Europe justifying its existence without Islam is not correct either scientifically or historically, says Turkey’s top cleric.
BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) - Turkey's top cleric on Tuesday said that Croatia organizing an international conference on Islam is admirable at a time when Islamophobia is widespread.
Religious Affairs Directorate head Mehmet Gormez arrived at Croatia's capital Zagreb to attend the European Islamic Society Conference, part of Croatia marking the 100th anniversary of its recognizing Islam as equal to other faiths.
Gormez began his speech by praising Croatia organizing the event and its attitudes towards Islam and then evaluated recent developments related to Islam in Europe.
"Europe justifying its existence, its existence as a union without Islam is not correct. It has not been correct either scientifically or historically," said Gormez.
Gormez said that civilizations must stand with the common values of humanity.
"I do not say that Muslims of the Andalusian civilization established in Spain wakened up Europe from the dogmatic slumber of the Middle Ages. All scholars say that. Thus, here is the experience of the Andalusians, Ottomans, and the immigrants who came from various parts of the Islamic world in the past 100 years and call themselves Europeans. After all these facts, Europe seeing Islam as an afterthought element that came into its territory, and treating all these Muslims as migrants and refugees, and seeing their existence as a security issue is one of the most important issues to be discussed today," he added.
The conference was attended by religious leaders, muftis, and Islamic scholars from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, France, Germany, Belgium, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Hungary, Russia, Norway, Britain, and various Arab countries.