Murat Cem Menguc explains the paradox of "Turkish Islam." Most Turkish Muslims describe themselves as Hanafi. It's a Sunni sect founded on the teachings of Abu Hanifa, an 8th century orthodox Muslim who refused to eat things that the Koran didn't approve of, including watermelon and shellfish. But most Hanafi Turkish Muslims eat both, including a deep fried clam sandwich made with fresh bread and tartar sauce that's a popular late night snack. Menguc concludes:
At a time when we are witnessing a chain of revolutions, arguing that Turks have invented an ideal Islamic model highlights the fact that the West is still looking for an Islam of its own version rather than observing the existing trends. Those who argue that a moderate Islamic conservatism is an antidote against fundamentalist Islam, and want to export it to the Muslim people should take a look at the European outlet stores in the Middle East or observe the duty free liquor stores of their home town international airports. Most Muslims already live their lives according to their customs and speculative reason. Orthodox men like Abu Hanifa remain the kings of their own dinner table.
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