Islamophobia has turned into an industry, says Turkey’s top cleric
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
AA PhotoTurkey’s top cleric has said Islamophobia has been “turned into an industry” across the world to “spread fear.”
“Islamophobia, which has been turned into an industry, is trying to spread fear to hearts by using clashes and incidents in the Islamic world for cruel propaganda against Muslims,” said Mehmet Görmez, the head of the Directorate General for Religious Affairs (Diyanet), adding that a “letter of goodwill” prepared by Islamic scholars would soon be shared with heads of states and religious heads.
Speaking to the press after a “Peace and Moderation Permanent Contact Group” meeting in Ankara on Jan. 27, Görmez said the contact group was working on a roadmap and had decided to present a letter of goodwill.
“One of the topics that we discussed was about presenting a peace and goodwill letter everywhere we go. We have decided to present a goodwill letter from Islamic scholars to [other] Islamic scholars, the heads of religious institutions, wise men, and if necessary to heads of state,” he said.
Reading a section from the letter of goodwill, he said Islamophobia would “destroy the future and harm the conscience of the silent majority.”
Görmez said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu were the first people to whom they presented the letter.
The letter also stated that the contact group would work “to prevent clashes in the Islamic world from turning into permanent ethnic and racist structures.”
Görmez said ongoing conflicts in the Islamic world - including murders, suicide bombings, kidnappings, attacks on mosques, the destruction of holy shrines, and the displacement of millions of people - not only affected those living in the region, but also harmed general perceptions of Islam.
“[These incidents] cause Muslims to bend their heads,” he said, adding that this contributed to the social exclusion of Muslims living as minorities in other countries.
The letter also stated that a group of 10 people had been established for the tracking of decisions taken during the meeting.
Reading from the letter, Diyanet head Görmez said the common message of all holy prophets was the same as Islam’s message, which was a message of universal peace, against oppression, against killing, against riots and sedition, and in favor of taking everyone’s honor, life and lineage as untouchable.