The Turk is irked: those nasty white European racists keep misunderstanding Islam, thinking it has something to do with violence. ‘Europe misinformed about Islam,’ from the Turkish Daily News, with thanks to Skeetstreet:
Religious Affairs Director Ali Bardakoğlu said yesterday the West and Europe are erroneously informed in their understanding of Islam and Turkey should strive hard to present the real core of Islam, reported the Anatolia news agency.
Yes, get with it, Europeans. Stop misunderstanding Islam. For one thing, stop thinking you can learn anything about it by observing Muslims in Europe:
“The European Union partly became acquainted with Islam through some Turkish citizens living abroad. This is not the correct way to grasp Islam,” Bardakoğlu was quoted by Anatolia as saying.
He said his office should have a permanent representative in Brussels. “We have to observe and participate in the discussions concerning the European understanding of Islam. We are tasked with explaining the true essence of Islam as a religion.”
The religious affairs director said Europe should not evaluate Islam with respect to and in comparison with Christianity. “Nowadays, the European Union is specifically sensitive on issues of human rights, women’s rights, violence, terror and discrimination. Our staff and clergy should pay more attention to how they choose to express their thoughts on these issues.”
In other words, Bardakoğlu is telling Muslim clergy in Europe to stop contradicting Western ideas of human rights and women’s rights, and stop advocating violence, terror, and discrimination. But note that he is not telling them to change their beliefs. Just to be quiet about them for now.
Concerning the relation of Islam and democracy, Bardakoğlu said Islam is wrongly depicted as a religion that does not promote democracy but tries to endure it. “This is totally erroneous, Islamic understanding seeks to enhance human rights and democracy. There is no contradiction between Islam and democratic principles.”
Of course there isn’t. That’s why there are so many thriving democracies in the Islamic world.