The Turkish Just Don’t Get It
Posted by honestpoet on June 5, 2008
Sigh. This is distressing. Here’s an article about what’s going on in Turkey. The government had moved to lift a ban on head-scarves in school, so that women who want to wear the religious emblem can do so, arguing that preventing them from wearing them to school was inhibiting some Muslim women from receiving educations (a valid argument). But the courts have struck it down.
Now, I’m a secularist. But you can’t exclude the religious from participating in public life. You can’t ban head-scarves any more than you can demand head-scarves. It’s about freedom, about unity in diversity.
Egads. I’m proud of the Turks for keeping religion out of government. But that can’t mean excluding the religious from participating in other aspects of life. It just means not legislating religiously motivated laws or establishing any state-sanctioned religion.
I fear this sort of thing will cause a backlash against secularism. I hope the Turkish secularists get their heads out of their butts and figure out what freedom means before that happens.