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Islam in Turkey is make-believe
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1.       thehandsom
7403 posts
 20 Sep 2008 Sat 04:17 pm

 

A new survey asks an old question, ‘Is Turkey becoming more conservative?´ The answer, like Turkish politics, is conflicted. While 94 percent of Turks identify themselves as religious, very few are observing this month´s holy fast or regularly pray five times a day. Experts point to the enduring popularity of the AKP, motivating people to adopt a religious mantle without necessarily the belief system to go along with it.

 
 ..94 percent of Turkish participants defined themselves as ´religious´, only 20 percent were fasting for all of Ramadan, while only 34 percent performed prayer five times a day. Moreover, fasting and praying were the least common in Turkey as compared to seven other Muslim countries, including Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria and Tanzania.

   ... conservatism in Turkey is on the rise only in appearance. ´During the first half of the 1990s people in Turkey were more conservative. With rising levels of education and income the country has become more flexible and less conservative´

  ... people became more flexible in their religious practices. ´Today people who define themselves as conservative usually have material interests in doing so. On the other hand, the number of people not fasting and not praying or who have a positive attitude toward dating has increased. Conservatism in Turkey is make-believe,´ he said.

 
  Previously people who defined themselves as religious felt that it was necessary to pray or fast according to Islamic norms. However, today the world is transforming and people don´t feel that way anymore

  Nilüfer Narlı from Bahçeşehir University interpreted the issue in terms of a difference between belonging and believing. ´When a person says I am religious the reference is to the identity not to the faith and believing. When we look at religious practices we do not find people practicing Islam at the level of believing. Therefore, religion loses its significance as a practice while it gets stronger in terms of belonging, as an identity´, she said.

  Although 68 percent of participants said there was a conflict between secular forces and the ruling party, Gür said the secular versus anti-secular, or moderate Islam versus fundamentalism, debates were not actually on people´s agenda. ´These are only certain elites or political parties´ concerns. Polarization in Turkey is not ideological but economic. People do not vote for the AKP on ideological grounds but for economic reasons. In fact Turkey is moving toward wider class differences rather than ideological ones,´ Gür said.

..´Turks have adopted a more negative stance toward Hamas and Hezbollah since last year. A total of 65 percent of participants said they have an unfavorable opinion toward Hamas, compared with 54 percent in 2007. In 2003, 15 percent of Turkish Muslims had positive views of bin Laden. Today, seven years after the Sept. 11 attacks, bin Laden´s ratings have plummeted to 3 percent.´

 

http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=115853

2.       peacetrain
1905 posts
 20 Sep 2008 Sat 04:48 pm

Title of the article "Conservative but relaxed about it" 

3.       azade
1606 posts
 20 Sep 2008 Sat 06:36 pm

The article definately has a point. What I observed is that many Turks who generally define themselves as religious pick from islam what they like and drop the troublesome parts, eg. wear "half" a hijab, fast and pray when it´s convenient or they need something.

I just have no respect for that kind of practicining. Either they are religious, or they are not. Excuses like ´I didn´t really feel like waking up for fadjr´ is just not good enough.

Personally staying in Turkey definitely makes me less of a muslim because of the lack of niyah I see everywhere.

4.       catwoman
8933 posts
 20 Sep 2008 Sat 07:17 pm

I think this article is definitely only one side of the story. What about all those stories where a person drinking beer in public in ramadan in Istanbul is beaten by mob, or a person smoking a cigarette in ramadan who has stopped at red lights got punched by some random person... and on and on... 

5.       catwoman
8933 posts
 20 Sep 2008 Sat 07:18 pm

 

Quoting azade

Personally staying in Turkey definitely makes me less of a muslim because of the lack of niyah I see everywhere.

 

Firstly: what is niyah? And secondly: this is blaming others for your own problem canim...

6.       azade
1606 posts
 20 Sep 2008 Sat 07:36 pm

 

Quoting catwoman

Firstly: what is niyah? And secondly: this is blaming others for your own problem canim...

 

 Niyah means intention. It is something that you have to take a moment and get into when you are getting already to pray, but it´s also a more general thing. Some say that when you don´t have the "right" (pure) intention Allah will know it and you don´t get hasanat (reward, acknowledgement) for whatever deed you are doing.

 

You are right, catwoman, it was a problem when I started to learn about islam. I remember being in my home country learning so much about islam from muslims (mostly converts) there, and then going to Turkey and see many things I had learnt being ignored by Turkish muslims. It is something that confuses a newbie a lot and it is really hard to tell what is actually islam and what is culture, or simply laziness towards islam. Ultimately it made me question islam a lot - if Turkey is an islamic country why is the mass ignoring so many rules? - etc. Even Saudi Arabia and especially Iran are doing so many false things in the name of islam it is nearly impossible to tell right from wrong. You constantly have to go to the books because you can´t trust anything that another muslim tells you; chances are they have been misimformed as well.

At this point I have pretty much given up. I have to laugh when someone says "I have dropped beer this month in honor of Ramadan" and so on {#lang_emotions_unsure}

7.       catwoman
8933 posts
 20 Sep 2008 Sat 07:47 pm

Azade.... but my point is... why do you need to have other people practicing Islam in a certain way to be a good muslim yourself? Maybe their way of practicing their religion is right for them, who are you to tell them how they should practice their religion? And how does it affect you what other people do? It would be tyranny to impose on people how they should practice something so intimate as religion.

8.       azade
1606 posts
 20 Sep 2008 Sat 07:59 pm

 

Quoting catwoman

Azade.... but my point is... why do you need to have other people practicing Islam in a certain way to be a good muslim yourself? Maybe their way of practicing their religion is right for them, who are you to tell them how they should practice their religion? And how does it affect you what other people do? It would be tyranny to impose on people how they should practice something so intimate as religion.

 

 Generally speaking I agree with you, but a big part of islam is to follow the set rules and (as I have seen it in my home country) and using the rules, support and guide eachother, whereas in eg. protestantism there´s more of a "each to their own" attitude thanks to Luther, which gives more room for interpretation.

Perhaps I´ve just learnt about islam from very conservative converts

9.       catwoman
8933 posts
 20 Sep 2008 Sat 09:37 pm

 

Quoting azade

 Generally speaking I agree with you, but a big part of islam is to follow the set rules and (as I have seen it in my home country) and using the rules, support and guide eachother, whereas in eg. protestantism there´s more of a "each to their own" attitude thanks to Luther, which gives more room for interpretation.

Perhaps I´ve just learnt about islam from very conservative converts

 

Well, as far as I know, Islam has tons of interpretations as well. Naturally, each of them says that it is the ´correct´ one... I am sure it depends on who you learn these things from.. Thanks for explaining.

10.       azade
1606 posts
 20 Sep 2008 Sat 09:43 pm

 

Quoting catwoman

Well, as far as I know, Islam has tons of interpretations as well. Naturally, each of them says that it is the ´correct´ one... I am sure it depends on who you learn these things from.. Thanks for explaining.

 

 Yeah you are right about that catwoman, there are many differences between the schools of fiqh, who base their rules on different Qur´an verses, it´s really hard to find an absolute truth to anything even in islam.

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