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Writing ReligionThe Making of Turkish Alevi Islam$
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Markus Dressler

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199969401

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199969401.001.0001

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Nationalism, Religion, and Intercommunal Violence

Nationalism, Religion, and Intercommunal Violence

(p.78) 2 Nationalism, Religion, and Intercommunal Violence
Writing Religion

Markus Dressler

Oxford University Press

Following a theoretical discussion of the role of religion in the formation of nationalism, arguing against secularist assumptions and pointing in particular to the importance of religion in making nationalism plausible, this chapter then discusses the contributions of selected late Ottoman Muslim thinkers to an ethno-religious Turkish nationalism. The second part of the chapter turns to the concrete politics of nationalism in the last decade of the Ottoman Empire. Influenced by the trauma of the Balkan Wars, notions of ethnic and religious difference became in the later Young Turk period organizing principles of nation-building, reflected in techniques of social and demographic engineering, to which the nationalists increasingly subscribed. It is argued that this politics, which targeted primarily non-Turkish and non-Muslim groups, was motivated by fear of growing separatist movements similar to those that had triggered the implosion of Ottoman rule on the Balkans.

Keywords:   Balkan Wars, demographic engineering, ethno-religious separatism, intercommunal violence, nation-building, religion and nationalism, secularism, social engineering, Turkish nationalism, Young Turks

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