Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu is the Turkish "historian of Islamic science" whose outward appearance is so deceptively modern and secular and sweet-reasonable. Then one realizes that that is merely camouflage and that his mental baggage, while not quite as primitive as that of the qaradawis and tantawis, is from the same product line manufactured by Islamic Tourister.
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu was carefully chosen to assume the position of head of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, as the most moderate and presentable (to the Infidels) person, after the bad impression left by Mohamad Mahathir's celebrated rant. He has since then been beavering away at the OIC’s pet project, a transparent attempt at across-the-globe censorship of criticism of Islam. It is an attempt that constitutes an assault on the advanced, Western world, whose citizens are being threatened if they dare to exercise their right of free speech about what Ihsanoglu primly and self-righteously calls a "religion" (as if that conferred some kind of special immunity).
But Islam is an all-encompassing ideology, a Total Belief-System that presumes to regulate every detail of a man's life, and offers a Complete Explanation of the universe. Furthermore, it places great emphasis on inculcating the idea that all of humanity is divided between Muslims and non-Muslims, Believers and Infidels. Muslims are taught that between the two there must exist a state of permanent war (though not always of open warfare), and that all Muslims have a duty, central and not tangential, to participate in some way in the "struggle" or Jihad to remove all obstacles to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam.
Islam is a politics, Islam is a geopolitics. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu knows that, but he doesn't want the world's Infidels to find that out, or to discuss it among themselves, much less to actually criticize it. And so he will do what he can to shut down the exercise, in the Western world (and elsewhere in the non-Muslim lands), of our right to free speech, a right that could not possibly exist for one minute in the lands where Islam dominates, and Muslims rule. But in the advanced West, as one of its achievements, such a right has been won and is now exercised, possibly not quite as impressively, or with as much gratitude, as it might be -- but the important thing is the right, the untrammelled right.
Does Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu want Infidels to read the Qur'an? The Hadith? The Sira? Does he want them to read the histories -- the histories written by Muslims, for god's sake -- about the Muslim conquests, and the subsequent mass killings and subjugation of non-Muslims? What does he want us to find out about Islam? What is in the glossy brochures prepared by assorted Ministries of Islamic Propaganda, or by individual smiling imams (the kind who keep getting picked up later for connections to terrorism, or are revealed later, after they have decamped back to a Muslim land, to have made all kinds of disturbing and even blood-curdling remarks)? Is that it?
Amazing, isn't it, the real outrage, the genuine fury, that we should actually find out what Islam inculcates, and connect it to the recorded behavior of Muslims over the past 1350 years, and to the observable behavior of so many Muslims today, as we open our newspapers or turn on our radios and televisions, and piece together what might well be a separate section of the paper or segment of the broadcast, to be called The Jihad News.
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu was chosen to be the head of the O.I.C. because he was a "moderate" Turkish Muslim and a presumably respectable "historian of science." But he turns out to be not that but rather an historian, and defender, of "Islamic" science, who attempts to tortuously explain away the absence of science in the Islamic world since its brief flourishing thanks to Christians, Jews, and those who, while they were called Muslims, were only a generation or two away from being something else, in a milieu still heavily influenced by non-Muslim elements -- which, when greatly reduced, also reduced the atmosphere in which science could be conducted.
That bizarre figure, Ziauddin Sarkar, was somehow permitted to review, in the pages of the British journal "Nature," the large claims made on behalf of "Ottoman" -- i.e., "Islamic" science -- by Ihsanoglu. Some of Ihsanoglu’s attempts to explain why such things as the clock did not develop in the East but only in the West (you see, since the early clocks were not sufficiently accurate for Muslims to rely on them for knowing when it was time for prayers, they did not think it worth using them, or trying to improve them) raise far more disturbing questions about the Muslim mindset than Dr. Ihsanoglu apparently realized.
Why did an editor at Nature give the job of reviewing Ekheleddin Ihsanoglu's book to the apologist Ziauddin Sarkar? And who at Science allowed to be published his puff-piece about "Islamic science," with every cliche that no historian of mathematics, or science, or technology -- not Giorgio di Santillana, not Crombie, not Charles Singer, not a hundred others -- would have permitted?
What is happening when standards, supposedly so rigorous at "Science" or at "Nature," are so obviously non-existent, and both journals become, rightly, the object of ridicule?
Then there is this, taken from a web-site that follows the OIC:
In March 2006, OIC General Secretary Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu embraced Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal at a press conference at OIC’s headquarters. Ihsanoglu whitewashed: “With its win, Hamas begins a new stage in the development of the Palestinian issue. We assure that Hamas will deal with all national and international requirements in a practical and logical way.”
At a “special session” of the OIC in August of the same year, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for “the elimination of the Zionist regime,” a statement that OIC failed to condemn. Moreover, the OIC has repeatedly backed Iran’s nuclear ambitions. As Ishanoglu said in April, 'All member states of the OIC and I have obviously supported Iran's right to access peaceful nuclear technology,' despite clear indications that the Iranian regime’s uranium-enrichment program is designed chiefly to make nuclear weapons.
And there is the OIC’s explaining away of the 9/11 attacks, which “expressed the frustration, disappointment, and disillusion that are festering deep in the Muslims’ soul towards the aggressions and discriminations committed by the West.”
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu is also the one who, at the time of the death riots and Muslim riots over those anodyne cartoons in a Danish paper, solemnly likened the effect of those cartoons on Muslims as being akin to the effect on Infidels of the mass murders carried out by Muslims on 9/11.
Finally, Ihsanoglu has explained to an American audience how splendid was the system of "protection" that Islam offered Christians and Jews -- "protection" offered by Muslims, for the payment of Jizyah, from those same Muslims. A system that would have impressed Al Capone. He helpfully explained that the “privilege of becoming a protected minority via an act of dhimmiship was given only to the followers of a prophet to whom a sacred book was revealed.”
Christians and Jews, because you are the lucky "followers of a prophet” -- Moses, Jesus (that is, the Muslim Moses, the Muslim Jesus) -- you will enjoy, when Muslim rule comes everywhere, the same "privilege of becoming a protected minority via an act of dhimmiship" that Christians and Jews have enjoyed in the Middle East, and elsewhere in Muslim-ruled lands, for so long.
So what's your problem? Never satisfied? What's the reason Islam is not pleasin' you?
In defining “dhimmiship” as the “privilege of becoming a protected minority,” Dr. Ihsanoglu did his best. But those who are so solicitious of the public image of Islam and of Muslims realize that it should not be left up just to NPR, or the BBC, or Le Monde; we all have to pitch in, and do our bit. It might be better if “dhimmi” were to be jettisoned altogether. The word upsets Infidels, and it does nothing for Muslims, either.
Instead of “dhimmis,” why not call them “Friends With Benefits”?
Islam is not merely a bunch of rituals of individual worship, or an explanation of how the universe came to be. It is, more importantly, also a politics and a geopolitics. A man who can present the dhimmi system, and describe the status of the "Protected People" un-ironically as A Good Thing, an Example of Muslim Benevolence and Tolerance, as Ihsanoglu does, is for all of his outward mien, that tie, that Western suit, inwardly as hopelessly primitive as any daggers-and-dishdasha Saudi.