Muslim Calvinism

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by ekrem, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. ekrem
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    ekrem VIP Member

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    Turkey is rocked by a development that has consumed considerable ink in the Turkish press during the last few days.

    Mrs. Beyza Zapsu, the wife of Cuneyd Zapsu who is a senior advisor to PM Erdogan, was photographed performing the traditional Muslim prayers (namaz) at the Subasi Mosque in Istanbul.

    And why did that shock Turkey?

    Because 1) she did not have her head covered inside a mosque, and 2) she prayed side by side with the male worshippers, and thus simultaneously violated two important traditional taboos of Islam.
    In Islam, women folk do not perform the namaz shoulder-to-shoulder with the men folk, and they are supposed to cover their heads when they worship. Period.

    And Beyza Aksu was not alone either. As you can see in the photograph, there were other ladies doing the same, including the wife of Cuneyd Zapsu's elder brother.

    Within the last 1400 years, this might arguably be the first time a group of women had the courage (or the “temerity,” depending on your point of view) to violate two important Islamic rules at the same time.

    PM Erdogan downplayed the development, saying that the press should “leave the family alone.” Its ironic that such rules are violated during the conservative AKP’s watch.

    Reverberations of the issue continue.

    While all the religious authorities condemn the practice as something totally foreign to Islam, others claim this is the first “crack” in the wall that has kept Muslims for centuries from enjoying the same kind of tolerance and communal involvement that Christians in the West enjoy.

    There have been a number of Turkish commentators in the past who called for a “reform” or even a “Reformation” in Islam and they think the time has come for Turkey to lead the Muslim world towards a more “tolerant” and “relaxed” form of Islam where women take part in daily worship services side by side with men, without “splitting the family” (that is, allowing the whole family worship together side by side in a mosque just like the Christians or Jews do in a church or synagogue) and without even covering their heads if they do not want to do so.

    There are even those who threw in the name of Max Weber and claimed that a new group of “Islamic Calvinists” or “Muslim Protestants” are stepping up as the “new leaders for a new era"...

    ...which is precisely why others already started to argue that Turkey is again face to face with another plot to “Christianize Islam” and thus “conquer” Turkey “from within.”

    Hurriyet’s editor in chief Ertugrul Ozkok threw in another monkey wrench to this already wobbly equation between “Islam” and “Modernity” by claiming that Turkey has already got its own home-grown Calvin and his name is Fetullah Gulen, the unofficial leader of the Turkish Nurcu sect who has been living in the United States for the last ten years.

    This is a very hot issue since it challenges head on not only 1400 years of religious tradition but also the existing balance of power between men and women. Ultimately I believe the issue cannot be contained within the parameters of any religion because gender equality is a powerful independent secular force that transcends many other issues.

    Time will show if this is the opening salvo of a tough battle ahead for the minds and souls of all Moslems who yearn for a “reform” in Islam or just a surface bubble that will pop out and extinguish itself in the face of formidable institutional opposition to the premise of full gender equality.

    My personal feeling is that it is more than a bubble.

    But I also feel that Islam is nowhere near ready for the kind of “Reformation” that its advocates dream about for the simple reason that a great majority of the Muslims in the world today do not feel that Islam needs a “Reformation."

    That’s why, in this day and age of globalization, this issue is far from over.

    Something is clearly there that is attempting to change the traditional format in which Muslims have approached their Creator for the last 1400 years. A certain Turkish dynamic is bubbling and rising to the surface, testing the grounds.


    http://tork.blogspot.com/



    Also in Turkey:
    In Turkey, Muslim women gain expanded religious authority
    A new class of educated women are demanding more rights. Some now monitor the work of imams in local mosques.
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0427/p04s01-woeu.html
     
  2. ekrem
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    ekrem VIP Member

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    This photo of above and the story were from Sunnites. Sunnites are in Turkey the majority.

    The other Muslims in Turkey are the Alevis. But they reject concept of mosque, hajj, fasting and other things.

    some short informations of Alevis:

    --------------------------

    Alevis are adherents of a branch of Islam, related to Shia Islam (Although some Alevis claim that it is a completly separate religion form -and predates Islam) and practised mainly in (majority Sunni) Turkey, among both Turks, Zazas, and Kurds.

    Adherents of Alevism (in Turkish Alevîlik) are called Alevis. The exact number of Alevis is not known, with estimates varying from 20 to 30% of the population of Turkey alone, i.e. 14-21 million believers in Turkey, with perhaps as many as three million in Iran and Turkmenistan and half a million turkmenic Alevis in Iraq. Alevism has integrated many diverse religious influences over time, such as ancient Turkish Shamanism. The Bektashi Sufi holy order is a significant element in Alevism. Both Bektashi Alevi and Kizilbaş Alevi revere Hajji Bektash Wali. Turkish is used in Alevi rituals and while worshiping.


    Though expressing belief in the Qur'an, most Alevis in Turkey reject concepts like jannah (Turkish: cennet, Eng: heaven) and jahannam (Turkish: cehennem, Eng: Hell), salat (Turkish: namaz, Eng: prayer), fasting (Turkish: oruç), and hajj (Turkish: hac). Traditionally, Alevi worship is not conducted in a mosque, but is intimately connected with the dede (elder), cem (a gathering), and the cemevi (meeting house).

    Hajji Bektash Wali, who lived in the 13th century, is just one of the Alevi's principal theologians. Yunus Emre and Pir Sultan Abdal are two other teachers. Like the Sufis, the Alevis also use religious music and dance, called semah, to show their belief in Allah. Modern Alevi theology has been profoundly influenced by humanism and universalism. Thus, while many of the older generation view Alevism as a religious belief, many of the younger generation prefer to term it a philosophy. In Turkey, there is an ongoing discussion about whether Alevism is part of Islam or not.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alevites
     
  3. rtwngAvngr
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    too little, too late, canavar.
     
  4. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Maybe but I'll give em an A for effort and hope for their success. Interesting info
     
  5. Said1
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    Islamic countries could use a few of the West's Butchy femanazis.
     
  6. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    LMAO---God knows we have enough to spare ! :laugh:
     
  7. rtwngAvngr
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    Yeah. What will the mullahs do when these reformers say they should be a little less serious about islam? "I mean, it's not like it's true or anything" I don't see them having much success with statements like this.
     
  8. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Same thing the Catholic church said to the protestant reformation bunch, I guess.
     
  9. Said1
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    And don't forget, in the past, all reformers have basically been Islamic nationalists. :poke:
     
  10. Said1
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    I thought they chopped their heads off?
     

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