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Lessons Drawn from the Assassination of the Russian Ambassador in Turkey

Lessons Drawn from the Assassination of the Russian Ambassador in Turkey

Published in December 20, 2016

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

    Yesterday, 19th Dec., 2016, the Russian ambassador in Turkey, Andrei Gennadyevich Karlov, aged 62, was assassinated at an art gallery exhibition titled "Russia in Turkish Eyes", in the Turkish capital, Ankara, while he was delivering a speech to inaugurate this exhibition. Karlov was shot by Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, a 22-year-old off-duty Turkish policeman. A video of the attack shows the assassin crying out: "Allahu Akbar!" (i.e., God is Greatest!); "We are the ones who swore fealty to Muhammad to continue our Jihad as long as we live!"; "Don't forget Aleppo, don't forget Syria!"; and "Everybody involved in that injustice will pay the price!".The assailant shouted in Arabic and Turkish. He was subsequently shot by Turkish security forces. The International Quranic Center (IQC) denounces this crime of assassination. We personally feel bound to give our points of view in order to draw very important lessons from such a terrorist crime.


Firstly: the perpetrator/assassin is a classic example of Wahabi terrorism:

1- This murderer had made himself a Wahabi mufti, judge, and executioner. He sentenced the Russian ambassador to death and executed this sentence himself, as is the case with all political assassinations. Yet, this assassin claimed that his crime is covered with religious motives, as he typically shouted (Allahu Akbar!) like the rest of all Wahabi terrorists within their terrorist operations. It is as if this assassin wanted to tell everybody, before being shot by Turkish forces, that he thought he was deputized by God to commit such heinous crime! When did this assassin meet Muhammad to swear fealty to him?! Why did he adopt this faulty notion of jihad which is contrary to the Quranic teachings? The last words of such terrorist give the impression that he urged other terrorists, who recruited him, to execute a planned series of terrorist attacks later on.

2- The ridiculous, mad, laughter-inducing phrase "We are the ones who swore fealty to Muhammad to continue our Jihad as long as we live!" indicates that such an assassin was a Wahabi Sunnite. This false religion that contradicts Islam (i.e., Quranism) has fashioned, with the passage of centuries, an imaginary, false character of Prophet Muhammad that contradicts his real character in the Quranic text. God has sent the Seal of Prophets, Muhammad, and revealed the Quran to him as a mercy to the humankind "We did not send you except as mercy to the humankind." (21:107); hence, God did NOT send him to terrorize the humankind, as is the case with the false, imaginary character named 'Muhammad' fabricated and made up by those who have authored and fashioned the Wahabi Sunnite religion. In contrast to Islam (Quranism), the Sunnite Wahabism is based on terrorism and specialize in indiscriminate killing and massacring of peaceful civilians. Real Islam, the Quran alone, is based on peace; fighting in Islam is allowed only in cases of self-defense against military aggressors, and such self-defense fighting stops once military aggression stops, as per the Quranic teachings. The Quranic teachings prohibit, within this self-defense fighting, to fight non-fighters and all peaceful ones, even fighters/soldiers within the troops of aggressors are not to be fought if they surrender and adhere to peace in battlefields, and Muslims are commanded in the Quran in that case to help and protect such soldiers and to deliver them to safe locations after making them listen to the Quran: "And if anyone of the polytheists asks you for protection, give him protection so that he may hear the Word of God; then escort him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know." (9:6). Moreover, the fighters/soldiers within the aggressors' troops are protected and delivered to safe location if they utter the word of peace in battlefields, and they are not to be harmed or killed, because they stopped aggression and adhered to peace: "O you who believe! When you journey in the way of God, investigate, and do not say to him who offers you peace, "You are not a believer," aspiring for the goods of this world. With God are abundant riches. You yourselves were like this before, and God bestowed favor on you; so investigate. God is well aware of what you do." (4:94). If this applies to fighters in battlefields, what about unarmed, non-violent, non-aggressive, peaceful human beings?


Secondly: this assassin became such a criminal as a result of the Wahabi culture adopted and propagated in Turkey by the political party of Erdoğan:

1- Personally, we have been saddened and disappointed when Erdoğan managed to abort the military coup d'état that occurred in 2016. In our opinion, the Erdoğan regime poses a veritable threat endangering Turkey and the whole Middle East, and to install a dictatorial military regime in Turkey would be better in comparison. A military regime would have no religious ideology – it will adopted secularism long cherished by the Turkish people. Such Turkish military coup d'état, if it had been successful, would have been a mere phase within the secular struggle between the military leaders and the civil parties, within the process and arduous task to democratic transition, which will lead eventually to full-fledged democracy as long as Wahabism is not part of the equation. There were struggles between the military leaders and civil parties before in Pakistan and Sudan. Both countries had been ruled within civil-state parties that were corrupt, and they were removed by military coup d'état. In the Sudanese case, the coup was led by Omar Hassan Al-Bashir who was the ally of Hassan Al-Turabi, as both toppled the elected government of Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi in 1989.  The Wahabi military rule of Al-Bashir regime is still in power now as we write this article. Al-Bashir has lost nearly half of Sudan, and the country South Sudan was established in 2011. Al-Bashir is indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for allegedly directing a campaign of mass killing, rape, and pillage against civilians in Darfur; he is accused of committing genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, and yet, he escapes justice until now. In the Pakistani case, Pakistan has caused corruption in Afghanistan, and Pakistan has juggled many coups that imposed a military rule periods and many corrupt civil rule periods. Within such periods Wahabism reigns supreme until now; the negative influence of the KSA is ever-present within the Pakistani military leaders, civil parties, and inside the culture and lifestyle of the citizens. As for now, Pakistan is ruled by civil parties within the façade, while the military leaders control everything in all affairs, and all Pakistanis (in civil parties, the military, and the nation/people) embrace Wahabism. We can discern here how Wahabism has corrupted and hindered the democratic transition and ended the struggle and conflict between the military leaders and the civil parties in a way to serve the purposes and interests of Saudi Wahabism and the interests of corrupt dictatorial regimes that show overtly sham democracy used as a tool/façade to cover corruption, enslavement, and exclusion. In contrast, the military leaders of Turkey with their secular culture established long ago by the very first Turkish president Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and with the typical Turkish arrogance and haughtiness, refuse to accept Wahabism of the desert areas that were at one point in time an Ottoman governorate within the Ottoman Empire or caliphate. This is why many people wished that the failed attempt of the 2016 coup in Turkey would have been successful; it has repeat the struggle and conflict between the military leaders seeking power and the civil parties, but if the Turkish military leaders could have reached power, they certainly would have been able to eradicate Wahabism from the Turkish society. This will make the political climate there ready for the culture of democracy to be established gradually soon enough, because it will have room to spread within families, schools, streets, human-rights institutions, syndicates, social institutions, governmental bodies, political institutions, etc. in the absence of Sunnite Wahabism.

2- This is a brief historical overview: the Ottoman caliphate established the Turkish Empire that lasted for nearly six centuries. This Empire embraced the Sunnite Sufism dominant at the time and posing as if it were 'Islam'. When the Ottomans grew weak, the caliphate was abolished by the Turkish secular Party of Union and Progress, which was a nationalistic party that favored and supported the Turkish nationalism and identity or the Pan-Turanianism (a.k.a. Pan-Turanism). Secularization of Turkey was boosted further when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk became the first Turkish president (1923-1935); he was titled the Father of Modern Turkey. Atatürk Abolished the caliphate system of rule, ended religious education and quelled and suppressed other religious signs and overt activities, imposed secularism on all Turkish aspects of life, and modernized Turkey to make it catch up with the West. Atatürk died in Nov. 1938. Atatürk established a strong military army that competed against elected governments to rule instead of civil parties, within the typical weakness of the culture of democracy and the marginalization of religious leaders. Soon enough, Turkey has witnessed many military coups within the struggle between military leaders and civil authorities and parties. The first coup occurred in 1960, sponsored by the USA, and it led to the execution of the Prime MinisterAdnan Menderes, the Foreign Affairs Minister Fatin Rüştü Zorlu, and the Minister of FinanceHasan Polatkan. This 1960 coup failed within one month. Another coup took place in 1971 because of political corruption and internal unrest; part of the turmoil was caused by Wahabi movements that gained more grounds at the time and declared its hatred and opposition against the Atatürk secularism and Turkish subservience to the West. The 1971 coup could not stop turmoil and unrest that went on by the struggle of communists against the religious ruling party of Necmettin Erbakan the Prime Minister of Turkey at the time. After a succession of governments and prime ministers under control of military generals and leaders, another  alleged coup occurred in 1993, and massacres were committed as clashes occurred between the Kurds and the Turks as the Kurdistan Workers' Party (KKK) was established and led by Abdullah Öcalan. Military generals and leaders continue to control Turkey from behind curtains. In 1997, the military leaders removed from Necmettin Erbakan his office as Prime Minister of Turkey. This was followed by a violent military campaign or clampdown to quell and suppress any religious signs or overt activities. Sadly, this campaign included confiscations of freedoms and many infringements and violations of human rights. The reaction (or rather backfire) of the Turkish citizens was popular support for the Justice and Development Party (of Erdoğan and Wahabism) that won a landslide victory within 2003 elections. Erdoğan has emerged as a foe and adversary who opposed the military leaders and generals. When Erdoğan studies at the university, he made the acquaintance of Necmettin Erbakan, the very first Wahabi religious Prime Minister, and he has established the Justice and Development Party in 2001 along with members who supported Necmettin Erbakan, away from the Virtue Party banned and dissolved by authorities at the time. Erdoğan as a disciple followed the footsteps of his master and teacher Necmettin Erbakan by seeking to restore the glory of the Ottoman Empire. As Erdoğan crushed the 2016 attempt of coup d'état, his victory enabled him to minimize power of the Turkish military army and to remove his secular foes from all Turkish institutions. Thus, Erdoğan supported the spread of the Wahabi trend and ideology in Turkey and forced his presence as a key role in the quagmire of the Middle East.         

3- The young Turkish assassin, Altıntaş, who committed the crime of murdering the Russian ambassador was born in 1994; this is the same year that witnessed the first step of Erdoğan in his political career when he was appointed as the mayor of Istanbul. Erdoğan has spent four months behind bars in 1999; he was incarcerated after being accused of inciting aggression and violence on a religious basis. This accusation was leveled at him when he recited a poem in public voicing religious terror sentiments. This poem includes these lines of verse: (…The mosques are our barracks/ The domes our helmets/ The minarets our bayonets/ And the faithful our soldiers …). These words do not differ much from the words of the young Turkish assassin, Altıntaş.



1- There is a type of enlightened secularism (in the West) that establishes religious freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of expression and creativity, and liberty of thought, while making liberalism a popular culture within all citizens in a given country, and in such cases, there is room for democracy, social justice, and human rights to grow and flourish. There is another type of secularism (in the East) that is obscurantist and based on ignorance; an extremist type that opposes and excludes religions (the earthly ones and the celestial one of the Quran), such as the Turkish secularism. Some other secular regimes manipulate the earthly religions as opium of the masses to control them fully, such as secular regimes of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, Hosni Mubarak, Saddam Hussein, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and Bashar Al-Assad. 

2- No one can ever exclude religions in a given country or society by oppression and suppression; religions will always be the ever-present seemingly absent factor. After the extremist communist stance against religions and the endeavors to eliminate them from life, the USSR collapsed, and the earthly, fabricated, man-made religions rose again from the dead as an alternative in the Balkans, causing massacres and act as harbingers that signal other possible massacres to occur within Middle-Asian countries that were part of the former USSR. As far as Turkey is concerned, the Sunnite Sufi religion is part and parcel of the Turkish identity; historically, through the Sunnite Sufi religion, the Ottoman caliphate emerged and mottoes of this religion were used to allow the Ottomans to control and rule over many parts of Asia, Europe (north of the Mediterranean), and North Africa (south of the Mediterranean). Let us remember that during the Middle Ages in Europe, the term ''Turk'' was the exact synonym of the word ''Muslim''. Six centuries of the alliance between the Turkish nation and the earthly religion of the Sunnite Sufism gave Turkey worldly glory and pride (culturally, politically, and otherwise) that cannot be cancelled or wiped out by ignoramuses of the military leaders in six decades. What occurred is the exact opposite of eradicating religion in Turkey; the peaceful Sunnite Sufism has been replaced by the armed terrorist Sunnite Wahabism. To know the reason behind such transformation, let us remember one of Newton's laws of motion.When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body. This is reality of Turkey now, which is an explosive volatile situation that signals more violence and unrest. Fighting will not be confined to be Turks vs. Kurds, but it may extend off-limit to include Sunnites vs. Shiites and Wahabis vs. other Wahabis. All such dangers and threats will be caused by the new supposedly Ottoman sultan Erdoğan, who does not seem to realize that Wahabism carries inside it seeds of its self-destruction and incessant fighting and wars; events in Syria and the KSA are sufficient lines of evidence to assert and prove what we write here. Wahabism gives any ruler or sultan the sham legitimacy used as a cover to justify tyranny and injustices; yet, at the same time, Wahabism provides any opposition rebels or revolts the same sham legitimacy to declare rulers as infidels or apostates who deserve to be killed and/or deposed by military force. Hence Wahabism provides Erdoğan now with justification to be a tyrant who gets rid of his foes using Wahabis sharia laws. Of course, Islam (the Quran alone) is innocent of such crimes, as it has nothing to do with Wahabis that has stolen its name. the same Wahabi sharia laws gives a cover of sham legitimacy for foes of Erdoğan to declare him as an infidel/apostate who must be fought (and killed if possible) to be ousted so that those foes reach power in Turkey.               

3- One cannot possibly exclude the earthly, man-made, fabricated religions even if one ardently wishes to do this; yet, such earthly religions can be reformed by Islam within its only source: the Quran. This is the peaceful intellectual jihad or endeavor of Quranists in which they specialize; Quranists preach true Islamic/Quranic higher values derived from the Quranic text itself: freedom of religion, direct democracy, justice, mercy, charity, kindness, generosity, tolerance, and human rights. We call for the application of these Quranic higher values and we proselytize them online as part of true Islam (Quranism). Our intellectual endeavor exposes ancient traditions of theological thought, tenets, creeds, and notions of the Muhammadans with their earthly, man-made, fabricated Sunnite, Shiite, and Sufi religions that they assume as part of Islam or representing it, while Quranists assert that nothing could be further from the truth than such assumptions of the Muhammadans. The Quran is innocent of their claims. Quranists elucidate this in detail on their website. If the Turkish  military leaders had an enlightened mind, they would have coupled their secularism with the above-mentioned Quranic higher values of Islam, or at least injecting it with the West values which are very near to the Quranic ones of Islam.      

4- The young Turkish assassin remains a victim of Wahabism spread in Turkey by Erdoğan; the possibility of Erdoğan being one day a victim of Wahabism is not excluded.

5- We hope and pray for the safety and security of Turkey, with its Turks, Kurds, and the rest of its minorities.                   

The views and opinions of authors whose articles and comments are posted on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of IQC.