People used to put each other down calling “Armenian” where I grew up. I was taught at school that “No coat from a bear, no mateship with a Greek”. We were surrounded by enemies from all quarters. A Turk had no friend other than a Turk. The external powers were willing to divide our country by using the Kurds. And most of our Kurdish citizens did not appreciate TurkishState’s excellence but sympathizing the terrorists! These creeds of the Turkish State seems impossible but true.
We were being trained by compulsory education and could only look at with the eye of the state. The state and its infusions were everything. We, people, were raised as toys in the hands of the nation state. We were obligated to obey and be contented with whatever the state taught us.
Alhamdulillah, we have not been contented with tenets of the state and met the Qur’an. We have started to learn Islam from the main source in the language that we understand. We got acquainted with the prophets and by dint of them broke our chains to be released!
Today I am thirty and identifying myself as a Muslim. I do not restrict my mind, my heart and my dreams with the borders of the nation state. I am aware of being bound to such a shallowness like this, is meant to be unfair to Islam which grants a broad justice and consciousness to me.
I account myself as a member of the humanity family and consider the world as my homeland. I want to have the courage of my convictions in my country. My aim is to worship Allah who wills nothing but good for human kind, properly. What makes someone free in real terms and prevents from any kind of worshipping any worshipper; is worshipping Allah alone, I know.
A Muslim must stand by the good and disapprove the evil. Qur’an reveals this obligation with its verses obviously!
“And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful.” (Sura Al-i-Imran, 104th Aya)
“The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger.” (Sura At-Tawba, 71st Aya)
Furthermore it is narrated that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
“He who amongst you sees something abominable should modify it with the help of his hand; and if he has not strength enough to do it, then he should do it with his tongue, and if he has not strength enough to do it, (even) then he should (abhor it) from his heart, and that is the least of faith.”
I am against to the compulsory military service as well as the compulsory education which are full of patronizing, biased and unfair values and ideologies that make people believe in and keep them in line.
As a Muslim, for me it is a persecution to join the army whose theory and practices I do not approve and it is another persecution to bow this persecution.
It is out of question for me to join the army which has been repressing all the humane and Islamic values and tortured millions of people during military coups and made thousands of them “unidentified victims” of murders, maltreated majorities and minorities, Muslims and non-Muslims in the country in various ways and whose past and today is full of numerous injustices.
Allah says in the 8th Aya of the Sura Al-Maida that:
“O you who believe! Be upright for Allah, bearers of witness with justice, and let not hatred of a people incite you not to act equitably; act equitably, that is nearer to piety, and he careful of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is Aware of what you do.”
A Muslim can only fight for the Islamic values. Not for the Turkish Armed Forces which belongs to a nation and simultaneously oppresses and abuses (using “martyrdom” and “prophet home” notions) Islamic values.
A Muslim can join the Prophet’s Army but there is no doubt that a place where all the people insult or are insulted, beat or are beaten, get raw deal but find no chance to object unfair treatments certainly cannot be called “prophet home”.
If it is not negligence then is completely a deception to name a place where nationalism, jingoism or racism appear.
It is impossible to accept a place where vast opportunities including person and time are wasted incomprehensibly, as “prophet home”.
I, as a Muslim, do not want to be unfair to either myself or any living creature. I ain’t consentient to be compelled by anyone for fighting, dying and killing for the values I do not believe in and ain’t compel anyone to fight, die and kill for the values s/he does not believe in.
I ain’t consentient.
I declare my conscientious objection, yes. I am not going to join the army.
Lawyer Mehmet Ali Başaran, 1983-Trabzon
(Çev: Halime Şahin)