Extermination of Islamophobia to Put End to West-East Contradiction

Society Materials 19 September 2008 16:14 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 19 September/ Trend , corr U. Sadigova, M. Ibrahimov/ Extermination of islamophobia wide spread in Europe as a result of wrong interpretation of Islam, will enable to find common ground after long-lasting contradiction between West and Muslim world.

"Insulting any religion, Islam as well is a crime. World community must consider Islamophobia crime which will help normalize West-East relations," Kemal Ozer, independent researcher said to Trend .

At an event dedicated to holy Ramadan, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan said it is important to announce Islamophobia international crime as anti-Semitism, TimeTurk reported.

"Islamophobia must be announced international crime as anti-Semitism," Erdogan said.

The concept of Islamophobia is wide-spread among European and US population because of the wrong interpretation of key principles of Islam. All these resulted from political contradictions between several Islam and West countries.

The problem in the US and in Europe is that people embrace the goal of a war on terror, rather than a war on particular terrorists, Charles Butterworth, US expert on Islam said.

"Because some perpetrators of acts of terror are Muslim, people think that all Muslims are terrorists. That is as ignorant as it is false. But it is the dominant opinion," Butterworth, professor of political science of University of Maryland said to Trend by e-mail.

Expert said insufficient knowledge of Europeans about Islam led to the gap between West and Islam world. Muslims are also responsible for the wrong interpretation of their religion.

"Most people in the US and Europe know next to nothing about Islam. Very few people understand that there is a great common thread that links Judaism, Christianity, and Islam that all three religions harken back to and revere Abraham as the first monotheist, expert said.

Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism mean negative attitude to religion. Both concepts imply critics against believers. Unlike islamophobia, UN declared Anti-Semitism a crime after Israeli state was established in 1948. On the contrary, islamophobia is becoming more wide spread in West. So far, no efforts have been taken to stop it.

UN should agree with the statement of Turkish Prime Minister and include this issue on its agenda. Insulting prophet Mohammad and Quran, holy book of 1.5bln people should not be left go without attention, Ahmad Tashgetiren, independent Turkish expert on Islam said.

"Islam is a human religion and insulting Islam means insulting its followers," Tashgetiren said to Trend by telephone from Istanbul.

Not only Turkey, where religious insult is considered to be crime, but also other Islam countries should join a war against Islamophobia, he said.

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan also has made statements against anti-Islam policy in Europe. In his meeting with his Spanish counterpart, he said that Turkey will continue fight against spread of islamophobia.

The "veto" right of US in UN should also be taken into consideration, Turkish expert Ozer said. "US will not allow to announce islamophiobia international crime as US was first to spread islamophobia, for it did not achieve its political interests in Islam world".

"Islam should not be involved in politics. Unfortunately, US and Europe do not admit it, but precisely political aspect impedes dialogue with Muslims," he said.

Islamophobia became wide-spread at a faster pace following acts of terrorism committed on 11 September in US by Al Qaeda. White House first criticized all Muslim terrorists, then all Muslims. Soon, Islamophobia spread to Europe and in 2005, Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published caricatures of prophet Mohammad and other Islamic saints.

"More people need to become familiar with the Quran and its teachings, especially its teachings about compassion. Once that happens, there will be far less Islamophobia," US expert Butterworth said.

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