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Woman-friendly Islam

ekrem

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Turkish experts examine transmissions of the prophet Mohammed

by Boris Kalnoky

Istanbul - About the Muslim religion the Turkish state thinks since Atatürk possibly in such a way as some Muslim husbands think about their women:
Like wives religion also must be shown where its place is in life. As well as the wife to the man the religion has to serve the state, and if to one of both there is been left to much liberty life is soon complicated.

Soon, nevertheless, only the religion should knuckle under. The women (wives) will get the pleasure of a new, reformed Islam, erased from all women-hostile passages.
The institution which for religious problems is the uppermost authority in Turkey wants to achieve this. Namely the "Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Diyanet Isleri" (Turkish State Religious Affairs) which also pays Imams and is giving them public official status.
35 theologians should check the so-called "Hadithas", traditional words and actions of the prophet, for women-hostile material because these "hadithas" would be wrong and faked as Diyanet believes.
What does one let recognise that the relevant passages are not authentic?

Mehmet Görmez, vice-head of the Diyanet, said, they want to clean the Haditha of three categories of women-hostile statements:

- Power(Violence) against women(wives),
- Discriminating passages
- and those passages, in those it means that the woman(wife) is subordinated to the man(husband).

According to Görmez the fact that these passages are faked, arises simply from the fact that the messenger of God could not have thought of such things.
It is true that in the "Hadithas" there are a collection of pasages which are really strange.
In the collections of Buchari and Ahmed Ibn Hanbal: " If a monkey, a black dog or a woman(wife) passes a reciting, his prayer is trifling. " Nevertheless, this place goes back to Abu Huraya which counts as the "unmost reliable one" of the Haditha collectors.

The problem with the Haditha is that they have costamped the Muslim culture decisively, but is not sure with the most ones at all whether they really deal something with Mohammed.
The greatest Haditha collectors like Buchari checked hundred thousands of supposed prophet's words and rejected 99 percent as fictitious.

There are "more dependable" Haditha (which are delivered by several stuffs directly) and more dubious from only one narrator(storyteller) who has not heard it maybe.

It is noteworthy that the more the authenticity of pasages of Hadithas are the more women-hostile they are. So in such Hadithas there is to read that the good woman wuals to a sheep and it is better to let woman a bit hunger and give them not to much to wear so that they have no joy of leaving the house.

However, there also are really passages of Hadithas which are friendly to women. The Haditha collection friendliest to women comes from Mohammeds own wife, Aischa. There we find out, for example, that the prophet did not take exception in her month bleeding and laid(put) in such times even his head in her shoot(lap).

In some regard the Koran is even less women-hostile - without Hadithas - than the Bible. For example, no original sin sticks to the woman, and the women(wives) are called " twin sisters of the men(husbands) ".


f now Turkey wants to clean the prophet's words of discriminating passages, this is a step in the direction of a reform of Islam as it is demanded of many more enlightened Muslim theologians. It can be only the first step - also the Koran should be put in his historically qualified context, and be laid out accordingly to modern times.
Such undertaking nevertheless has only a small acceptance in the muslim world and whether the Turkish attempt is finding succes also beyond Turkey, remains to be watched for.
In Turkey itself it could absolutely get to a certain broad effect, because the religious directorship decides what may be preached in the mosques. But also a boomerang effect from more radical Muslim circles is conceivable.

http://www.welt.de/data/2006/06/24/930361.html
 
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In Turkey, Muslim women gain expanded religious authority

By Yigal Schleifer | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

ISTANBUL – Covered in a pink and gray head scarf that tightly frames her round face, and adorned in a long, dark-blue overcoat, Zuleyha Seker hardly seems like a rebel. But as one of 400 women preachers, known as vaizes, currently working in several of Turkey's state-run mosques, Ms. Seker is making waves.

"The vaizes like me are seen as revolutionaries in religious circles - we are always pushing for change," she says with a gentle smile.

Indeed, women have brought significant change to Turkey's Muslim order in recent years. Two years ago, women were appointed for the first time to lead groups of Turks making the pilgrimage to Mecca. And last year, Diyanet, a government body that oversees the country's mosques and trains religious leaders, added 150 women preachers across Turkey.

Now, Diyanet is selecting a group of women who will serve as deputies to muftis, or expounders of religious law. From this post, they'll monitor the work being done by imams in local mosques, particularly as it relates to women.
(...)
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0427/p04s01-woeu.html
 

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canavar said:
In Turkey, Muslim women gain expanded religious authority

By Yigal Schleifer | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

ISTANBUL – Covered in a pink and gray head scarf that tightly frames her round face, and adorned in a long, dark-blue overcoat, Zuleyha Seker hardly seems like a rebel. But as one of 400 women preachers, known as vaizes, currently working in several of Turkey's state-run mosques, Ms. Seker is making waves.

"The vaizes like me are seen as revolutionaries in religious circles - we are always pushing for change," she says with a gentle smile.

Indeed, women have brought significant change to Turkey's Muslim order in recent years. Two years ago, women were appointed for the first time to lead groups of Turks making the pilgrimage to Mecca. And last year, Diyanet, a government body that oversees the country's mosques and trains religious leaders, added 150 women preachers across Turkey.

Now, Diyanet is selecting a group of women who will serve as deputies to muftis, or expounders of religious law. From this post, they'll monitor the work being done by imams in local mosques, particularly as it relates to women.
(...)
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0427/p04s01-woeu.html


Canavar, cut to the chase. Is Turkey going Sharia or saying women should be modernized? Where is it?
 
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ekrem

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Kathianne said:
Canavar, cut to the chase. Is Turkey going Sharia or saying women should be modernized? Where is it?

From such a philosophy (described below) of this Religious institution now Diyanet is cleaning woman-hostile passages in Islam philosophy.
Therefore 35 Thologists of Diyanet will search Hadithas for woman-hostile understandings in 3 categories and will erase them makeing them not valid in Islam understanding.
such as:
- Violence against woman
- discrimantion
- woman is subordinated to man

Nothing to do with woman should modernize or Turkey becoming sharia.


Despite all the warnings found in the Qur’an and the examples set by Prophet Muhammad, the education and development of girls and women at the start of the 21st century imposes on us all a myriad of responsibilities. Perhaps the most distressing aspects of this problem that needs to be focused on here is the negative concepts created by a section of society where a patriarchal attitude rules, concepts such as the “honor” killings of wives and daughters, domestic violence, and educational and sexual discrimination.
(...)
At the Ministry of Religious Affairs we must be aware of the problems that are faced by women and take on an active role in the solution, developing and adopting lasting policies. To put these decisions into practice we need to get together with the relevant societies and women’s groups. It is essential that we eliminate the concept of our religion as something that approves of violence against women; we must bring the correct understanding back into the light.

Prof.Dr. Ali BARDAKOĞLU
President of Religious Affairs

http://www.diyanet.gov.tr/english/englh.asp?id=103
 

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canavar said:
In Turkey, Muslim women gain expanded religious authority

By Yigal Schleifer | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

ISTANBUL – Covered in a pink and gray head scarf that tightly frames her round face, and adorned in a long, dark-blue overcoat, Zuleyha Seker hardly seems like a rebel. But as one of 400 women preachers, known as vaizes, currently working in several of Turkey's state-run mosques, Ms. Seker is making waves.

"The vaizes like me are seen as revolutionaries in religious circles - we are always pushing for change," she says with a gentle smile.

Indeed, women have brought significant change to Turkey's Muslim order in recent years. Two years ago, women were appointed for the first time to lead groups of Turks making the pilgrimage to Mecca. And last year, Diyanet, a government body that oversees the country's mosques and trains religious leaders, added 150 women preachers across Turkey.

Now, Diyanet is selecting a group of women who will serve as deputies to muftis, or expounders of religious law. From this post, they'll monitor the work being done by imams in local mosques, particularly as it relates to women.
(...)

http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0427/p04s01-woeu.html


Wow. I would say that's one giant step for women.
 

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canavar said:
From such a philosophy (described below) of this Religious institution now Diyanet is cleaning woman-hostile passages in Islam philosophy.
Therefore 35 Thologists of Diyanet will search Hadithas for woman-hostile understandings in 3 categories and will erase them makeing them not valid in Islam understanding.
such as:
- Violence against woman
- discrimantion
- woman is subordinated to man

Nothing to do with woman should modernize or Turkey becoming sharia.


Despite all the warnings found in the Qur’an and the examples set by Prophet Muhammad, the education and development of girls and women at the start of the 21st century imposes on us all a myriad of responsibilities. Perhaps the most distressing aspects of this problem that needs to be focused on here is the negative concepts created by a section of society where a patriarchal attitude rules, concepts such as the “honor” killings of wives and daughters, domestic violence, and educational and sexual discrimination.
(...)
At the Ministry of Religious Affairs we must be aware of the problems that are faced by women and take on an active role in the solution, developing and adopting lasting policies. To put these decisions into practice we need to get together with the relevant societies and women’s groups. It is essential that we eliminate the concept of our religion as something that approves of violence against women; we must bring the correct understanding back into the light.

Prof.Dr. Ali BARDAKOĞLU
President of Religious Affairs

http://www.diyanet.gov.tr/english/englh.asp?id=103


I'm not very good at nuance. Bottom line, if a Turkish woman wanted to run for office, care for her children, work in the local restaurant, whould she need/required to wear headscarf or (eeek) burka? Is this 'liberalism' only for the most educated or all?
 
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ekrem

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Said1 said:
Wow. I would say that's one giant step for women.


I posted this source before in this thread:
and the christian science source is from 2005.
http://www.usmessageboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28799


the new thing is in the first post.


Hadith (Arabic: الحديث‎ ​ transliterated: al-ḥadīth) are traditions relating to the words and deeds of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Hadith collections are regarded as important tools for determining the Sunnah, or Muslim way of life, by all traditional schools of jurisprudence.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadith
 

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canavar said:
I posted this source before in this thread:
and the christian science source is from 2005.
http://www.usmessageboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28799


the new thing is in the first post.


Hadith (Arabic: الحديث‎ ​ transliterated: al-ḥadīth) are traditions relating to the words and deeds of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Hadith collections are regarded as important tools for determining the Sunnah, or Muslim way of life, by all traditional schools of jurisprudence.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadith

I know what it is, hence my comment.
 
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ekrem

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Kathianne said:
I'm not very good at nuance. Bottom line, if a Turkish woman wanted to run for office, care for her children, work in the local restaurant, whould she need/required to wear headscarf or (eeek) burka? Is this 'liberalism' only for the most educated or all?


In Turkey there is no force of wearing any religious symbols. It is up to everyone himself if someone wants to wear religious symbols.
But in some cases there is state force of not-wearing religious symbols in universities, public officials, parliaments etc...

And there is no connection beetween being educated and not wearing headscarf.
There are educated woman who wear headscarf and not so educated woman who wear headscarf. And the other way round also.

But headscarf is not related to the new undertaking of Diyanet as the new move is aimed at eraseing violence against woman and discrimination.
Headscarf is an other issue not primarily related to the above things.
 

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When were women permitted to wear the headscarf again? I know it's their choice now, as you said, but didn't Ataturk ban all forms of religious head gear ie: the fez (sp??) and symbols at one point, then make some concessions?
 

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canavar said:
In Turkey there is no force of wearing any religious symbols. It is up to everyone himself if someone wants to wear religious symbols.
But in some cases there is state force of not-wearing religious symbols in universities, public officials, parliaments etc...

And there is no connection beetween being educated and not wearing headscarf.
There are educated woman who wear headscarf and not so educated woman who wear headscarf. And the other way round also.

But headscarf is not related to the new undertaking of Diyanet as the new move is aimed at eraseing violence against woman and discrimination.
Headscarf is an other issue not primarily related to the above things.
That's my query, is 'the new move' aimed at erasing violence against women including the headscarf and other religious symbols?
 
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Kathianne said:
That's my query, is 'the new move' aimed at erasing violence against women including the headscarf and other religious symbols?


Why should this move be a move to erase headscarfs when headscarfs are allreday partly banned from universities, schools, parliament and soon.

For headscarf issue Diyanet is not responsible.
Diyanet does not say whether you have to wear headscarf or you have to take it off. It is not their business.
To better let you know what Diyanet is: Diyanet is not a NGO or something, but a state institution which was established in 1924 and manages religious affairs.

It is up to every woman herself whether she wants to wear headscarf or not. And wearing headscarf in private life is also no sign of radicalism or anything.
But in some cases the juidicary system (courts) in Turkey say that you are not allowed to wear it when you want a career in state or attend school or university.
So now parents or woman in university wanting to wear headscarf although judiciary has other laws then it is radicalism.
And such University woman have then the choice wheter to take a peruke over their headscarf or study abroad in a foreign country.
So it is with the daughters of our current Prime minister. His daughters study in America because they are not allowed to study in Turkey.
Also our currnet Prime minister's wife is not allowed to be seen in official visits when state men conme to Ankara or there are partys or meetings or anything else.
But Laura Bush welcomes her in White House.


Covered uncovered, what does it matter? What matters is education and Turkish state does not tolerate attitude of some conservative parents not sending their girls into school because their girls are not allowed to wear headscarf, just because the girl is not her own master due to her age and must hear to the commands of the parents.
For such behaveing of parents there are fines for parents and police come take the girl to school where she off course has to take the headscarf off and most girls in these specific cases (conservative parents) are happy to take it off and are assisted by state in such cases.
But nothing to generalize here, as in every society there are liberal and conservative influences and this off course is also being reflected in families.

So grown-up womans decide theirself in private life whetehr they wear or not wear.
But little girls in conservative families aren't deciding theirself and this is off course a form of discrimination of these girls by their parents.
But this is life, you can not choose in which family you are born. In house number 1 lives conservative family, in house number 2 lives liberal family.
So little girls of House number 1 wishes to have been born into House number 2 but she can't change her fate as long as she is young and dependent on family.
And at this point comes Turkish state and puts this girl into school where there is a headscarf ban generally and breaks parents will and takes influence into girl's development and parents restrictions.
So she sees non-wearing in school and maybe wearing headscarf at home.
She knows both and when she is not more dependent on family she can choose herself which way of life suited her best. So i mean girls under 15-16 years of age.

So now comeing again to the thread topic, Diyanet is not the authority to speak in headscarf issue. Diyanet is a suborganisation of state and the authority to speak in headscarf issue have only structures of turkish sate which are above Diyanet such as judiciary.
 

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canavar said:
Why should this move be a move to erase headscarfs when headscarfs are allreday partly banned from universities, schools, parliament and soon.

For headscarf issue Diyanet is not responsible.
Diyanet does not say whether you have to wear headscarf or you have to take it off. It is not their business.
To better let you know what Diyanet is: Diyanet is not a NGO or something, but a state institution which was established in 1924 and manages religious affairs.

It is up to every woman herself whether she wants to wear headscarf or not. And wearing headscarf in private life is also no sign of radicalism or anything.
But in some cases the juidicary system (courts) in Turkey say that you are not allowed to wear it when you want a career in state or attend school or university.
So now parents or woman in university wanting to wear headscarf although judiciary has other laws then it is radicalism.
And such University woman have then the choice wheter to take a peruke over their headscarf or study abroad in a foreign country.
So it is with the daughters of our current Prime minister. His daughters study in America because they are not allowed to study in Turkey.
Also our currnet Prime minister's wife is not allowed to be seen in official visits when state men conme to Ankara or there are partys or meetings or anything else.
But Laura Bush welcomes her in White House.


Covered uncovered, what does it matter? What matters is education and Turkish state does not tolerate attitude of some conservative parents not sending their girls into school because their girls are not allowed to wear headscarf, just because the girl is not her own master due to her age and must hear to the commands of the parents.
For such behaveing of parents there are fines for parents and police come take the girl to school where she off course has to take the headscarf off and most girls in these specific cases (conservative parents) are happy to take it off and are assisted by state in such cases.
But nothing to generalize here, as in every society there are liberal and conservative influences and this off course is also being reflected in families.

So grown-up womans decide theirself in private life whetehr they wear or not wear.
But little girls in conservative families aren't deciding theirself and this is off course a form of discrimination of these girls by their parents.
But this is life, you can not choose in which family you are born. In house number 1 lives conservative family, in house number 2 lives liberal family.
So little girls of House number 1 wishes to have been born into House number 2 but she can't change her fate as long as she is young and dependent on family.
And at this point comes Turkish state and puts this girl into school where there is a headscarf ban generally and breaks parents will and takes influence into girl's development and parents restrictions.
So she sees non-wearing in school and maybe wearing headscarf at home.
She knows both and when she is not more dependent on family she can choose herself which way of life suited her best. So i mean girls under 15-16 years of age.

So now comeing again to the thread topic, Diyanet is not the authority to speak in headscarf issue. Diyanet is a suborganisation of state and the authority to speak in headscarf issue have only structures of turkish sate which are above Diyanet such as judiciary.
Wow, lots of words. So, if an uneducated woman, with children felt like stepping out to the market for familty food, without any head covering, all would be cool?
 
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Kathianne said:
Wow, lots of words. So, if an uneducated woman, with children felt like stepping out to the market for familty food, without any head covering, all would be cool?

In Turkey there is no monolithic nature of Islam and there are different influences and interpretations varying from group to group.
So no general classification to acknowledge your thoughts.

business women, woman singles is also reality as well as headscarf Students which take their motherland Turkey to European Human Rights court for restricting their headscraf practice. Different trends, ideas and views of Islam can be expresed in Turkey off course they are not radicals. There is room for all views and interpretatons. Almost every Msulim country lack such a free plattform which Turkey implemented. In some Muslim countries there is strictness support only for one view of Islam and there is a state policy to suppress opposition. In such countries there is no liberty to express other interpretations of Islam. This policy produces a dictatorship understanding of Islam. And such hard-line interpretations leave no room for moderation and tolerance. If this monolithic interpretation of religion is enforced on people it may in the end lead to fanaticism. Which is not the case in Turkey.

So your example encased in a question is too simple to classify Turkey.

Good Night.
 

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canavar said:
In Turkey there is no monolithic nature of Islam and there are different influences and interpretations varying from group to group.
So no general classification to acknowledge your thoughts.

business women, woman singles is also reality as well as headscarf Students which take their motherland Turkey to European Human Rights court for restricting their headscraf practice. Different trends, ideas and views of Islam can be expresed in Turkey off course they are not radicals. There is room for all views and interpretatons. Almost every Msulim country lack such a free plattform which Turkey implemented. In some Muslim countries there is strictness support only for one view of Islam and there is a state policy to suppress opposition. In such countries there is no liberty to express other interpretations of Islam. This policy produces a dictatorship understanding of Islam. And such hard-line interpretations leave no room for moderation and tolerance. If this monolithic interpretation of religion is enforced on people it may in the end lead to fanaticism. Which is not the case in Turkey.

So your example encased in a question is too simple to classify Turkey.

Good Night.

I wasn't trying to include all women, in all groups. My example was for the most basic, middle class if you will. Regardless of class, are women free to adopt or not the sharia laws?
 
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Kathianne said:
I wasn't trying to include all women, in all groups. My example was for the most basic, middle class if you will. Regardless of class, are women free to adopt or not the sharia laws?

Which sharia laws? In Turkey there is nothing called sharia laws, in turkey there is Turkish constitution with division of powers between different state structures as it should be in a democracy. But in Turkey's case plus Army factor in the state.
 
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In 1998 the Turkish Constitutional Court banned and dissolved Turkey's Refah Party on the grounds that the "rules of sharia", which Refah sought to introduce, "were incompatible with the democratic regime", pointing up that "Democracy is the antithesis of sharia". On appeal by Refah the European Court of Human Rights determined that "sharia is incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy"[6][7] Refah's sharia based notion of a "plurality of legal systems, grounded on religion" was ruled to contravene the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. It was determined that it would "do away with the State's role as the guarantor of individual rights and freedoms" and "infringe the principle of non-discrimination between individuals as regards their enjoyment of public freedoms, which is one of the fundamental principles of democracy". It was further ruled that

[T]he Court considers that sharia, which faithfully reflects the dogmas and divine rules laid down by religion, is stable and invariable. Principles such as pluralism in the political sphere or the constant evolution of public freedoms have no place in it. […] It is difficult to declare one’s respect for democracy and human rights while at the same time supporting a regime based on sharia, which clearly diverges from Convention values, particularly with regard to its criminal law and criminal procedure, its rules on the legal status of women and the way it intervenes in all spheres of private and public life in accordance with religious precepts.[8]

On the other side, legal scholar L. Ali Khan determines "that constitutional orders founded on the principles of Sharia are fully compatible with democracy, provided that religious minorities are protected and the incumbent Islamic leadership remains committed to the right to recall".[9] However, Christian Pippan argues, that this contradicts the political reality in most Islamic states. "While constitutional arrangements to ensure that political authority is exercised within the boundaries of Sharia vary greatly among those nations",[10] most existing models of political Islam have so far grossly failed to accept any meaningful political competition of the kind that Khan himself has identified as essential for even a limited conception of democracy. Khan, writes Pippan, dismisses verdicts as from the European Court of Human Rights or the Turkish Constitutional Court "as an expression of purely national or regional preferences."[11]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia
 

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canavar said:
In 1998 the Turkish Constitutional Court banned and dissolved Turkey's Refah Party on the grounds that the "rules of sharia", which Refah sought to introduce, "were incompatible with the democratic regime", pointing up that "Democracy is the antithesis of sharia". On appeal by Refah the European Court of Human Rights determined that "sharia is incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy"[6][7] Refah's sharia based notion of a "plurality of legal systems, grounded on religion" was ruled to contravene the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. It was determined that it would "do away with the State's role as the guarantor of individual rights and freedoms" and "infringe the principle of non-discrimination between individuals as regards their enjoyment of public freedoms, which is one of the fundamental principles of democracy". It was further ruled that

[T]he Court considers that sharia, which faithfully reflects the dogmas and divine rules laid down by religion, is stable and invariable. Principles such as pluralism in the political sphere or the constant evolution of public freedoms have no place in it. […] It is difficult to declare one’s respect for democracy and human rights while at the same time supporting a regime based on sharia, which clearly diverges from Convention values, particularly with regard to its criminal law and criminal procedure, its rules on the legal status of women and the way it intervenes in all spheres of private and public life in accordance with religious precepts.[8]

On the other side, legal scholar L. Ali Khan determines "that constitutional orders founded on the principles of Sharia are fully compatible with democracy, provided that religious minorities are protected and the incumbent Islamic leadership remains committed to the right to recall".[9] However, Christian Pippan argues, that this contradicts the political reality in most Islamic states. "While constitutional arrangements to ensure that political authority is exercised within the boundaries of Sharia vary greatly among those nations",[10] most existing models of political Islam have so far grossly failed to accept any meaningful political competition of the kind that Khan himself has identified as essential for even a limited conception of democracy. Khan, writes Pippan, dismisses verdicts as from the European Court of Human Rights or the Turkish Constitutional Court "as an expression of purely national or regional preferences."[11]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia

Canavar, you are there, on the street. What is the bottom line?
 

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Warning: This thread may make you dumber.
 

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canavar said:
In 1998 the Turkish Constitutional Court banned and dissolved Turkey's Refah Party on the grounds that the "rules of sharia", which Refah sought to introduce, "were incompatible with the democratic regime", pointing up that "Democracy is the antithesis of sharia". On appeal by Refah the European Court of Human Rights determined that "sharia is incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy"[6][7] Refah's sharia based notion of a "plurality of legal systems, grounded on religion" was ruled to contravene the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. It was determined that it would "do away with the State's role as the guarantor of individual rights and freedoms" and "infringe the principle of non-discrimination between individuals as regards their enjoyment of public freedoms, which is one of the fundamental principles of democracy". It was further ruled that

[T]he Court considers that sharia, which faithfully reflects the dogmas and divine rules laid down by religion, is stable and invariable. Principles such as pluralism in the political sphere or the constant evolution of public freedoms have no place in it. […] It is difficult to declare one’s respect for democracy and human rights while at the same time supporting a regime based on sharia, which clearly diverges from Convention values, particularly with regard to its criminal law and criminal procedure, its rules on the legal status of women and the way it intervenes in all spheres of private and public life in accordance with religious precepts.[8]

On the other side, legal scholar L. Ali Khan determines "that constitutional orders founded on the principles of Sharia are fully compatible with democracy, provided that religious minorities are protected and the incumbent Islamic leadership remains committed to the right to recall".[9] However, Christian Pippan argues, that this contradicts the political reality in most Islamic states. "While constitutional arrangements to ensure that political authority is exercised within the boundaries of Sharia vary greatly among those nations",[10] most existing models of political Islam have so far grossly failed to accept any meaningful political competition of the kind that Khan himself has identified as essential for even a limited conception of democracy. Khan, writes Pippan, dismisses verdicts as from the European Court of Human Rights or the Turkish Constitutional Court "as an expression of purely national or regional preferences."[11]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia


I found something sort of interesting, that explains a bit more for those of us that really don't know what is going on in your country:

http://www.einaudi.cornell.edu/Europe/news/index.asp?id=795
"We are ready," said the Turkish Ambassador to the United States on Turkey's bid to join the European Union
Posted on: 12/8/2004

In the opening address for a forum titled "European Turkey: Modernization, Secularism and Islam," Turkey's Ambassador to the United States Faruk Logoglu said his country is ready to join the EU and the government is committed to the reforms that will be necessary.

ITHACA, N.Y. – In the opening address for a forum titled "European Turkey: Modernization, Secularism and Islam," Turkey's Ambassador to the United States Faruk Logoglu said his country is ready to join the European Union (E.U.) and the Turkish government is committed to the reforms that will be necessary. "Our economy and constitution are ready. Our economy is more ready than countries that are already members of the E.U.," said Logoglu.

Turkey is a "unique country," added Logoglu, "because it is the only Muslim democratic country in the region," and one of the few that enjoys good relations with both Israelis and Arabs. "Turkey will create a significant impact on the European economy and will benefit Europe in many ways."

Presented by Cornell's Institute for European Studies' Mediterranean Initiative, the two-day forum December 3-4 occurred on the eve of Turkey's latest bid to become a member of the E.U., whose leaders are expected to vote December 17 on whether to allow entry negotiations to begin.

Fielding questions from an audience of approximately 130, Logoglu responded to concerns about human rights and minorities in Turkey. "We are not talking about perfection," he said. "We still have many steps to take in terms of human rights and issues with people from the Kurdish region. …Turkey has achieved many reforms in a short period of time."

Kemal Gürüz, former president of Turkey's Council of Higher Education, delivered a more circumspect keynote address the next day to about 60 people participating in a series of panel discussions on Turkey. A visiting fellow at Harvard University's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Guruz said while "the majority of the Turks are devout Muslims and secular at the same time," Islamist movements in the country pose a significant threat to the secular Republic. For "claims about having changed to be really credible, an explicit and unequivocal renunciation of Islamism -- not [of] faith in Islam-- is a precondition," said Guruz.

Turkey is an important Middle Eastern ally for the United States and Europe. Proponents of E.U. accession hope for Turkey to build a bridge between Muslim and Christian worlds as it transforms into a model of Muslim democracy. On the other side are those who fear Turkey's entry into the E.U. would edge European borders too far into the unstable regions of the Middle East -- Iran, Iraq and Syria. Human rights violations, meanwhile, continue to be a serious problem in Turkey.

Panel speakers at the forum addressed topics such as development of the modern Turkish state since the second World War, minorities in Turkey, European concerns about Islamic fundamentalism, and the role of trade and economic development in creating and maintaining Turkey's secular status.

For a complete list of forum speakers, see the forum Web site at http://www.einaudi.cornell.edu/europe/initiatives/turkey.asp.

The Turkish forum was co-sponsored by the Cornell Institute for European Studies, the Johnson Graduate School of Management and the Departments of Near Eastern Studies and Music, and Comparative Muslim Societies, among other groups. For more information about the forum, contact Gail Holst-Warhaft at the IES, 255-7592, or via e-mail at glh3@cornell.edu.




Turkey Fact Sheet


Politics and Religion

Turkey is not a "secular" Muslim nation but rather is run by the first democratically elected Islamic party in the Muslim world's history.

Turkey is the first Muslim state to successfully moderate and integrate Islamists into the political system, potentially building toward a moderate form of political Islam.

It is the first Muslim state to freely elect to national power an Islamist party, Justice and Progress (AKP), which described itself in the 2002 elections as coming from an "Islamic background."

There are 72,000 mosques and 80,000 personnel under supervision of the Directorate of Religious Affairs, with a budget of 100 trillion Turkish Lira, suggesting the current organization of the Turkish state is theocratic.

Fighting for the homeland is tied to religion's highest attainable level, martyrdom; religion is important to the Turkish military.

Some observe that Turkey strives to be modern, technologically oriented, and part of the European system without losing its Islamic identity.

In the past 20 years Turkey has been closer to Israel, but now it is moving toward improved relations with the Middle Eastern States of Iran, Iraq and Syria, seeking independent relations with its Muslim neighbors.



Bid for European Membership

Amid much controversy, European Union leaders are expected to vote December 17, 2004 on whether to allow entry negotiations to begin for Turkey to join the European Union.

A unanimous vote of the leaders of 25 EU nations will be required to begin the process of negotiations.

If approved, the negotiation process could take up to 10 years.

Negotiations would begin sometime before the end of 2005.

Turkey's entry has become a hotly-debated issue within and among European nations.

If admitted, Turkey would be the biggest EU country and would command nearly 15 percent of the EU vote.

Geographically, Turkey straddles Europe and the Middle East; the country's accession into the EU would result in Europe's borders extending to Syria, Iraq and Iran.


Training of Skilled Workers

University enrollments in Turkey were up 28 percent last year.

More than 115,000 of Turkey's 16 million students go to private English language schools; 850,000 are studying abroad.


Business Climate

Turkey has established 132 new technology firms since 1998, with exports of $800 million.

The establishment of new businesses is up 16 percent this year.

Turkey's economy is growing at four times the rate of the major EU states.


Geography

Turkey is a tectonically active region that experiences frequent destructive earthquakes, according to the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) Earthquake Hazards Program.

At a large scale, the tectonics of the region near this earthquake are controlled by the collision of the Arabian Plate and the Eurasian Plate, and at a more detailed level, the tectonics become quite complicated. A large piece of continental crust almost the size of Turkey, called the Anatolian block, is being squeezed to the west.


Human rights

Amnesty International reports that up to half of all Turkish women are "estimated to be victims of physical violence within their families." The women's movement in Turkey succeeded in having many gender-discriminatory articles removed from the new Penal Code, but Amnesty International believes the work for women's rights has just begun.


Sources:

Fuller, Graham E. "Turkey's Strategic Model: Myths and Realities." The Washington Quarterly. 27.3 (Summer 2004) pp. 51-64. The Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Tastan, Osman. "Religion and [Religious] Minorities. In Turkey since 1970: Politics, Economics and Society. Debbie Lovatt, Editor. New York, New York: Palgrave Publishers, 2001.

Morin, Aysel. "Crafting a Nation: The Mythic Construction of the New Turkish National Identity in Ataturk's Nutuk. Xavier University, 2004.

Bencivenga, Jim. "EU preparing for vote on Turkish accession," The Christian Science Monitor, 10/20/04.
 

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