From my understanding of what Gelvin was saying, it seemed that the Ottomans attempted to implement some of the ideology that allowed the Europeans to progress but was often unsuccessful, and attempting these changes greatly affected religious doctrines and institutions. The European and “western” world’s willingness to separate religion from the policies may have been what allowed these changes to take control of beginning a more progressive society rather than the approach taken by Abdulhamid II, who strained to keep religion tightly linked to the state.
An interesting perspective I thought Gelvin was suggesting in Chapter 9 was that most argue whether or not secularism is needed for modernization, but on the other hand, a different question might be whether modernization leads to secularization or vise versa. Personally, it’s hard for me to imagine modernization with no secularization either way. I think this is because I associate current, progressive ideology and political systems as “modern”, and many religiously based structures for society seem outdated because they were developed so long ago in such a different time. In terms of the view that secularization might result from modernization, I can see this happening as different interpretations of an outdated, religiously based system gradually leading toward a more secular society.
I also definitely think it’s worth noting that our view of what is modern could be skewed as we see it only from our own version and way of life. Gelvin even notes that the “West” could be viewed as just as religious as the “East” where the west is primarily Christian and the East Islamic. As I was thinking about why I view the “West” as more modernized, I think that I associate equality with modernization. The U.S. demonstrates that inequality can definitely be present amongst modernization, but I think the separation of religion and state is allowing for more opportunities to address and find solutions to these issues. I think that ultimately, equality is the progression of the recognition of human rights, which may be the most important front of modernization.