Religious-Based Politics Harm Faith- Turkish President
Turkish President Abdullah Gül has warned Muslim countries against seeking religious-based politics, saying parties that promise such rule would ultimately harm the faith.
If a political party that comes out in the name of Islam fails, it will defame and humiliate the religion itself, Gül told a Tunisian television channel. “If one comes forward, saying one is ‘religious’ and then fails, what will be harmed? Thus, one has more responsibility [to be wise]. Furthermore, policy should not be conducted based on religion,” he said. “If religion directly becomes a tool for politics, that would hurt religion a lot,” he said.
“Because of this, Turkey does not have religious parties,” Anatolia news agency quoted him as saying. Still, Gül said the rise of Islamist parties reflected “the flow of the people to their own channel.”
The statements echo previous comments from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who advised Egyptians last September to not fear secularism. “I suggest that Egypt should have a secular constitution, because secularity is not an enemy of religion,” Erdoğan said in Cairo. “Do not fear secularity. I hope the new regime in Egypt will be a secular one.”
Gül also advised Muslim countries to adopt democracy, accountability and transparency, saying democracy and Islam did not contradict each other.