Erdogan also famously said this about “moderate Islam”: “These descriptions are very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.”
In this case, of course, he appears to be saying that the terrorists are twisting and hijacking Islam, but he could also mean that what the jihadis are doing is not terrorism. For Erdogan, groups like Islamic Jihad and Hizballah (the Party of Allah) and Hamas (the Islamic Resistance Movement) do not commit acts of terrorism. They are jihadis, freedom fighters, warriors for Allah. And that is how he would like the West to think about them as well. And meanwhile, like so many other Islamic spokesmen around the world, he wants you to believe that people associate Islam with terrorism because of the work of greasy Islamophobes, not because Islamic jihadists themselves invoke Islam to explain and justify their violent actions.
“Turkish Premier Rejects Terminology Associating Islam with Terrorism,” from Turkish Weekly, January 11 (thanks to Sr. Soph):
Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rebuked coining the term “Islamic terrorist organization” for Muslim groups that commit acts of terrorism.
“On every international occasion we have expressed our rejection of the term ‘Islamic terror organization.’ Bringing together the words of ‘Islam’ and of ‘terrorism’ is the biggest injustice that can be made to Islam. We are aware that a global campaign is underway against Muslims and we know who is behind that campaign,” Erdogan on Monday told a ceremony in the Kuwaiti capital where he was presented with the Outstanding Personality in the Islamic World Award of the Sheikh Fahad al-Ahmad International Award for Charity.
Erdogan said the anti-Muslim campaign in the West gained momentum particularly through the news media, saying “an insidious enmity” had been promoted.
“Is it possible to associate a religion with an inherent peaceful cause to terrorism? Those who kill in the name of Islam is gravely misguided and they stray from the religion itself,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan said Turkey exerted sincere efforts to eliminate prejudices against Islam, however adding that Muslims should also do self-criticism.
If they took him up on that, it would be a first. In over seven years of Jihad Watch and a great deal of monitoring of jihad activity for years before that, I have never seen a Muslim engage in any honest self-criticism about how jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to promote violence and supremacism. Instead, it has been a never-ending cascade of finger-pointing, denial, evasion of responsibility, and claims of victim status.