Turkey, once a secular democracy with a distinctly Middle Eastern feel has turned. And the reason is Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The recent contested election that give Ergodan unprecedented authoritarian powers indicates that a majority of Turks believe that a turn toward an Islamist country with authoritarian leadership is a move in the right direction.
Mark Steyn writes:
As they used to say way back when in the long Ottoman twilight, the Turk is the sick man of Europe. Following this weekend's Caliph-for-Life referendum, the Turk is sicker than ever. But he's no longer of Europe, and instead is exiting for a destination dark and catastrophic for almost all his neighbors.How many times have most Democrats, a few Republicans, and every trained hamster in the media tell us that some Muslim leader was a "moderate Islamist." The term itself is an oxymoron, and when applied to leaders in Iran, or Hezballah, or the palestinian authority, it's a sad joke. There is no such thing as a "moderate" Islamist—an absolutist strain of Islam that believes that the dictates of the 7th century can be applied to the 21st. Don't believe me? Ask a "moderate" like Ergodan what he thinks about gay people, or the Holocaust, or the proper role of women, or Sharia law. Go ahead, ask.
Sultan Erdoğan - who, a mere 15 years ago, was banned from holding political office - has now succeeded in dismantling almost every defining element of the Kemalist republic. What replaces it will be a crude strongman state in service of Islamic imperialism ...
In fairness to the new Caliph, ever since he emerged from his semi-pro footballing career to run for Mayor of Istanbul, he's played a more cunning game than the stan-of-the-month loons. As he said in one of his most famous soundbites, democracy is a bus you ride to the stop you want - and then you get off. And he was quite happy to take the scenic route, stop by stop by stop. In the two or three years after he came to power, I was assured that he was a "moderate Islamist" not merely by the all the foreign-policy think-tank "experts" but even by his political rivals in the previous Kemalist government.
But there are bigger issues at play here. Ergodan is a true believer, but he's also a politician. He recognized that in Turkish demographic trends saw areas of the country with strong Islamist support overwhelming the populations of more secular areas. He played to the right demographics and the result was "the new Caliph." Steyn offers a warning:
What lessons does Turkey offer for France or Germany, Sweden or Britain? Look at, say, French natives as Rumelian Turks and French Muslims as Anatolians. In 2012, the Muslim vote for M Hollande [the left-wing French President] was larger than his margin of victory over Sarkozy. On those numbers, it's asking a lot of a candidate to forego identity-group pandering. Ultimately, in Turkey as elsewhere, demography trumps democracy.Welcome to the beginnings of Eurabia.
Germany has been on the forefront of encouraging mass Muslim migration into the EU and has worked hard to downplay any ill-effects that new immigrants have caused. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that The Daily Mail reports:
The State Secretary for the Berlin Government, Sawsan Chebli, defended Islamic law saying it can exist alongside Germany's Basic Law because it 'largely regulates the relationship between God and man'.Actually, that's not quite accurate. Sharia law regulates virtually every aspect of a religious Muslim's life, defining not only the religious aspects of that life, but also everything from how to treat criminality, to how to dress, and to how to regulate banking transactions. It can be argued that as long as it applies only to Muslims, that's okay, but here's the thing—political Islam view non-Muslims as apostates and wants Sharia to apply to everyone, everywhere.
That hasn't happened yet, but as they say, "give 'em an inch." It looks like Sawsan Chebli wants to take a mile in Germany.