Jihadists keep on saying that "they love death more than we love life." Good for them.
Then there are the proxy jihadists. In 2012, Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps commander, Mohammad Ali Jafari, said that, "Iran provided the Palestinian organizations the technology to produce Fajr-5 and other missiles, and they can now produce these missiles themselves in large quantities." Apparently, Iran will fight Israel down to the last Palestinian. And so will Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan the Sunni mullah. It's one of the rare qualities Sunni and Shiite Islamists feature: They have an obsession about fighting Israel at times when their Sunni and Shiite militants are not busy killing each other.
A recent front-page headline in Turkey's flagship newspaper, Hürriyet, was particularly revealing: They (Israel) bombed a mosque in Gaza! Including the exclamation mark! Yes, the exclamation mark, at times when sectarian mosque bombing is so routine that it cannot find even a few column inches of space in Muslim newspapers. A quick internet search, if you typed the words "mosque bombing Shiite-Sunni," would give you 782,000 results on July 16.
But again, the "they-(Israel)-bombed-a-mosque" shock on Muslim faces is not too unfamiliar. From my column on June 3, 2010, "Why is Palestine 'a second Cyprus' for Turks?":
"But why do the Turks have the 'Palestine fetish' even though most of them can't point the Palestinian territories out on a map? Why did they not raise a finger when, for instance, the mullahs killed dissident Iranian Muslims? Why did the Turks not raise a finger when non-Muslim occupying forces killed a million Iraqi Muslims? Why did we not hear one single Turkish voice protesting the deaths of 300,000 Muslims in Darfur?
"Subconsciously (and sadly) the Muslim-Turkish thinking tolerates it if Muslims kill Muslims; does not tolerate it but does not turn the world upside down when Christians kill Muslims; pragmatically ignores it when too-powerful Christians kill Muslims; but is programmed to turn the world upside down when Jews kill Muslims."
What else, other than that hatred, could bring two otherwise unmatchable people into precisely the same line of thinking? One is an Egyptian cleric with the typical bigotry of an Egyptian cleric; and the other is a Turkish-Kurdish female singer who burst onto the pop song scene along with a life full of scandals, including drug abuse and a conviction.
Muhammad al-Zoghbi, the Egyptian cleric, said in a May 3 television interview that, "not a single Jew will remain on the face of this earth." The TV program's theme was, "The war on the Jews, their annihilation or the eradication of their country." But here comes into the picture the charter of the organization Mr. Erdoğan does not hide his deep admiration for: Hamas.
Hamas's charter is must-read fun. My favorite section prophesizes that: "The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews, when the (last) Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, 'O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'"
Mr. al-Zoghbi's interviewer must be an intellectual man, as he asked the cleric if the section about speaking trees and stones was an allegorical expression, to which Mr. al-Zoghbi replied: "Whoever says this is an allegory (that trees and stones will speak) is wrong. The trees will actually talk. And the walls as well."
But Yıldız Tilbe, the Turkish-Kurdish pop star, is apparently less patient than waiting for the moment when the trees and stones will guide Muslims to the last standing Jew so that they can kill him. Hers is a nostalgic, probably too-difficult-to-fulfil wish, unless Arabs, Turks or her Kurdish kin invent the time machine.
On her Twitter account last week, she wrote: "May God bless Hitler. He did far less (than he should have)." And that: "It will be Muslims again who will bring the end of Jews." To which the honorable mayor of Ankara, Melih Gökçek replied: "I applaud you."
(to be continued)
Burak Bekdīl, based in Ankara, is a Turkish columnist for the Hürriyet Daily News and a Fellow at the Middle East Forum. This article was originally published in slightly different for form on July 18 in the Hürriyet Daily News.