'My blood boils when spineless psychopaths pretending to be atheists swear at my religion. These people, who have been raped, should be annihilated,' Macit wrote in one tweet.
An official from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) sparked controversy after he called for the “annihilation of atheists" on his Twitter account.
Mahmut Macit, a senior member of AKP’s Ankara
provincial board and keen user of social media, flared up on May 21 about insults against believers via Twitter. “My blood boils when spineless psychopaths pretending to be atheists swear at my religion. These people, who have been raped, should be annihilated,” Macit wrote in one tweet. He also argued that “insulting Islam could not be considered freedom of expression.”
His remarks came as renowned Turkish-Armenian linguist and former columnist Sevan Nişanyan was condemned to 13 months in prison for alleged blasphemy in a blog comment.
They also added more fuel to Turkey’s culture wars, reignited by a bill currently debated in the Turkish Parliament that foresees new restrictions on the sale and consumption of alcohol.
'My blood boils when spineless
psychopaths pretending to be atheist
swear at my religion.These people
which have been raped should be
annihilated,' Macit wrote in one tweet.
While reactions from twitter users were pouring in, Macit retaliated by writing that those who criticized the AKP government were “either seen as nude or holding a bottle of an alcoholic drink in their bio picture.”
This is not the first time that members of the AKP have stirred debate with comments about atheists. AKP Zonguldak deputy Özcan Ulupınar had said last year that “no benefits could come to society from an atheist youth.”
Recently a Turkish sociologist had likened atheism with autism, saying that autistic children can't go to heaven as they were “atheists due to a lack of a section for faith in their brains.”