Belief and Art
by Prof. Dr. Mahmud Es'ad Cosan
(translated from Turkish)

The belief, morality, spirituality, world-view and ideology of an artist is definitely reflected in his style and works. This is true even for the free and independent artist who works only for art and its esthetic pleasure. Even when one thinks in terms of "art for art's sake" this is still true involuntarily. It is like this because "a cup can only leak what it holds."

Moreover, today many systems of belief and ideologies use art as a means for spreading their views in advertising and propagandizing. We know that especially Communist states and rich Christian missionary organizations seize the opportunity of using educational, cultural and artistic activities, even sports contests, to inculcate and disseminate their own ideas and to gain sympathy for their cause.

Unfortunately, for many years now our country has been left vulnerable to such propaganda and our culture has been left unprotected.

They were able to influence the new generations; after long-range, stealthy endeavors, they were able to tear off the religious and historical consciousness of the new generation.

Most of those responsible for determining educational and cultural strategy were oblivious to this game. In the midst of heedlessness, deviation and even treachery, the necessary precautions were not taken. Our youth were pushed into the laps and traps of foreign ideologies and our people fell into a serious cultural depression.

Now I am observing our nation's artistic and cultural circles. Previously I could only see converts [out of Islam], non-Muslims, communists, drunkards, dishonorable and faithless people there. Now I am happy to see their clean-cut faces and positive new developments. Now from our nation's bosom are coming conscious, self-sacrificing and faithful sons who are struggling to establish and develop their own contemporary intellectual and cultural institutions in this field. I applaud and congratulate them with love and hope.

It is absolutely necessary that every kind of effort be made to facilitate and accelerate this return to our essence and to produce a good enough quality in these works to hold our own against foreign competitors. Also we must carefully observe and support all novels, poems, films, theatre productions, music, other fine arts, magazines, publications, tape and video shows which reflect our belief, spirit and taste. Such activities are a contemporary necessity and urgent obligation in order to protect our youth and introduce and spread our belief to others.

Otherwise, it appears that the heavy pressure and wide influence of foreign cultures and ideologies will open the way for the destruction of our culture, the annihilation of our spiritual values and the degeneration of our people.
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