Headscarf politics

I often have occasion to complain about the nasty politics of the religious right in the United States. Still, to keep things in perspective, I should also be grateful it’s not an Islamic religious right, and that our political culture, as corrupt as it is, is at least not a Middle Eastern political culture.

Here’s an example from a Turkish Islamist newspaper, Vakit. It’s old news, from last month, and Türkan Saylan, the woman pictured, just died a week or two ago. But the level of nastiness is still impressive.

The commentary next to the picture of the dying Saylan, undergoing chemotherapy and its associated hair loss in the last stages of her struggle with cancer, is supposed to be a comment by a reader. It says “She dedicated her life to enmity toward the [Islamic] headscarf. At the end of her life she was forced to wear a headscarf. My God you are capable of everything!”

Saylan was a leading medical doctor, and a staunch secularist, much reviled by the Islamist press.

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About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University