Academic journal article Arab Studies Quarterly

Islam and Politics

Academic journal article Arab Studies Quarterly

Islam and Politics

Article excerpt

Gonca Bayraktar and Senol Durgun. Islam and Politics Ankara: Kitap, 2010. Hardback, no price indicated

This work discusses the State and religion and how their relationship has changed in the Turkish modernizing process. From integration of State and religion in the Ottoman period, modern politics separated the two from each other. In studying the political dynamics of this relationship, the book does not neglect the marginal religion-based political groups.

Acritical point in this dynamic was theological modernization that interpreted the Quran in view of the historical context that made it easier to relate to modernization. Amajor problem in modernizing Turkey was that a main current of modernization espoused by the ulema (clerics) was essentially shunted aside by the other secular current that established the Republic. Consequently, modernization had no Turkish identity, but an imitation of Western modernization and therefore, ideological. This is a major critique that the authors level at modernization and the modernizers in the Republican years. Structural changes in politics and culture were effected, but change largely neglected the main socio-economic structures.

There is a rich discussion of Turkish Islam, its roots and development. The authors distinguish between Islamiyet (the Muslim way of life) and Islam. Islamiyet, is contextual and thus one could speak ?? Islamiyet in North Africa or Turkey, which has several dimensions, including geographical, psychological and social. …

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