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Author/DatePost
Alex_Kasman
Apr 29 2007
hundreds of thousands protest for secularism

Would you believe this news story from April 29, 2007?

A huge crowd that appeared to number in the hundreds of thousands gathered in Washington DC today to protest against the government of President George W. Bush, and what they said was his agenda to move America away from the country’s secular legacy.

Well, no I'm afraid I wouldn't believe it either. But, it is not a total fabrication. I just took a real story about a protest in Turkey and changed it to be about the US.

Yes, according to this news story, there was a huge protest in Istanbul to defend their version of the "separation of church and state"!

Chemrobb
May 3 2007
Interesting case

Turkey is an interesting case... It's a country at a traditional physical crossroads of humanity, and if I recall correctly it was a Turkish president (or their equivalent leader back then) that put them on the road to secular gov't back in the 1920s (?). I can't recall his name.

Interesting that one leader could drive that movement - if in fact it happened that way. Their religion was Islam (with local turk traditions influencing it) and definitely male driven...(what's the word for a society headed by the elder male?). Wonder how it would have turned out if he'd been a caliph or mullah determined to stick to strict Muslim rule?

The "crossroads" thing is important, since this happened in a time of closed-door diplomacy, WWI, and all that. And the border of "East and West". Russia had always been a nagging thing to turkish independence, and I wonder how that might've edged them to move toward Western political standards.

Notice the article Alex posted also made reference to Turk secularists being backed by a powerful military. We need to ensure our military is never co-opted by fundamentalists in this country....

Alex_Kasman
May 4 2007

Chemrobb,

The political leader you are referring to is Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first president of Turkey.

-ak

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