Monday, October 24, 2005

Luther Heading for Mecca?

Islamic Calvinists. Change And Conservatism In Central Anatolia - Reports - Turkey - ESI

The different reports from the European Stability Initiative are always worth reading, but very few of them more than this one.

It's about the developments in the province of Kayseri in Central Anatolia in Turkey. And it's not only relevant to any discussion about Turkey and the European Union, but has implications for a discussion on wider trends within the wider sphere of Islam as well.

To borrow from the summary of the report:

"Central Anatolia, with its rural economy and patriarchal, Islamic culture, is seen as the heartland of this 'other' Turkey. Yet in recent years, it has witnessed an economic miracle that has turned a number of former trading towns into prosperous manufacturing centres."

"This new prosperity has led to a transformation of traditional values and a new cultural outlook that embraces hard work, entrepreneurship and development. While Anatolia remains a socially conservative and religious society, it is also undergoing what some have called a 'Quiet Islamic Reformation'."

"Many of Kayseri's business leaders even attribute their economic success to their 'protestant work ethic'.

Is Luther preparing a march on Mecca - starting in Central Anatolia?