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Ataturk? Islam?

Reader comment on item: Islamist Turkey Overreaches
in response to reader comment: Ataturk's Secular Islam Was a Ploy

Submitted by Whoo (Turkey), Apr 30, 2011 at 09:54

"I have no religion, and at times I wish all religions at the bottom of the sea. He is a weak ruler who needs religion to uphold his government; it is as if he would catch his people in a trap. My people are going to learn the teachings of science.... Let them worship as they will; every man can follow his own conscience, provided it does not interfere with sane reason or bid him act against the liberty of his fellow man."

"For nearly five hundred years, these rules and theories of an Arab Shaikh and the interpretations of generations of lazy and good-for-nothing priests have decided the civil and criminal law of Turkey. They have decided the form of the Constitution, the details of the lives of each Turk, his food, his hours of rising and sleeping the shape of his clothes, the routine of the midwife who produced his children, what he learned in his schools, his customs, his thoughts-even his most intimate habits. This theology of an immoral Arab [presented as Islam] is a dead thing. Possibly it might have suited tribes in the desert. It is no good for modern, progressive state. God's revelation! There is no God! These are only the chains by which the priests and bad rulers bound the people down. A ruler who needs religion is a weaklings. No weaklings should rule!"

"Even before accepting the religion of the Arabs, the Turks were a great nation. After accepting the religion of the Arabs, this religion, didn't effect to combine the Arabs, the Persians and Egyptians with the Turks to constitute a nation. (This religion) rather, loosened the national nexus of Turkish nation, got national excitement numb. This was very natural. Because the purpose of the religion founded by Muhammad, over all nations, was to drag to an including Arab national politics."

-Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

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