Centuries-old Islamic provisions cannot be implemented today: Erdoğan

Centuries-old Islamic provisions cannot be implemented today: Erdoğan

Centuries-old Islamic provisions cannot be implemented today: Erdoğan

The commandments of Islam can and will never change, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, amid criticism over his earlier comments on the necessity for an “update” of Islamic regulations. 

“It is wrong for some individuals, who have no relation to the realities of life, to utter some words and confuse people. Nobody has the right to accuse our religion,” Erdoğan said at an event in Ankara on March 9.

He had criticized specific preachers on March 8, following Social Fabric Foundation head Nureddin Yıldız’s controversial comments about violence against women. “Women should be grateful to God because God allowed men to beat women and be relaxed,” Yıldız said on March 3 in a video posted online, stirring outrage.

Erdoğan also blasted Yıldız as “illiterate” on March 8, without directly citing his name.

“You cannot implement provisions dating back 14 or 15 centuries … Carrying out the regulations and traditions of a specific society at a specific date can only spoil them,” he said.

One day later, he underlined the importance of “adapting” religious practices to current historical and social conditions.

“We do not seek reform in religion, which is beyond our capability … Our holy Quran has and will always have words to say. Its commandments will never change. But the independent reasoning derived from them, the developed rules and their implementation will surely change according to the time, the conditions and the possibilities,” Erdoğan said.

Erdoğan also reiterated his call for the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) to take a more active role in addressing the issue.

“I do not have the authority to speak on such matters. But as a president, as a Muslim, and as a person who has responsibility, I cannot tolerate such discord brought to my religion,” he said.

“We cannot ignore the stain and the shadow that such people’s random words about women and youths have brought to Islam. Nobody has the right to cause such confusion and caricature our religion as such,” he added.

“The understanding that tries to depict Islam as a religion closed off to change and the understanding that attributes deviancies that have nothing to do with Islam to our religion only serve the same aim,” Erdoğan said.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey, customs,