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Flawed Analysis

Reader comment on item: Islamist Turkey vs. Secular Iran?

Submitted by Paul (Canada), Dec 1, 2010 at 09:17

Mr Pipes' analysis of the situation is flawed.

The Iranians are not emulating Ataturk and the Turks are not emulating Khomeini. In both nations people simply want the government not to impose its will on matters of personal faith.

Khomeini and Ataturk share a very important trait. They both imposed their will regarding religion on the population. Khomeini made religious practices mandatory in public life, whereas Ataturk made them illegal.

The populations of both countries are actually converging on a single point, the seperation of church and state.

It is also wildly incorrect to claim that Turkey's government is Islamist or wants to impose Sharia law. The Turkish government is not dominated by fundamentalists. The ruling party simply bases its platform on Islamic values. This is no different than, say, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the current leader of the ruling Christian Democratic Union.

It is important to note that the Justice & Development party's political positions are far more nationalist than they are religious. In actuality the Turkish ruling party's positions and platform tend to be far less religious than the American Republican party. For example, the Turkish ruling party does not run on a platform of banning the teaching of evolution or discrimination of homosexuals, two strong developing traditions of the American Republican party.


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