Akyol says Islam was once a beacon of freedom compared to the Catholic world. This may be true, but it was a long time ago, 1,000 to 1,500 years ago. It was in the time of the Byzantine empire when Romans were killing people for not being Christian or not accepting what the government/religious leaders declared was true. People fled that had headed to Baghdad where non-sacred things, like the size of the earth or how far away the sun is were not declared sacred by religion. It was a place you could go and read books from all over the world without fear of punishment. You could ask questions about how the world worked and not have to give an answer that included "God". That ended a long time ago in that part of the world and Turkey is no more influenced by it now than Iran is. Instead of claiming that ancient ancestors of one country were once better than ancient ancestors of another, maybe we should discuss values in general and how to encourage people to live by those values.
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