BEWARE OF GREEKS, BEARING GIFTS1 : LINGUISTIC AND RELIGIOUS VIOLENCE AS MODES OF COLONIALISM

Abstract

Author(s): Mustafa KARA

Language is considered as a person’s identity, both national and individual, thereby making him/her a part of a whole. Being parts of a whole, everybody feels himself/herself as an ontological entity within a specific community. This, on the basis, makes him/her feel a sense of self-respect and value, which are the principal attributions – though not the only ones – that make people feel as real individuals. Religion, on the other hand, is another sacred area, which should be closed to any debate in terms of its universality or reliability, for such a discussion will probably turn out to be nothing but a verbiage due to diversities in belief systems and religions. In parallel with language, religion, too, is a sign of existence for a person. Apart from that, language and religion share the biggest portion in shaping a nation’s culture, which, for sure, is directly related to one’s sense of identity and belonging. Nevertheless, these two crucially important facts have been demolished or distorted through colonization processes by the colonial and imperialist powers, which, in turn, have tarnished the very attributions that add to people’s individuality. Moreover, while the language and religion problems help the colonizers unstrengthen the colonized more and more, these issues are also abused by the colonizers in order to alienate and assimilate the colonized. This article, hence, aims to demonstrate the colonizers’ attitudes against the colonized people’s language and religion, correspondingly against their identity and culture, as well as the results of these modes of colonization.

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