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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Secular Muslim states

"Secular Muslim states

Just like secular Muslims, a secular Muslim state is a twentieth century anomaly. It is a state in which Muslims are a majority, but state and its institutions do not recognise Islam as the source of law and governance. Turkey was the first secular Muslim state to emerge in modern times. The man who orchestrated this drastic change in the centuries-old pattern of Muslim statecraft was Mustafa Kemal, the self-styled father of Turks. At the beginning of 1924, he had gone to Izmir, ostensibly to preside over large-scale military maneuvers, but in reality to prepare for his next move against the Caliph. He stayed in Izmir for two months during which careful planning was done for the abolition of the Caliphate. By the time he opened the new session of the Grand National Assembly on March 1, 1924, he was ready to strike. The death stroke was delivered two days later when a series of resolutions were read to the Assembly which provided for the deposition of the Caliph, the abolition of the Caliphate, and the banishment of all members of the Ottoman house from Turkish territory. The next morning at daybreak, military generals escorted an unhappy Abdulmecid to a small railway station outside Istanbul to board the Orient Express; thus, the last of the Caliphs was sent into exile."

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