World Bulletin / News Desk
“We share the troubles of all the wretched, the oppressed in the world,” Erdogan said at a program hosted by Istanbul’s Esenler municipality to mark Laylat al-Qadr (the night of power), which marks the first revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad.
“Every day in Palestine, innocent children, women, men, handicapped, nurses helping wounded are being massacred. The cruel Israeli government, the Zionist Israeli administration, does not allow the Palestinians to breathe,” he said.
Erdogan also said that Syrians are living in constant fear of having bombs rained on them as terrorists still linger in Syria.
“The pressure toward Muslims are increasing everywhere -- from the Middle East to North Africa, from South Asia to Europe -- day-by-day,” he added.
Following a government decision the shut down seven mosques in Austria, Erdogan called on the Austrian Prime Minister to reason.
“Look, you are still young, you need much more experience. Do not forget this; these attitudes may bring trouble upon you,” he said.
Erdogan said, “Because, you should know, a mosque being closed in Austria, Muslims and men of religion being kicked out of Austria would start another crusader-crescent war and you would be responsible for it.”
Erdogan emphasized that there is no difference in terms of mindset between displacing Rohingya Muslims and at shutting down mosques in the middle of Europe.
Austrian PM Sebastian Kurz said last week the move came as part of a crackdown on "political Islam".
Kurz stated the investigation on several mosques and associations conducted by the Ministry of Interior and Office of Religious Affairs had been concluded and that the activities of seven mosques were found to be forbidden -- one of them belonging to the Turkish-Islamic Cultural Associations (ATIB).
The Austrian chancellor added that the imams would be deported on grounds of being foreign funded.
In 2015 when Kurz was Austria's minister for Europe, integration and foreign affairs he backed Austria’s “law on Islam” (Islamgesetz) -- legislation that, among other things, banned the foreign funding of mosques and imams in Austria. The controversial law, which eventually passed through parliament, was intended to develop an Islam of “European character”, according to Kurz.
“We act decisively and actively against undesirable developments and the formation of #parallelsocieties -- and will continue to do so if there are violations of the #law on Islam,” Kurz wrote on his Twitter account.