World Muslim Minorities Summit

President of Religious Affairs Erbaş:
“Muslims should establish very strong ties of brotherhood among themselves”

Speaking at the opening session of the summit, Professor Ali Erbaş thanked the invitees for their participation.

Noting "The 'World Muslim Minorities Summit' is the most vivid sign that Islam meets with humanity regardless of time, place, race, color, language, status and gender, and will continue to do so until the last day". President Erbaş said that the summit was being held in order to have discussions with religious leaders of the Muslim presence in different parts of the world and to improve cooperations.

Also stating that the Presidency aimed to plan religious services in accordance with today's circumstances and requirements and to be carried out with authentic religious knowledge, President Erbaş said, “This consultation meeting is an important gathering for us to eliminate deficiencies in religious education, religious services and religious publications, and we will develop our horizons together, we will define strategies for cooperation, and we will show the will to carry out these activities."

Pointing out that the universality of Islam was also manifested in geographical terms, President Erbaş said, “From Asr al-Saadah to this day, Muslims have reached every corner of the earth. Islam's realm of mercy and its principles that bring peace and well-being to humanity are being experienced and represented by your valuable efforts in all the countries of the world."

Pointing out that the Presidency of Religious Affairs hosted the Eurasian Islamic Councils, the First and Second African Muslim Religious Leaders Summits, and the Latin America and the Caribbean Islands Muslim Religious Leaders Summit, Presidents Erbaş stated, “We have witnessed that each meeting we organize as part of the ethics and law of brotherhood contributes to sharing our experiences and contributes to the creation of joint solutions for our problems.”

Expressing that the only measure of superiority before Allah is devotion and that people are declared brothers and sisters by a divine decree, President Erbaş continued his speech as follows:

“We see sadness and mourning in whichever photographs of humanity we look at”

Our world, under enormous problems at social, cultural, political, and economic frontiers and under the siege of global crises, is going through one of the most difficult periods in its history. All ideologies and policies tried with the claim to bring to humanity peace, tranquillity, and prosperity have lost their credibility. Almost half of the world's population are struggling with hunger and poverty. More than 100 million people have been forced to leave their homelands and are trying to survive as refugees. We see sadness and mourning in whichever photographs of humanity that we look at.

“Islamic societies have been affected the most by colonial and invasive policies”

The Islamic world is also undergoing difficult and distressing processes under wars, occupations, violence, and poverty. Cries in pains and tears are rising in the cities of Islamic world such as Gaza, East Guta, Damascus, San'a, Kabul, Tripoli, Mogadishu, and Myanmar. Especially Islamic societies have been affected the most from the developments in the last two centuries, particularly from colonial and invasive policies. Occupation and oppression for the Islamic world began with orientalism studies, and the Islamic world was exposed to brutal interventions. Imperialist powers have not withdrawn their hands from the Islamic world in times of struggle for freedom and declaration of their independence. A number of projects have been launched to destroy connections between Muslims in the world and to weaken their fraternal feelings, and these insidious activities continue even now.

“By producing dissension on differences of ethnicity and denomination, the feeling of brotherhood in the Ummah is being tried to be weakened”

I would like to emphasize that in the last two centuries the feelings of fraternity, unity and solidarity in the Islamic world has been facing efforts to be weakened by producing dissension and discord on differences, ethnic identities, denominations, and dispositions. On the one hand, terror and violence, poverty and ignorance remain to be major problems affecting the vast majority of the Muslim world. The situation of our brothers who continue to exist as a minority may become even more vulnerable in some countries.

“Bloodthirsty terrorist organizations were established to abuse the basic concepts of Islam”

One of the greatest slanders against Islam by the orientalist studies is that Islam, the religion of mercy, has spread through violence. Today, in order to embody this false perception, bloodthirsty terrorist organizations have been established that exploit the basic concepts of Islam. It is very clear that behind terrorist organizations such as DAESH, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, there are dirty relations of interest. Such puppet organizations created by international power groups are in fact tools aimed at separating Islam's message of mercy and justice from our young people in particular. Such groups that disregard any humane and moral values destroy the historical, cultural, aesthetic, and architectural heritage of the Islamic civilization in an ideologically conditioned fashion. In this spiral of violence, actually notions and principles of Islam are being distorted and destroyed, thus damaging the feelings of common values, unity, and brotherhood.

“Islamophobia has the potential to evolve into enmity against Islam and Muslims”

Another extremely important point is that these terrorist organizations hidden behind the most insightful concepts of Islam such as jihad and martyrdom are also causing spiritual destruction as well as material destruction. The images of savagery brought to the world agenda by treacherous hands through the media serve Islamophobia on a global scale. The fear and hatred created by the Islamophobia industry has the potential to turn into a total hostility towards both Islam and Muslims. As a matter of fact, at this point, the physical attacks and violence against Muslims and places of worship increased, freedom of belief and worship of Muslims have begun to be restricted, particularly in some European countries, significant discrimination has arisen in the social fields such as employment and education. It appears that in many European countries, political parties have been running election campaigns on Islamophobia-based propaganda to get votes, and terrorist organizations have tried to reconcile a religion sent to take people from darkness to light. Islamophobia, however, should be considered a crime against humanity all over the world. Muslims need to prepare alternative statements, action plans, and spread them all over the world in the fight against Islamophobia. It is essential that the vulgar, alienating, and anathemic discourse of the Islamic scholars in introducing Islam should not be tolerated; instead, the moderate, inclusive, embracing, and graceful style and religious discourse of scholar as in the unique example of our Prophet should be encouraged.

“FETO is a deviant movement in faith, deeds, and morality”

Here I would also like to talk about the FETO terrorist organization that is aiming to break apart the unity and integrity of our country, and attacking the independence and the future of our glorious nation. Orchestrating the treacherous coup attempt on July 15, 2016, the FETO terrorist organization is a foreign-involved network operating under the mask of religious services and is a deviant movement in faith, deeds, and morality exploiting all Islamic values for their dark and servile objectives. As you know, the treacherous coup attempt by this terrorist organization was eliminated with a brave and glorious resistance under the leadership of our President in a way exemplary to the whole world, and people protected their religion, homeland, nation, freedom, and rule of law, in which 251 martyrs and 2196 veterans left their marks on history.

We know that the members of the FETO came to you to exploit your good intentions, organized educational activities, opened schools, and established universities. You naturally showed them the sincere love and confidence you have for our nation because, throughout history, you have never encountered this kind of organization that exploited Islam for worldly, political, and economic interests, hiding behind religion.

“Understanding FETO’s betrayal project defeats a huge calamity”

However, July 15 was a turning point. Now that you also understand that FETO is a betrayal project, it means that a huge calamity was defeated for all of us because this treacherous terrorist organization has favoured the powerful and rich over the poor, the non-Muslims over the Muslims. They have captivated the minds and wills of our children, and brought them away from the nation and the Ummah by making them militant while they were supposed to provide education for them to be good Muslims loyal to their country and families. As a result, if there are still people who do not or cannot understand the damage this terrorist organization has done Islam and Muslims, we should continue our struggle together to show them the true face of this traitor usurpers of religion.

“We must raise new generations without compromising religious education based on the Qur'an and the Sunnah”

It is clear that it has a great significance and a grandiose sense to come together as Muslims of the world, at a time when the Islamic world is targeted to be worn out with multifaceted attacks. We must introduce our supreme religion to the humanity in the best way possible, with the responsibility of being the 'moderate Ummah' presented as an example to the humanity. In this context, we must raise new generations without compromising moral and spiritual education and a religious education based on the Qur'an and the true Sunnah. Therefore, we need to make more in-service training programs for the exchange programs for students and faculty members called 'Mevlana Program' that we have implemented between universities and for those who provide religious services in our countries.

"Muslims should carefully avoid any behaviour causing corruption and discrimination"

Muslims who are responsible for introducing Islam to the world through the message of peace, tranquillity, compassion and justice need first to build a strong network of brotherhood and strong ties of relations between themselves, to reach common understanding and to produce projects encompassing the future. Muslims should always build a better future together by taking a holistic view of the problems they face in their homelands and with their sincere, realistic, profound, constructive, and persuasive approach. In Islam, learning, knowledge, wisdom, and morality constitute an entirety. Throughout history, Muslims have instilled hope and confidence in the world through a moderate, embracing, revelation-based, and reasonable approach. Today, all Muslims should be carefully avoid all kinds of words, understandings and behaviours which harm our unity and solidarity, disturb peace and tranquillity, induce dissension and discord in an accusatory and alienating manner.

"Muslims will be guarantors for peace, justice, tranquillity and dignified life for all humanity"

It is certain that the bridges we have established with our Muslim brothers and sisters all over the world will surely be instrumental in many good works and services. Today, we need to show a special interest in areas where Muslims exist and work together on problems, solutions, possibilities and requirements. Today, the global affairs of humanity and the existence of the gigantic problems in the Islamic world should never lead us to despair. We are deeply committed to the truth from our Lord who says, “Do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are true believers.”

With more than 1400 years of knowledge and civilization, Muslims have the world's greatest opportunities with their young and dynamic population, underground and aboveground resources of wealth. When this power and potential is utilized, Muslim existence will be a guarantor of peace, justice, tranquillity, prosperity and a dignified life for all humanity. We believe that if Allah permits, Muslims are on the verge of a great resurrection and awakening. [Ministry of Religious Affairs Report]

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