Friday, March 21, 2008

Religious freedom in Turkey

According to this week's Der Spiegel (one of Germany's top newspapers), "In 1920, 20 percent of the Turkish population was Christian. That figure has declined to only 0.1 percent today, and the state and local authorities make life difficult for this small contingent". I am not sure that there are many Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs or representatives of other religions in Turkey.

My understanding is that there is a parallel story in Pakistan, Bangaldesh, Malaysia, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran - and, in fact, most countries that are now either Arab or "secular muslim" or "Muslim".

Just as China cannot claim to be a country that is civilised enough for the world to trade with as long as it practices the sorts of human rights abuses that we see in Tibet and other parts of China, so also Turkey and other "Muslim" countries need to show evidence of their willingness to accept international norms if they want to be accepted as civilised countries rather than pariah countries. Sphere: Related Content

No comments: