'To Associate Religion with Terrorism Hurts Believers'
Zaman Online, Turkey
By Mukremin Albayrak, Baran Tas, Istanbul
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Turkey’s Director of Religious Affairs, Professor Ali Bardakoglu, said
Wednesday Turkey is a country where different cultures coexist in peace
“Religion is ranked above politics in one’s
private life. It is independent of politics. It is not a means to be
used by politicians,” Bardakoglu said.
Speaking at “12th Mediterranean Special Dialogue Seminar”
organized at the Ritz Carlton Hotel; the director noted Islamic
countries have problems in terms of democratization, state, and
He said Islam promotes ...
human and women’s rights, political participation, and never
suppresses free thinking in the name of God, adding that one cannot
commit violent acts in the name of religion.
“We Muslims condemn global terror. World leaders should not
associate violence with religion. All religions encourage peace and
brotherhood while rejecting violence,” Bardakoglu said.
Istanbul Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomeos recalled Martin
Luther King’s statement, “Either we will learn to live together as
brothers and sisters, or perish together as fools,” and said they
believe different religions and cultures will live together in
Turkish Jewish Chief Rabbi Isak Haleva also stressed that both
in the East and the West, civilization is achieved through humane
understanding, and it is under the monopoly of no one.
Following speeches at the seminar, the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization Parliament’s Polish representative asked questions
regarding church assets and the Heybeliada Seminary.
Kirikkale MP Vahit Erdem told the Polish representative legal
regulations about church assets are being drafted. “No school is
outside our law,” Erdem said about Heybeliada Seminary.