Turkey’s religious head calls Islamophobia major threat
Islamophobia is a major threat for all Muslims, especially those who live in Europe, Turkey's head of religious affairs said Anadolu Agency reported.
Addressing the consultation board of religious affairs in Turkey's north-western Edirne province, Mehmet Gormez said that terrorist acts were never permissible in Islam and all Muslim across the world must strongly condemn such attacks.
Gormez said the recent terrorist attacks in France could not be accepted by any Muslim or any sensible person.
Twelve people were killed on Jan. 7 when masked gunmen attacked the Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine, which printed cartoons of Prophet Mohammad in 2006 and 2012.
He also criticized the insulting, belittling and abusing of sacred values in all religions. "These kinds of insulting and hurtful comments on religious values cannot be considered within the scope of freedom of expression," Gormez said.
After the attack, the French magazine in its latest issue again drew a cartoon of the Prophet, who was depicted in a white dress and shedding a tear as he held a "Je Suis Charlie" sign below the headline "All is forgiven."
Gormez had condemned the Paris attack also on Jan. 8. "The attack carried out by using the name of Islam's prophet to take revenge is an attempted attack to erase the noble values that were brought to humanity by the Prophet Mohammed, the messenger of mercy and peace. In other words, that attack is a direct attack on Islam and the followers of this noble religion, Muslims," he had said.
The attackers on the magazine, Said and Cherif Kouachi, were killed by police on Jan. 9 in a warehouse in Dammartin-en-Goele, a small town north of Paris.
Another gunman, Amedy Coulibaly, who was linked to the Kouachi brothers, killed four hostages at a kosher supermarket in a separate attack in Paris. He too was shot dead on Jan. 9.