Turkey’s president said that Western countries mocking Islam wanted to “relaunch the Crusades”. The Muslim world is in confrontation with France over the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The cartoons have stirred anger in Muslim-majority countries.
In a speech to lawmakers of his AK Party, Tayyip Erdogan said standing against attacks on the Prophet was “an issue of honor for us”. He suggested Ankara may be digging in for a prolonged standoff, said Reuters.
The row with France flared after a French teacher who showed pupils cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The teacher was beheaded in France this month. The caricatures are considered blasphemous by Muslims.
Muslims are angry at cartoons
Muslims are angry at France’s defense of the right to publish the cartoons. They demonstrated against France in street protests in several Muslim-majority countries.
“France down, it insulted our Prophet,” protesters shouted in the Somali capital Mogadishu.
Charlie Hebdo published a cartoon on its cover showing Erdogan sitting in a white t-shirt and underpants, holding a canned drink. His cartoon is seen lifting the skirt of a woman wearing an Islamic hijab to reveal her naked bottom.
Ankara planning legal and diplomatic steps in response to the caricature. it called it a “disgusting effort” to “spread its cultural racism and hatred”.
The Turkish foreign ministry summoned the charge d’affaires at the French embassy over the magazine cover.
Charlie Hebdo attacks Erdogan
Erdogan said he had not seen the caricature “because I consider it wrong to even look at these immoral publications” and that his anger was over disrespect towards the Prophet rather than the “disgusting attack directed at me”.
The West was “once again headed to a period of barbarity”, Erdogan said. He described colonial powers as “murderers” for their record in Africa and the Middle East.
“They literally want to relaunch the Crusades. Since the Crusades, the seeds of evil and hatred have started falling on these (Muslim) lands and that’s when peace was disrupted.”
On October 16, a man of Chechen origin beheaded Samuel Paty. Party was the teacher who had shown pupils cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in a civics lesson.
Meanwhile, the French government saw the knife attack as an attack on freedom of speech. Moreover, Macron said he would redouble efforts to stop Islamic beliefs from subverting French values.
Besides, Turkish prosecutors had launched an investigation into Charlie Hebdo’s executives. Turkey’s Communications Directorate said the battle against “these rude, ill-intentioned and insulting steps” would continue to the end.
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