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mdegges

Occupy Gezi

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These protests started in response to government plans to turn Gezi Park into a shopping mall.. but they soon developed into a clash between secularists who believe in the separation of religion and state (CHP and Taksim Platformu), and those who don't (PM Erdogan and the AKP).

 

Are you for or against these protests? Why or why not? ...

 

At first I thought Occupy Gezi was just about a bunch of environmentalists trying to stop the wheels from turning, like Occupy protesters did here in the states. As the protests evolved, I began to support them- they seemed to be secularists standing up against Erdogan's religiously motivated rule. However, I've heard some troubling news about these secularist protesters (ie: they have begun to persecute those who are 'visibly religious' and thought to be AKP or AKP-sympathizers) which leads me to believe they are not as good as they first appeared.

Edited by mdegges

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Secular forces in Turkey have a tradition of trying to contain public displays of religion, especially in government and anything related to government. Sure, that's technically religious intolerance, but hardly on the same scale as religious forces would like to impose. It's certainly something I'd be happy to overlook and support them, if I was in a position to do so.

Unfortunately, the EU wasn't that forgiving. It, during Turkey's bid to become a member for about a decade starting in the late nineties, was one of the main forces pushing back against the lightly totalitarian methods secularists have been using to keep Turkey a secular state.

In the end, Turkey got screwed twofold by the EU: the military and secularists lost control due to the EU promoting democracy, and they didn't get to join the EU either (because the EU started moving towards central planning and collectivism, which of course makes it costly to include a large, poor nation like Turkey).

Hopefully, the population of Istanbul will be able to send a clear message to the military and secularist politicians, that they still have popular support in the capital, and they can still act to prevent any attempts at a religious theocracy by the Muslim fundamentalists. And by act, I mean act the same way they've acted in the past: by working around democracy. Unfortunately, democracy doesn't work to prevent theocracy in Muslim countries. Not even in Turkey, due to rural areas which are far more religious than the capital.

Edited by Nicky

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Are you for or against these protests? Why or why not? ...

 For.

We've seen what happens when religion, which is antithetical to reason, gets ahold of government.

 

Whatever the secularists are doing I promise you it's better than the alternative.

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 For.

We've seen what happens when religion, which is antithetical to reason, gets ahold of government.

 

Whatever the secularists are doing I promise you it's better than the alternative.

 

We've also seen what happens when secularists (albeit marxist-leaning secularists) get ahold of government.. does the USSR ring any bells?

Edited by mdegges

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For.

We've seen what happens when religion, which is antithetical to reason, gets ahold of government.

Whatever the secularists are doing I promise you it's better than the alternative.

Hitler, Stalin, Mao.... More people died in the twentieth century due to secular leaders than to the religious. Your attitude is opposed by reality. All doctrines of unreality are dangerous. Wake up!

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We've also seen what happens when secularists (albeit marxist-leaning secularists) get ahold of government.. does the USSR ring any bells?

Hitler, Stalin, Mao.... More people died in the twentieth century due to secular leaders than to the religious. Your attitude is opposed by reality. All doctrines of unreality are dangerous. Wake up!

 Really, people?  Really?

 

Yeah; in the USSR they declared religion to be a capital offense; I haven't heard of Mao Zedong doing likewise but it seems like something he'd do.

Hitler, secular?

 

Do we really want to run the numbers?  Seriously; let's tally up how many people have been killed in the name of one God or another throughout history.

 

I'm not saying that religion is the ONLY evil form of philosophy; the USSR attests to the fact that it isn't.  What I am saying is it is the most directly and literally DANGEROUS one on Earth, and I don't have the time right now but if you'd really like to dispute that then we can run the numbers.

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Secular forces in Turkey have a tradition of trying to contain public displays of religion, especially in government and anything related to government. Sure, that's technically religious intolerance, but hardly on the same scale as religious forces would like to impose. It's certainly something I'd be happy to overlook and support them, if I was in a position to do so.

 I'm not saying that religion is the ONLY evil form of philosophy; the USSR attests to the fact that it isn't.  What I am saying is it is the most directly and literally DANGEROUS one on Earth, and I don't have the time right now but if you'd really like to dispute that then we can run the numbers.

 

I would not be so quick to support any group who wants to limit my freedoms with threats of force.

 

What a person wears in the public sector is his own choice- not the government's, not the protesters, not the imams. Limiting that freedom by harassing or threatening those who choose to wear religious garments/symbols is a big deal.

 

It's just as wrong to threaten women who DON'T wear hijabs in public as it is to threaten those who DO wear hijabs in public. What you call 'containing public displays of religion' is actually 'initiating force towards those who wear religious items.'

 

[Feel free to swap out the term religious with political, anti-religious, etc.]

Edited by mdegges

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@aleph_ 1 and Harrison:

 

 We've seen what happens when religion, which is antithetical to reason, gets ahold of government.

 

I probably should have responded in a different way. I am not claiming that religion should be mixed with government affairs. Obviously, I believe religion should NOT be mixed with government AT ALL (that's what has caused many of these problems in Turkey and all around the world- don't need hard statistics to figure that one out)..

 

The purpose of government is to protect individual rights. That includes ALL individuals, whether they are religious and choose to wear hijabs or whether they are crazy atheists who protest outside of the temple everyday. A secularist government (one which is not involved in religion at all) must be built on this foundation. I fear that in Turkey, secularist protesters have gone too far by harassing and threatening religious people in the streets. The current government (or any secular government that may form in the future) should never stand for that.

 

So as I asked above, tell me which is worse: harassing women who DON'T wear hijabs in public or harassing those who do? (My answer: both are equally wrong and should not be tolerated.)

Edited by mdegges

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It's just as wrong to threaten women who DON'T wear hijabs in public as it is to threaten those who DO wear hijabs in public.

Not unless you first mention WHAT the women are threatened with, and it's the same thing.

It's not just as wrong to "threaten" someone with firing from a government job for wearing a hijab to work, as it is to threaten someone with a beating or death for not wearing it.

If the only thing Muslim theocracies did was to require women who work in government to wear a hijab while in the workplace, Muslim theocracies would be the least of my worries, and I could give a damn about people trying to prevent them.

But, since that's not the case, you're wrong to draw any kind of a similarity between Turkish secularists and Muslim fanatics.

Edited by Nicky

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It's just as wrong to threaten women who DON'T wear hijabs in public as it is to threaten those who DO wear hijabs in public. What you call 'containing public displays of religion' is actually 'initiating force towards those who wear religious items.

 Agreed.

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I seriously doubt the phrase 'initiation of force' carries the same weight in the umma as it does in the West, nor do I think the umma gives a rat's ass about any Western opinions of civility.

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At the same time, the survey finds that even in many countries where there is strong backing for sharia, most Muslims favor religious freedom for people of other faiths. In Pakistan, for example, three-quarters of Muslims say that non-Muslims are very free to practice their religion, and fully 96% of those who share this assessment say it is “a good thing.” Yet 84% of Pakistani Muslims favor enshrining sharia as official law. These seemingly divergent views are possible partly because most supporters of sharia in Pakistan – as in many other countries – think Islamic law should apply only to Muslims. Moreover, Muslims around the globe have differing understandings of what sharia means in practice.

 

-PEW Poll, 2013

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