starting Turkey’s EU talks
Fadlullah: from the Islamic point of view, we have nothing against Turkey becoming a member of the European Union. On the contrary, this could represent a kind of cooperation between the Muslim and Arab peoples and the European peoples, since Turkey could act as the Ambassador of Islam to them.
his weekly seminar the following question: In view of the
Turkish experience how do you view the integration between
Muslims and other societies?
The Religious Authority, Sayyed
Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah, said:
Islam has paved the way for Muslims to
open up on other societies whom they differ with in their religious or
political affiliates. It wanted Muslims to respect them as human being,
in addition to respecting the differences which could be the result of
political social or historic circumstances. People are, as Imam Ali (a.s)
described, of two kinds, either a brother in religion or a fellow human
Islam respects human fraternity, and
calls for peaceful relations among men.
Moreover, it has urged Muslims to
establish broad relations, for the purpose of the call to befriend the
world. The Islamic message to other people is one of peace and love. It
believes that other nations have the right to learn about Islamic
principles and values, and the best way to do this is by establishing
If some are talking about the wars that
erupt between Muslims and others, these are usually political, and occur
when a colonized force wants to occupy Islamic lands. In this case, the
Muslims would be defending their lands, something that is legitimate
according to all laws and cultures. But Islam, on the other hand, has
prevented its followers from practicing any injustice against others,
regardless of their religion, race, or political beliefs.
On the basis of theses principles,
Muslims are tolerant and merciful towards those who differ with them
religiously and politically.
This was evident in the early Islamic
age, and even in the ones that followed including those that were not
decisively Islamic. Thus we saw the Jews coexisting normally with the
Muslims, except when they committed an aggression against them...
In other instances there was some kind of
cooperation between them as in Andalusia. Moreover, the world has
testified for the tolerant relations Muslims had with the Christians and
nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say,
"We are Christians": because amongst these are men devoted to learning
and men who have renounced the world, and the arrogant
A contemporary historian, testified that the best treatment the
minorities ever was that with the Muslims.
Any researcher or objective observer can
attest to this fact, and that the legal and ethical Islamic system did
not only aim at protecting the Muslims, but the others too, whom it
sought to establish the best relations with and respected their security
and their specific reality.
Islam considers international peace and
security as one of its major goals. It looks forward for a civilization
dialogue with all nations. That is why it did not reject any civilized
formula of Muslims’ integration with others as long as it preserves their
identity and their individuality.
Therefore, from the Islamic point of
view, we have nothing against Turkey becoming a member of the European
Union. On the contrary, this could represent a kind of cooperation
between the Muslim and Arab peoples and the European peoples, since
Turkey could act as the Ambassador of Islam to them.
We would like this Ambassador to present
to the European peoples a model of civilized Islam that is not associated
with the opportunity of benefiting from their economy, but as an advanced
scientific center that one can learn from. In addition, Turkey could play
an important role in correcting any misunderstanding that is created by
the violent developments in the region whose impact might reach Europeans
in a backward and rejected manner.
On the other hand, we would like this
step to help in leading many Europeans to forego their racism towards
Islam and Muslims.
They should confirm that Turkey was not
rejected in the beginning because it was a Muslim country as the late
Turkish Prime Minister Ozal used to say.
We also wish that the states and leaders
of the EU who began to lay down conditions to accept Turkey like
embarking on a cultural revolution or abiding by all the laws of the EU.
They should take into consideration the specific particularities of each
people and not to treat the Turkish Muslims on the basis of their
individual identity. If the late Pope has advised the EU states to
preserve the EU Christian identity, we advise them to preserve the
humanistic spirit of the EU legal and political system, and respect the
particularities of Muslims as well as others. The most important of which
is that Islam is not to be considered as a personal relationship, but one
that constitutes the spirit of the community.
We want the EU countries not to fall
prey, one more time, to the Zionist propaganda that tries to inflate the
Islamic presence in Europe and arouse fear from what such a growth will
lead to in the future, especially at a time that Muslims are being
haunted and treated as guilty of terrorism until proven innocent!
We also want the Muslim peoples and their
governments to insist on belonging to Islam without any fanaticism. On
the contrary, they should conduct a civilized dialogue with Europe on the
basis of their Islamism. We claim that, as Muslims, we want to extend a
hand of love, dialogue and understanding to others.
But we are being faced with rejection and
collective punishment on mistakes committed by individuals. The time has
come to build bridges of understanding with Europe and the West that will
blow up all extremism, disperse and terrorism whether that of individuals
or of the state.