Monday, April 16, 2007

Not All Muslims Seethe

It behooves us to remember that not all Muslims are fanatical murdering minions of Mohammed. Many actually get it, as seen here in this story.

Some 300,000 people have demonstrated in Turkey's capital, Ankara, to demand that religion and politics should be kept separate in their country. Protesters carried banners of Kemal Ataturk, the revered founder of the Turkish republic as a secular state.

The US is a secular state. We are influenced by religious beliefs, but no one doctrine (other than secular humanism anyway) has been adopted as an official organ of the State.

Turkey is the same way.

"Turkey is secular and will remain secular forever," they shouted.

"I feel a little scared about the developments. I would not like to have an Islamic regime in Turkey," one demonstrator, who gave her name as Nursel, told the BBC.

"I would like to protect the secular system. That's why I am here. Especially as a female, this is very important for me."

And it is important for us also!

Under their national hero, Mustafa Kemal Pasha , the Ottoman Empire was abolished and 600 years of Islamic oppression ended. Under the Republic of Turkey, woman have equal standing with men before the law and can vote. Turkey has had a troubled past as a democracy; the army has stepped in several times during the past fifty years to control various political parties.

There is a great deal of turmoil in Turkish politics. Kurds and Islamists have roiled the political scene for decades. But, outside of Israel, Turkey is the only other democracy in the Middle East.

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