In the opening session of the world Muslim minorities summit yesterday, Turkey President Recep Tayib Erdogan strongly criticized the west worlds anti-Islam sentiment. The event will continue for four days and is being organized by the presidency of religious affairs. The summit brings together representatives, academics, experts and journalists from 100 countries where Muslim minorities live and focuses both on the internal problems of the communities and the challenges they endure in the face of Islamophobia. On the first day of the summit, the participants discussed the past and future of Muslim minorities and today, they will debate issues ranging from freedom of minorities to radicalization.
The summit is first of its type and is aimed to boost ties between turkey and Muslim minorities under the motto “The Believers are but a single Brotherhood.” In an opening speech, Erdoğan lashed out at the West for stoking anti-Islam sentiment in its bid “to impose its own ideology and lifestyle.” Known for his frank criticism of what he calls the hypocrisy of Western countries who are turning a blind eye to their histories of colonialism, Erdoğan said they wanted to stain Islam through “terrorist groups engineered to accomplish that.” The president said attacks against Muslims and refugees has become “an ordinary thing” in many countries championing democracy and law.
“Racists and fascist groups target businesses, homes and places of worships belonging to Muslims, particularly in Germany, the Netherlands, France and Belgium. Muslim women are harassed because they wear headscarves, for instance, in France,” he said.
He also touched upon the U.S. and its allies’ recent military strikes in Syria in response to the Bashar Assad regime’s chemical attack in Douma. “Muslims have failed to resolve their own problems and those outside Islam try to ‘solve’ it. This is when barrel bombs start dropping. They say it is a reaction to a violation of a convention on chemical weapons. It is a crime no matter what kind of bomb kills the people. Chemical weapons killed people but conventional weapons killed hundreds of thousands of others too. They never speak about it,” Erdoğan said in his criticism of Western powers taking action only when the Assad regime used chemical weapons.