Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Is Turkey a model Muslim democracy?

On Sunday 9th July, Yossi Eli, a Turkish-Israeli historian, will attempt to answer the question: is Turkey a model Muslim democracy? If you live in London and are concerned about the future of non-Muslim minorities in Muslim states, do try and attend what promises to be a fascinating lecture, organised jointly by Harif and Spiro Ark.

Turkish society is torn between old and new, symbolised in literature by two neighbourhoods of Istanbul. Fatih stands for the traditional, Muslim ways. Harbiye represents secular modernity and westernisation.

In 1923 Mustapha Kemal, the founder of modern Turkey, firmly chose modernity and separation between Mosque and State -the path to Harbiye. But is Turkey now rediscovering its Islamic roots - and heading back down the road to Fatih?

In the face of the growing challenge from political Islam, is Turkey a fitting model for other Muslim states to follow? What happens to civil rights, minorities, freedom of speech and worship in a country that defines itself as strictly secular?

For full details and to book tickets go to Harif or Spiro Ark websites.

Photo shows Hagia Sophia mosque, Istanbul.


Anonymous said...

An interesting article about India's dwindling Jewish community:

Anonymous said...

Tajikistan's main synagogue looks set to be demolished: