Tuesday, June 28, 2005

'We do not Target Any Religion or Sect in Our Sermons'

Turkish Religious Affairs Directorate President Professor Ali Bardakoglu assures that sermons do not include any expressions darkening other religions or making discreditory remarks.

The US Ambassador to Ankara Eric Edelman had sent a letter to State Minister Mehmet Aydin that reads that the sermons (khutbas) given in mosques include worrisome expressions for Christians. Bardakoglu spoke in relation to the khutba which referred that Islam is the religion that was read on March 11 and that had saddened Edelman; however, The President said, it was based on a verse in Quran. "As the Pope has the right to say that the salvation of all humanity is only through Christianity, Muslims also have the right to say that it is the only accepted religion by stating that Allah is Islam." No one can prevent this no matter what religion they belong to.

"Our khutbas are prepared by the Religious Affairs High Commission, which works on Religious Affairs. We do not take into account any of external demands or expectations. We consider the situation in our country, national and social unity, the principles of the Republic, secularism, democracy and problems that we can help people to solve while we prepare our khutbas."

(Source: Zaman)

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