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17 Mar 2008

Just how ‘revolutionary’ is Turkey’s hadith project?

Senem Aydin Düzgit

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A project initiated by Turkey’s official religious authority, the Diyanet, has attracted considerable attention from international media and been and “a controversial and radical modernisation of the religion”. Known as the ‘hadith project’, it calls, inter alia, for rendering the Prophet’s message in a comprehensible language and amending interpretations that no longer have any value. This Commentary elaborates the project in order to understand where it stands with respect to attempts to combat radical strands of Islam. The author also offers a cautious analysis of whether this initiative can be characterised as a ‘revolution’ or simply as a ‘reform’ of Islam.