The Fez

Turkish Imam born in 1292 AH (1875), Iskikipli Mehmed Atif Hoca was one of the most ardent opponents of nationalism promoted by the Young Turks.

A recognized ‘alim (teacher) and writer, he is the author of a landmark work published in 1342H (1924): Frenk Mukallitligi ve Sapka. While Kemal Atatürk had just taken power, starting his policy of forced secularization of Turkey, the Istanbul teacher reaffirmed the importance of having to manage the State with Shari’ah, condemning without compunction the Westernization of Muslims from his country. Alcohol, prostitution, theater, dancing, and the wearing of the Western hat were all objects of his criticism. Symbol for him, the acculturation of his people, the cover of the head of the infidel was also soon to be imposed by decree, by  Atatürk, who wanted to eradicate the wearing of the fez specific to Muslims. The logic was that of modernism, the consequences were violent. After several passages in prison, Turkish Imam was again arrested shortly after the purge following the riots against Atatürk throughout Anatolia. Sent to Ankara on the 10th joumada ath-thani 1344H (26/12/1925), he was tried a month later to be sentenced to death. He is hanged, like others after him, on 21 Rajab 1344H (4/02/1926).

Iskikipli Mehmed Atif Hoca

Valenciennes – France, 12 rajab 1440 Hijri