Recep Teyyep Erdogan the Turkish prime minister, furious for not given equal speaking time by the chairperson as compared to Shimon Peres the president of Israel who had more than 25minutes to himself, walked out of the forum. Ban Kin Moon was left speechless.
The scene of Erdogan walking out of the forum was shown live across all major channels worldwide. Back in Ankara and Istandul, he returned home as a national hero.
I was not captivated by his walk-out, more than I was with the way Erdogan dealt with the whole situation, and how calm he was through out. Yes, he was certainly incensed by the way he felt the forum was being manipulated, but certain he knew that such was possible anyways.
He knows that Israel, of all nations, cannot afford to make an enemy out of Turkey. As a matter of fact, technically, Turkey is a friend of Israel as it is one of only a few Muslim countries in the world, who recocnise Israel and has an Israeli ambassador residing in Ankara. This is in spite of the fact that the islamist party won convincingly in the last few elections in Turkey.
Erdogan chose his words well. He even made peres rose his voice, of which he reminded the israeli president that by raising his voice, peres was trying to evade the truth. It is the art of such masterful debate and mind game that amazes me. Erdogan reminds us that when it matters most, it how we convince the world, that counts.
Erdogan was merely trying to make a simple point. Israel is unable to hide the fact that its insurgent into Gaza merely a few weeks ago, was a bloody,unlawful act of war. But Peres, mindful that all eyes and ears are now convinced of Erdogan's argument, tried his best to describe how militant Hamas is and that Israel is merely trying to defend itself.
Israel for the past few weeks realises that the global perception are against them. Day in and day out, Peres as president of israels now appears in many television series defending the act of IDF, the army of Israel. Ironically, or rather more as propaganda, even its army IDF, means the Israeli Defence Force.
But for all the rabbit that israel can pull out of hat to trick the world and cajole america, it now has a worthy opponent. And it is to their annoyance, that this new enemy in the form Erdogan and his bright savvy young 'armies', is also considered a dear friend by the mighty United States of America.
Erdogan, is the embodiment of the perfect Islamist. A brilliant man, an extraordinary strategist, savvy and diplomatic, he is the worse opponent that Israel or any enemy of islam can expect. How do israel make a devil out of someone who is even willing to sit and debate with israel and host israel in their own homeland?
Israel loaths Turkey, and even more so the islamist in Erdogan and in Turkey. But why are they unable to demonise Turkey the way they do of iran or even hamas?
America for one, needs turkey on their side in the strategic alliance of nato against the emergence of mother russia north of the black sea. And they found the islamist leadership in turkey an unseeming 'friend' as they try to manouver themselves in between the blacksea and the war in iraq. Israel in return must tow the line.
But it is Erdogan's longsightedness in all things strategic that has allowed the Islamist to rule thus far in Turkey, albeit the support by America. The secularist in turkey has been unable to secure the support of their friends in the cia, simply because Erdogan, unlike the former leaders in Rafah, are much more sophisticated. To put it simply, Erdogan is playing the mind games at a totally different level, at which his enemies do not even understand.
When the secularist (or even america and israel) thought that by taking government erdogan would send off the israeli ambassador, he did not do so. When the constitution disallowed erdogan's wife to enter the official prime minister's residence, he merely said "ok, I ll stay at my own house". Erdogan was openly pro EU and pro market, pushing strongly for Turkey's entrance into Brussels, and thus finding new friends in the likes of britain, italy and spain. As members of Nato, it was a strong ally of america in the so called war on terror.
Secularist has almost given up in turkey.israel is trying their best to understand and read his next move.while america now owes turkey, more than otherwise.
Erdogan knew that he is in a much stronger position to walk out of that forum more than he would have 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago. America needs him more than he needs America.
At the same time, by leveraging on unprecedented moves unexpected of a true islamist in dealing with israel, he makes it obvious that the act of israel, is not an act of self defence, nor is it an action by the "jewish people who are devils" as many people in malaysia like to say, but it is simply an act of unlawful war and terror by the zionist government itself.
As erdogan said it himself in the rally today upon his return from davos. " We must be reminded that the enemy of palestine are not the jewish people, or the israeli citizens, but it is the zionist government".
Of course some islamist would like to equate the 3 as the same, but one has to realise that Erdogan was merely trying to remind us, that by having less enemy, you actually move forward faster and more effectively. Why make unnecessary enemies, well at least, why make them all at the same time?
There is an abundance of thinking that the islamist in malaysia must learn from this drama of erdogan in davos.
To start with, shame on those malay islamist who freely make derogatory terms out of the name Erdogan, to subscribe scournfully those with supposed 'reformist' agenda in the islamic movement, and especially, in the so called islamic party.
As a matter of fact, it is downright patronising to equate 'Erdoganism' with any particular individual political leadership in malaysia. Obviously, Erdogan is way beyond our Malay mentality league or any individual politician who may or may not be erdogan's friend. We the islamist in malaysia, has yet reached that level of thinking, well hopefully not for long.
If anything, the islamist in malaysia, cross cultures,race, mazhab,movement and political party affiliation, must realise that as much as we like to hate the zionist army by boycotting mcdonalds and drinking less starbucks, we will go nowhere in saving palestine, as would like to, unless we start moving to the next level of strategizing and thinking.
It is shameful that even as chairman of the oic, the best we could do to save palestine is eat less mcdonalds and feel less guilty by sparing some change in that donation box. And of course, holding concerts, in the name of palestine. Utterly ridiculous.
Paradigm change is what the islamist need in malaysia. And to embrace erdogan and the islamist movement ideals in turkey is abt shifting our strategy towards mastering the mind games, that is much more effective and powerful but certainly more difficult too.
The islamist in malaysia must shift our gear towards learning the more global issues affecting islam, and learning to strategize for islam in a more global view. Many of us talk abt winning the war for palestine, and yet little amongst us the islamist are aware of essential reading materials such as the haaretz, or the jerusalem post.
But it is not just abt palestine. The islamist in malaysia must learn to be global, in the most real sense, the way erdogan is. We need not to talk abt negara islam and scaremongering others with words like hudud, when in reality an islamic world in malaysia shall be achieve in its truest sense when the islamist in malaysia are more sophisticated and intellectual in thinking, leaving behind elements of racism, tribalism, factionalism and all the ism which has divided us islamist and malaysia for so long.
In a more micro level, Usrah systems must be liberated from mere studies of the same books and materials thought for almost 2 generations. Not disregarding the old books by authors fathi yakan and the likes, young islamist must be exposed to literatures written by karen amstrong or even to strategy books by lou tzu.
The liberation of islam and islamist in malaysia shall draw closer each day. The old will die, and with them, old ideas and old cultures. The young must be brave to bring change, for we do not want to be just mere followers in the global agenda of islam.
islam is a beautiful religion that has been at the end of much fitnah by the act of its own followers.islam is a religion, whose truth can defend itself. And we the young islamist, must rise to the occasion of change, for the rise of islam shall not wait for us.
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