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    Ertugrul Ozkok: Bathroom behavior and some comments from an AKP MP

    Hürriyet Haber
    15.02.2006 - 11:03 | Son Güncelleme:

    I watched yesterday morning's news on Star TV in amazement. The person speaking was a Turkish MP. Here's what he was saying about a European country with which we will be sharing a political future: "As you know, Scandinavian countries are the countries in the world who have most hit bottom in terms of cosmopolitan, religious, and moral values."

    Star TV wanted to get the "AKP perspective" on both the Danish caricatures and the recent Turkish State Council decision on headscarves. And so AKP MP Mehmet Cicek begins his statement like that. So he means the Scandinavians are "without morals"? He cites examples of crimes like "stealing and mugging" in these countries. He himself should be asked this question: "As an MP, can you tell us, if stealing and mugging mean hitting the bottom in terms of morals, where has Turkey hit then?"

    And the most important would be to ask: "Where exactly has your administration hit?"
    No Scandinavian country could possibly match Istanbul in terms of theft and mugging incidents. Clearly, this MP has something else in the subconscience when he talks about Scandinavian countries hitting bottom in terms of morals. What he really wanted to talk about was the freedom of Scandinavian women, but since he couldn't, he took the axe and drove it into his own head.
    But what really amazed me were not these words, but the ones which followed it. Here is what he has to say on the recent Council of State decision on the headscarf, or turban: "Turkish people are stuck between the order of law and the order of Allah. What does public space mean? Islamic religion is one which is to be lived out in every aspect of life. If you'll excuse my saying so, Islam has even clarified how people are to behave when using the toilet. There are laws for this."
    Don't ask me what this has to do with the Council of State decision. He's coming to that: "Which is why, before a legal decision is made, the passage in the Koran must be examined."
    At this point, the Star TV reporter is surprised, and wants to make sure he hasn't misunderstood. To clarify, he asks: "You say that judges should take a look at the Koran?" The MP tries to straighten things out a little for himself: "Since religion is the subject, the judge should check the Koran.....When making a decision, he should check to see what religion dictates. Religion is dictated by the Koran. Not by people."
    And so saying, an entire way of law is gone, the secular government is finished, secular law is out the window, and sharia law is brought in. Of course, the MP takes care to note "Turkey is a secular country. Courts are to make decisions based on the Constitution." But he follows this immediately with "The headscarf has been ordered by the Koran in the Nur passage." So what we get from this is that neither the courts not the Constitution have anything to say on the headscarf.
    There is another point in his words that caught my attention. When he speaks about the Islamic world, he uses the word "we" over and over again. And when speaking about the West, he uses the word "they." When speaking, it is not clear whether this man is an MP from a country which has applied to join the EU, or a member of the Iranian Parliament.
    And so, the question to be posed to the kind of mentality which says that Islam should direct in every apsect of our lives is this then:
    What need do we have for the Turkish Parliament? Or the Constitutional Court? If we replace the laws with the Koran, and the Constitutional Court with the 'Seyhulislam,' we will achieve a real regime. And then a government in which your behavior while in the bathroom is even dictated.



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