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POLITICS > Turkish PM Erdoğan: Islamophobia, anti-Semitism same

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‘Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity,’ says Erdoğan. AA photo

‘Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity,’ says Erdoğan. AA photo

Islamophobia must be recognized as a crime against humanity in the same fashion that Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism should be, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said yesterday.

Speaking at the “Fifth Alliance of Civilizations Forum” in Vienna’s Hofburg Palace, the prime minister underlined the rising trend of fascism across the Europe. “We are facing a world in which racist attacks have gained momentum, terrorism has claimed more lives, and religions and sects treat each other with less understanding,” Erdoğan said.

“In a similar fashion, I must state that rising racism in Europe is a serious problem for the Alliance of Civilizations Project,” Erdoğan said, adding that the “disrespectful” attitudes to Muslims in certain countries hurt consciences.

“Aside from countries indifferent to Muslim countries, disrespectful attitudes toward Muslims living in certain countries continue to hurt consciences,” said Erdoğan.

“We witness very frequently the alienation of the ‘other’ in various countries instead of efforts to understand the culture and beliefs of the ‘other,’” he said.

“Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity,” Erdoğan said, slamming politicians who use communication tools to deepen the gap between cultures.

“Certain politicians’ defamation of a religion or a sect by mass communication tools only makes pre-conceived notions bigger and deepens the gap,” Erdoğan said.

In a related development, EU Minister Egemen Bağış, who accompanied Erdoğan on the one-day trip, slammed a far-right Belgian politician, Filip Dewinter, after the latter posted a photo on his Twitter account showing a woman and a girl wearing hijabs standing next to garbage bags with a caption reading, “find the 5 differences.”
“Someone stepped up, an insolent person who I don’t feel like calling human, and put together the women wearing hijabs and garbage bags,” Bağış said Feb. 26 in Ankara, describing Dewinter’s move as “Islamophobic.” The post has also drawn criticism in Belgium.

The prime minister also touched on the Mali crisis. “If we evaluate the current developments in Mali as if they were based on religion, it would be a historic mistake,” Erdoğan said.

“Members of different religions in Mali are not fighting against each other. There could be acts of terrorism in Mali but to define such violence as part of a religion would not be correct since no monotheistic religion encourages terrorism. Islam means ‘peace.’ We can never accept arguments that a religion of peace, Islam, encourages or approves terrorism,” Erdoğan said.

Turkey’s EU membership would be a highly meaningful and crucial step for the success of the Alliance of Civilizations, Erdoğan also said, while criticizing world powers over their lack of response to the Syrian crisis. “Unfortunately, the modern globe has not given a good account of itself on the Syrian issue,” Erdoğan said. “When the number of those killed in the past two years in Syria has reached around 70,000, and when dozens of innocent children, women and civilians get killed in Syria, the world’s silence seriously hurts the feelings of justice.”

In addition to Bağış, Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız and Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Şahin also joined Erdoğan on the trip.

February/28/2013

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illawarrior hill

3/24/2013 4:36:44 AM

I read a comment on this topic in another forum, and it made sense. A phobia is a fear, thus islamophobia is a fear of islam. The writer of the comment suggested that the real issue was islamo-nausea, because people were not afraid of islam, just sick of it. What word do muslims use to describe their hatred of the west? their hatred of jews? etc etc etc Does Ergodan also speak out against those words?

Mackie Messer

3/4/2013 3:02:17 PM

Islamophobia is a neologism devised by the Muslim Brotherhood as a tool to demonize and marginalize any speaker with whom you disagree. It is designed to shut down any criticism of Islam, however rational and dispassionate. It replaces the earlier misuse of "racist" (as if Islam were a race) for the same purpose. There are already laws to deal with real crimes such as physical assault or incitement to harm others or discrimination in employment, healthcare or elsewhere.

Khalid M Bhatti Helsingor

3/2/2013 12:14:12 PM

The Prime Minister Recep Tiyep erdogan said well that Islamophobia should be treat as crime. But on the countary the Anti-semitism is a mere fantasy. The word anti-semitism is found to inflict injuries on the humanmind and freedom of speech etc. The victims of world wars 1st and 2nd were not the jews but gypsies and other minorities, if it is correct as it been said of nazi atrosties against the jews. But still noone tries to realize that why all the compensations being given to jews.

Christensen Niels

3/2/2013 1:05:17 AM

For Erdogan everything he doesn't agree with is a crime against humanity. Last year it was Germany demand that people living in Germany should learn german. Now next year it must be China's treatment of the Uyghur people.

gordon coombes

3/2/2013 1:05:12 AM

Bigotry is bigotry. The religious or racist bigot characterizes the group they fear and hate as having a secret agenda to control or destroy those of other faiths or race or culture or nationality. The bigot characterizes the' other ' as being evil and or demonic as being manipulative and untrustworthy . The anti-Semite and the Islamophobe are both guilty of over generalization and accepting as fact mere rumours ,old wives tales , lies and handed down twisted fabrications without any veracity.

Lyautey LHG

3/1/2013 11:32:13 PM

Where is turkey's zero problem policy gone? issues with Bagdhad over Kurdistan, Issues with Iran and Russia over Syria.. frozen relations with Israel, competition with Egypt. Cold war with Armenia and Cyprus...and now, its stand is even at risk within NATO! It's quiet worrying for Turkey to realize how this great idea by Davutoglu has vanished in just a few years! Turkey is wasting its potential as a regional power

american american

3/1/2013 9:12:28 PM

murat, you make a good analogy except for one thing. any jew who desires to live in israel is technically a zionist. just as socialism and national socialism are two different things, zionism and the settler movement are two different things. is it good that whole of islam is under threat? is that helping? the pm doesn't care about peace, just polls. and one can just as easily ask how many muslim leaders condemn the excesses of islam?

C B Mays

3/1/2013 4:23:03 PM

Attaturk is rolling over in his grave at hearing such hateful remarks being made by a Turkish Government Official. He believed in toleration of other religions, cultures and races not hate for them. There is discrimination all over the world and it does not just come from the opposite side. It goes both ways. Hate never solved any issue that I know of.

Murat

3/1/2013 4:06:25 PM

Politically incorrect of course, but is he incorrect? National socialism was a harmless expression until Germans turned it into evil and Israel did the same with Zionism, regardless of its true and original meaning. Rarely any good has come out of any -ism and I am suspicious of all of them. I wish he spent more time on the evils that hard-core Islamists have been spreading, but he probably feels the whole of Islam is under a threat. How many Israeli leaders condemn excesses of Zionists?

Hicks LONDON

3/1/2013 12:50:41 PM

What happened to FREEDOM of SPEACH that everybody condemns Turkey for, , we live in FREE WORLD and should be able to exercise freedom of speech rights, if that what he thinks then that's his RIGHT. If others take it wrong so hey ho. How about all those Islamist remarks and islomophobia films, Pictures and publications IT OK then - or the world see that as Freedom of Speech, but the moment you say something about Israel - everybody is up in arms, Live with IT, Turks have.
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