The point where Turkey has reached in its adventure of democracy beginning
with Meşrutiyet (Constitutinalism) in the 19th century is still far from
Bediüzzaman’s searches and understanding of the state of law shaped around
the concepts of constitutionalism, republic, democracy, freedom, rights, justice
and virtue.
In the previous issue we started to study Bediüzzaman Said Nursi’s
work, Münazarat, which he defines as “the prescription of a great but unfortunate
continent, a glorious but hapless state, and a dignified but unprotected
nation.” In the present issue we continue to analyze Münazarat, which sheds
light unto the social, political and legal problems of the day it was written as
well as today’s basic issues.
It is remarkable that in the discussions shaped around the concepts
of despotism, freedom, constitutionalism in final days of the Ottoman state,
which tended to break into pieces Bediüzzaman became prominent with his
liberal attitude and turned this attitude into an efficient product which can be
considered as a declaration of democracy when he set on his Eastern Journey
in order to explain the constitutionalism to the people of the Eastern Anatolia.
Münazarat is a real declaration of democracy, where he represents the posture
of Islam towards human rights and liberties and where he presents us the clues
of a Quranic viewpoint in matters such as despotism, liberty, justice, minority
issues, nationalism, etc.
The questions of social and political content directed by people from various
sectors during Bediüzzaman’s Eastern Journeys and his answers to them
constitute the structure of the Münazarat. The subjects which make up most of
the content of the work like freedom, constitutionalism, justice, backwardness,
minorities and Armenian problem, education, nationalism, Kurdish problem
are issues that we still discuss today. In this context the road map drawn by Münazarat,
which emphasizes the supremacy of law, rights and justice, presents a
Quranic model with its unifying opinions will surely make great contributions
to the democratization efforts of today. Additionally the expression within the
framework of Quranic truths of the principles that will maintain the continuation,
unity and progress of Islamic societies makes the work valuable in terms
of the future of Islamic societies as well. The work which suggests important
clues about what should be the approach of Islamic societies towards concepts
like despotism, freedom, republic and democracy, has the capability to solve the
obstinate problems in the Islamic world.
In this issue we sought answers to questions such as, “How are contemporary
democratic principles represented in Münazarat? What can Münazarat
contribute to today’s arguments about democratization, a civil constitution, and
a state of law? What are the social and political impacts of Shura (Counseling)?
How are relations with non-muslims and the Armenian problem dealt
with in Münazarat?” and we also touched upon the characteristics which make
Münazarat the declaration of democracy. In general we wanted to show the
contribution of the meaning map of Münazarat into the searches for contemporary-
liberal democracy.
As we leave you alone with the journal, we hope to meet you in the next
issue with a file that discusses “the Quranic Civilization.”