Turkey Uncensored: Turks Call for the Reestablishment of the Caliphate in Istanbul
Uzay Bulut | January 5, 2017
A group of people in Istanbul recently gathered in the city’s Üsküdar neighborhood to protest the Syrian government’s military operation against jihadi fighters in Aleppo. A man shouting from the loudspeaker of a vehicle belonging to the municipality of Üsküdar said,
To escape these bloody days in Iraq, Egypt and Syria that have plunged into abasement, we need to reestablish Islamic unity and elect our caliph as soon as possible. As long as we do not practice the order of Allah – who said, ‘Hey Muslims! Hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided’ – there will never be a shortage of invasions, persecution, blood and tears in the Islamic world.
Salvation depends only on the Quran and on following the footsteps of His Rasul [Arabic for “messenger,” referring to Islam’s founder Muhammad]. The solution and remedy are obvious. May Allah wake us from this woolgathering and may Allah give us foresight, sagacity and understanding.
From here, we are shouting out to the world: Hey, kafirs! [Infidels] Hey imperialists! Hey Zionists! What on earth have you been able to do to us in the past, anyway?
During recent weeks, those Muslims were not the only ones calling for a reestablished caliphate. More than 1,000 British Muslims gathered en masse in London to call for that same caliphate, chanting over and over, “Allahu Akbar,” meaning “Allah is the greatest.”
The Empire of the Caliphate
The term “caliphate” was originally used to describe “the political-religious state comprising the Muslim community and the lands and peoples under its dominion in the centuries following the death [632 CE] of the Prophet Muhammad.”
After his migration from Mecca to Medina, Muhammad – the political and military leader of the Muslims and the source of Islamic revelation – established an Islamic government there. The earliest caliphs were relatives and followers of Muhammad himself. During their tenure, several nations across continents were invaded and occupied, making the Islamic world expand far beyond the borders of the Arabian Peninsula − east into the Persian empire, north into Byzantine empire, and west across northern Africa.
During its first two centuries of existence, that caliphate – ruled by a khalīfah, or successor who was considered to hold worldly and somewhat of a spiritual authority – quickly grew through conquests to include most of Southwest Asia, North Africa and Spain.
Seeing a need for a successor to Muhammad as the political leader of the Muslim community, a group of Muslim elders in Medina named the prophet’s father-in-law, Abū Bakr, as caliph.
The first four of those caliphs – including Abū Bakr, Umar I, Uthmān and Alī, − are known for establishing the “administrative and judicial organization of the Muslim community and forwarded the policy begun by Muhammad of expanding the Islamic religion into new territories.” During the 630s, the caliphate conquered Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Iraq and took Egypt from Byzantine control. Its militants also carried out frequent raids into North Africa, Armenia and Persia.
The caliphate was ruled according to the Islamic Sharia law, whose primary sources are the Quran and Sunnah; therefore, it follows the practices, injunctions and recommendations of Muhammad, as well as the actions of others he approved or did not oppose.
Under Sharia law, there is no religious liberty, freedom of expression or tolerance for religious dissent. Criticizing or denying Islam, its holy book Quran or its prophet Mohammed is punishable by death. Those who leave Islam are to be executed. Conversions are allowed to Islam only. And non-Islamic religions do not have the freedom to evangelize.
Similarly, there is no gender equality or women’s rights under Sharia law:
A man can marry an infant girl and take multiple women as sex slaves outside of marriage (Quran 4:24 and 33:50), but consenting adults may be put to death for “unlawful” (unmarried) sex.
A woman may have one husband, but a Muslim man can have up to four wives.
Muslim woman may not marry a non-Muslim man.
A man is instructed by the Quran to beat disobedient wives – as a last resort. (Quran 4:34)
A man may divorce his wife simply by repeating “I divorce you” three times, while a wife has no right to divorce her husband without his permission.
A divorced wife loses custody of all children older than 6 years of age.
Testimonies of four male Muslim witnesses are required to prove rape against a woman.
A man’s testimony in court is valued twice as highly as a woman’s. (Quran 2:282)
A female heir inherits half of what a male heir does. (Quran 4:11)
As for non-Muslims, other methods of extermination and dehumanization are applied. During Islamic invasions and later during Sharia rule, non-Muslims are either murdered or become “dhimmis:” third class, barely “tolerated” people in their dispossessed land who must pay a tax (the jizya) in exchange for so-called “protection.”
But even the status of “dhimmitude” does not enable non-Muslims to live as truly protected citizens.
As author Aviv Goldstein explained,
If the local Muslim population became intolerant or jealous of the successes of the dhimmi, then a pogrom would ensue. Communities could find themselves evicted, women raped, exorbitant ransoms placed on them, children abducted and forced to convert, and in other cases, mass murders of the dhimmi population was condoned.
Rules would be formulated to deny the dhimmi due process of the law. Discriminatory and restrictive dress and behavior codes would be enacted and severely enforced to reduce the dhimmi into a state of despair and poverty. Dehumanization of the dhimmi was not uncommon, and generally the rule. Various forms of physical abuse were common.
Many times distinctive dress was specified to identify a dhimmi that he would be unable to either mix with a Muslim or even walk in a Muslim area of a city.
Other rules specified such demeaning dress codes as not wearing shoes or sandals, not using certain colors, wearing stars on their clothing. Dhimmis were often prohibited from working in many occupations. Even rules were made as to how a dhimmi could ride a mule to distinguish him from a Muslim.
The non-observance of these rules would entail a severe beating. Often passing a Muslim on the wrong side would begin a beating that could leave a dhimmi mortally wounded.
According to Sharia law, the punishment for homosexuality is death. Journalist Kelly Riddell wrote, “What happened in Orlando was a hate crime driven by a fundamental belief in Muslim Sharia law.”
Today, it is the Islamic State that has declared the reestablishment of the caliphate in the lands under its control.
“The official ISIS story,” wrote scholar Daniel Greenfield,“the one that we read in the newspapers, watch on TV and hear on the radio, is that it’s a unique group whose brand of extremism is so extreme that there is no comparing it to anything else.”
But ISIS is only one of the many Islamic supremacist organizations that upholds or aims for the caliphate. Those who know the history of Islam as well as Islamic scriptures would be quite familiar with the types of crimes committed by ISIS.
The last caliphate, the Ottoman Empire, was selling non-Muslim girls as sex slaves after the invention of the telephone. A New York Times report from 1886 documented the sale of girls as young as 12, one of them with ‘light hazel eyes, black eyebrows and long yellow hair.’ An earlier report from the London Post described Turks ‘sending their blacks to market in order to make room for a newly purchased white girl.’ This behavior is not a temporary aberration, but dates back to Muhammad’s men raping and enslaving non-Muslim women and young girls as a reward for fighting to spread Islam.
“The ISIS behaviors that we find so shocking were widely practiced in even the most civilized parts of the Muslim world around the time that the Statue of Liberty was being dedicated in New York City.
The rise of Islamic groups or governments is not a “local issue” that is of concern to only majority-Muslim countries. It is a global issue of vital importance that concerns all human beings who care about freedom and liberty.
When fundamentalist Muslims scream slogans calling for the “caliphate” – either in London or Istanbul, which was the Byzantine Constantinople until the Ottoman invasion in 1453 – non-Muslims all around the world must know what exactly it is that these Muslims are yearning for.