I have been saying for years that while there are moderate Muslims, there is no moderate Islam, so I thank Erdoğan for the confirmation. But what are you, Erdoğan, some kind of Islamophobe?
"Prime Minister objects to ’moderate Islam’ label," from Hurriyet, April 6 (thanks to buraq_is_dead):
ANKARA - Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan rejected attempts to call Turkey the representative of moderate Islam. "It is unacceptable for us to agree with such a definition. Turkey has never been a country to represent such a concept. Moreover, Islam cannot be classified as moderate or not," Erdoğan said, speaking at Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies late Thursday.
Erdoğan’s statements came only days before the visit of U.S President Barack Obama whose administration signaled a dramatic shift from George W. Bush in identifying Turkey as a moderate Islamic country. U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had praised Turkey as "a democratic country with a secular constitution" during her visit to Ankara in March. In his speech, "Alliance of Civilizations and Turkey’s role," Erdoğan pointed to the lack of dialogue between different religions and cultures, which has led to distressing incidents in the world history.
"The animosity, unfortunately, strengthens the scenarios that there is a so-called clash of civilizations in the world. Those, who defend such speculations, may go further to identify the terrorism with Islam which is based on peace," he maintained, adding that the situation helps those who try to globalize Islamophobia.
As expected, the Muslim actions that generate what is called "Islamophobia" are glossed over and ignored.
Erdoğan also wanted Western societies to be more open to cooperation and dialogue with the East. "It should be known that adopting a malicious and offending approach toward the sensitive issues of Islamic world by hiding behind some democratic freedoms like freedom of speech and right of free publication is unacceptable," he said.
Well, then, freedom of speech must be deep-sixed!
Drawing attention to the importance of mutual understanding and respect, Erdoğan stated that he believes and respects Moses and Jesus, and accepts them as prophets. "I expect the same attitude from a Jew or a Christian toward my own prophet," Erdoğan noted. He underlined the importance of Turkey’s European Union membership in terms of establishing connections between the West and the East....
Erdoğan means to sound generous and ecumenical to Westerners when he says that he "believes and respects Moses and Jesus, and accepts them as prophets," but note well: neither Erdoğan nor any other orthodox Muslim believes in or respects Moses as he is depicted in the Torah or Jesus as he is depicted in the Gospels. Rather, they believe in and respect the Moses and Jesus of the Qur'an, in which they are depicted as Muslim prophets. Islam teaches that the original messages of Moses and Jesus were identical with Muhammad's message, and that the followers of both twisted their teachings to create what we know of as Judaism and Christianity. So when Erdoğan says that he believes in and respects Moses and Jesus, he is not saying that he recognizes the legitimacy of Judaism and Christianity, but just the opposite: that he regards them as renegade, twisted versions of the original Islamic message of both prophets.
And so then when he says that he expects Jews and Christians to be likewise generous and accept his own prophet, he is saying that he expects them to become Muslims.
But most Western observers, being ignorant of the Islamic assumptions underlying Erdoğan's statement, will fall for it and think, "How generous and open-minded he is! If only Western religious leaders could be like him!"