In the memory of martyred president Dr Mohamed Morsi
The defeat of the AK Party candidate against the secularist CHP candidate in the June 23, 2019, Istanbul mayoral election was celebrated as a promising victory of democracy against Islamist Erdoğan. This was the “beginning of the end” for Islamists just as before. Indeed, we have heard this declaration of death at least for three decades. When the Orientalists first declared the end of Islamism -in the form of post-, failure, decline or moderation-, it was the early 1990s. For instance, Olivier Roy’s “The Failure of Political Islam” was published in 1994 (in French in 1992) and post-Islamism of Bayat appeared in 1996. After some other occasional show-ups in the interim, they didn’t miss the opportunity of the Arab Spring and appeared again to declare the same death. And this repeating obituary has been the mainstream reading of the transformation of Islamism which seems an evolution from an openly Islamicate, then an anti-systemic position to a more systemic one where the words of Islamic State, Sharia and Ummah have been replaced by democracy, secularism, liberty and good governance.
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Now, the question to ask: What would it mean that some people who died years ago just appear in such a way that you need to declare their death again? Yes, exactly, there you are, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Zombiistan! Local time is just apocalypseish and the temperature is the temperature of a corpse. For your safety and comfort, please remain seated in your ivory towers until a Kemalist dictator -probably a former military officer- turns off The Breaking News sign. This will indicate that your Kemalist friend took the land over from zombies and that it is safe for you to conduct your zombiological research about…
As we are now roaming around Zombiistan safely, we have the authority to talk about them. Then, let’s talk -as we should do. Because, “zombies cannot talk, and do not retain any attributes of their human identities”. (This is also one of the reasons why we do not need to -indeed should not- wait for a zombie taxi driver to ask about Zombiistan). The only human in the picture is us. That means the only agency in the picture is the one we have. And I think this is the first point where Islamists are dehumanized as zombies: lack of agency. In the mentioned Orientalist readings, Islamistness is reduced to the vocalization of some certain words such as Islamic State, Sharia, Jihad and the absence of them annuls Islamistness. Because they have no agency, for example, Islamists cannot think and decide to replace these words with the others which, they think, can be more useful or better interpretations of what they want. For they have no function or action beyond eating human flesh which they do not have any will or agency on. The only option that they have seems to eat the brain of an enlightened Western professor or journalist. But wait! “Any human being bitten by a zombie will inevitably become a zombie.”  Then, the solution turns out to be a real problem rather than a solution: an existential threat for the Western intelligentsia and humanity. All they want is to end humanity by eating our brains. Yet, as they do not have any agency and capacity to talk, negotiation is not an option. Thus, the only thing we can do is declaring war on Zombies just as the war declared on Islamists and Muslims by framing them as “terrorists”. This second point through which Islamists are zombified as the enemy of humanity via “the war on terror” brings us to the third point: the main constitutive other of human identity. In a zombie outbreak, the human identity, then the normal is mainly defined through referring to zombies: humans are the ones who are not zombies! And this role in the mentioned Orientalist narrations is played by Islamists. The West -as normal humans- are defined by democracy, secularism, freedom, liberalism and Islamists are through the absence of them. Thus, it is very normal that when Islamists start to talk about democracy instead of an Islamic state or sharia, human beings start to question their own identity. In the end, what would happen if zombies start to talk just as human beings do? The differences between two identities start to collapse and the closure of the identity of the West -the human being- becomes impossible. We are no longer sure whether we are human beings or Islamists/zombies, whether Islamists/zombies are human beings or still zombies. It is not clear who is who, who is enemy, who is fried… The result is an identity crisis which we need to make sense but it is not very easy to make sense just as the Orientalists cannot do.
I think the story of Dr Mohamed Morsi would be a good example of all this discussion here to finish with. The Muslim Brotherhood has experienced the same journey with other Islamists. In the beginning, they were against the West, the system, democracy and they were engaging with a Jihad against them for an Islamic State and Sharia. On the way, at each moment they wanted to realize their identity, they received the treatment of an existential threat as zombies: executions, imprisonments, political bans, and exiles. And as a response to this, they have strategically transformed through the journey. Then the journey so developed that the first democratically elected president of Egypt became a member of the Muslim Brotherhood: Dr Mohamed Morsi. Yet, at the very first moment he disclosed his identity, he turned an existential threat again: a coup d’état, imprisonment and a slow murder in six years. And as he is a zombie, his dead body also received the expected treatment: el-Sisi feared the corpse of Morsi and did not allow others to get bitten by him. Morsi was buried secretly at the dawn of a day.
 https://www.france24.com/en/20190623-erdogans-party-loses-controversial-mayoral-run-istanbul (accessed 6.28.19)
 Roy, O., 2012. The Transformation of the Arab World. Journal of Democracy 23, 5–18,. Bayat, A., 2017. Revolution without Revolutionaries: Making Sense of the Arab Spring. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California.
 Drezner, D.W., 2015. Theories of International Politics and Zombies, Revived Edition. ed. Princeton University Press, p. 28
 Ibid, p. 26.
 Ibid, p. 73