Sunday, May 06, 2007

Turkish Struggle Over Secularism

Turks are engaged in a fierce debate over secularism. The "liberal" European media are leaving no doubt where their sympathies lie -- against secular "domination". How intriguing -- for some countries, they'll screech to the heavens about the need for more secularism. But for other countries like Turkey, suddenly these same moralists are proclaiming a fear of secularism crushing all religion. And to that end, they're constantly airing and giving prominence to the views of Turks criticizing secularism.

As I've said before, I'll say yet again -- ethnically selective liberalism isn't liberalism at all. It's gamesmanship.


habc said...

Army meddling 'threatens Turkey's EU chances'
Onur Oymen, the hawkish deputy chairman of the main opposition Republican People's Party, said the secular basis of the Turkish state was the true guarantee of democracy. "You can't have democracy without secularism," he said. "The notion of moderate Islam to check radical Islam is nonsense. This idea being promoted by certain countries should be abandoned."

ot - The IT growth story: India vs Israel

Shahryar said...

At least some Turks know why their state was founded!

Excerpt from Grey Wolf, Mustafa Kemal - An Intimate Study of a Dictator, H.C. Armstrong, 1934, p. 241:

"For five hundred years these rules and theories of an Arab sheik," Kemal said, "and the interpretations of generations of lazy, good-for-nothing priests have decided the civil and the criminal law of Turkey."

"They had decided the form of the constitution, the details of the lives of each Turk, his food, his hours of rising and sleeping, the shape of his clothes, the routine of the midwife who produced his children, what he learnt in his schools, his customs, his thoughts, even his most intimate habits."

"Islam, this theology of an immoral Arab, is a dead thing."

Possibly it might have suited tribes of nomads in the desert. It was no good for a modern progressive State.

"God's revelation!" There was no God. That was one of the chains by which the priests and bad rulers bound the people down.

"A ruler who needs religion to help him rule is a weakling. No weakling should rule.."