Don't stop talking.
February 26, 2008 11:17 AM   Subscribe

Qantara (meaning bridge in arabic) is a German based website looking to have dialogue with the Islamic world. Turkey is carrying out a radical revision of Islamic texts trying to define modern Islam. Through dossiers and dialogue and slideshows Qantara is helping this debate.
posted by adamvasco (9 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Also, for the subject of textual criticism and Islam, see this recent AskMe thread.
posted by eclectist at 11:38 AM on February 26, 2008

The argument is that Islamic religious tradition has been gradually hijacked by various - often conservative - cultures, seeking to use the religion for various forms of social control.

There, fixed that for me.

This is fantastic news, and a great initiative. I'd like to see all faiths peer review their tenets every so often. OpenDogma?
posted by butterstick at 12:00 PM on February 26, 2008

Great site; a quick look took me to a good article about the closing of the Iranian women's magazine Zanan. Bookmarked, with thanks.
posted by languagehat at 12:14 PM on February 26, 2008

It's peculiar that a rabidly secular state like Turkey (the government, I mean, not the population) would initiate the kind of reformation they are talking about in the second link. I would expect this sort of thing to come from academic theologians, but for the government itself to be the origin of this seems weird in light of all the Turkish head-scarf / fez brouhahas that one reads about. Can anyone provide some background on that angle?

Thanks for the site. I was interested in this article about a Pashtun Muslim pacifist who was a friend of Gandhi's.
posted by whir at 12:56 PM on February 26, 2008

Terrific post, thanks - and I second your background question whir.

Wish the informed would chime in on this one!
posted by Jody Tresidder at 3:43 PM on February 26, 2008

Could it have something to do with Turkey looking to get into the EU?

I know that there's pretty serious tension between the citizenry and the military and the various shades of religious ferver that both sides share but as to how it impacts the entry into the union - I got nuthin'.
posted by eclectist at 5:37 PM on February 26, 2008

I think that with the more secular elements of the government grudgingly realizing that the Islamic element is in Turkish politics to stay, they're more inclined to support a moderate type of Islam - encourage those they can work with. And the Islamic elements within the government at this time seem to be pretty moderate themselves. Doesn't seem like a surprising development, since both sides benefit from this sort of initiative.
Assuming it comes to anything, in the end. I mean, it'll take some time to see whether the wider Moslem world, or even the more conservative type of Turkish muslims, will participate or whether they will reject it as a cynical secularist ploy/blasphemous revisionism.
posted by AdamCSnider at 10:00 PM on February 26, 2008

Hey 19

Reformist Translation of the Quran
posted by hortense at 12:28 AM on February 28, 2008

Thanks hortense.
Who needs a Caliphate? from todays Comment is Free in the Guardian indicates that liberal Islam is indeed trying to take back and modernise their religion. Islam is in need of a "Reformation" and this is now happening, though like the Christian one it will be both slow and bloody.
posted by adamvasco at 5:51 AM on February 28, 2008

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