The Turkish parliament’s Human Rights Committee published a report on Islamophobia and racism on March 9. Turkish lawmakers visited the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the Netherlands during the two-year preparation of the report, which includes such chapters as racism, the presence of Muslims and foreigners in Europe, the historical origin of Islamophobia in Europe, the reasons for its rise and the role of politics and media in the rise of racism. The report, which includes accusatory language targeting the Western world, calls European-based right-wing extremist groups “terrorist organizations” while referring to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qaeda simply as “organizations.”
Stating that many acts alleged to have been carried out in the name of Islam fueled racism and Islamophobia in Europe, the report claims that the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics turned the opinion of Europeans, which until then had been positive, against the Palestinians and Muslims as well.
“Islamophobia has turned into a state-sponsored movement,” the report states. “Islam and Muslims, as victims of an organized network, have been turned into objects of a lynching culture through a media industry based on lies. According to lawmakers, in countries such as France and Germany, all elements of the security sector, especially the law enforcement agency put state power at the service of anti-Muslim movements.
“The effects of the attacks carried out by organizations such as al-Qaeda and DAESH (ISIS) in Europe on the increase of Islamophobia and the formation of prejudices against Muslims in Europe cannot be denied. At this point, September 11, 2001 attacks in the US, the Madrid train station attack in 2004, the London attack in 2005, the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack, the 2015 Paris attacks and the 2016 Belgian airport attack are among the biggest reasons for the increase of Islamophobia in the West because with these attacks, the perception that Islam is a religion that does not exclude violence has been created,” the report reads.
The report, which describes far-right organizations such as the German-based Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA) as terrorist organizations, does not make similar references to ISIS or al-Qaeda.
Parliamentary committee chair Hakan Çavuşoğlu argued that violent acts against Muslims were organized but added that they have generally been considered individual crimes and covered up by the European authorities.
Ruling party lawmaker and committee member Osman Nuri Gülaçar claimed that Islamophobia is entirely of Western origin and was invented to prevent the spread of Islam. Gülacar, who asserted that between 170,000 and 190,000 people a year converted to Islam in the US before the September 11 attacks in 2001, said Islam was deliberately presented by the West as a threat.
The report includes serious accusations against the French and German governments, with French President Emanuel Macron in particular accused of trying to dilute the basic teachings of Islam by creating “French Islam.”
The report also states that the far-right Gray Wolves were discriminated against in France because they were Turkish. In 2020 France banned the group, which is linked to a key ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and is seen as the extremist wing of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), a staunch supporter of the Erdoğan government.
Erdoğan often refers to the fight against Islamophobia, telling his followers that European governments discriminate against Turkey because of its Muslim identity,
Erdoğan on February 25, 2022 wanted members of the Union of International Democrats (UID), his ruling party’s organization in Europe, to be united in the fight against Islamophobia and urged them to help other non-Turkish Muslims.
Turkish parliament’s report on Islamophobia and racism:Avrupada_Yükselen_Irkcılık_Raporu