Government Instructs Imams to Address Women's Rights, "Honor Killings"

May 9, 2004

Source: Chicago Tribune,1,7819440.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed

On May 9, 2004 the Chicago Tribune reported, "Turkey's young governing party, with roots in political Islam, has confounded critics and some supporters alike by transforming the nation's 70,000 mosques into bully pulpits from which preachers advocate women's rights and other democratic reforms. The government's Directorate of Religious Affairs, which dictates the all-important Friday sermons, has instructed the nation's imams to turn their spiritual guidance to the arena of human rights and ridding Turkey of unwanted vestiges of traditional society. Rather than the calls to holy war that echo through mosques in some parts of the world, worshipers here are being told that 'honor killings,' in which men murder female relatives suspected of tarnishing the family name, are a sin as well as against the law. Those attending services also are hearing about formerly taboo subjects, such as a need for equality of the sexes in the home and the workplace and women's reproductive rights."