Turkey’s top cleric: Attack against French satirical weekly ‘perception operation’
AFP PhotoWhile harshly condemning the massacre of 12 people at a French satirical magazine that caricatured the Prophet Muhammad, Turkey’s top cleric has warned that such “violence and terrorist attacks” are aimed at "sparking conflicts between religions and civilizations."
“This massacre, which was committed with ‘a feeling of revenge’ through using the name of the prophet of Islam, is an open attack aimed at destroying sacred values that have been brought to all of humanity by the Prophet Muhammad,” Mehmet Görmez, the head of Turkey’s Directorate for Religious Affairs (Diyanet), said on Jan. 8, a day after the attack.
According to Görmez, there are attempts to negatively portray Islam across the entire world by using current events in the Middle East, aimed at "creating conflicts between religions and civilizations."
While speaking on the issue at a press conference, Görmez used the phrases “perception engineering” and “perception manipulation” multiple times.
The perpetrators of the attack used of Islamic symbols is sign of “a perception manipulation,” he said. “Perception engineers are ridiculing people’s intelligence by having murderers abuse our religion,” Görmez said, referring to the fact that the assailants in Paris shouted “Allahu akbar” (God is great) as they fired.
“They [the perception engineers] are ridiculing not only Muslims’ intelligence, but also the Western public’s intelligence. Just as has been the case with other terrorist actions, this action aims at seizing, distorting and transforming the most fundamental concepts of Islam,” Görmez said.