Turkish official: Islam versus ‘European Islam’

Pope Francis shakes hands with Mehmet Gormez, head of Turkey’s religious affairs directorate, in Ankara Nov. 28, 2014 (CNS photo/Tony Gentile)

In February, the Turkish director of religious affairs strongly criticized Austria for adopting the “Islam Bill”: “It is not proper for every country to build its own version of Islam instead of dealing with the growing Islamophobia in Europe.

“No country has the right to make a religion the subject of engineering. I would like to note that the attempts of the rulers to create their own, unique Islam are useless and futile. […] I am worried that with this bill, Austria may have gone backwards by a century in terms of religious freedoms, because the bill introduces a number of restrictions on religious freedoms.

“However, in this contemporary world, the priorities of the people should be taken into consideration when such a bill is being drafted.”

Then, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also voiced some curious ideas, suggesting that the bill was against EU legislation and that Europe was creating its own Feb. 28 order….

So much for the French idea of a ‘French Islam,’ breathlessly and true idiot dhimmi fashion, described by this Voice of America story: Quest for ‘French Islam’ Goes to Classroom

Control of how Islam is taught and practised is of course possible: it is done in Russia and China. But it requires a very authoritarian government and society, with Muslims firmly in the minority.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    Even at that, the Russians still seem to have a ‘Chechen problem’ that seems resistant to treatment.

    • Frau Katze

      You bet. If the demographics shift (as they appear to be doing) it’s all over for the Russians.

  • pop

    It’s better to be a islamiphobe.

    We need borders.

  • simus1

    Muslamia and its religious officials found within any given sunni muslim unitary state like turkey are not independent of the government of that state but are paid and supervised by a government affiliated structure of some sort. Saddam Hussein not only operated as the final arbiter of all things religious in iraq in his day, but was even generous in his support of imams in the west who found they had views similar to his.

    • Frau Katze

      True. Turkey speaks only for itself. But I’m sure the conservative Gulf States privately agree (but still play the “interfaith” game in public. They have better PR advisers).