Questions for Sarkozy on removing the verses from the Quran
The person I waited for with the most curiosity at the Zeitgeist 2018 meeting on May 14 was Nicolas Sarkozy, the former president of France. I had a question in mind that I meant to ask him and the question would only be meaningful if I asked him face-to-face.
God gave me this opportunity.
First, Sarkozy had held a very striking speech on Brexit. The moderator was not very much in favor of having questions directed at Sarkozy, except for on the issue regarding Brexit.
However, I stood up, and said, “I am a Turkish journalist. You may have guessed what I am going to ask. May I?” to which Sarkozy answered, laughing, “Yes, I did guess. Do ask.”
My question was this: “Along with 300 French intellectuals, artists, and politicians, you have signed a petition and made a call to the Islamic world. You have said, ‘There are verses in the Quran that are anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic. Take them out.’ Do you think this was a smart move?”
I continued my question: “Instead of that, wouldn’t it have been better if you had suggested a program against anti-Semitism be added to the education system?”
But, I left my main question to the end: “Can you tell a faithful Jewish or Christian to ‘take this out of the Bible or the Torah?’ What kind of answer would you get if you had said this?”
Yes, this was the question I asked. These are the answers I have received from Sarkozy:
“Let me tell you this, first of all. I like Turkey, but Turkey is not a European country. It is a Middle Eastern country.”
“Secondly, let me tell you this. Where were five million Jews killed in the Second World War? Not anywhere else other than here in Europe.”
“Thirdly, let me tell you this. In France, there is anti-Semitism. Yes, it exists in France as well.”
“If you are asking whether someone can say to ‘take these verses out of the Quran,’ why not? Muslims are saying, ‘What do these terrorists have to do with Islam?’ This is what they say, but terrorists who kill in the name of Islam say, ‘in the Quran, it says kill to Jews’ and then take a gun in their hands.”
“You are asking me whether you could say this to a Christian. I have spoken with the Pope. He told me, ‘there are many bad verses in the Bible.’ If the Pope can say this, why can’t it be said to Muslims?”
“There are five millions Muslims in France. Most of them are French citizens. Many terrorists who say they are acting on behalf of Islam are killing people. I am waiting for these five millions Muslims to stand up and curse this situation. But they are not, because they are afraid.”
So, this was the question I asked Sarkozy and these were the answers I received from him. But, there was also a question I could not ask.
I meant to ask him the following question at that point: “Well, but then, did the Pope say, ‘Let’s take these verses out of the Bible? Would a Jew accept that a sentence be removed from their holy book?”
There was no time left to ask this, but I was not very sorry, because I knew the answer. No one had wanted this. The Pope or Jewish clergymen have not attempted to remove any parts of the Bible or Torah.
Of course, when I had asked that question, I had not known about the photos coming from Gaza. If I had, I would have asked this: “We are talking about the anti-Semitism of Muslims here. Let’s talk a bit about the state of Israel’s murders.”
It’s a pity I missed that opportunity.