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That's A Lot Of Turks.




This is important. Remember this when you hear that Islam is incapable of moderation:

IZMIR, Turkey - Choking the highways and crammed onto ferries, hundreds of thousands of Turks streamed into this port city on Sunday in an enormous show of opposition to the pro-Islamic ruling party, saying it threatened to destroy the country’s modern foundations.

Some 1.5 million protesters carried anti-government banners, red-and-white Turkish flags and pictures of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who founded the secular republic in 1923. Turkish flags hung from balconies and windows, as well as buses and fishing boats and yachts bobbing in Izmir’s bay.

“I am here to defend my country,” said Yuksel Uysal, a teacher. “I am here to defend Ataturk’s revolution.”


I've read enough of the Quran, and enough about the Quran, to have an idea of some of the quotes and sections that terrify westerners, including me. The Quran is savage in parts. So is the Bible. The Quran lacks some of the softening gentleness of the New Testament, and it draws harsh distinctions between believers and non-believers. And yes, Muslims profess to believe that the Quran is the literal, dictated, verbatim word of God and this allows for less flexibility in interpreting the Quran than Christians may have in interpreting the Bible.

It is surely true that a literal reading of some portions of the Quran would mean perpetual war between Muslim and non-Muslim if Muslims acted on those exhortations. But for 2000 years Christians have had very little difficulty ignoring those sections of the Bible they found inconvenient: most of Judges and Joshua, thankfully, but most of the Sermon on the Mount and at least half of Christ's parables as well.

However literally Muslims take the Quran, and however crazy some of that book may be, Christians and Jews have shown the way forward by establishing a precedent of picking and choosing, cherry-picking, selectively ignoring their own holy books. If Christians can manage to entirely ignore Christ's clear and unambiguous statement to the effect that a rich man is very unlikely to reach heaven, then Muslims can choose not to hear the parts of the Quran calling for harsh treatment of all non-Muslims.

A certain selective memory and a bit of creative hypocrisy may be the keys to civilizing religion.

The Quran makes no distinction between Church and State. But you know what? The Turks -- overwhelmingly Muslim -- do. Just as Christians have contrived ways to ignore Christ's naive communism, so Muslims may be finding ways to shrug off Muhammed's political shortsightedness.

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“That's A Lot Of Turks.”

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