The Beard and the Headscarve Issue
The Beard and the Turban Issue
I see the robe, turban, beard, and loose trousers as details. Muslims shouldn't drown in detail. Today many Muslims may be doing this. Choosing not to wear a turban, robe, or loose trousers shouldn't be construed as weakening the Muslim Turkish identity. From imams in mosques to members of Parliament, from governors to district officials, no one should be categorized as a sinner because of such things. [Nuriye Akman, Sabah daily, 1/23-30/95]
Is it necessary for women to cover their hair?
This issue is not as important as the essentials of faith and the pillars of Islam. It's a matter of secondary importance. Faith in God was revealed to our Prophet in Mecca. Then came the daily prescribed prayers. Such commands as giving alms, fasting, and pilgrimage came in Madina. In the sixteenth or seventeenth year of Muhammad's prophethood, Muslim women's heads were still uncovered. It was not included in the pillars of Islam or the essentials of faith. Those issues to which Islam gives priority should, out of our own devotion, be given priority while becoming a Muslim and communicating Islam to others.
If I remember correctly, you gave the same message in the 1990s when this issue created a lot of social tension.
Maybe I said the same thing. Let's not drown in detail. Let's not sacrifice big things for small things. [Ertugrul Ozkok, Hurriyet daily, 1/23-30/95]
Religion Allows No Force in its Name
You say that religion does not allow any force in its name. But isn't there contrary behavior in Turkey?
If this religion is God's religion, if it has fused with human nature, and if it is a message from God's attribute of Speech like a book or humanity created by His Power and Will, it does not create any contradiction between human life and the universe He created. Religion, humanity, and the universe are three different versions and expressions of the same truth. From this perspective, I don't believe or see any probability that the spirit of religion will conflict with human nature.
What should be said about those who, in the name of religion, say: "Wear this or that"?
One day a "natural" selection will take place and everything will return to its essence. In other words, religion will reveal its true reality. Thoughts that were added to religion later on will be removed. Those who appear strict and bigoted, who give room only to themselves in religious matters, may one day be crushed by their way of thinking. Religion will remain in its original form then, and its universality will reappear. As a result, everyone will find their place. [Ertugrul Ozkok, Hurriyet daily, 1/23-30/95]
Will Islam be implemented by force?
Some are worried that all of this is pretension and that tomorrow, when an administration based on Islamic principles comes power, these fourth- or fifth-degree matters will be imposed upon people, and it will be mandatory to cover the head.
This is perhaps due to a lack of knowledge regarding Islamic principles. If such a mistake were to be made, it would be contrary to what Islam teaches, something done without knowing Islam. In other words, those who accept Islam follow its commandments naturally. As for those who don't believe in Islam, leave them to their own understanding and life-style, for Islam's commands are obligatory only for Muslims. If there is anxiety that people will be forced to do this when Islamic principles are carried over into public life, it should be understood that such a forceful act is not Islamic. [Ertugrul Ozkok, Hurriyet daily, 1/23-30/95] 1
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