Turkey’s EU minister has urged European countries to do justice to Muslims living in Europe and voiced concern over rising Islamophobic incidents in the West.
“Europe is not just a place for Christians,” Volkan Bozkir said late Saturday and reiterated the fact that millions of Turkish Muslims live in Europe.
Bozkir made the remarks during his address at a special program on Prophet Muhammad organized by the Turkish Islamic Union of the Institute for Religion in Bad Kreuznach, Germany.
Also, the minister strongly criticized those who blamed Islam for terrorism.
Referring to the recent Germanwings plane crash in France that killed over 150 people, where preliminary investigations indicate the co-pilot deliberately brought the aircraft down, he asked: “Why is a German co-pilot, who caused the incident, not called a Christian terrorist? Why is Islam always linked to terrorism?”
Islam is the only religion that has determined the law and moral principles needed for people to live in peace and tranquility, he said.
“Islam does not accept murders, and we will keep telling this until all the Western people fully understand it,” he added.
He pointed out that from Anatolia to Andalusia, and from Africa to Asia, Islam created societies in which different nations, cultures, and religions lived together in harmony, including in places like Jerusalem, Damascus, Baghdad, Cairo, Cordoba, and Istanbul.
Voicing the need to fight against Islamophobia, Bozkir noted an increase in hate speech and discrimination policies against Muslims in the West.
“Islamophobia is a crime against humanity just like racism,” he said. “Islam, which is peace in lexical meaning, never tolerates and encourages terrorism; it is unacceptable,” he added.