UNITED NATIONS: While expressing his deep concern over the desecration of the Holy Quran, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday issued a stern warning to the West, and asserted that attacks on Islam have reached “unbearable” levels.
Erdogan’s criticism has been focused on Sweden for several months, primarily due to incidents involving the burning of the Islamic holy book. The Swedish government has condemned these Holy Quran burnings while citing freedom of speech as a protected right.
In his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Erdogan voiced his frustration with the Western world, stating, “Developed countries are suffering from racism along with xenophobia and Islamophobia as if it were a plague. It has reached intolerable levels.”
— Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye (@trpresidency) September 19, 2023
Erdogan Accuses Western Leaders of Encouraging Dangerous Trends
He went on to condemn populist politicians in various countries, accusing them of recklessly encouraging dangerous trends. Erdogan emphasized that the mentality allowing attacks against the Holy Quran in Europe under the pretext of freedom of expression was contributing to a darkening future for the continent.
“The mentality that encourages the hideous attacks against the Holy Quran in Europe, by allowing them under the guise of freedom of expression, is essentially darkening (Europe’s) own future through its own hands,” Erdogan declared.
Notably, protests in Sweden involving Holy Quran burnings have been organized by refugee Salwan Momika, sparking outrage in the Muslim world.
In July, Erdogan had announced his decision to lift a blockade on Sweden’s bid to join NATO, a move seen as a significant development in Turkey-Sweden relations. However, as of now, the Turkish parliament has yet to ratify Sweden’s NATO membership, and the situation remains unresolved.
Erdogan’s impassioned remarks at the UN General Assembly highlight the ongoing tensions surrounding issues of religious sensitivity, and freedom of expression.