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Missed Opportunity: The Politics of Police Reform in Egypt and Tunisia
The Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia
The Holy Quran and the Destruction of the Al-Saud Family:
The Repentance of Hypocrites
The Maturity of the US
Birth of the Quranist trend and Ahmed Subhy Mansour
Why Islam?
Questions about fanatic fatwas and my fatwas
To define its missions: Mission 3: Reform Muslims
Iran's 'Think Tank' Outreach
Concept of Jihad, the core of war of ideas
The Israelites and Moses in Post-Pharaoh Egypt: The Two Appointments of Moses at Mount Al-Tur
This Concerns God the Almighty, O People!
Women's Rights in Islam
This Salafist Father
Behaving Proudly and Arrogantly Without Justification (1 of 2)
Questions to Test the Fanatics Muslim leaders in the US
The Ability to Renounce: You Either Worship God Alone or Be a Slave to your Fancies
The Right of Qualified Women to Be Prayers' Imams of Male Congregations in Mosques
Torture within Quranist Viewpoint (12): On Avoiding Torment by Repentance
Reviewed by Stephen Schwartz
Writing Religion The Making of Turkish Alevi Islam
By: -

 
Alevi demonstrators carry portraits of 1993 martyrs, Kadiköy, Istanbul, March 31, 2012.

Dressler, an assistant professor of religious studies at Bayreuth University in Germany, writes that Alevism is viewed by "most insiders and outsiders" as "part of the Islamic tradition, although located on its margins," and most often described as heterodox and syncretic reflecting the influences of Sufism as well as the Shiite sect. And yet, "it is widely taken for granted that Alevism constitutes an intrinsic part of Anatolian and Turkish culture … carry[ing] an ancient Turkish heritage … [from] the depths of [the] Central Asian Turkish past."

 
Alevis constitute a sizable minority of Turkey's inhabitants, 10-15 percent of the national census, according to Dressler. The author contends that roughly 20-30 percent of these are Kurdish. Alevis are also present in the Turkish migrant communities in Germany and other Western European countries.
Despite these numbers, Turkish authorities have tended to disregard the Alevi sect, either by ignoring it or declaring it part of the dominant, state-administered Sunni Muslim community. This approach results in anti-Alevi discrimination. Alevis complain that they and their spiritual leaders are denied government support of the kind granted to Sunnis and their clerics. Alevis also call for the removal of the state-sponsored "Religious Culture and Ethics" curricula from schools or, at least, the inclusion in them of "adequate and positive" materials on Alevism. They further seek recognition of Alevi houses of worship with standing equal to mosques, churches, and synagogues. The most tragic example of their plight was a 1993 Islamist attack on an Alevi cultural celebration in a building set afire where thirty-seven people, mainly Alevis, perished.
Dressler has produced the first detailed study of Alevi history published in English. Although heavy with contemporary academic jargon, its breadth is encyclopedic. Notwithstanding its sometime convoluted form, Writing Religion is an important and necessary addition to Turkish studies.

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