Understanding Secularism

This, in a report from CBS on the Pope’s visit to Turkey, caught my eye. There is a lesson in it for all of us, maybe even in how we should see Turkey:

In all, 99 percent of Turkey’s 72 million people are Muslims – but the state goes to great lengths to ensure that religion is not a feature of the power structure.

Writing in the English-language Turkish Daily News, political analyst Kristen Stevens put it this way: “Secularism is understood in Turkey not as the separation of church and state but as the domination of the state over all religious institutions and practices. The military and the judiciary, with support from the members of the country’s secular elite, continue to wage a private and public campaign against Islamic fundamentalism, which they view as a threat to the secular republic.”

More photos here.


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