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Monday, July 31, 2006

Secularism betrayed - Turkish Daily News Jul 31, 2006

"Secularism betrayed
Monday, July 31, 2006

Opinion by Dog?u ERGI?L
I was awestruck when I heard from the very mouth of the minister of education and top officials of the Religious Affairs Directorate that if the Alawite children of this country do not want a Sunni-Hanefi religious education, they should declare themselves to be non-Muslim. How should we take this statement? It stinks all over. First of all, the only formal state organization created to serve the religious needs of the citizens of the republic is discriminating against all those who are not Muslim. Secondly, it discriminates against those who do not embrace the Sunni-Hanefi interpretation of Islam. Thirdly, it is declaring itself to be a partisan organization catering only to the needs those Muslims who adhere to the philosophy and practice of Islam that the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) represents and preaches. All these positions totally betray the secular nature of the state. The question is then whether the directorate and the state are non-secular. Keep in mind that the directorate is a branch of the state. "

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