Thursday, May 18, 2006

Reform in Turkey

Yahoo! News reported A gunman opened fire Wednesday in Turkey's highest administrative court, killing a prominent judge and wounding four others in an attack the suspect called retaliation for a ruling against a teacher who wore an Islamic head scarf.

Islam: the Religion of Peace, but if you do something we dont like, we will kill you.
Four of the justices, including Judge Mustafa Yucel Ozbilgin, who died of gunshot wounds to the head, had voted in February against the promotion of an elementary school teacher who wore an Islamic-style head scarf outside of work

Allah Pundit blogged He’s being investigated for ties to Hezbollah (the Turkish version, not the Lebanese one), but he insists his jihad was of the freelance variety. Wouldn’t be the first time. Two things make this story significant. First, it demonstrates how potentially important the judiciary is to reforming Muslim countries. Egypt has two judges on trial right now for daring to challenge the results of last year’s elections. Reformists have been out protesting, and getting beaten up, on their behalf for weeks. (Here’s the latest.) Second, the shooting could tip political momentum in Turkey back towards secularism. The fundamentalists have been gaining ground for awhile now, as exemplified by the election of Erdogan as prime minister. Turkey’s secularist president and Erdogan’s political enemies wasted no time pointing fingers at him today. I’ll keep an eye on the story over the next week to see if there’s any fallout.

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