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Modernisation?

Reader comment on item: Islam's Future [Can Be Modern]

Submitted by Gav (United States), Dec 18, 2005 at 11:59

"This can be done. One recent example: In May, the Turkish religious authorities ruled - completely contrary to Islamic custom - to permit women to pray next to men and to attend mosque services while menstruating. The High Religious Affairs Board decided this on the (distinctly modern) basis that men and women are "equal and complementary beings." Next month, this same board takes up the extremely delicate topic of permitting Muslim women to marry non-Muslim men, when it will perhaps again rule against centuries of practice."

I'd just like to point something out about this section of the article. It's not as if the Turkish Muslims have finally started coming to their senses. The reason they have come to these decisions is very much in their own interests. Turkey are desperate to join the EU, but in order to do so they must first of all strip all of their backward, opressive customs from their society and comply with the "Charter of Fundemental Rights of the European Union". That is the only reason they have decided to discuss "the extremely delicate topic of permitting Muslim women to marry non-Muslim men." Not because they believe it is the right thing to do, because of the lure of European development aid.
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