Op-ed at the Turkish liberal Hurriyet: ‘Secularism and pluralism are incompatible with Islam’

It is not I who says that secularism and pluralism are incompatible with Islam. It comes from a qualified source. Namely from a well-known Islamic theologian and commentator who writes for the pro-government Yeni Şafak. I will give extensive excerpts from what Professor Hayrettin Karaman wrote in his column on May 25. I am solely to blame for any mistranslation:

The concept of secularism corresponds to that area concerned with general worldliness, the human area in which Allah and religion do not interfere. Laicism on the other hand represents the political dimension within this. Therefore, whether it is laicism or secularism, they foresee such an area in essence where religion definitely does not interfere.

If we come to Islam from this point, there is no private or general area in which religion under Islam does not interfere in. Those who say there is either do not know the matter, or know it but are misrepresenting it.

Karaman claims that this interference does not mean taking control of people’s will or their personalities to force them into a certain direction. He explains this in the following manner:

Under Islam, man has freedom of will. Responsibility, heaven, hell, and tribulations these are all associated with this freedom of will. But in terms of legislating, showing the correct path, and validating rules there is no area that religion does not intervene in.
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At the bottom of pluralism lies the relativity and equality of right and wrong, of good and bad. This goes against the essence of Islam.

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