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Islam and secularism

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Muslim Constitution Religion

The role of Islam or religion in the Muslim countries as outlined in the constitutions. Including Islamic or secular states.

The idea of secularism in Islam means favoring a modern secular democracy with separation of church and state, as opposed to Islam as a political movement. Secularism is often condemned by Muslims who do not feel that religious values should be removed from the public sphere.[1] There are many countries which are extremely secular although living under Islamic rules, or vice versa (secular state with a devoted Muslim population).


Over the last century, there has been a strong tradition of secularism in Turkey. The Republic of Turkey is a secular state since 1937 under the Kemalist ideology and Atatürk's reforms. Although an overwhelming majority of the population, at least nominally, adheres to Islam, the state neither has an official religion nor promotes any, and it actively monitors ("active neutrality") the area between the religions. The practice of Turkish Laïcité, established around the concept of "public reason", claims that activities falling outside of the private sphere should be secular.

The Constitution asserts that Turkey is a secular and democratic republic, deriving its sovereignty from the people. Sovereignty rests with the Turkish Nation, who delegate its exercise to an elected unicameral parliament, the Turkish Grand National Assembly.

During the Turkish presidential election in 2007 secularists feared that a president from the AK - a party with Islamist roots - could undermine Turkey's secular order.[2] Mr. Gul’s candidacy goes to the heart of the secular-religious debate, because the presidency is such a revered symbol with real powers — he is commander in chief and has a veto. Turkish military leaders in the past have remarked that they would refuse to visit the presidential palace if a woman in a head scarf were living in it.[3]

Secular states with majority Muslim populations





See also



  1. From the article on secularism in Oxford Islamic Studies Online
  2. BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Turkey 'must have secular leader'
  3. Presidential Pick in Turkey Is Sign of a Rising Islamic Middle Class - New York Times
  4. [1] Article 31
  5. 5.0 5.1 [2] Article 1
  6. [3] Article 1 (1)
  7. [4] Article 25
  8. [5] Article 1
  9. [6] Article 1.6/2.6
  10. [7] Article 1 (1)
  11. [8] Article 1 (1)
  12. [9] Article 1
  13. [10] Section 1: Foundations of the constitutional order, Article 1
  14. [11] Article 7/Article 18
  15. [12] Constitution of Turkey Characteristics of the Republic: Article 2, Provisions Relating to Political Parties: Article 68, Oath taking: Article 81, Oath: Article 103, Department of Religious Affairs: 136, Preservation of Reform Laws: 174
ms:Muslim sekular

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