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'Europe must see Islam as family member not as guest'

Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said that Islam should be welcomed as a family member in Europe, not as a guest.

24.06.2013
'Europe must see Islam as family member not as guest'

'Europe must see Islam as family member not as guest'
- SG of OIC Ihsanoglu urged a serious fight against Islamophobia to strengthen ties between Islam and Europe, to eradicate the unnecessary sensitivities

Coming to Brussels for official opening of the OIC Permanent Observer Mission to the European Union (EU) on June 25, and holding talks with EU officials, Secretary General of OIC Ihsanoglu spoke to Anadolu Agency and Turkish State Broadcaster TRT.

Ihsanoglu expressed OIC's wish to further relations with the EU via the new OIC mission they will open with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton in Brussels.

"We need to seriously fight against Islamophobia to further strengthen ties between the Islamic world and Europe and to eradicate the unnecessary sensitivities," he said.

He warned against making policies out of hatred remarks, hostility and discrimination against Islam, saying "If Islam becomes a political content, it will be a double-edged sharp knife. We observed such results in Norway, France and several places in Europe."

Appreciating the "Islamic terrorist" phrase taken out of EU vocabulary, Ihsanoglu disapproved using the definition of "jihadist" instead.

"As a matter of fact, it is those terrorists who use such definitions themselves. How come you call it jihad and do it in the name of Islam what you are doing? We must ask this question with a much higher voice. We must explain to the world public opinion that those people have no right to declare jihad, use these words and phrases, explaining clearly with historical evidences and religious justifications that jihad does not necessarily mean killing the other," he added.

Describing the exclusion of Islam by Europe as unacceptable, Ihsanoglu underscored that "Islam should be welcomed as a family member in Europe, not as a guest. As the exclusion of Islam means ignoring the influential role of Islamic civilization in the evolution of the Western civilization."

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