BY DAILY SABAH WITH AGENCIES
ISTANBUL OCT 21, 2022 –
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned against the legitimization of anti-Islam sentiment, which has been restricting the freedom of worship and other freedoms for Muslims in different places across the world.
Speaking at an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in Istanbul, Erdoğan said attacks targeting Muslim communities have also been on the rise.
The issue of Islamophobia has become a growing threat across Europe, as several countries enact policies institutionalizing it, according to the European Islamophobia Report 2021.
It said countries such as the United Kingdom and France became “the main spots of anti-Muslim hatred and Islamophobic incidents.”
Erdoğan has been a vocal critic of the rise of Islamophobia amid Western silence and inaction in the face of the growing problem, which affects millions of Muslims.
He also called on Muslim countries to enhance cooperation amid ongoing problems.
“We cannot overcome attacks against the Muslim world without increasing cooperation on all fronts, from Kashmir to Palestine, from Western Thrace to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC),” he said.
The president also criticized the West for its hypocrisy regarding the Daesh terrorist group, saying that French cement giant Lafarge’s support for terrorism has been proven in the courts.
“Even though we are the only country that was involved in close combat and won a victory against Daesh, we are subjected to dirty accusations claiming otherwise,” he said.
French cement giant Lafarge will pay more than three-quarters of a billion dollars after pleading guilty to U.S. charges of providing material support to two designated terrorist groups including Daesh in Iraq and Syria.
Lafarge paid the terrorist groups from 2013 through 2014 for protection and to allow the continued operation of a cement plant in northern Syria run by Lafarge’s local subsidiary, Lafarge Cement Syria (LCS). In total, nearly $6 million was sent to the two groups, according to prosecutors.
The payments allowed the company’s employees to pass through checkpoints surrounding the Jalabiya cement plant and the company “eventually agreed” to pay Daesh based on the volume of cement it sold, which executives likened to paying “taxes,” according to the U.S. Justice Department.