aztec_mummy (aztec_mummy) wrote in atheism,

American Unreason [again]. Also, the struggle for secular Turkey.

Dumb and Dumber: Are Americans Hostile to Knowledge?

Ms. Jacoby said, something different is happening: anti-intellectualism (the attitude that “too much learning can be a dangerous thing”) and anti-rationalism (“the idea that there is no such things as evidence or fact, just opinion”) have fused in a particularly insidious way.

Not only are citizens ignorant about essential scientific, civic and cultural knowledge, she said, but they also don’t think it matters.
In part, she lays the blame on a failing educational system. “Although people are going to school more and more years, there’s no evidence that they know more,” she said.

Ms. Jacoby also blames religious fundamentalism’s antipathy toward science, as she grieves over surveys that show that nearly two-thirds of Americans want creationism to be taught along with evolution.

Will Muslim veil split secular Turkey?

The Turkish parliament recently adopted a government bill lifting a decades-old ban on wearing the hijab - a headscarf used by Muslim women to cover their hair.
Many in Turkey are concerned that the ruling elite will bring back other religious-based clothing, leading to a reversal of Ataturk's much-lauded secularization and, eventually, Turkey's gradual Islamization.
Mustafa Akaydin(rector of the Antalya-based Mediterranean University), called the government's attempts to lift the ban on headscarves in universities a "turning point in Turkish history and the most serious attack on the principles of the founder of the Turkish Republic since November 10, 1938 [the date of Kemal Ataturk's death]." He observed that this was "only the beginning that is bound to undermine the republic's secular foundations and turn Turkey into a Sharia state."
After the bill was approved by parliament, Prime Minister Erdogan told the press that "Turkish politicians have a big achievement to their credit - they have destroyed rigid secular prejudices."

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