Thursday, June 10, 2021
Delivering a speech at the 1st International Media and Islamophobia Symposium, the President of Religious Affairs Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş said, “We have determined 669 attacks against our mosques just in the last 2 years in Europe. This is the greatest indicator of the fact that Islamophobia has evolved into anti-Islamism and enmity to Islam.”
The 1st International Media and Islamophobia Symposium that is organized by the cooperation of the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), the Presidency of Religious Affairs, Erciyes University, TRT, and the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) has started in Ankara with the attendance of the President of Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The opening speeches of the Symposium that is organized at ATO Congresium and that shall continue for two days were delivered by Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş, the President of Religious Affairs; Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, the Minister of Culture and Tourism; and Ebubekir Şahin, the Chairman of the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK).
In the opening speech that he delivered, the President of Religious Affairs Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş expressed that "the religion of Islam is a divine order that provides salvation to the humanity with superior ethical principles that it established," and said: “Islam is a religion of peace, justice and mercy that takes as an objective the freedom of life, reason, religion, property and generation for the entire humankind. The Holy Qur’an commands us to ensure justice, benevolence, and mercy as the strongest guarantee of serenity and peace across the world.”
Reminding the verse, “O you who have believed, enter into Islam completely [and perfectly] and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy," the President Erbaş expressed: “This sacred verse invites all Muslims to submit themselves to Allah the Almighty (swt) and to embrace peace. Hence, Muslims defend the right of every person in the world to live an honorable, free and humane life, as it is required by their belief.”
“Some planned interventions had been executed against the values of Islam”
Stating that the principles of Islam bring peace and tranquility to the humanity, the President Erbaş continued his words as follows:
“Throughout history, during the periods when the principles of Islam guided life, the world met with humanitarian values and peace, tranquility, and safety dominated the life. This is the wisdom and purpose behind the revelation of Islam. It is to ensure stability and peace, and establish justice and mercy in the World. However, during the last century, some planned interventions against the values of Islam took place in the Islamic geography, which had been exposed to imperialism in terms of actual, political, economic, and cultural aspects. In this context, we observe that the efforts to defame Islam have grown more intense around the word "Islamophobia," in the recent years. First, I must state that the word “Islamophobia” is an artificial and false expression. As a matter of fact, it is not possible to utter any negative word alongside Islam, the religion of mercy.”
Drawing attention to the fact that the hatred language that was generated through the enmity to Islam in Europe was being used recklessly in the printed and visual media and in the political discourses, the President Erbaş has made following statement: “The racist attacks and discriminatory practices against Muslims are increasing day by day at the mosques and in all aspects of life. We have confirmed 669 attacks against our mosques in the last 2 years in Europe. This is the greatest indicator of the fact that Islamophobia has evolved into anti-Islamism and enmity to Islam.”
“No discourse and action that invite to terror and anarchy can find any reference in Islam”
Underlining that DEASH, FETO, Boko Haram, al-Shabab, Al-Qaeda and similar terrorist organizations have been manufacturing excuses for the benefit of the Islamophobia industry, the President Erbaş said: ““I must clearly state that it is impossible for any kind of discourse or action that disrupts the atmosphere of safety and peace and invites people to terror and anarchy to find any reference in Islam, which is the religion of mercy and justice." As a matter of fact, such kind of formations wreak the greatest damage to Islam itself and the Muslims. It is surely beyond doubt that these structures were not established because of religious sensitivities, but they were born from the circumstances that were caused by the social, political, economic and psychological destructions and fed by the abuse of religion. As a matter of fact, there are many examples of the organizations that are based on violence that take other religions as reference or appear with secular motives.”
“To which religion do the Zionists, the greatest perpetrators of anarchy in the world, belong?”
Asking to the world public, “To which religions do the deviant Zionists who consider the world as their private property as the biggest perpetrators of the global chaos and anarchy in today's world, and the Evangelists who force the god to the doomsday in their own way belong,” the President Erbaş continued: “Do we use the expression ‘Judeophobia’ and just generalize them due to the Zionist Jews who consider the world as their private property? Or else, do we use the expression ‘Christianophobia’ due to the Evangelist understanding that causes chaos and establishes terrorist organizations around the world by saying ‘let this be my share on the cause’ in order to substantialize the Kingdom of God? Otherwise, do we use the expression ‘Buddhismophobia’ that would include all Buddhists by just generalizing them due to the Buddhists who murder the Muslims of Rakhine in Myanmar? Surely, we do not use such expressions and we do not generalize.”
“I ask the global public opinion to decide who Semitic or anti-Semitic is.”
Emphasizing that Muslims are not the addressees of anti-Semitism, the President Erbaş continued his words as follows:
“There is an expression as anti-Semitism. Semitism means ‘Semitic people’. ‘Semitic people’ or Semitism as used in the West refers to those who are the descendants of Shem, the son of Noah. Actually, the Arabs, Jews, Arameans and Assyrians are all Semitic. However, Western Jews, especially the Western European Jews, have adopted this term. While Semitism is considered as being pro-Jewish, anti-Semitism is perceived as being anti-Semitic. That being said, Muslims are thought to be anti-Semitic. In fact, Muslims are not the object of anti-Semitism. In 70 AD, the Romans committed such a massacre in al-Quds, where the Jewish author Josefus Flavius had also lived, that the Jews who were able to escape and survive were only relieved and returned to al-Quds when the Caliph Omar (ra) conquered it in the year 637. Later then, in July 1099, the Crusaders executed such a massacre in al-Quds that the Jews who were able to escape and survive returned after Saladin, who was described by the national poet Mehmet Akif as ‘You, by breaking the people of the crucifix’s attack; You made the most beloved sultan of east, Saladin,’ liberated al-Quds 88 years later, in 1187. Muslims, once again, protected the Jews who were able to flee from the massacre committed in the year 1492 in Spain, and people from all colors, religions, and sects lived in peace until 1917, under the Muslim rule in al Quds. Now, I ask the global public opinion to decide who Semitic or anti-Semitic is.”
“The media means must be used effectively”
Mentioning about the importance of realistically approaching the causes that lie behind the formation of the terrorist structures in the Islamic geography as well as the reasons that gave rise to anti-Islamism in the Western world, with respect to fight against enmity to Islam, President Erbaş said: “Based on the fact that the enemies of Islam and abusive structures are deceiving young people who are not knowledgeable about such values as belief and civilization, what needs to be done today is to work with all our strength to introduce the Islamic principles and values to all our generations and humanity, in the best way. It is to present the truth of Islam to the understanding of the humanity and to fight against all the elements that are in enmity to Islam together, by using the media means effectively.”
Actions of the Presidency of Religious Affairs regarding the fight against anti-Islamism
Stating that the Presidency of Religious Affairs have been fighting against the perception operations and dark propaganda against the religion of Islam and the Muslims, the President Erbaş talked as, “We are thoroughly addressing to such kind of matters in our staff trainings and preaches and khutbahs to the public. In this context, we have published 40 books and 43 brochures in 18 languages. We have distributed millions of books both in Turkey and in overseas countries, free of charge. We have broadcasted hundreds of special programs for every group in the society through our Diyanet television, radios and digital platforms and we are continuing to do so. We have sent a letter to 235 Religious Leaders and representatives from 124 countries with the signature of the President of Religious Affairs on it, in September 2020, upon the evil caricatures published by this deviant magazine in France.”
Stating that one of the important agendas of the High Board of Religious Affairs is to fight against anti-Islamic trends, the President Erbaş said, “Many academic meetings, negotiations and researches, especially the Religious Council, have been executed and reports have been prepared on the matter. Translated into different languages and published on digital platforms, these reports are accessible for everyone from all around the world. In many international meetings and organizations we held, such as the African Summit of Muslim Religious Leaders, the World Muslim Minorities Summit, and Meeting of European Muslims, we have brought up the matter of anti-Islamism and enmity to Islam to the agenda. We have negotiated, made decisions on and following the matter.”
“We have established the committee of fight against Islamophobia, that is, enmity to Islam”
Stating that they have formed a “committee of fight against Islamophobia, that is, enmity to Islam,” the President Erbaş concluded his words as follows:
“In this regard, our fight against enmity to Islam is progress in a more effective way, on both academic and legal grounds. International organizations shall be improved and strengthened in this direction. Of course, we, the members of the religion of peace, shall take solution, peace, and humanitarian values as the basis instead of conflict, chaos, and battle, and shall support the efforts and works in this direction. Here I present my gratitude to our President of Republic of Turkey for their unwavering support for this cause as well as everyone who made efforts in order for the religion of mercy, Islam, to be known and lived. I, hereby, pray for this Symposium to conduce to the good.”
In the sessions where the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and the Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gül shall deliver speeches, statesmen, academicians and journalists shall take place as panelists.
On the second day of the Symposium where the subjects "Fake News, Hate Speech” and “Islam in the Grip of Cultural Racism,” 113 scientific studies shall be presented to the attendees.