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PM Erdoğan: Islamophobia should be recognized as crime against humanity

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16 September 2012, Sunday /MUSTAFA ÜNAL
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stated that Turkey recognizes anti-semitism as a crime, while not a single Western country recognizes Islamophobia as such.

Speaking to journalists in Sarajevo after a series of visits to Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Erdoğan commented on the 14-minute trailer for "Innocence of Muslims," an obscure film that mocks the Prophet Muhammad, which sparked violent riots across various Muslim nations.

Erdoğan said he will talk about the movie that has angered Muslims on Sept. 25 at the UN General Assembly. He noted that the reaction against the movie in Turkey has been restrained. “In the last past 10 years, extremes [in Turkey] have been curbed. In a way, we acted like a lightning rod.”

He said the Turkish government has made its statement on the movie, giving messages in Yalta, and later during his visit. He said reactions against the movie continued and increased, noting statements from Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi, who defined the movie as an “aggression on Islam,” has played a role in this.

Erdoğan said he will continue to give messages at the next UN General Assembly meeting about adopting international legislation against insulting religion. “I am the prime minister of a nation, of which most are Muslims and that has declared anti-semitism a crime against humanity. But the West hasn’t recognized Islamophobia as a crime against humanity -- it has encouraged it. [The film director] is saying he did this to provoke the fundamentalists among Muslims. When it is in the form of a provocation, there should be international legal regulations against attacks on what people deem sacred, on religion. As much as it is possible to adopt international regulations, it should be possible to do something in terms of domestic law.”

He further noted, “Freedom of thought and belief ends where the freedom of thought and belief of others start. You can say anything about your thoughts and beliefs, but you will have to stop when you are at the border of others’ freedoms. I was able to include Islamophobia as a hate crime in the final statement of an international meeting in Warsaw.”

Erdoğan said the government will immediately start working on legislation against blasphemous and offensive remarks. “Turkey could be a leading example for the rest of the world on this.”

The prime minister also shared his opinion about the difference between the Turkish reaction and Arab reactions at the film. He said his government has acted like a lightning rod and extremes in Turkey have been curbed. “If this hadn’t happened, it would be like the pre-1980 times here. We have girls here [Bosnia] who come to us and say, crying, ‘You opened the door of universities [for headscarved women], and the imam-hatip schools.’ The percentage of female students [from Turkey] studying here has fallen to 35-40 percent from 60 to 75 percent.”

In response to a question on whether relations with Israel seem to be normalizing, Erdoğan said, “Israel has not found itself a good position in the eyes of the Islamic world. They are also not making any effort to start a normalization process.” He said Israel only has ties with Turkey and should make an effort to maintain good relations. Erdoğan said the Israeli government had sent him a businessman who will act as a go-between, but did not name this person. He said he’d told this person -- who he said is the richest Jewish businessman in the world -- that Turkey has three conditions for normalization, which are an official apology to Turkey for a May 2010 attack on a Turkish passenger ship bringing aid to Gaza, paying compensation for the attack that left nine Turkish citizens dead and ending the blockade of Gaza.

Erdoğan said he was hopeful about a recent initiative launched by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, whereby the foreign ministers of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey will be meeting this week.

iran and israel are unitedly creating this islamophobia thing. it is a scenario of two evil states. one of them is the player, the other is the director in this movie. both countries should be dealt with by islamic and african nations.
turan talki
Islamophobia is a misnomer; it is used to denote hatred of muslims.IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT! Its true meaning is FEAR OF ISLAM. And non- Islamic people are wise to fear Islam since it teaches via the Koran and Hadiths that all inhabitants of Dar-al-harb are kuffars, to be subjugated to dimmitude or sla...
charlie darwin
First they restrict your "Freedom of Speech," so all you hear is the PROPAGANDA. Then they restrict your "Freedom of Religion!" To be of any other religion is OFFENSIVE to a Muslim, and therefore a "Crime Against Humanity" also.
William W. Lee
As an outsider it is surprising and encouraging to see the dissenting views here. What is happening to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's secular republic and why are the Turkish people not rising in defence of that great statesman's legacy? He was a giant compared to the political pygmies now in power.
charlie darwin
If Islamophobia is not recognized as crime than Holocaust must not be considered to be true.
Khalid Rahim
The said video (The Innocence of Muslims) is extremely offensive to the Islam people but it is naïve for someone to believe that, is the real reason to trigger such an enormous revolution worldwide among the Islam society, at the time the so low quality of the video and the contain very clearly demo...
Modestos Glykis
Erdogan the wolf in sheeps clothing.Islamophobia is just word for the attempt to curb free speech.What is Islamophobia?Do i have the right to critizice Islam once laws against Islamophobia are implemented?It's already forbidden to criticise Turkey and now a whole religion and at the end of the day ...
Erdogan speaks just like he is. someone who does not deserve to be a leader with his Anti-American, Anti-Democratical, and biggest of all, Anti-Armenian mentality who believes Islomophia is crime against humanity.. OH REALLY ERDOGAN? What do you call murdering 1.5 million and still continuing innoce...
Erdogan is no lover of freedom or democracy...BEWARE! "You cannot be both secular and a Muslim! You will either be a Muslim, or secular! When both are together, they create reverse magnetism [i.e. they repel one another]. For them to exist together is not a possibility! Therefore, it is not possibl...
Its not islamaphobia when they really are trying to kill you...
layal13, Of course you've never heard a muslim mock Jesus you ignoramus, it's because to them Jesus is one of their prophets and insulting Jesus would be blasphemous and would invoke the death penalty.
Can you imagine if this idea was implemented? Anti-sharia law? Hate crime. Inti-violent jihad? Hate crime. The possibilities are near limitless. No idea or belief should be protected from scrutiny and if it cannot stand up to scrutiny it should be discarded.
No idea should have legal protection from ridicule. Freedom of speech must include the freedom to challenge any idea or belief, even religious belief.
Funny. He doesnt talk about Christians being slaughtered. I would think thats more important than a movie hurting someone's feelings.
I am american and i agree with the PM. I have never heard a muslim mock jesus. EVER
The commentators should realise that the USA and Western Europe have different attitudes to free speech. Holocaust denial is legal in the USA, which has much stricter standards than Western Europe on what constitutes abuse of freedom of Speech. Concerning Islamophobia not being a crime in the West -...
Erdogan was the biggest advocate of Freedom of speech when it came to the Armenian genocide issue in France what happened now? He is putting limits for freedom of speech only when it is convenient to him? It is an abuse of freedom of speech to deny the Armenian Genocide too as well as to deny the Pr...
This is the difference between a government of his and the Ottoman Caliph Abdul Hamid II, on which hr warned for waging a war if it happened, but look at this guy who will just give a speech.
How about Christianophobia? Is that a crime? When 50% of a people in Turkey say that they do not want to have a Christian neighbour, is that a crime? And is it for example illegal to burn american flags?
PM Erdogan sees everything in terms of his own, inflexible ethics. He makes no effort to see anything from another point of view-his is the unpleasant demeanor of a rigid personality. I wonder if he considers that his own government's anti-Christian behavior is every bit as offensive to many as is '...
Is this really what PM Erdogan said? That he feels democratic countries ought to make 'islamophobia' a crime that is to be punished? If so, is there any of the honorable readers here who can give me a sufficiently precise definition of 'islamophobia'? Sufficiently precise so that any fair all 'Is...
Rudi D.
don't compare antisemitism with the so-called islamophobia. antisemitism is a real crime, while the so called islamophobia exists only in the minds of muslim fundamentalists.
First armenophobia should recognize as so and espescially the Armenian Genocide for which the term Crime against the humanity was used for the first time in History in 25 April 1915 to describe what was happening to the Armenians!
According to Erdogan, the so-called Islamophobia should be considered crime against humanity but the murder of millions of Christians on Turkish soil in the name of Turkism is not. Who can truly take Erdogans words seriously. He is a hypocritical opportunistic fraud. Erdogan condones the reaction sh...
....who he said is the richest Jewish businessman in the world" and this statement which promotes the "rich Jew" characterization, is not indicative of phobia? The world is soooooooo tired by the always feeling offended Muslims...and there are enough laws to protect Muslims from discrimination...but...
I believe the PM is wrong to say that "not a single Western country recognizes Islamophobia as (a crime)". I am not a lawyer but I think that if the film you mention had been made in the UK the maker could have been prosecuted under the "Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006" (details at legislation....
Mr. Erdogan, Islamophobia is not a crime. It is the fear of having one of the following aspects of freedom taken away and or restricted. a.The desire for freedom of speech and freedom of expression. b.The desire for freedom of religious beliefs not excluding the right to non-religious beliefs. c.The...
PM Erdoğan: "Islamophobia should be recognized as crime against humanity." That is just fine. But it is a two-way street. Anti-non-Moslem hate propaganda and killings should be recognized as crime against humanity also at least by the same PM Erdoğan. Does he have enough guts and conviction to huma...
mike newman
Interesting... is Turkey and its Prime Minister ready to recognise and apologise of ottoman and turkish crimes against humanity? If yes, then I think Erdogan and Turkey will lead us in a much safer world where respect, tolerance and freedom will have some significance...
Chris Johnson
World needs to recognize Islamophobia as a crime not just West!
Anti-semitisme is against a specific race,Jews (not Arabs!!!) ethnic, hence a hate crime. Islamphobia is coined word by Muslims to curb freedom of speech so that people cannot be critical of Islam. And that is not hate crime and its not going to happen. We can sue each and every Muslim country for t...
If the hypocrite Erdogan wants to be example to world and not shame Turkey, then how about making it illegal to support terrorist groups like he does. If he calls himself a leader of a democracy, he can't support any group that kills innocent civilians. Interesting how he never talks about Islamic t...
Jews were and continue to be victims in greater numbers. Jews are not savage terrorists, they don't call for the destruction of any country, they do not go around the world bombing people, they do not go around the world blowing up subways and flying planes into buildings, they do not go aroaund emb...
Such an insulting movie would never be made towards Jews. It would be punishable by imprisonment and vheavy fines. The same principles have to be applied to other religions to avoid such disasters. These 'movies' are racist in nations, spread hatred, and cause violence. It has to be made illegal to ...
Western countries are hypocrites to the nth degree. On one hand, they claim they cannot stop the sacrilegious movie because it is freedom of speech. On the other hand, if some researchers want to conduct a research about the Jewish hollowcause (holocaust) they get long jail terms and exorbitant mone...
Perhaps Turkey recognizes anti-Semitism as a crime, but anyone who reads Turkish knows well that there is plenty of anti-Semitic agitation in Islamic and ultra-nationalist circles in Turkey on a daily basis. Turkey is definitely not in a position to lecture the West on religious freedoms and toleran...
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