- Munawar Ahmad Anees, Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief, Periodica Islamica 22 Jalan Liku, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA
No discussion on bioethics can ever afford to ignore the status of women in society. Irrespective of the politics of Kemalist revolution, the "emancipation" of women in Turkey remains a contested one: we continue to hear about discriminatory attitudes and practices towards those women wanting to wear a head-scarf as a matter of personal choice.
Indeed, the religious edict on organ and tissue transplantation appears generously permissive. However, it is not clear if the edict extend to ALL organs and tissues in their strictly biological connotation.
On the permissibility of abortion, one would like to have some clarification on the legislative basis: state vis a vis religious. According to the Hanafi school of thought, to which most of the Turkish Muslims belong, therapeutic abortion is allowed up to the first 120 days in pregnancy.
Similarly, on issues such as euthanasia and genetic engineering, the legal boundaries appear to be clouded between religious and the so-called secular law. Are we to believe that these two legislative sources are being invoked in Turkey in an interchangeable manner. Is this a marriage of convenience?
These questions are important in the context of other Muslim countries where people are struggling to find answers to these problems in the light of Qur'an and teachings of the Prophet.