Stands >2005 Stands >The Stand of  Ramadan 07, 1426H /October 11, 2005 A.D.

starting Turkey’s EU talks

Sayyed 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.

Asked in 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 being.

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 good relations.

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.