"One of the growing concerns faced by Muslims is the rise of Islamophobia. As the predominant immigrant group in several European nations, they are subjected to frequent acts of xenophobia, racism, discrimination, and anti-Islamic sentiment," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in his speech at an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in Istanbul on Monday.
"It's a plan to incite Muslims and create a Muslim problem, just like 85 years ago. We will not allow this to happen. We will not be lured into their trap," Erdoğan stressed in his address.
During the OIC gathering, Turkish leader Erdoğan delivered the following statements:
"Islamophobia is posing a growing threat to the Muslim community. They make up the majority of immigrants in various European countries and are regularly subjected to prejudiced, discriminatory, and anti-Islamic behavior. In recent times, there has been a rise in attacks and threats towards individuals, as well as their properties and mosques, in Western Europe.
Since January 2023, there have been around 500 anti-Islamic attacks, including the burning of the Qur'an, in front of the embassies of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries in Europe. Just last week, three young individuals in the United States were subjected to an armed attack on the street. Examples of such incidents can be extended. While Islamophobia spreads like a plague in Western societies, unfortunately, governments are not taking any measures.
Despicable acts against the Qur'an are legitimized and excused under the guise of freedom of expression. Those who turn a blind eye to these attacks suddenly act restrictively when it comes to defending the rights of innocents in Palestine and Gaza, as we have seen and continue to witness together. We are well aware that those who claim to uphold freedom of thought and assembly do not actually have such sensitivity.
The real goal here is to incite Muslims and create a Muslim problem, just like 85 years ago. With the permission of Allah, we will not allow this to happen. We will not fall into the trap they want to lure us and our brothers into. As member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, I find it necessary to emphasize once again the importance of joint action against these hate crimes. We will continue to fight hate crimes resolutely, both at the bilateral level and through international platforms.
We are delighted that the preferential trade system among Islamic countries has come into effect. We attach great importance to the countries that are part of the system taking the necessary measures to implement the agreement. We invite countries that have not yet joined the system to join as soon as possible.
The economic opportunities we develop together will bring prosperity, blessings, and economic stability. Another important aspect that will encourage and increase trade and investments between our countries is the resolution of disputes. We highly value your support in making the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Arbitration Center, especially operating in Istanbul, an important address for the resolution of investment and commercial disputes."