Noted Turkish archeologist, Muazzez Ilmiye Cig argues the eadscarf controversy that is tearing religious and secular Turkey to pieces essentially is based on erroneous beliefs about the Muslim religion. For some, wearing the headscarf is an individual expression of religious faith while to others it is an attack on the secular nature of Turkish society. The Turkish parliament this week voted overwhelmingly to remove the ban against women wearing a headscarf at the univeristy.
Ms. Cig’s research reveals the initial idea of wearing a veil stems from the Sumerians and a priestess wore it while having a sexual encounter with a male. She argues the issue of the headscarf is a political one, not religious. Ataturk introduced western schools which competed with the Koranic and thus created tension. He conceived secularism as a means of having separation of church and state, and never regarded it as being anti-religion. “In other words, the young women are welcome to wear the headscarf, but no on government premises. It so happens that the headscarf is a rrligious ysmbol.butsides, it is one that incorrectly invokes religon.”
Ms. Cig’s arguement is that the Koran contains many ambiguous ideas and the current emphasis on wearing a headscarf is not actually a requirement of the Koran but stems from some Muslims who interpret it to mean that.