A “model” Islamic education from Turkey?

By Reuters Staff
February 25, 2010
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Turkish girls at the Kazim Karabekir Girls' Imam-Hatip School, 10 Feb 2010/Murad Sezer

Teach Islam at German universities – academic council report

February 2, 2010
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Humboldt University in Berlin, 8 Jan 2010/Friedrich Petersdorff

Germany should set up centres for Islamic studies at two or three state universities to educate Muslim scholars, teachers and pastoral workers for its large Muslim minority, an academic advisory council has said. The Council on Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat) said the lack of such institutes at universities, which already teach Christian and Jewish theology, “does not do justice to the importance of the largest non-Christian faith community in Germany.”

Agca says he is a messiah who will write a “perfect Bible”

January 13, 2010
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A hand-written letter by Mehmet Ali Agca released by his lawyers on 13 Jan 2010/Umit Bektas

Mehmet Ali Agca, the man who tried to kill Pope John Paul

January 13, 2010
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Pope John Paul meets Mehmet Ali Agca in Rome's Rebibbia prison on 27 Dec 1983/Vatican photo

Does Europe’s new prez really think it’s a Christian club?

November 20, 2009

rompuy1Europe’s new president, Herman Van Rompuy, is little known outside his native Belgium. One of the few background facts about him circulating since his election is his opposition to Turkish membership in the European Union.  The operative quote, expressed in a 2004 speech when he was an opposition deputy in the Belgian parliament, is:

Muslim creationism is back in the news, this time in Egypt

November 16, 2009

darwinm-portraitMuslim creationism is back in the news. There’s been a spate of articles in the U.S. and British press recently about the spread of this scripture-based challenge to Darwinian evolution among Muslims, mostly in the Middle East but also in Europe. The fact that some Muslims have embraced creationism, a trademark belief of some conservative American Protestants, is not new. Reuters first wrote about it in 2006 — “Creation vs. Darwin takes Muslim twist in Turkey” – and this blog has run several posts on the issue, including an interview with Islam’s most prominent creationist, Harun Yahya. What’s new is that these ideas seem to be spreading and academics who defend evolution are holding conferences to discuss the phenomenon.

Muslims angry at German soccer club over song

August 4, 2009

German Muslims have inundated one of the country’s top soccer teams, Schalke 04, with complaints about a verse in the club’s anthem which, they say, is disparaging towards the Prophet Mohammad.

from Global News Journal:

One dent at a time, Turkey’s nation-state edifice erodes

July 31, 2009

"Happy is he who calls himself a Turk."

One of the first things that catches your attention when you drive out of the airport of Diyarbakir, the largest city in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast, is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's famous phrase engraved on mountain slopes in big white letters.

Orthodox renew hope Turkey will re-open historic seminary

July 8, 2009

Empty classroom at the Orthodox Halki seminary, Sept. 2006The silent halls and empty classrooms tended by elderly priests at a former Greek Orthodox seminary on an island off the Istanbul coast belie the crucible the school has become in Muslim Turkey’s quest to join the European Union.

Turkish TV gameshow looks to convert atheists

July 3, 2009

game-showGiven the popularity of glitzy television gameshows of all sorts, it was probably inevitable that some secular channel somewhere one would come up with one about religion. Turkey’s Kanal T television station now has.