Turkey: Scholars urge action to tackle Islamophobia

3-day international conference on Islamophobia in Istanbul ends on Sunday

Turkey: Scholars urge action to tackle Islamophobia

By Handan Kazanci


A conference on Islamophobia in Istanbul featuring scholars from around the world concluded on Sunday.

The three-day conference, hosted by the Center for Islam and Global Affairs at Sabahattin Zaim University, was based on the theme “Contextualizing Islamophobia: Its Impact on Culture and Global Politics".

“Islamophobia is not an accident, people just don’t fall into Islamophobia, it is being pushed,” said Salman Sayyid, a scholar from the University of Leeds.

Sayyid called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to take up the issue on a serious note.

According to Sayyid, the Muslim world should not limit itself to the ideas put forward by nationalism.

Hatem Bazian, a scholar from the University of California-Berkeley, said there was an urgent need for a fund to tackle Islamophobia.

“Islamophobia systematically targets individuals and institutions,” Bazian said.

Burak Erdenir, the deputy permanent delegate of Turkey’s delegation to the EU, gave the example of Jewish and Armenian lobbies in the U.S.

“The Muslim world should be well organized,” Erdenir said, adding that Muslims should create their own art, movie, and literature to fight Islamophobia.

Featuring scholars from countries such as Turkey, the U.S., Qatar, the U.K., Austria, Myanmar and Singapore, the conference focused on the effects of Islamophobia on culture, society, politics, and international relations.

Ravza Kavakci Kan, a parliamentarian from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Devolvement (AK) Party and its deputy chairperson in charge of human rights, was among the moderators during the conference.

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