MuMTAZER – A model of state religion

A model of state religionMachiavelli, noting that religion is a fairly important domain, said that the Prince cannot remain indifferent to such an important domain and that he must use religion in the consolidation of his power The Orthodox model of Eastern Roman Empire was based on this approach and understanding.The most aanced example of this model is currently observed in Turkey, and the control President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan maintains over religion has become a powerful monopoly.

The framework of this model, identified during the early republican years, was as follows: Religion must be made subordinate to the state, which will have full control over it through the establishment of the Religious Affairs Directorate and the employment of clerics as public servants. Religious education should be provided by the state alone, and its content and scope should be determined by state officials and institutions.

Nobody, other than those empowered and authorized by the state, was to have any say in or authority over religious matters. A Muslim citizen of the Republic of Turkey would have to comply with the rules identified by the state in the enjoyment of his religious freedom and practice of religious precepts, from the cradle to the grave.

With some minor exceptions and differences in terms of degree, there is almost no difference between the current practice and the past approach vis-a-vis religion. The state used to maintain control by restricting the sphere of three main religions today, the state establishes control by expanding the sphere of religion.

Those who are curious may take a look at archives from the 1940s to see similarities between the past approach and the speech by ErdoIan at the 5th Religion Council meeting. In this speech, ErdoIan made frequent references to false scholars, manipulators and distortions of religion.

Interestingly, similar remarks were made by governors and other state officials in the single-party era Additionally, there are now references to networks of treason in current speeches and remarks. The only thing that has changed is the quantity and gravity of such remarks.

Today, ErdoIan brags about huge number of clerics. In the past, state officials did the same, arguing that they were raising intellectual clerics, not bigots.

And of course, those enlightened clerics were public servants.The hypocritical world of conservative politics is being revealed by ErdoIanand#39s policies.

In the past, religiosity was a justification to keep people away from political administration. Now, the administrators rely on religion as an assurance.

Religion was kept under strict control of the state in the past to sustain privileges. Now, a president who presents himself as a religious president uses it as a tool of pressure and oppression.

In both cases, religion is being used for political purposes.There is a type of religiosity the state and ErdoIan do not like.

This is a kind of religiosity that raises objections to arrogance, extravagance, the politicization of religion and extremism This type of religion is practiced by religious communities and orders. None of the religious communities promoting this type of religion likes ErdoIan and his version of state religion.

This is the source of a real problem that has raised more than a few eyebrows. Which version of religion is more authentic? Which one is better for society and the attainment of cohesion and peace? Which one can offer an alternative to Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) extremism and terrorism? Will the state-affiliated religious clerics and institutions or civilian communities be able to address the growing danger emanating from the extremism of such violent groups?ErdoIan is trying to create an axis of ideological clashes.

He is trying to recreate the traditional progressive-reactionary clash out of a 200-year-old history. For this reason, he reinvents America and places emphasis upon the Ottoman Turkish language.

However, interestingly, when doing this, he actually stands where the Republican Peopleand#39s Party (CHP) once did in the past. He relies on state power and wages a war against the people and their traditions and religious habits.

Religion is being expropriated by the state. In this way, the state expands its sphere of authority and influence.

ErdoIan is using this expanded territory to cover up corruption and bribery. Turkey, under ErdoIanand#39s administration, is taking the state religion model to the extremes.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman