Making religious excuses for human mistakes is wrong, top religious official says over Soma
Zeynep GÜRCANLI ANKARA
Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) head Mehmet Görmez AA PhotoMaking religious excuses for human mistakes and responsibilities is wrong, Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) head Mehmet Görmez has said, while discussing the Soma mine disaster.
“Producing excuses about ‘divine power’ for human guilt and responsibility is just as wrong as ignoring the Creator’s infinite power,” Görmez said on June 2 at a meeting in the southeastern province of Mardin.
“The Soma disaster shows how contact with the world in modern civilization can make destiny fatal for poor and suffering people,” he said, adding that it was a “huge tragedy” that workers were forced to work in unsafe conditions, risking death.
“On one side, there’s a lifestyle in which comfort beyond measure has been accomplished, while on the other side [there are] those digging underground, who are sentenced to death many meters beneath of the earth amid the smell of coal fumes and gas. It is too difficult to talk about rights, justice, labor, rights and mercy,” Görmez said.
The Diyanet head specifically cited the story of a miner who gave up his own oxygen mask to a friend whose wife was pregnant, suggesting that it was hard to believe that this miner was of the same religion as those who lethally violated workers’ rights.
“We must announce that we don’t stand by those who gain strength with a stomach full of earthly wishes,” Görmez added. “We must be far from an understanding of religion that is part of a cycle that ignores the great efforts of innocent workers.”
The disaster in Soma, a district in the western Turkish province of Malatya, led to the deaths of 301 miners on May 12.