27 February 2008

An erastian reformation?

Since its establishment in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal "Atatürk," the Republic of Turkey has had two distinctive characteristics: (1) French-style official secularism, and (2) top-down reform instigated by a westernized élite backed by the military. The following story seems to portend an unprecedented radical change in the first approach while definitely maintaining the tradition of the second: Turkey in radical revision of Islamic texts. This sounds rather like a muslim version of the notorious Jesus Seminar applied to the reputed sayings of Muhammad. Sceptics may be forgiven for thinking this could (perhaps literally) blow up in Ankara's face.

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