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In the Name of God بسم الله

Ataturk's Statement Regarding Islam...

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Through the abusive interpretation of ignorant and filthy priests ... Islam, this absurd theology of an immoral Bedouin, is a rotting corpse which poisons our lives.

Statement recorded in
Mustapha Kemal : La mort d’un Empire
(1954) by
, as quoted in
Jihad in the West : Muslim Conquests from the 7th to the 21st Centuries
(1998) by Paul Fregosi, p. 407

It is claimed that religious unity is also a factor in the formation of nations. Whereas, we see the contrary in the Turkish nation. Turks were a great nation even before they adopted Islam. This religion did not help the Arabs, Iranians, Egyptians and others to unite with Turks to form a nation. Conversely, it weakened the Turks’ national relations; it numbed Turkish national feelings and enthusiasm. This was natural, because Mohammedanism was based on Arab nationalism above all nationalities.

o Yurttaslik Bilgileri, Yenigun Haber Ajansi (1997 edition) p. 18

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Mustafa_Kemal_Atat%C3%BCrk

How do people who believe Ataturk was in conformance with Islam reconciliate these statements?

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Mustafa Kemal was not just a secularist - he was anti-religion, anti-Islam type of secular extremist.

Secularism is a good thing but there are types of it. Muslims enjoy more freedom to practice their religion in the 'infidel' West than they do in a 'Muslim' country of Turkey.

For those who will come to defend anti-religion policies of Turkish state - Let us be clear that enacting laws to prevent extremism or radicalisation is different [and relatively new] than barring people from merely following the injunction of their faith - for instance banning hejab in the government institutions - which is simply ludicrous.

Edited by Jibran Haider
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How do people who believe Ataturk was in conformance with Islam reconciliate these statements?

oooh ooooh can I have a go?

<Turkish nationalist>

These comments just reflect the love that Ataturk had for Islam and he saw it as his life's mission to remove from Islam the nationalist Arab and Persian connotations that it had built up and return the faith to the purity of its origins.

In this way he felt that Islam would become more powerful and peoples' deen would be improved. In fact his westernisation of Turkey was just to show Muslims how bad the alternative was and make them even more religious. And just as he intended people have become more religious (as can be seen from recent developments).

How could anyone believe that Ataturk was against worship, when there is a mausoleum for himself?

</Turkish nationalist>

Edited by Haji 2003
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ataurk(la) was an atheist, drunkard, zionist supporting scumbag. Also on this quote from the liar ataturk(la) the Turks were never as strong as they were until they accepted Islam. The Seljuks, Ottomans, etc. were the strongest Turkish empires and they were all Sunnis.

Edited by Abdul-Rahman Brent
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Well, he also said the following and its also from wikiquote:

<LI>Religion is an important institution. A nation without religion cannot survive. Yet it is also very important to note that religion is a link between Allah and the individual believer. The brokerage of the pious cannot be permitted. Those who use religion for their own benefit are detestable. We are against such a situation and will not allow it. Those who use religion in such a manner have fooled our people; it is against just such people that we have fought and will continue to fight. Know that whatever conforms to reason, logic, and the advantages and needs of our people conforms equally to Islam. If our religion did not conform to reason and logic, it would not be the perfect religion, the final religion.

  • As quoted in Kemalizm, Laiklik ve Demokrasi [Kemalism, Laicism and Democracy] (1994) by Ahmet Taner Kışlalı

The foundation of our religion is very strong. The material is strong as well, but the building itself was neglected for hundreds of years. As the plaster dropped down, none thought to replace it and none felt the need to reinforce the building. Quite the contrary: many foreign elements and interpretations, as well as empty beliefs, came along and damaged it still more.

  • As quoted in Kemalizm, Laiklik ve Demokrasi [Kemalism, Laicism and Democracy] (1994) by Ahmet Taner Kışlalı

And by the way, the first quote you posted from the French source, I am still unable to find the Turkish equivalent anywhere, and at this point, I doubt it exists. As for the second, I'll look into it. For now, here are some more quotes.

"DİNSİZ MİLLETLERİN DEVAMINA İMKAN YOKTUR"

- A people without religion cannot survive.

"Türk Milleti daha dindar olmalıdır, yani bütün sadeliği ile dindar olmalıdır demek istiyorum. Dinime, bizzat hakikate nasıl inanıyorsam, buna da öyle inanıyorum."

- The Turkish people are to be more religious, meaning religious in all their purity and simplicity. Just like how I believe in the truth on my own, I believe in my religion as well."

There are many more like this, and there's also an article that I can read recommend others to read regarding Ataturk, Islam, and his reforms: "Turkey A Secular State: The Challenge of Description?" I am able to access it in school, so when I'm on campus, I'll post it here.

There is no denying that Ataturk was a man of contradictions; no one can deny this. And yes, he was also an alcoholic and a ferocious womanizer - in other words, a typical late Ottoman male. Most of these men were culturally Muslim, but they weren't very religious. Even one Sultan off the top of my head, Murat V, was a drinker and mentally unstable. As for what Ataturk really thought about Islam, only God knows, and if he was indeed an enemy of Islam, then God will punish him severely for it and he will burn in hell. If it not, God is the Best of Judges. Allahu Alam.

All in all he was simply the product of a corrupt religious state - the Ottomans had abused Islam as a political tool for material gain, which in my eyes, is of the biggest of sins.

oooh ooooh can I have a go?

How could anyone believe that Ataturk was against worship, when there is a mausoleum for himself?

Who says he asked for a mausoleum?

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Here's the Turkish equivalent of that quote regarding Islam and Arab Nationalism, which the translator (whoever it is), completely twisted its actual meaning:

�...Din birliÄŸinin de bir ulusun kuruluÅŸunda etkili olduÄŸunu söyleyenler vardır.

Ne var ki biz, bizim göz� ön� T�usu tablosunda bunun tersini görmekteyiz. T�, islam dinini benimsemeden önce de b�ir ulus idi. Bu dini benimsedikten sonra, bu din ne arapların, ne aynı dinde bulunan iranlıların ne de Mısırlıların ve baÅŸkalarının T�le birleÅŸip bir ulus oluÅŸturmalarına yol a�#305;. Tersine T�usunun ulusal baÄŸlarını gevÅŸetti, ulusal duygularını, ulusal �#351;kusunu uyuÅŸturdu. Bu � doÄŸaldı. Ç�uhammed�in kurduÄŸu din b�lusallıkların �e yaygın bir Arap ulus�uÄŸu politikasına dayanıyordu. Bu Arap d�;� �� sözc�;�ifade olundu. Muhammed�in dinini kabul edenler kendilerini unutmaya, hayatlarını Allah sözc�;�er yerde y�ilmesine adamaya zorunlu idiler. Bununla birlikte Allah�a kendi ulusal dillerinde deÄŸil, Allah�ın Arap budununa gönderdiÄŸi Arap�kitapla ibadet ve duada bulunacaklardı. Arap�öÄŸrenmedik�Allah�a ne dediÄŸini bilmeyecekti. Bu durum karşısında T�usu bir� y�05;llar boyunca ne yaptığını, ne yapacağını bilmeksizin, adeta bir sözc�;�e anlamını anlamadan Kur�an�ı ezberleyip beyni sulanmış hafızlara dönd�baÅŸlarına ge�ilmiÅŸ olan hırslı h�rlar, T�usunca ne olduÄŸu , kim olduÄŸu belirsiz cahil hocalar aÄŸzıyla sa�305;lan ateÅŸ ve azap ile, korkun�ir karanlık ve karışıklık i�de kalan dini kendi tutkuları ve politikaları uÄŸruna bir ara�larak kullandılar.�

- I don't have time for a word by word translation at this time, but the gist is this: the nation that Islam helped created during the time of the Prophet (pbuh) was mixed heavily with Arab politics - NO ONE CAN DENY THIS. The term UMMAH meant nation in the Arabic language, and it was because of the Prophet (pbuh) that the Arabs were finally united into one great nation, into one great UMMAH. Now, the Prophet's (pbuh) intention was completley different from that of the pan-Arab caliphs and tyrants that came after him - the Prophet (pbuh) wanted in his heart for all of humanity to be unified under the belief of the one true God. However, after the Prophet's (pbuh), we all know the corruption that came into the ummah, and this concept of "nationhood" that converts such as the Turks accepted was that the Ummayad/Abbasid conception, which was still heavily mixed with Arabism. Rather than taking Islam and making it their own, Ataturk argues that the Turks took an Arabized Islam and ran with it, and eventually ran into failure. This is exactly what happened after Selim I took the Caliphate and acquired Arab lands - the Turks put Arabic and Arabism ahead of himself rather than believing and worshipping in God in his own language and culture.

Now, the original Turkmen interpretation of Islam, before the orthodoxy of the Ottomans, was Central Asian shamanist elements mixed with Sufi elements and Shi'i mythology. The Turks had made Islam their own faith, but that changed in later times, and I think it was a good change because those Turks had many deviant beliefs despite being Muslims.

I do not agree in any way with Ataturk's analysis or his beliefs regarding his matter, but it would be wise to read his statements accurately and place them in context so we can understand what he was actually trying to say.

Atat� camiye gidip gitmediğini bilemeyeceğim ama elimde �Atat� not defterleri.1996Ali Mithat İNAN� imzalı bir kitap var. yapacağım alıntı tek değil kitapta ama ben bir tanesini aktarmakla yetineceğim:

- Here's an excerpt from one of his diaries:

�DEFTER NO 19: 10 Mart 38, Cuma (10 Mart 1922) Sabah saat 9�da H�aşada ileri karakol mevzilerine hareket... Saat 5 Aziziye, yorgunluk hissettim... İsmet, Yakup Şevki ve Selahattin Paşalar gelmişlerdi. Beraber yemek yedik... Hafıza Kuran okuttum...�

- 10 March 1922 - We moved to the stationed positions in Husrevpasha at 9 in the morning. At 5 to Aziziye, I felt tired and fatigued...Ismet, Yakup Sevki, ve Selahattin Pashas came. We ate together, and I had the hafiz read the Quran."

Ve

�18.Defter�den; "TANRI BİRDİR VE BUYUKTUR"

- God is One and Great.

Ataturk was bent on Turkifying Islam and removing what he thought were Arab cultural elements. Once again, I do not agree with his opinions, but I need to clear up the big misconception that he was some sort of rabid atheist of Jewish ancestry who was bent on destroying Islam in the lives of Turks. Criticize him all you want, but use FACTS, not myths.

Edited by bkt900
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Why are some clowns here so fixated on Ataturk? What's next? Are these same people going to praise Mullah Umar now, because from the sound of it, many of the same losers who bash on Ataturk would have absolutely no problem if the Turkish Taliban take over Turkey. :rolleyes:

Whatever one says about Mustafa Kemal but one thing is clear. He was far, far better option than Taliban and other Islamists of the same kind.

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Now, the Prophet's (pbuh) intention was completley different from that of the pan-Arab caliphs and tyrants that came after him - the Prophet (pbuh) wanted in his heart for all of humanity to be unified under the belief of the one true God. However, after the Prophet's (pbuh) , we all know the corruption that came into the ummah, and this concept of "nationhood" that converts such as the Turks accepted was that the Ummayad/Abbasid conception, which was still heavily mixed with Arabism.

Interesting. Does this mean he rejected the Caliphs (Abu Bakr, Umar, etc.)?

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Interesting. Does this mean he rejected the Caliphs (Abu Bakr, Umar, etc.)?

I have statements from him in a book where he refers to the first 3 caliphs as Hazrat in a speech, but I don't know if he did this to avoid controversy or if it reflected his real views. I know for a fact that he did not like Muawiyah and that he saw his actions against Hz. Ali to be evil.

Ataturk is so full of contradictions that his real views seem to be unknown. God knows best.

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Many people say that Ataturk was a Donme ,which means an heretical jewish sect that uses the same shia takiye in a muslim context,it could be true because Salonika had a large Donme population and this city had a masonic lodge ,some of its members founded the republic of Turkey.

Now the important is that Turkey despite years of Kemalism is a proud Islamic nation which is able to unite democracy ,secularism and Islam.

Theocratic Iran is a failed state compared to the post Ozal Turkey.

Edited by Omar Khayyam
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Those quotes are apocryphal and are only bandied around by Islamic fundamentalists. There's another apocryphal quote, a supposed "telephone conversation" with a Jewish journalist that the same fundamentalists use to "prove" Ataturk was a "donme". None of these sources are reliable.

Nevertheless, Ataturk generally didn't have a good opinion on religion, but he was smart enough not to mess with it too much. After all, religious rhetoric fueled the Turkish nationalist movement after WWI, and Ataturk never banned Islamic worship, practice or the veil for women. Brief attempts at bringing in a Turkish ezan were eventually s[Edited Out]ped through democratic process (by the victorious Democrat Party in the 1950s), and Turkey learnt through mistakes and evolved in terms of how to approach religion.

Turkey today is a relative beacon of religious freedom (especially relative to other Muslim countries), while at the same time remaining a secular democratic western state. Muslims, and non-Muslims, live equally, free to worship - or not worship - as they please. And that is all thanks to Ataturk. Even if he was a "donme", or a Martian, or whatever, the overwhelming majority of Turks support, respect and admire Ataturk.

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Turkey today is a relative beacon of religious freedom (especially relative to other Muslim countries), while at the same time remaining a secular democratic western state. Muslims, and non-Muslims, live equally, free to worship - or not worship - as they please. And that is all thanks to Ataturk. Even if he was a "donme", or a Martian, or whatever, the overwhelming majority of Turks support, respect and admire Ataturk.

But what about women being forbidden to wear hejab in universities? What about Changing written Turkish from Arabic script to Romanized script or changing the Azan from Arabic to Turkish? Are these actions from a "secular democratic western state" as well?

All I see in Turkey is trying to diminish their Islamic identity as much as possible so they can look like as much as they can to a secular European state. Anyone who tries to bring Turkey back to an Islamic identity is deemed a "fundamentalist". How sad.

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But what about women being forbidden to wear hejab in universities? What about Changing written Turkish from Arabic script to Romanized script or changing the Azan from Arabic to Turkish? Are these actions from a "secular democratic western state" as well?

All I see in Turkey is trying to diminish their Islamic identity as much as possible so they can look like as much as they can to a secular European state. Anyone who tries to bring Turkey back to an Islamic identity is deemed a "fundamentalist". How sad.

I agree that people should be able to wear what they like in universities, and hopefully that will change. Unfortunately the problem in Turkey is that universities remain under state control, are regulated, and politicized. The problem is having fully independent and autonomous higher education institutes. We need to fix this, you're right.

As for the Arabic alphabet, that is a foreign alphabet, just like the Latin. However the Latin alphabet is much more useful, easier for use with the Turkish language (in which vowels are crucial, as opposed to Arabic which is about consonants), and therefore serves our purposes much better. Changing the alphabet isn't even an issue with Islamists in Turkey.

Thirdly, a secular, democratic state has to be vigilant against religion meddling in politics. Religions are founded on a belief that they are the word of God and they cannot by nature tolerate difference of opinion. But a democratic system is founded on the premise that everything can and should be questioned, and so secularism becomes crucial in terms of protecting everyone from religious people who think god told an angel to tell a prophet to tell you to do what's written in a holy book and go to heaven or face the consequences in hell if you disobey. How can you let people who believe in that sort of ridiculous superstitious hocus pocus have a say in running a country or educating your child?

Here's an example of political systems in which religious people seized political power: the Bush administration, Sudan, Taliban Afghanistan and Iran. Enough said.

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I agree that people should be able to wear what they like in universities, and hopefully that will change. Unfortunately the problem in Turkey is that universities remain under state control, are regulated, and politicized. The problem is having fully independent and autonomous higher education institutes. We need to fix this, you're right.

I agree!

As for the Arabic alphabet, that is a foreign alphabet, just like the Latin. However the Latin alphabet is much more useful, easier for use with the Turkish language (in which vowels are crucial, as opposed to Arabic which is about consonants), and therefore serves our purposes much better. Changing the alphabet isn't even an issue with Islamists in Turkey.

I don't know Turkish well enough to comment on this, but I am pretty sure this wasn't the only reason to change the alphabet. Changing the azan to Turkish is a further illustration of my point.

Thirdly, a secular, democratic state has to be vigilant against religion meddling in politics. Religions are founded on a belief that they are the word of God and they cannot by nature tolerate difference of opinion. But a democratic system is founded on the premise that everything can and should be questioned, and so secularism becomes crucial in terms of protecting everyone from religious people who think god told an angel to tell a prophet to tell you to do what's written in a holy book and go to heaven or face the consequences in hell if you disobey. How can you let people who believe in that sort of ridiculous superstitious hocus pocus have a say in running a country or educating your child?

But secular democracy is itself a religion!

No government or society can be ideologically "neutral". In the end, when it comes to practical aspects of creating and enforcing law, society will show its bias towards a particular direction. No government can claim that it truly accomodates every person and every belief system. In the end, particular groups and ideas are favored over others, and this becomes the basis of public policy.

Religions are social belief systems by nature, in that they are not limited just to houses of worship but include a plan for how a society should function according to its teachings. Turkey is not immune to this either. The "secularism" that is propagated by the Turkish government is in itself a religion, because it provides its own idea for how society should function. The only difference is is that the laws need not be the laws of God, but the laws set forth by the Turkish secular elite.

If members of the Turkish government have the same opinion as you, that we need "protection" from religious people (ie. people who challenge our ideology and our authority to propagate it) and their "ridiculous superstitious hocus pocus" (i.e. belief systems that the Turkish secular elite find a threat to their political power, regardless of popular support or otherwise), then they cannot claim to be "neutral". If that's the case, they have to demonstrate how their take on society is superior to an Islamic system or any other system, rather than pretending they are "on the fence" so to speak.

If someone in Turkey runs on a Islamic platform and gets significant popular support and gets elected to initiate reforms, is this compatible with your view of a "secular democracy"?

You say that in a democratic system everything can and should be subject to questioning. I hope that extends to the very nature of democracy and secularism itself as well, and if not, then you fall under the same accusations you are accusing other religions of being a part of.

Here's an example of political systems in which religious people seized political power: the Bush administration, Sudan, Taliban Afghanistan and Iran. Enough said.

Here's an example of political systems in which people claiming to be against religion seized political power: Soviet Union, China, Cambodia under Khmer Rouge, and North Korea.

So this link somehow that religious people mess up the world and cause problems in countries seem pretty baseless to me. Crimes have been committed by hardcore atheists as well. What's your point?

Edited by Shia Engineer
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But secular democracy is itself a religion!

Of course, you do not mean it literally, or do you?

I'd like to a say a couple of things without throwing myself into the hot debate on political system of Turkey, what it is/isn't or what it should be.

You say that in a democratic system everything can and should be subject to questioning. I hope that extends to the very nature of democracy and secularism itself as well, and if not, then you fall under the same accusations you are accusing other religions of being a part of.

There is a grave logical fallacy in this line of argument. It is like a logical circle. The moment democracy is 'democratically' voted out in favour of any other non-democratic system, it ceases to be a democracy. You can then call it whatever you like - Islamic system, autocracy, ideological dictatorship, whatever, but it won't be democracy anymore. So the very democratic system and the secularism that it generates CANNOT be subjected to questioning. In other words, as they say, tolerance everything but do not tolerate intolerance. The moment you tolerate intolerance, you stop the very act of tolerating [differences] - in whatever form and shape it may come [religious, fascist, communist etc].

Here's an example of political systems in which people claiming to be against religion seized political power: Soviet Union, China, Cambodia under Khmer Rouge, and North Korea.

So this link somehow that religious people mess up the world and cause problems in countries seem pretty baseless to me. Crimes have been committed by hardcore atheists as well. What's your point?

It's like denying the mid-day sun that religious ideals and/or religious people had not created mayhem and bloodshed in the world. The medieval Christian Europe & Muslim Middle East as well as modern day disputes are shining examples of what I am saying. The Crusades were fought in the name of religion, Jews in Spain were murdered, expelled or converted on religious grounds, current terrorism is also done in the name of religion.

On the other hand, totalitarian Communists did not oppress and kill people in the name of atheism. Stalin, Lenin, Mao etc were non-democratic atheists who murdered their opponents not in the name of their atheism but Communism. The fact that they were atheists has no bearing on their political ideology. Hitler's fascism had no roots in his Roman Catholic faith and insofar as his actions are concerned, Catholicism cannot be blamed.

Edited by Jibran Haider
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As for the Arabic alphabet, that is a foreign alphabet, just like the Latin. However the Latin alphabet is much more useful, easier for use with the Turkish language (in which vowels are crucial, as opposed to Arabic which is about consonants), and therefore serves our purposes much better. Changing the alphabet isn't even an issue with Islamists in Turkey.

Your entire history as an Islamic and religious society was re-written because of the change from Arabic to Latin script. The change meant that generations after Mustafa Camal made the change, the youth of Turkey had no access to many important documents and works which were only available in Arabic. I won't even begin to go into the effects of the subsequent mistranslation of Arabic texts into Latin. The very fact that Turks are so fanatical about Mustafa and think that secularism is the absolute pinacle of human development is a testament to the change from Arabic script to Latin.

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Of course, you do not mean it literally, or do you?

A religion is any way of life that has an effect to govern how individuals and societies must act. So, yes, secularism is a religion and I mean it literally.

There is a grave logical fallacy in this line of argument. It is like a logical circle. The moment democracy is 'democratically' voted out in favour of any other non-democratic system, it ceases to be a democracy. You can then call it whatever you like - Islamic system, autocracy, ideological dictatorship, whatever, but it won't be democracy anymore. So the very democratic system and the secularism that it generates CANNOT be subjected to questioning. In other words, as they say, tolerance everything but do not tolerate intolerance. The moment you tolerate intolerance, you stop the very act of tolerating [differences] - in whatever form and shape it may come [religious, fascist, communist etc].

In order for democracy and secularism to sustain themselves, it has to suppress all ideologies that challenge those who are "entrusted" to protect it. It's no different from any other power system that rules a country. My only problem is that people believe somehow that democracy is the most free and natural when in reality uses the same rules of domination that they accuse other political systems of having.

It's like denying the mid-day sun that religious ideals and/or religious people had not created mayhem and bloodshed in the world. The medieval Christian Europe & Muslim Middle East as well as modern day disputes are shining examples of what I am saying. The Crusades were fought in the name of religion, Jews in Spain were murdered, expelled or converted on religious grounds, current terrorism is also done in the name of religion.

But that has no bearing on what the teachings of the religion are whatsoever.

On the other hand, totalitarian Communists did not oppress and kill people in the name of atheism. Stalin, Lenin, Mao etc were non-democratic atheists who murdered their opponents not in the name of their atheism but Communism. The fact that they were atheists has no bearing on their political ideology. Hitler's fascism had no roots in his Roman Catholic faith and insofar as his actions are concerned, Catholicism cannot be blamed.

Atheism was an important component of being an ideological Communist. Karl Marx said religion was the "opium of the masses" and a means for oppression of the proliteriat. These communist governments actively suppressed religious activities and did impose official state atheism. The Soviet Union had a voluntary bridage called "Society of the Godless". Atheism was very much an important part of communist thought so crimes committed against religious people were indeed in the name of the atheism.

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A religion is any way of life that has an effect to govern how individuals and societies must act. So, yes, secularism is a religion and I mean it literally.

Metaphorically perhaps yes, literally absolutely no.

It is akin to claiming that atheism itself is a religion. This would be a false statement. Atheism, in fact, is a non-religion, an anti-religion ideology. In the same way, secularism, communism, fascism etc are societal/cultural/political systems that cannot be termed as religions. On the other hand religion, in its most raw form, is belief in the supernatural.

In order for democracy and secularism to sustain themselves, it has to suppress all ideologies that challenge those who are "entrusted" to protect it.

I hope it isn't only the game of words. Yes for democracy and/or secularism to function properly, its torchbearers have to protect it from anti-democratic anti-secular forces whatever that might be. Terming it as "suppressing" other ideologies gives somewhat a negative signal but remember that you have to "suppress" violence if you want to establish peace. In the same way, democracy has to "suppress" fascism if it wants to create a tolerant society. Looking at it from the other end an using the appropriate diction, this so-called "suppression" in fact guarantees the freedom and democratic rights of all within the boundaries of that system. Whereas its opponents want to take these rights away.

It's no different from any other power system that rules a country. My only problem is that people believe somehow that democracy is the most free and natural when in reality uses the same rules of domination that they accuse other political systems of having.

One has to live in a constant state of denial if one claims that democracy is no different than fascism and other totalitarian ideologies. Democracy has its flaws but it is the only method of governance whereby you maintain the balance of power between different groups of people [or between conflicting ideologies] by upholding and remaining within the canon of such a system. Any other totalitarian system disturbs this balance of power and leaves us under the clutches of a particular non-democratic ideology that, at best, is a threat to those who dare to disagree.

Theoretically speaking, democracy is a means to an end but it has become an end itself in our times.

Let me also add that democracy and/or secularism can only be successfully implanted in a society/country if the majority - in fact heavy majority - of the citizens regard it a superior ideology than any other systems around and willing to live their lives by its values.

Atheism was an important component of being an ideological Communist. Karl Marx said religion was the "opium of the masses" and a means for oppression of the proliteriat. These communist governments actively suppressed religious activities and did impose official state atheism. The Soviet Union had a voluntary bridage called "Society of the Godless". Atheism was very much an important part of communist thought so crimes committed against religious people were indeed in the name of the atheism.

Atheism is not synonymous with Communism. There are democratic atheists tool and none of these democratic atheists have imposed their atheism on the religious masses - which illustrates by point that the Communist-atheist oppression wasn't done in the name of atheism, but Communism as a political ideology. I can argue using your own standard that the Communist oppression against the religious people "has no bearing on the what the teachings of the atheism are whatsoever."

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There is no perfect political system but some are better than others and there is no doubt that liberal democracies and social democracies are the most successful political systems that we know nowadays.Turkey is not perfect but is more able to change through its parliamentarian system,for example the Turkish government had considerably diminished the power of the army after the vote of a law and an army guardian of the secular state in last resort is not a bad thing because as said some in their comments that a non democratic party can use democracy as mean in order to impose a dictatorial regime this happened sometimes in history and there is no doubt that the Turkish army acted very wisely during this last decade.

And as Muslim i have no fear for Islam in Turkey ,what i see and what you see ,is that compared to the situation of theocratic Iran,when we speak to Iranians who have recently left Iran ,they have only bad words towards the regime and it often turns to an anti Islam feeling and i don't know why to an anti Arab diatribes.This is not what i see among the Turkish people that i have met abroad,in the west,they are mosque builders and their children follow Islamic (and arabic) teachings and i would say that the Turkish and Islamic identities are today more than ever merged together.

What Turkey need is a moderate social democrat opposition because since the victory of Adnan Menderes and its Democrat party in the first Democratic elections organized in Turkey,the extremist kemalists have never won an election.

Edited by Omar Khayyam
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And as Muslim i have no fear for Islam in Turkey ,what i see and what you see ,is that compared to the situation of theocratic Iran,when we speak to Iranians who have recently left Iran ,they have only bad words towards the regime and it's often turn to an anti Islamic and i don't know why to an anti Arab feeling.

Complete and utter jibberish. Backed up with any facts?

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Metaphorically perhaps yes, literally absolutely no.

It is akin to claiming that atheism itself is a religion. This would be a false statement. Atheism, in fact, is a non-religion, an anti-religion ideology. In the same way, secularism, communism, fascism etc are societal/cultural/political systems that cannot be termed as religions. On the other hand religion, in its most raw form, is belief in the supernatural.

I take the definition of religion in the broadest sense possible, which means a set of values and principles that determine a way of life. Religion can exist with or without belief in the supernatural, because people can have a way of life either way. When most people think of religion, they think of ones that are institutionalized like Christianity or Islam, but there is more to a "religion" than this. Therefore, atheism is really just a broad term to encompass many ways of life (aka "religions") that don't happen to have a belief in a supernatural.

Therefore secularism is a "religion", which in itself doesn't support or deny the existence of a supernatural, but simply states that society and public life should function pretending it doesn't. That's the public way of life that adherents to secularism adopt.

I hope it isn't only the game of words. Yes for democracy and/or secularism to function properly, its torchbearers have to protect it from anti-democratic anti-secular forces whatever that might be. Terming it as "suppressing" other ideologies gives somewhat a negative signal but remember that you have to "suppress" violence if you want to establish peace. In the same way, democracy has to "suppress" fascism if it wants to create a tolerant society. Looking at it from the other end an using the appropriate diction, this so-called "suppression" in fact guarantees the freedom and democratic rights of all within the boundaries of that system. Whereas its opponents want to take these rights away.

Who gave authority for these "torchbearers" to protect democracy in the first place? It seems to me like a constant cycle of people with "democratic" ideals fighting in this perpeptual circle to legitimize their own authority.

Can one "suppress" violence to establish peace but use violence to acheive those ends? All systems of power (yes, even democracy), must do that to keep populations in check and other ideas from taking surface. Democracy is just another tool for elites to manipulate the masses. Nothing more.

One has to live in a constant state of denial if one claims that democracy is no different than fascism and other totalitarian ideologies. Democracy has its flaws but it is the only method of governance whereby you maintain the balance of power between different groups of people [or between conflicting ideologies] by upholding and remaining within the canon of such a system. Any other totalitarian system disturbs this balance of power and leaves us under the clutches of a particular non-democratic ideology that, at best, is a threat to those who dare to disagree.

In the end, everything you say is purely theoretical. The practical aspects of this has not played out as well, because elite groups have "hijacked" democracies to suit their own ends and certain groups have always played the systems to their advantage and essentially disinfranchized others from the political process, producing an unfair level playing field. This "balance of power between different groups of people" is essentially a balance between elite groups, who need not have popular support, but just power.

However, when most members of the overall establisment agree on one issue, it can be assured that the opposite viewpoint won't see the light of day at all. I don't see where the "balance of power" lies.

Totalitarianism does not have to be Hitler or Stalin. You can control the population and the society without having to kill people or send them to camps. It comes in many forms.

Let me also add that democracy and/or secularism can only be successfully implanted in a society/country if the majority - in fact heavy majority - of the citizens regard it a superior ideology than any other systems around and willing to live their lives by its values.

That's true, but unfortunately some people see secular democracy as some kind of "gold standard" of government that every society should adopt, regardless of cultural, religious, or political factors, and then judge every government in the world based on how close they come to this "gold standard".

Unfortunately this usually is used to refer to who are the better pawns to Western influence, but that's another matter.

Atheism is not synonymous with Communism. There are democratic atheists tool and none of these democratic atheists have imposed their atheism on the religious masses - which illustrates by point that the Communist-atheist oppression wasn't done in the name of atheism, but Communism as a political ideology. I can argue using your own standard that the Communist oppression against the religious people "has no bearing on the what the teachings of the atheism are whatsoever."

Communism as practiced in those countries depended on atheism for its existence. Any major organized religion would represent another institution, and no institution could be allowed to counteract the elite that were controlling the country. Atheism was not imposed for its own sake, but rather as a means to take people away from religious organization, which was a threat to their power. So you can say they "indirectly" fought in the name of atheism.

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Shia Engineer ,communist regimes if you forget the idea of Divinity are not very different from clerical totalitarian systems ,both can be summarized to a big church with one leader call him,the pope, great ayatollah or the great guide who lead the way and a hierarchical power that depend on him, call them clerics ,mollahs or bolsheviks...

Edited by Omar Khayyam
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Shia Engineer ,communist regimes if you forget the idea of Divinity are not very different from clerical totalitarian systems ,both can be summarized to a big church with one leader call him,the pope, great ayatollah or the great guide who lead the way and a hierarchical power that depend on him, call them clerics ,mollahs or bolsheviks...

If you forget the whole God part, Muslims and atheists are not really that different from each other. They both have two eyes and can communicate with other humans.

Does this make sense?

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  • Advanced Member

Secularism is a religion and Bush pledged to spread Secularism.

quotes from Bush

''I believe that God wants everybody to be free. That's what I believe.

And that's one part of my foreign policy. In Afghanistan I believe that the

freedom there is a gift from the Almighty. ''

"Freedom is on the march in this world. I believe everybody in the Middle East

desires to live in freedom. ''

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  • 6 years later...
  • Advanced Member

The first post in this trend by waiting  on Ataturk is not  true Ataturk never said these things about Islam The real Ataturk respected Islam and the role that it played in Turkish history and culture

 

What are you talking about?

 

And who cares if he said such things or not. Ataturk's actions prove that he was anti-Islamic. Just like the second Ataturk; Erdogan is.

Edited by HamzaTR
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