Turkish Court Cancels Headscarf Legislation in Blow to Erdogan
* Cooking the Islamic hijab-soup: Erdogan & Gul
* Kudos to an upstanding prosecutor who smells the coffee. But what seems to be a brave act in defying the Islamic allures of Erdogan & Gul may not last long. Sheik yer’mami crystal ballÂ sees political assassinations and violent uprisings ahead:
June 5 (Bloomberg) — Turkey’s Constitutional Court canceled legislation designed to ease curbs on the Islamic-style headscarf, dealing a blow to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as he seeks to avoid a political ban.
* Erdogan, Gul Want Ban on Head Scarf Lifted
The court said that the constitutional amendments break Turkey’s secular rules, according to a written statement handed to reporters in the capital Ankara today.
The ruling may increase the chance that the Constitutional Court bars Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party from politics for mixing Islam with the affairs of state. That trial has raised concern about political instability in mostly Muslim Turkey, bringing losses for stocks and the lira.
“The case for the Justice party’s closure certainly becomes stronger now,” said Wolfango Piccoli, an analyst at Eurasia Group in London, in a telephone interview. “It doesn’t look good at all for the party.”
The move by Justice to ease the curbs on the headscarf at the nation’s universities forms the center-piece of a prosecutor’s case at the Constitutional Court to ban the party, and bar 71 of its leading members from politics for five years.
* continued 2nd page
Turkish writer wonders if Prince Charles has converted to Islam
* The self described ‘defender of the faith’s’ is becoming highly suspect:
Or is he just an indefatigable and useful dhimmi?
[…] One particular member of the royal family, the queen’s eldest son, Prince Charles, has come under suspicion of having his own particularly strong connection to Turkey.
In October 1996, London’s Evening Standard newspaper quoted the Grand Mufti of Cyprus, who claimed that the prince had converted to Islam. “It happened in Turkey. Oh, yes, he converted all right,” the Grand Mufti was quoted as saying. “When you get home, check on how often he travels to Turkey. You’ll find that your future king is a Muslim.” This was one of several reports linking Prince Charles and Islam highlighted by authors Ronni L Gordon and David M Stillman in The Middle East Quarterly in 1997.
There have been various alleged proofs offered for the conversion myth. Numerous times over the past three decades, Charles has spoken to support both Muslims and Islam. In 1989, when the Iranian ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against author Salman Rushdie, Charles reacted to the death decree by reflecting on the positive features that Islam has to offer the spiritually empty lives of his countrymen.
The court may make a final ruling in the closure case as early as next month. Justice presented its written defense to the court’s 11 judges in April and lawmakers are due to present final defense documents later this month.
Staunch secularists in Turkey, led by the opposition Republicans who filed the legal challenge over headscarves, see the protection of restrictions on religious freedoms as key to shielding Turkey from Islamist forces bent on making Turkey more like Iran. The government says it respects the secular code of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
Turkish legislators voted to amend the constitution to lift the headscarf restrictions on Feb. 9 by 411 votes to 103, after an opposition party voted with the government. President Abdullah Gul, a political ally of Erdogan, approved the step two weeks later.
Erdogan says he has a mandate to ease curbs on religious expression after his party won 47 percent of the vote in a general election last year, the biggest share since 1965. Two predecessors of Justice were outlawed in the late 1990s on similar charges of breaking Turkey’s secular code.
Ataturk, a former army general, banished religious rules and symbols from public life after he founded modern Turkey in 1923. The courts and the military have pledged to protect his vision of a Western-oriented country.
Justice’s defense in the closure case is made all the more difficult because eight of the 11 judges on the Constitutional Court were appointed by former President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, a staunch defender of Turkey’s secular traditions.
Fitzgerald commentary on Prince Charles, continued:
“Whether or not he has converted, which is of course strongly denied by Buckingham Palace spokesmen, he is an immensely popular figure throughout the Middle East. The Saudis regard him as a candid friend of the Islamic world. British academic John Casey, of Cambridge University, says the Prince of Wales’ hero status in the Arab world (for his pro Islamic comments and actions) is permanent and “No other Western figure commands this sort of admiration.”
— from the article above
There are those who, in the apologist vein, might think this is a good thing, that Muslims should be led to believe they have a special friend high up, very high up, in the ruling circles in Great Britain — or, for that matter, the United States. This will give them the wrong idea, and raise their morale, at a time when we need to weaken their morale, make sure they know that if they persist, for example, in their transfer of tens of billions to finance Islam’s expansion in the West, there will be consequences, just as consequences will result from their continued attempts to buy up or create propaganda centers for Islam (see John Esposito, see the Centers at Georgetown, Exeter, Durham, see the large sums being so cunningly deployed all over academic America).
But they can also be given the wrong idea, the idea that Islam has special friends high up, eager to help, eager to do their bidding when the time is ripe. And that can have all kinds of undesirable effects.
Frequest trips or even long periods of living in Muslim lands, a history of close ties to Arabs or Muslims, Arabs and Muslims who might have been their advisers — and apologists — on Muslim causes, such as but hardly limited to the Lesser Jihad against Israel, or fundraisers for their political careers, even perhaps other signs and symbols of a close assocation with Islam in the past, with so much remaining undiscussed and undisclosed, so that even if it is true that, for example, Prince Charles, in Great Britain, is not, and never has been a Muslim, all of that history is well-kknown to Muslims, and they are deeply interested and take heart from it, especialy the more primitive they are, and focus onsuch things as that history of Arab or Muslim advisers and fundraisers, a long history that he may now decide it prudent to distance himself from, disown, and may even mean it, and is not just doing it in order to protect his own standing and image, but still, in the Arab and Muslim world, that misperception will continue unless he, Prince Charles, not only denies such rumors, but starts to behave, and demonstrate, with more than “just words” that he sees things, sees Islam, more keenly now — perhaps even decides to read what the defectors from Islam have written, or view their broadcasts (as Wafa Sultan’s appearances to be seen on www.MEMRI.com), or even starts to meet with them — with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Wafa Sultan, and Ibn Warraq, and many of the others — not only to put paid to those potentially very dangerous misconceptions in the Arab and Muslim world, but to allay anxieties here in the West, where we cannot, especially high up, be worried that among our most important political officials there are secret sympathizers with Islam. That is not how one can adequately plot a strategy to divide and weaken the Camp of Islam, including a propaganda campaign adequate to the task, if one is worrying constantly about what someone on high may think of too clever, too ruthless, a strategy.
And now that I think of it,Prince Charles is not the only person, and Great Britain not the only country, that comes to mind as presenting such a problem.
Posted by: HughÂ at June 3, 2008 9:09 AM