Turkish deputy PM calls on Hezbollah to change its name to Party of Satan
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ (Photo: Today's Zaman)
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ has directed harsh criticism at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Lebanese paramilitary group Hezbollah for stepping up a campaign of violence against civilians in Syria.
According to the deputy prime minister, there is no difference between the pharaoh who ordered the killing of newborn boys based on a dream and Assad, whom he accused of killing thousands of people in order to stay in power. He also said Hezbollah, which is increasingly involved in the fighting in Syria, should change its name to Hezb al-Shaitan -- the Party of Satan. Hezbollah means the “Party of God.”
Bozdağ's remarks came on Sunday at a conference in Ankara titled “Problems of the Islamic World and Solutions.”
“The pharaoh gave orders for the killing of innocent children and their mothers to maintain power. What is the difference between what the Pharaoh did and Assad is doing?” he asked.
Bozdağ also targeted Hezbollah for joining the war in Syria on Assad's side and killing innocent people in that country. "Those who stand by the Assad regime and kill their own Muslim brothers and indiscriminately kill women and children in the battlefield should not appeal to Islam and the Quran to legitimize their actions," he said.
The deputy prime minister said currently the most paramount challenge in the region is the rise of racism, dividing the Muslim world and leading to unabated fighting. “Racism is a sickness that threatens Turkey and other countries in the Middle East. If someone decides to kill a man based on racist feelings, then he rejects the book of God and His orders. Quran and Islam do not absolutely approve of killing of people based on racist feelings. Turkey has been fighting against racist terrorism for the past 30 years,” he noted.
Bozdağ also complained that there are growing attempts worldwide to associate Islam with terrorism. “There is an international media that works for Islam to be remembered with activities of violence and terror and make Muslims to be believed to be terrorists. Whoever is carrying this propaganda is making a huge slander against Islam.” He also said the al-Qaeda has contributed to anti-Islam movements with its violent activities that do not comply with Islam or its values. “What the al-Qaeda is doing is causing huge damage to the Muslim world. Muslims have nothing to share or do with people whose hands are full of blood,” he added.