The Constitution is something we all take for granted in a era where there are accusations about the Constitution that the Founding Fathers have built. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the key player in the AKP party of Turkey, and the current president of this regime, has just recently made a constitutional reform that will drastically change the way the country is governed. Turkey’s fundamental part of the constitution that maintains it as a secular republic is now hanging in the balance, coming under threat of Islamic nationalism.
This has a big effect on the minorities of Turkey, both Jews or Christians that live abroad or are of dual nationality. This means that those people of dual nationality are even more likely to value the ideals of American freedom of ideas and the separation of government and religion. However, the threat in Turkey is greatest for journalists who have had the highest amount of human rights based solely on the fact that they have an opinion which makes them an enemy of the state. According to a CPJ (Committee to Protect Journalists) special report by Elena Beiser for the second year in a row, the number of journalists who have been imprisoned for their work is high. One can’t help but see how superficial the a “social justice warrior” mentality comes off as being fake to those who actually have a real fear and safety for their life in a certain country, and now what it really is like to be in danger of your life for having an opinion.
This is one of the key constitutional values of (which the court system has frequently sided with in many cases) freedoms which makes America so unique and special, not to mention important to those who actually value freedom and the right to live their life in the way they believe to be right, and being able to not be afraid of being labelled an enemy of the state. The new leftist ideology which incites the idea that the Constitution may somehow be “out of date” is one of the most atrocious claims they seem they feel the need to make. It makes you wonder if all these social justice warrior liberals have actually experienced life anywhere outside their bubble of the East Coast or the far West (just look at Berkeley).
The other remark that is seemingly made about Islamic nationalism is that it is a “feminist” religion, which defies all common sense, based on what we know about sharia law. Sharia law is also the only religious guide that governs not only Muslims, but also anyone else that does not follow the Islamic faith in countries such as Saudi Arabia, which just recently had a court case which just recently gave women the right to drive.
According to Pew Reports’ research, the number of Muslims who believe Sharia should extend to non-Muslims is sizable, which in its self is a frightening statistic. “The belief that sharia should extend to non-Muslims is most widespread in the Middle East and North Africa, where at least four-in-ten Muslims in all countries except Iraq (38%) and Morocco (29%) hold this opinion. Egyptian Muslims (74%) are the most likely to say it should apply to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, while 58% in Jordan hold this view.” With this being said, the argument that freedom of religion in the Constitution should apply to everyone is a tricky one. Because we have a unique part of our Constitution which states that religious bodies and government ones have to maintain a strict differentiation as one of the foundations of this country. Islam is unique in the way in which their code and rule of law applies to the rest of the population other than their own followers. No other law of religion (Canon Law, for example, the laws that govern the Church) has been set up in such a way where it interferes with others’ liberty. In this sense, it is reasonable to assume that Islam is uniquely capable of undermining all of America’s core constitutional values.
About the author: A half-Turkish American born in Texas, now living in New York, who has family that works for the Turkish government directly.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Geller Report.