritual leader and the establishment of the Turkish Islamic Union.
When the Islamic world establishes a strong unity it becomes impossible for any citizen livingunder the roof of this unity to be cruelly oppressed and treated unjustly. Every state preserves its independent structure but the Turkish Islamic Unity ensures the security, joy, pleasure and comfort of all the citizens of the respective countries.
This unity that will come into existence with the unison of the Turkish Islamic states will not only be instrumental in establishing peace in Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria or Jordan but attainment of unity, order and peace in the Islamic geography extending from Morocco to Fiji, Indonesia to Chad. Only then true democracy will be experienced and all people will be equal. Only then poverty will be eradicated, science, arts and technology will flourish. Only then a person in a Tunisian village or a person in the capital of Indonesia will experience ease, comfort, bliss, abundance and welfare in its true sense.
As some people assume the Turkish Islamic Unity is not the re-establishment of the Ottomans. The Great Ottoman Empire provided the most beautiful conditions to its subjects and became a role model with the respect it showed to religion, faith and races. Meanwhile it is true that there have been some erroneous practices; some flawed methods were employed. However we must take lessons from these errors and not repeat them. Indeed the goal of the Turkish Islamic Union is to establish a civilization of unprecedented glory and strength that fully complies with the morality of the Qur’an. By Allah’s leave this civilization will be instrumental in putting an end to cruelty and predomination of the Truth.