ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
has slammed the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Arab League for not being able to stand together in Muslim unity.
as a major threat facing Islam, Erdoğan said he was saddened by people using the words “Turk” and “Arab.”
“Will there be a Turk League in response to this [the Arab league]? Why should there be [such a league]? You say the OIC on one hand, and the Arab League on the other hand. What kind of an issue is this? Why do we call one the Organization of Islamic Cooperation but call the other the Arab League? Arabs don’t have supremacy over non-Arabs, nor do non-Arabs have supremacy over Arabs. Supremacy only [comes] through surrendering to God [takva]. This is the core,” said Erdoğan, delivering a speech at the closing ceremony of a Turkish-Arab Higher Education Congress in Istanbul on April 28.
“We have lost our standards. We encounter problems because we have lost our standards. We need to re-discover these standards. We need to once again go back to our origins,” he added.
After taking over the two-year-long OIC presidency at the two-day 13th OIC summit in Istanbul on April 14 and April 15, Erdoğan vowed to do more work under the organization’s umbrella.
“I believe that it will be possible to do much more diverse work with you over the coming two years,” said Erdoğan.
Referring to the Turkish-Arab Higher Education Congress, he said cooperation with the OIC could be made, especially on the topic of education.
In a previous speech on the same day, Erdoğan vowed to change the operating system of the OIC
“Unfortunately, it is not possible to reach a consensus, take decisions that will turn into actions even in the most basic topics inside the OIC, which is the umbrella organization for Muslims,” said Erdoğan at a youth gathering organized by the ÖNDER Imam Hatip Vocational High Schools Alumni Association at Istanbul’s Sinan Erdem Sports Arena on April 28.
He also cited the other threats facing Islam as “sectarianism and terrorism.”
Stating that the Islamic world was threatened by the divide between Shiism and Sunnism, Erdoğan stressed that the two were not separate religions, but were only paths within Islam and no one should cast shadow on “our brotherhood as Muslims.”
“We will not engage in such discrimination,” he said.