Deputy PM Bozdağ: Updating Islam does not mean reformation

Published 16.03.2018 00:00

Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesperson Bekir Bozdağ said Thursday that neither the Turkish government nor the Presidency of Religious Affairs (DİB) is trying to reform Islam.

Bozdağ said that DİB will take on a more active role to clear up the confusion caused by some clerics recently.

Speaking to the media in Ankara, alongside DİB President Professor Ali Erbaş, Bozdağ focused on the recent discussions on "updating Islam."

"Islam cannot be reformed and there is no one that can claim Islam needs reformation," he said. "All we are saying is that comments of some preachers that are not based on the primary sources of Islam, the Quran and Hadiths, may need to be updated."

Discussions about "updating Islam" started last week when President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan slammed some preachers, who justified violence against women and defended other forms of misogyny with false references to Islam.

"Recently, some people claiming to be clerics issued statements that are in contradiction to Islam. It is hard to understand. They have no place in our times. They don't know that Islam needs to be updated and is accordingly updated. You can't apply the practices of 15 centuries ago to today. Islam changes and adapts to the conditions of different ages. This is the beauty of Islam," Erdoğan said on March 8.

Deputy Prime Minister Bozdağ also said that they will invite all the religious opinion leaders in the coming days to explain their views and avoid misunderstanding about this issue.

Professor Erbaş, on the other hand, said that they are working to include more women in official positions and women clerics will take on more roles in the coming days.

Reminding of the recent appointment of Professor Huriye Martı as one of his deputies, the highest office ever held by a woman in the directorate, Erbaş said they will select and appoint female deputy muftis in all provinces across Turkey.

"We will select and appoint female deputy muftis in all our provinces as soon as possible," he said, adding that a consultation meeting under the title "Islam and Woman" will be held soon with women theologians.

Erbaş added that his directorate will take a more active role in exposing the real faces of terrorist organizations like the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and Daesh, which abuse religion.

"Some terrorist organizations like FETÖ and Daesh deceive our people by using Islam. We will organize various events across Turkey and will inform our people about the real faces of these terrorist organizations," he said.

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