ANTI-SEMITIC ARTICLE – “Scientific” Racism in Divinity School Magazine

BIANET 16.8.2012 – An article that appeared in a magazine published by the Faculty of Theology at Uludağ University engages in racism under the guise of “science,” according to Turkish-Jewish writer Roni Marguiles. Deputy Dean Recep Cici refused to comment on the issue to bianet.

An article entitled “The Jewish Character” and which appeared in a magazine published by the Faculty of Theology at Uludağ University in the northwestern province of Bursa engages in racism under the guise of “science,” according to Roni Marguiles, a Turkish-Jewish writer at the daily Taraf and a poet.

“We are meeting over this issue, and we are going to asses [the situation] accordingly… The article should perhaps be reviewed in its entirety. It says ‘evaluations within the context of the Quran.’ We are aware of the article that appeared on the daily Taraf… I do not have a specific opinion on this matter. I will not issue an explanation. We are going to announce our decision… We are planning to meet as the administration,” Assoc. Prof. Recep Cici, the deputy dean of the Faculty of Theology at Uludağ University, told bianet.

Racism under the guise of “science”

Writer Roni Marguiles took up the matter in his column at the daily Taraf and highlighted the role pseudo-science has played in the history of racism in connection with the article entitled “The Jewish Character: A Historical and Socio-Psychological Approach.””Upon reading the article, both the university dean and an ordinary reader [would] ask ‘so what?’ [Popular] racism in Turkey runs exactly in this vein; [it is] a racism that is not aware of being racist. This is what disturbs me most. The racism of the MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) does not bother me as much, for instance, as they engage in racism self-consciously. Racism that goes around under the guise of ‘science,’ however, is far graver,” Marguiles said.

Marguiles also noted that the article cites the Protocols of Zion among its sources.

“It is known worldwide that this is a fabricated document; in fact, even its author is evident. All anti-semitic documents refer to this source,” he said.

Racism against people of African descent in Europe in the 19th century also acquired a “scientific” outlook through the introduction of such fields as craniology, Marguiles said, adding that the eugenicist movement pioneered by Charles Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton had also led to the emergence of “the science of refining the human race.”

As long as there is a will, all kinds of discrimination can be dressed up under a “scientific” guise, he also said. Marguiles further noted that he had also received many emails from his religious Muslim readers who told him not to be worry as “such a thing does not exist in Islam.”

The determinants of the “Jewish Character”

The article written by Assistant Prof. Süleyman Sayar in 2000 kicks off with this intro:

“Jews have always been a contemporary matter throughout their long history in a variety of respects. The Jewish problem also constitutes perhaps the leading issue on the contemporary world’s agenda. It must be a matter of interest to tackle the mentality and character of such a people, and the social, cultural and psychological dynamics that have brought this character and mentality about, within a historical context and through a socio-psychological approach.

When tackling the issue, [the author] will first clarify the concepts of personality and character, social and national character and mindset to establish a general framework, and then proceed to examine the culture and history of the Jewish community in relation to the manner in which it has shaped the Jewish character.

Finally, [the author] will attempt to identify the religious/ethical, and to some extent, the general national Jewish character in a historical framework by drawing upon certain verses in the Quran relating to the Jews and which identify certain concepts that elucidate [their] character.”

The article also provides a list of the “concepts that determine the Jewish character:” “Denial, attributing an equal to god, deceit, flaunting superiority, murder, unreliability, feelings of inferiority, cowardice, treachery, double-dealing, defeatism, injustice, rebellion, partisanship and disputatiousness, envy, callousness, self-indulgence, ignorance and stupidity, changing promises, concealing the righteous, wrath and curse.” Assistant Prof. Sayar’s also wrote his graduate thesis on “The Jews and Their Attitudes Toward Their Religion According to the Quran.” He is currently lecturing at Uludağ University’s Department of the History of Religions, and he has published a number of other articles as well, including the “Armenian Problem and the Armenian Church,” “Protestant Churches in Istanbul” and “Satanism and the Concept of the Devil in Christianity.” (ÇT)