Can Religion Defeat Religious Ignorance?

Turkey is currently embroiled in a religious debate concerning the extent to which religion can be allowed in its education system. The overwhelming majority of Turks are Muslim, but about 40% cling to strong secular tenets which forbid religion in school. Sevki Aydin, of the Religious Affairs Dirtectorate, argued a major problem is lack of well educated religious leaders in his nation. He argues those who founded the modern Republic wanted to use religion in order to create republican minded citizens who accepted the concept of separation of church and state. He believes the inability to find enough theology graduates forces the Directorate to employ “imam-hatip graduates” who lack sophisticated knowledge of religion.

The Religious Affairs Directorate is currently engaged in a project to re-interpret the Koran in light of modern conditions which seeks to connect Mohammed with contemporary situations rather than relying on what some imam said four hundred years ago.

Perhaps, Sevki Aydin has identified a serious problem in the Muslim world. Men like Osama bin Laden who are not Koran scholars insist their interpretations are accurate. If more highly trained imams were able to present their views, Muslims might have more accurate information upon which to make decisions.