Turkish government ministers have blasted a French proposal to remove some verses from the Quran.
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ has slammed the French proposal, which has taken the form of a manifesto signed by 300 French authors and politicians, saying that the signatories “are the Western versions of ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant]” militants, suggesting they too have distorted Islam.
“It is literally barbarism and deviance that 300 people, including former President Nicolas Sarkozy and former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, prepared a declaration demanding some expressions in the Quran be removed,” Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said on Twitter overnight on May 6.
Stressing that the manifesto drew limited support, Kurtulmuş added, however, that the issue is that the manifesto has been signed by people seeking to govern the country.
“The level of racism and anti-religious [approach] is initially insulting Europe’s own values,” he said.
Kurtulmuş explained that trying to hold the Quran and societies terrorized by global power wars responsible for violence is an expression of feelings of guilt of the environments that were the true perpetrators of the violence and chaos.
“I strongly condemn for the sake of their shabby political calculations this accusation of the Quran, the sole source of truth for the Islamic religion, which means peace, and of the members of this supreme religion,” he said, adding he would not respect what he called a “fascist” declaration.
On April 21, 300 prominent French figures including Sarkozy and Valls signed a manifesto published in the French daily Le Parisien demanding some parts of the Quran, which they claimed contain violence and anti-Semitic references, be removed.