Türkiye to continue multidimensional diplomacy in 2024 to address growing Islamophobia

Sat, 30 Dec 2023 8:41 GMT
Türkiye has also taken initiatives against Islamophobia in multilateral platforms in 2023.
Türkiye to continue multidimensional diplomacy in 2024 to address growing Islamophobia

Türkiye will continue its bilateral activities and multidimensional diplomacy in the new year to provide a solution to increasing Islamophobia in 2024.

According to Turkish diplomatic sources, while the burning of the Quran, occurred 15 times in Europe in 2022, the Turkish Foreign Ministry detected 507 attacks against the Muslim holy book in Western Europe in 2023.

Denmark ranked first with 447 attacks against the Quran.

While mosques were attacked 34 times in Europe in 2022, the number of attacks increased to 68 in 2023, showing the grave level of Islamophobia in Europe.

Germany recorded the highest number of mosque attacks with 52 incidents.

Türkiye has taken diplomatic initiatives to initiate criminal proceedings against the perpetrators and provides legal support to Turkish citizens in the face of the attacks

While Türkiye explained to decision-makers and the public in countries where the attacks took place that the offenses have nothing to do with freedom of thought, diplomatic efforts are being made to criminalize Islamophobia actions to find a permanent solution to the issue.

As a result of Türkiye's initiatives, Denmark passed legislation Dec. 7 that effectively criminalizes Quran-burning protests on the grounds of "inappropriate treatment of writings with significant importance for a recognized religious community."

Far-right Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan burned a copy of the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm in January under police protection and with permission from Swedish authorities.

An arrest warrant was issued for Paludan, who has been arrested in absentia in Sweden.

Paludan has been investigated for "incitement against a group of people, insult and gross assault against an official."

Initiatives also continued on multilateral platforms.

Initiatives against Islamophobia in international platforms

Türkiye has also taken initiatives in multilateral platforms in 2023.

Türkiye has been leading efforts against Islamophobia in international platforms such as the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Council of Europe.

The UN adopted a resolution condemning Quran burning on July 12, defining attacks on the Quran as "religious hatred."

The UN General Assembly also adopted a resolution that deplores all acts of violence against holy books as a violation of international law on July 25.

The definition of attacks against the Quran as religious hatred and violation of international law constitutes an acquis for future steps to be taken.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim strongly condemned the recent burnings of the Quran in a joint statement issued Sept. 20 after a leaders' meeting in New York on the margins of the 78th UN General Assembly.

They also expressed concern over the emergence of a "new form of racism" characterized by xenophobia and negative profiling and stereotyping of Muslims.

The leaders condemned "in the strongest terms the recent incidents of the burning of copies of the holy Quran witnessed in several European countries under the guise of freedom of expression as well as populist discourse that incites abuse, hate speech and aggression against Islam and Muslims," it said.

Türkiye also has been making great efforts for OIC countries to adopt a common position.

As a result of Türkiye's efforts, the 18th Extraordinary Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC convened July 31 and a joint statement was adopted at the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of OIC Member States on Sept. 21.

A special session focusing on the issue will be held at the third Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Türkiye to be held March 1 - 3, with experts from all over the world coming together.


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