Leaving Islam




Turkey : EU Says ‘Freedom of Religion’ Or Else

J. Grant Swank, Jr.


The European Union has given Turkey a mandate. It is to open the entire country to freedom of religious _expression.

Now of course Muslims rule and Islam is the nation’s religion. Those of other religions live constantly with discrimination in various dimensions. But if Turkey ever hopes to enter the EU membership, it will have to comply with the following, according to Asia-News/Forum 18:

The European Commission specified the following measures for Turkey to take:

· it must fully protect "freedom of religion" by adopting a law comprehensively addressing all the difficulties faced by non-Muslim religious minorities and communities in line with the relevant European standards;

· "suspend all sales or confiscation of properties" belonging to non-Muslim religious community foundations pending the adoption of the above law;

· adopt and implement as soon as possible provisions concerning "the exercise of freedom of thought, conscience and religion by all individuals and religious communities in line with the ECHR, taking into account the relevant recommendations of the Council of Europe's Commission against Racism and Intolerance;

· establish conditions for the functioning of these communities, in line with the practice of Member States, including legal and judicial protection of the communities, their members and their assets, teaching, appointing and training of clergy, and the enjoyment of property rights;

· protect the right of each community to organize itself in ways other than as a foundation and to choose its leaders free from government interference. (The government has often removed individuals from boards of directors, something that the Armenian Apostolic and Greek Orthodox foundations know all too well.)"

At present, it seems impossible for Muslim Turkey to comply with the above, let alone with any one item in the above. The stipulations are so foreign to the Muslim hold on Turkey that to expect that Islamic politic to open cordial doors of religious freedom to others is a pipe dream.

Turkey’s parliament has debated for decades regarding religious freedom; but it has come to naught.

If Turkey complied to the EU statement, there would not only be religious _expression permitted but church properties taken over by the government would have to be returned. Some of them have been destroyed; therefore, monetary compensation would be expected.

There are some Turkish regions that are openly hostile to those of other religions. Therefore, of course it is hard to break the hard back of habit’s entrenchment based on prejudice.

In addition, Turkey does not trust entities with religious titles. Turkey does not know what entities to trust as genuinely religious or scams appearing to be religious organizations.

Further, the Turkish constitution would have to be changed, "bringing in an accompanying law to concretely introduce full individual and collective religious freedom rights." To the Muslim mindset, this is heresy.

To those who believe that Islam world rule is the next planetary plateau, to grant religious freedom in a stubbornly ensconced country like Muslim Turkey is unthinkable. Therefore, there would be much opposition. However, if Turks want EU membership, they have to comply with the EU mandate and not cower before their own military-backed entrenchment.

In addition, Islamics despise and at times kill those who move from Muslim to another religious faith. How then could Muslims honor that stipulations in the EU mandate? Those who leave Allah are considered the worst of the worst. They fear for their lives. They are tortured, cast out of the house, treated as if they are dead, and at times publicly ridiculed beyond belief. Frequently, they are killed.

Presently, the constitution "includes no guarantees about the freedom to change one's faith or to join together with others in religious communities. No guarantee is given to religious communities' right to organize themselves freely as they choose, own property directly, and have legal recognition. That is why the constitution must fall in line with Art. 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which guarantees full religious freedom.

"This right includes freedom for individuals to change religion or belief, ‘and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.’"

Granted, there are some in Turkey who want the EU mandate operative. But they fear speaking up in case their positions would provoke the powerful military. In other words, freedom of speech is not operative in Turkey, let alone freedom of religious _expression.


Copyright © 2005 by J. Grant Swank, Jr.

Web: http://www.truthinconviction.us/weblog.php

Email: [email protected]  






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