Senior Turkish cleric 'distressed' over mosque attacks

Head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate speaks out after recent incident at mosque in Sweden

Senior Turkish cleric 'distressed' over mosque attacks

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey’s senior Muslim cleric has described as “distressing” attacks on mosques in Europe.

Speaking on Sunday at a news conference in Ankara, Mehmet Gormez, head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate, said the final stage of interference in religious freedoms was the attacking mosques and holy places.

Gormez's comments follow an incident at a mosque in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, early Saturday. Swastikas and offensive slogans were daubed near the entrance of a mosque, and fireworks thrown during morning prayers.

He also accused politicians in such countries of ignoring attacks on places of worship.

Gormez said he was worried because of attacks on mosques in Europe and an increase in Islamophobia.

Describing Europe as a region which said it highlighted values such as human rights, freedoms and respect for the "other", Gormez continued:

"It is very distressing that Islamophobia has turned into Islamic hatred in some parts of society – ‘othering’, xenophobia and all kinds of racism have proliferated."

Gormez said in many countries the expression of that hatred reached the extent that pig heads were hung on Islamic places of worship and crooked crosses daubed on mosque doors.

Emphasizing that holy places of all religions were inviolable for Islam, Gormez said cooperation was needed to eliminate these incidents.

Last Mod: 27 Kasım 2016, 12:35
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