Turkey:religious leader blames Vatican over attacks on Islam

Washing feet of Muslim ladies or interfaith football not enough

03 September, 15:46

    Professor Mehmet Gormez, attendin a debate in Strasbourg, France, on 12 April 2011 Professor Mehmet Gormez, attendin a debate in Strasbourg, France, on 12 April 2011

    (ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL - Mehmet Gormez, head of the Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate, has said that the prevalence of attacks targeting mosques and Muslim communities has been increasing year by year, and he criticized the Vatican and other religious foundations for remaining ineffective in preventing such attacks against Muslims as Today's Zaman online reported.

    Speaking during an event on Tuesday organized by the Religious Affairs Directorate, which was recently placed under the authority of the prime minister, Gormez said there were 22 attacks on mosques in Germany from 2001 to 2012. Between 2001 and 2013, this number increased to 36, and it has gone up to 70 when this year is included.

    Gormez said he believes all religious institutions, and in particular the Vatican, should take necessary steps to curb this rise. Referring to a ceremony during which Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of two young Muslim women at a juvenile detention center as part of the Holy Thursday ritual in March 2013, Gormez said: "This (preventing attacks on Islam) cannot be accomplished by just washing the feet of a young lady or organizing an interfaith football match or tournament... It is necessary to prevent discriminative actions targeting the members of such a holy religion as Islam. The Religious Affairs Directorate also has many responsibilities (to fulfill) in this regard." (ANSAmed).

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