On October 25, a leader of a NATO member nation openly incited violence against non-Muslims.
On that day, Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the Friday prayers at the Great Çamlıca Mosque in Istanbul. He was accompanied by Istanbul’s governor Ali Yerlikaya, mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, Istanbul’s chief of police Mustafa Çalışkan and the head of the Istanbul branch of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Bayram Şenocak.
After the prayers, the hafiz of the mosque recited the Koranic Verse Al-Fath, which means “victory, triumph, conquest” in English. Then Erdogan took the microphone, reciting a part of the verse in Arabic and then in Turkish. He told the congregants:
“Our God commands us to be violent towards the kuffar (infidels). Who are we? The ummah [nation] of Mohammed. So [God] also commands us to be merciful to each other. So we will be merciful to each other. And we will be violent to the kuffar. Like in Syria.”
Erdogan then referred to another Koranic verse, As-Saff-13, in Arabic:
“Inshallah, God has promised us in Syria: ‘Nasrun minallahi ve fethun karib ve beşşiril mu’minin.’ [‘Victory from Allah and an imminent conquest; and give good tidings to the believers’]. We see it is happening right now. With the permission of Allah, we will see it even more… I will meet some presidents of foreign countries at the Dolmabahce Palace today. I ask for your permission now to go there.”
The congregants then cheered Erdogan on, shouting “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the greatest).
That the country’s political opposition has raised no serious objection to these statements is alarming for several reasons.
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