The Nature of Secularism
By Hwaa Irfan
Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy Arguing because we refuse to listen, refuse to remove a perception of reality that no longer exists – lost in a maze that is destroying those they turn to, with the West full of broken promises that it is no longer willing to mete out to their citizens. This is the case in Egypt, more pointedly Lower Egypt currently, as unknowingly each segment of the population with their own piece of blanket is tearing the country apart to the amusement of their Western mentors– one doesn’t need a President to do that!
Here is where the battleground is between the state vs. the people, and faith vs. secularism after 30 years of Western intervention, the seeds they had sown is re-rooting. After the metaphorical beheading of that figure-head through the uprisings f the January 25th, the masses have descended far away from the aspirations of the youth from that uprising, and instead of taking the courage to turn to themselves for their own answers, they have turned to a crumbing capitalism with a the laws and by-laws that it has forsaken.
Misinterpreted as democratic, constitutional and modern, the origins of secularism and the route of its flow has been aided and abetted by the extent of corruption in the Church, and since then other religious institutions which has less to do with the faith, and more to do with man’s greed, as vividly painted by the nature and impact of the past four years of the global economic crisis.
A multi-faith society requires a level playing field, with socio-economic structures, and institutions as a guarantor of that level playing field. However, both democracy vis-a-vie secularism has led to the massacre and torture of millions, the torture of millions, the enslavement millions, of the incarceration of thousands, the removal of sovereignty of tens of countries, the mobilization of natural resources for the benefit of a few, and the continuous of monetary resources from the masses to the few. It is only a state of denial, and the fear of being wrong about what one’s life has been based upon that prevents seeing what has become a reality even on one’s own turf.
The globalist battlefield of religion has been long fought for and well invested in. This has been long been realized by many great and small. In the words of a small:
As a fully paid-up atheist, I find myself in an ambivalent position as regards the role of religion in modern Britain. On the one hand, I feel that religious faith, particularly in its “fundamentalist” guise, is essentially an evil influence. But I also feel very strongly that religion has provided, almost by chance, a moral compass for people. I find myself echoing Larkin: “And what remains when disbelief has gone?” – Richard Tarleton
The Latin term that ‘secular’ derives from is – ‘saeculum‘ – means ‘generation’ or ‘age’ and so in a way it means modern. We take modern in terms of a material and free lifestyle – the agenda of the globalist frees us from any allegiance that is higher than them. In fact, the contemporary meaning is a society without reference to the divine. This has been clearly been understood and is reflected in the title of the globalist Ford Foundation funded conference: “Public Religion, the Secular, and Democracy: An International Cross-disciplinary Project.”
France provides a perfect example with many ideologies afloat. While Rousseau and Montesquieu provided the political atmosphere for revolution, Voltaire a believer, criticized the Roman Catholic Church became a freemason at the same Parisian lodge as Benjamin Franklin in 1778.
“It does not require great art, or magnificently trained eloquence, to prove that Christians should tolerate each other. I, however, am going further: I say that we should regard all men as our brothers. What? The Turk my brother? The Chinaman my brother? The Jew? The Siam? Yes, without doubt; are we not all children of the same father and creatures of the same God?” – Voltaire
Yet like most globalists Voltaire had contempt of his fellow men: the French bourgeoisie to be too small and ineffective, the aristocracy to be parasitic and corrupt, the commoners as ignorant and superstitious.
Voltaire like a growing number today had little faith in democracy and recognized it for what it does i.e. to propagate the idiocy of the masses.
So it was inevitable that Volataire was to become a freemason believing in the notion of an enlightened monarch to provide change, and uplift the masses. This notion died with his disillusionment with Frederick the Great and so he wrote in Candide, ou l’Optimisme, 1759):
“It is up to us to cultivate our garden”.
A strong anticlerical sentiment emerged during the French revolution due to a combination of liberal enlightenment philosophy and resentment over the Catholic Church’s political power. The revolutionaries and their successors sought to reduce Catholic presence within government and the public sphere as much as possible. The Church’s power waxed and waned until the 1905 Law on the Separation of Churches and the State, formally establishing an assertive secularist regime.
The socio-political landscape was changing threatening the established order of the European elite (the centre of the One Government One World movement) as a result of the French Revolution (1789 – 1799). Ravaged by famine and poverty, the French lower classes were disillusioned by the Revolutions inability to stem oppression. Atheism was a growing response to the then failing Catholic Church, and the corruption that it was engulfed in. The monarchy was in question, and secularism was spreading its wings. Concepts of alienable rights and the meaning of citizenship was taking root, along with further bloodshed from repressive states.
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen on August 26 1789 held that “the source of all sovereignty is located in the nation; no body, no individual can exercise authority which does not emanate from it expressly”
In July 1790, the Civil Constitution of the Clergy was enacted by the National Assembly. Bishops were to be elected by the voters who chose the civil officials and the pope was merely to be notified of their choice. The clergy were to be paid by the state with an oath of allegiance to the state, as reflected in the One Government One World agenda.
The calendar adopted on October 3 1793 usurped Sunday as a day of rest, and instead of opting in favour of the working man, made every 10th day a day of rest. As if to celebrate the Archbishop of Paris’ resignation of his church functions on November 7, 1793 a certain Mademoiselle Maillard, a ballet dancer, wore the three colours of the new republic on November 10, 1793 and was enthroned as the goddess of Reason upon the high altar of Notre Dame, the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Paris, like the orgasmic kiss on public display at the opening of London 2012, accept Maillard received the homage of the revolutionists as the Notre Dame was rechristened the Temple of Reason. Churches and parsonages were used as schools and poorhouses preventing public worship. The Feasts of Reason throughout the country then degenerated into orgies with some taking place on church grounds. The principle of the freedom of worship descended in anti-Christian sentiment with the royal elite taking up the vacant position as God’s representatives on earth as exemplified by the Queen Elizabeth II today.
Post revolutionary France was bloodthirsty guillotining thousands of French including priests without trial throughout their infamous Reign of Terror which lasted officially for 5 years, but in reality it was closer to 20.
With the Church taken down from its pedestal, the elite had presumably won complete control including the corrupt preoccupations of the elite of the Church. They were infallible despite the wishes of the Revolution.
It was through the door of another atheistic Trojan horse, humanism that paved the way to secularism in Turkey. The messengers were freemasons, outlawed by Pope Clement XII and then Mahmud I (1748).
During the reign of Osman III, the first known Turkish mason was Sait (Sa’id) Celebi, Embassador to France, and later the Grand Vizier (Prime minister). It was masons Ibrahim Mutaferikke and Sait (Sa’id) Celebi that began the first printing press used by Muslims of the Ottoman Empire, and with the printing press the proliferation of ideas.
According to accounts by freemasons, Masonic lodges flourished again in the late 18th century under Selim III. He was said to have been heavily influenced by his step-mother and counselor to foreign policy, Naksh-i-Dil Valide Sultan (wife and successor of Abdul Hamid I, and mother of Mahmud III – 1768-1817). The title “Valide Sultan” or Mother Sultan was the second most important position in the Ottoman Empire so her influence was guaranteed. The facts of her involvement are a little difficult to ascertain due to her image being usurped by authors from various countries using her image to support their beliefs. However, as the Mother of Sultan, she would have had little contact outside her circle of influence.
Freemasonry was outlawed again under Sultan Mahmut II, however in 1850; the Grande Loge de Turquie was founded in Izmir by the Grand Orient de France. The year 1856 was to be a busy year: France, and Great Britain supported the Ottoman Empire in the Crimean War against Russia , and Turkey was considered partners under the 1856 Treaty of Paris.
An explosion of Masonic lodges took place with the arrival of British, French expeditionary forces, and diplomats in Istanbul and Izmir .
Lord Bulwer, a British Ambassador founded lodge Oriental #988 in Istanbul, who became the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England also based in Istanbul. The United or District Grand Lodge was consecrated by the British Embassy in 1862.
Some members of the Turkish were to become freemasons.
The 1st Sovereign Commander of the Scottish Rite in Turkey (1864) was Prince ‘Abdul Hamid Pasha, brother of the Khedive (Governor of Egypt under the Ottoman Empire). By the second half of the 19th century, the main European powers had obtained immunity for their subjects living in the Ottoman Empire known as ‘Capitulations’ brought into effect by Sultan Mehmet IV. Under the laws that govern Capitulation a foreigner is not subject to the laws of the soil on which they lived/operated, but that of the laws of their own countries, liken to Embassies today. The payment of taxes to the Turkish authority was non-payable by those who came under the Capitulation, and neither could their properties be searched by the police. This very much placed them as a class above the rest, free from making any contributions to the society in which they lived. We will see later how Capitulation proved to be an efficient tool in the undermining of the Ottoman Empire.
By 1870 there were 11 English lodges, 14 Italian, 5 German, 7 Scottish, 2 Irish, 1 Polish, 2 Greek, 3 French, 3 Polish, 3 Spanish, 2 Greek, 1 Hungarian, and 1 Egyptian in Turkey. Meanwhile, Turkey was to establish a lodge of its own in 1861 under Halim Pasha, son of Mehmet ‘Ali Pasha. This lodge which enjoyed allegiance from many of the foreign Masonic lodges later became the Grand Orient of Turkey, recognized by England and Ireland in 1970. Highly respected, the Grand Orient has been viewed as the embodiment of freemasonry.
Under Sultan ‘Abd ul-Hamid II (1876-1909), patronage was offered to the Anglo-Saxon lodges in the form of monetary contributions to balls, and charities. However, this was not the case with French and Italian lodges which he suspected (proven to be correct) were politically inclined in their activities.
It was in 1887 that five students from the Imperial Medical Academy formed the Society of Union and Progress, which was to become the Ottoman Society of Union and Progress. They were calling for constitutional change with the removal of ‘Abd ul-Hamid II to be replaced by his brother Murad V, or Mehmet Resat. The Young Turks was not a homogenous group, but factions made up of Muslim and non-Muslims of varying nationalities.
Emanuel Caraso/Karasu was a Sephardic Jew from Salonica. He was a professor of law, and grand master of the Macedonia Risorta Lodge in Salonica, charted by the Grand Orient of Italy in Istanbul. With Capitulation in place, Caraso was able to organize meetings of the Young Turks in his lodge. A leader of the Young Turks, Ahmet Riza of Austrian-Ottoman heritage wrote and published several memorandums to the Sultan demanding a constitutional regime that was based on the old Islamic and Ottoman tradition of consultation.
Educated in France, he was to become a leader of one of the most important Young Turk groups in Europe. Another Young Turk, Prince Sabaheddin wanted restoration of the old decentralized Ottoman system of rule. Whereas Ahmet Riza, and Murat were against European intervention, Sabaheddin and his group would use any means to their end, and went for British and French support. Young Turk, Rafik Bey said in an interview with the Parisian newspaper “La Temps” in 1908:
“It’s true that we receive support from Freemasonry, and especially from the Italian masonry – the two Italian lodges Risorta and Labor et Lux have provided invaluable services and have been refuge for us. We meet there as fellow masons because it is a fact that many of us are masons, but more importantly so that we can better organize ourselves”
The struggle between secularism and religion was in motion. Europe was in the throes of a post-Christian era as a result of the French Revolution. The papal ‘Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith’ was driven out of Rome, and the Christian missionary program in India, Spain, Portugal, and Latin America was suspended. The Holy Roman Empire, a confederation of sovereign states was dissolved in 1806.
While non-Muslims were being treated well in Muslim countries, Muslims were being treated with savagery by Russia and other states from the Crimea to Sarajevo; and from India to Algeria at the auspices of the Rothschilds. An Islamic revival was spreading in the Ottoman Empire with a call for return to fundamental values in response to Muslim persecution. However, the nasty venom of nationalism was sown, effectively extinguishing the common sense of unity across Muslim nations.
Through the Young Turks, the Tanzimat decree of 1839 initiated a series of reforms that began the process of Westernization to support a centralized state. With low taxes, European investors gained a dominant position in the economy. Western laws supplanted Shari’a including family law. Non-Muslim communities were organized to shift emphasis from clergy to layman, to enable the removal of barriers between Muslims and non-Muslims. However, the Tanzimat though an institution, did not filter into the lives of citizens, but instead created a new class, the bureaucrats – the new intelligentsia the Young Ottomans to be the Young Turks!
To help Muslims compete with their non-Muslim counterparts, mosques and Muslim schools (Islam and Arabic was added to the curriculum) were being repaired and built, pensions, and salaries were being offered, and funds to the ‘ulema (clerics) was increased. However insurgency was spreading amongst the non-Muslim Ottomans in the form of other religious and non-religious groups including the Young Turks who became bedazzled by Britain, and set out on a path of constitutional regime.
Secular education in these reformed institutions had a profound ideological influence upon the future Ottoman military and political elites that would lead the Turkish War for Independence, including Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Once that war was won, Turkey was secularized from the top-down to rapidly modernize and underscore the new state’s Western orientation.
By the 1900s the Ottoman Empire was struggling, as Europe was gaining in strength, and as such, the Ottoman Empire increasingly became more reliant on Europe economically. By 1914, Russia, Britain, and Austria-Hungary had acquired many Ottoman territories, and the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire became apparent with the upsurge of new states in Turkey, and the Middle East, and one does not have to dig far to find the name Rothschild behind this geopolitics.
In 1909 the Young Turk forces as the government murdered 20,000-30,000 Armenians at Adana and publicly blamed the atrocity on forces loyal to the deposed Sultan. The same who wanted to persuade the masses which disliked them that ‘modernisation’ is consistent with Islam. The Anglo-Turk trade treaty of 1838 led to removal of Ottoman monopolies, and the entrance of Turkey into international trade, an endeavour only the blind would undertake with the given centralization of global economics and resources. And so it was for the Ottoman Empire, not a just empire, but an empire all the same. What followed from that trade agreement was increased indebtedness, and dependence instead of independence of the state. They became dependent on European loans from 1854 for infrastructure building, military expenses, development of natural resources and the Rothschild’s game, the establishment of banks. Consequentially, foreign bankers controlled the Ottoman economy. The benefactors were Greek, Armenian, Jewish and other groups in terms of prosperity, but for the people themselves, it made little difference.
The Ottoman Empire, fallen, under the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal sought to separate the masses from Islam, and to endear them to Western secularism. However, the means of doing so were far from diplomatic with the abolishment of Islamic institutions, the abolishment of the Ottoman Sultanate, and the abolishment of the Caliphate. Religious endowments, waqf, and the ‘ulema were put under a new office of religious affairs. The consciousness raising Sufi orders were banned on 1925, and the wearing of a fez was deemed illegal. In 1928, Latin script was introduced to replace Arabic script. In 1935, Western surnames became obligatory, and a Swiss legal code replaced the Shari’ah. The war years that depopulated the country of its male members, were now allowing women into, work and education, but segregated in public spaces.
By 1924, polygamy which is still practiced by some Western communities, was abolished, and divorce was the right of both as it is in Islam, but was a male prerogative in Turkey, and many Muslim states today.
Turkey is an endless story which goes further back than covered here, and is still in the making, as an oppressive secularist society that has brought Islam back into legislation. Too many similarities with what is happening now in Egypt, as the counter-revolutionary forces still control much of the infrastructure that the people expect one man to change. Yet, those who demand the same system as the previous regime secularism negate that in the 20th and 21st centuries alone, more people have been slaughtered under Secularist God-denying governments, than any other system much more than has been claimed by narrow-minded s0-called Muslim states.
aS the above atheist said, without a moral compass… what remains when disbelief has gone?
When one sees a seemingly rational professional turn into a self-possessed ranting anti-Mursi mouth piece, it becomes apparent that a) he is not in possession of himself, and that what comes out is a ‘program’ of denial that has been subject to mind-control in the time he was in the U.S., and/or is a result of complete denial, and/or has swallowed the stereotypes about Islam, even as Muslims, and have little faith in a democratic process they advocate, causing a 2-year tug-of-war over a constitution they want to create, and then expect the people to accept in a national referendum ignoring that Muslims have been denied their rights for over 30 years under previous regimes, and ignoring that Islam has Prophet Muhammed (SAW) intended denies the rights of no one, not even a child!
This of course is not helped by the narrow-minded Muslim Brotherhood activities that project an image of taking control. Yet between the two extremes lies the people who unlike Voltaire’s mindless lot, have more common sense, when left to think for themselves, and not driven by fear. They are the ones who should be trusted, to consult with on the way forward once one can get past their immediate concerns, the same people that carried the torch in the early months of what looked like a revolution in 2011 before counter-revolutionary tactics took hold of the country. Whatever Mursi is, he as president has the potential for great good, and the potential for great misguidance. If the people continue to lose sight of their partnership with leadership, and the development of their own country instead of waiting for a saviour who will never come to deliver what we want without our effort, it is time to reignite that common dream they have lost sight of.
Egypt is a country that is being tugged at all sides with much moving of the pawns from external and internal entities out of sight of the ordinary Egyptian, but if Egypt succeeds, citizens around the world can succeed in helping the world to reclaim dignity, self and mutual respect, and compassion. To an extent Bolivia, and Iceland have succeeded while Egypt is stumbling, but it is Egypt that had served as inspiration – will that remain in the past
This is what the so-called neo-liberalists seem to be aiming for, with their several failed attmepts to draw international attention, to a plight of their own making. They didn’t accept the popular presidential vote, and decided to by-pass democracy, being in control of the media, and the main infrastructural pillars. Their voices were silent when SCAF held the reigns, because the previous regime was in tact. They didn’t raise their voices at the low turn out (6%) for the Ashura (Lower House) Council. They didn’t raise their voices with SCAF’s addendum that framed the make-up of the civilian elected Parliament, who voted in the members of the Constituent Assembly. The Constituent Assembly remained in place at the auspices of SCAF. When Mursi was voted in as the country’s first democratically elected president their voices could be heard. They have delayed the Constitutional process to the point that President Mursi still holds legislative powers, negating that a national referendum will decide. They came out in the streets after mobilizing those the employed in seek of higher pay under their umbrella. These people obviously have an agenda blinded by stereotypes to the extent that those believe them do not even know that they don’t know the truth. When one pleads for the love of one’s country, sometimes one wonders if that includes the people who in the main have different views from those who say they know better, and are capable of making anything pink look grey!
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