Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has denounced an anti-Islam manifesto published last month by 300 French figures calling for parts of the Qur’an, the holy book of Muslims, to be removed.
"Who are you to attack our scriptures? We know how vile you are," Erdogan said in a speech in the capital Ankara on Tuesday.
“Have they ever read their books, the Bible? Or the Torah?" Erdogan asked, referring to the Christian and Jewish holy books, adding, "If they had read them, they probably would want to ban the Bible."
"You are no different than ISIL (Daesh)," he added.
The request by the figures was made in an open letter, published last month in French daily Le Parisien.
The signatories, including former president Nicolas Sarkozy, three former premiers, and several MPs, equated Islam with “anti-Semitism” and demanded that “Muslim authorities … strike with obsolescence” verses in the Qur'an, which they said, were calling for “the murder and punishment of Jews, Christians, and non-believers.”
In response, 30 French Muslim clerics published a letter in the French paper Le Monde, condemning anti-Semitism and warned that the manifesto could strain relations between religious communities in the European nation.
They also denied that Qur’anic verses could be used to justify “violence,” quoting a famous passage, which equates murder to the killing of the entire humanity.
"Some have already seen [in this manifesto] a long-awaited opportunity to incriminate an entire religion. They no longer hesitate to publicly propagate, including in the media, that the Qur’an itself calls for murder. This pernicious idea is incredibly violent,” they wrote.
In reaction to the manifesto, Turkey's Europe Minister Omer Celik said on Sunday it was "the most striking example of intellectual violence and barbarity."
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also said: "No one can dare to touch even a single letter of Qur'an; it is under God's protection."
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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