Does Religion Make People Moral?

Source: The New York Times

By Mustafa Akyol, a contributing opinion writer, is a visiting fellow at the Freedom Project at Wellesley College.

Over the past 15 years, my country, Turkey, has gone through a colossal political revolution. The traditional secular elite that identifies with the nation’s modernist founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, has been replaced by religious conservatives who, until recently, were largely powerless and marginalized. The religious conservatives have by now come to dominate virtually all institutions of the state, as well as the media and even much of the business sector. In short, they have become the new ruling elite.


This political revolution has had an inadvertent outcome. It has tested the ostensible virtues of these religious conservatives — and they have failed. They have failed this test so terribly that it raises the question of whether religiosity and morality really go hand in hand, as so many religious people like to claim.

The religious conservatives have morally failed because they ended up doing everything that they once condemned as unjust and cruel. For decades, they criticized the secular elite for nepotism and corruption, for weaponizing the judiciary and for using the news media to demonize and intimidate their opponents. Yet after their initial years in power, they began repeating all of the same behavior they used to condemn, often even more blatantly than their predecessors.

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1 reply

  1. Reblogged this on Progressive Islam. and commented:
    Yes, the purppose of a religion of God make people a excellent morality as human being that God created. God sent a prophet to convey His laws and to be a role model of morality.

    Unfortunately people or clerics use his religion for his interest, use for political ti gain the power. On other words Clerics or religious leaders misuse religion in wrong direction and make a bad image of his religion for example: the extremist clerics ( Islam, Christian, Buddhasm etc) persecute and kill innocent people in the name of his religion.

    Nowadays the extremist Isis, Jihadith etc kill people in the name of Islam. The extremist extremist Muslim persecute Ahmadiyyah, Sufi, Shiah and Christain in the name of Islam.

    My conclusion
    Those who follow his religion professionally and rightly will be a good Muslim, lovely Muslim, tolerant muslim, generous Muslim, prosperous Muslim showing a good morality.

    But those who follow the contaminated Islam will make Muslim inmoral—make Muslim poverty— make Muslim terrorist etc

    What we see Muslim community nowadays are bad Muslim and good Muslim.

    Frankly speaking; God say in Al Quran only few Muslim are a good Muslim that can enter Heaven, most Muslim are bad Muslim.

    And surely, We gave you authority on the earth and appointed for you therein provisions (for your life). Little thanks do you give. (It means that few people enter God’s Heaven or Paradise.) Q. 7;10.

    This is my comment from Progressive Muslim
    All our love ❤️

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