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From the Archive
Within Torment and Torture in This World and the Next One, God Is Never Unjust towards Human Beings (1)
The Balderdash of Prostration upon Reading Certain Quranic Verses during Performing Prayers
The Prohibition of Performing the Friday Congregational Prayers and Listening to Sermons inside the Harmful Mosques of the Muhammadans
The Axis of Evil which Supports Terrorism in our Modern Era (4): The Najd Region in Saudi Arabia
Does Congressman Tancredo Really Want to Bomb Mecca?
The Australian Criminal between Islamophobia and the Phobia of the West: The Scenario of Total Destruction after the New Zealand Massacre (3)
Femnists in Egypt
Venerable and Deified Clergymen of the Muhammadans Are, in Fact, Criminals in the Sight of the Lord God – PART II
Fatwas Part Fifty-One
Having Islam in our side against Wahabists
Quranic Terminology: The Difference between the Terms (Al-Alameen) and (Al-Alimeen)
This Salafist Father
"Wherever You May Be, Death Will Catch up with You, Even if You Were in Fortified Towers..." (Quran 4:78)
The Stoning Myth
About our Pilgrimage Journey to Mecca - PART IV
The Glorious Pearl of the Chinese Affair
The Sheikhs/Clergymen of the Muhammadans and Their Devilish Trade
The International Quranic Center (IQC) condemns the atrocity
The Rebuilder’s Tale
Torture within Quranist Viewpoint (13): On the Quranic Warning and Preaching to Avoid Torment
Reviewed by Stephen Schwartz
Writing Religion The Making of Turkish Alevi Islam
By: -

 
Alevi demonstrators carry portraits of 1993 martyrs, Kadiköy, Istanbul, March 31, 2012.

Dressler, an assistant professor of religious studies at Bayreuth University in Germany, writes that Alevism is viewed by "most insiders and outsiders" as "part of the Islamic tradition, although located on its margins," and most often described as heterodox and syncretic reflecting the influences of Sufism as well as the Shiite sect. And yet, "it is widely taken for granted that Alevism constitutes an intrinsic part of Anatolian and Turkish culture … carry[ing] an ancient Turkish heritage … [from] the depths of [the] Central Asian Turkish past."

 
Alevis constitute a sizable minority of Turkey's inhabitants, 10-15 percent of the national census, according to Dressler. The author contends that roughly 20-30 percent of these are Kurdish. Alevis are also present in the Turkish migrant communities in Germany and other Western European countries.
Despite these numbers, Turkish authorities have tended to disregard the Alevi sect, either by ignoring it or declaring it part of the dominant, state-administered Sunni Muslim community. This approach results in anti-Alevi discrimination. Alevis complain that they and their spiritual leaders are denied government support of the kind granted to Sunnis and their clerics. Alevis also call for the removal of the state-sponsored "Religious Culture and Ethics" curricula from schools or, at least, the inclusion in them of "adequate and positive" materials on Alevism. They further seek recognition of Alevi houses of worship with standing equal to mosques, churches, and synagogues. The most tragic example of their plight was a 1993 Islamist attack on an Alevi cultural celebration in a building set afire where thirty-seven people, mainly Alevis, perished.
Dressler has produced the first detailed study of Alevi history published in English. Although heavy with contemporary academic jargon, its breadth is encyclopedic. Notwithstanding its sometime convoluted form, Writing Religion is an important and necessary addition to Turkish studies.

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