Turkish Alevi Seek Equal Rights

Turkey’s Alevi community is a religious group which differs from other branches of the Muslim religion. It is more flexible in its approach to the Muslim faith and does not support a religious control of society as do so many fundamentalists. Alevi supporters are planning massive rallies all over Turkey to demonstrate the need for equal rights. They want all examples of prejudice and discrimination against the religion to be voided. Their demands include making state-run religious classes non-compulsory, having their religious houses of worship recognized by the government and full implementation of citizenship. It is part of their believe that all groups and religions should be treated in an equal manner.

Alevi leaders object to efforts by the government to push for assimilation of the Alevi religion within existing Muslim entities. A few efforts by the Justice and Development Party have been made such as aiding a few pages of information about the Alevi religion in textbooks and sometimes turning a blind eye to failure of Alevi students to attend compulsory religious classes.

There is no question the Alevi religion is the most liberal and open within the Muslim religion. It is time for them to be accepted as Muslims.

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