Alevism Omitted Again In Turkish School Books of Religious Studies

Despite promises made by Turkish Minister of Education, new school books for religious education in Turkey are again void of any reference to Alevism which is regarded as the most tolerant, moderate and inclusive version of Islam, with a following of about 25% of Turkey’s population. Alevis oppose compulsory religious education in schools that teaches only Sunni Islam.

The Sunni establishment, represented by the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), refuses to recognize Alevism as a religion, denies Alevis the right to build their own houses of worship (cemevi) and imposes upon them to pray in mosques.

The Alevi leaders have expressed their disappointment and stressed that a secular state cannot have an official religion and it must stand at equal distance to all religions.  Izzettin Dogan, the President of the Cem Foundation said that the ruling AKP government is a Sunni government, as it openly demonstrates. He added that they have filed 2000 lawsuits, also in European Court of Human Rights, against the AKP government, and once they are finalized the Alevis will be better heard.

Source: Hurhaber, Turkey , September 17, 2007

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