Turkish President Rages Over French Leaders’ Statements On The Quran

Joshua Gill | Religion Reporter

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at a group of 300 French politicians and celebrities who demanded Muslims denounce anti-Semitic and anti-Christian Quranic verses.

Former President Nicolas Sarkozy, actor Gérard Depardieu and singer Charles Aznavour numbered among a group of 300 French politicians and artists who published an April 22 statement demanding prominent Muslim leaders denounce anti-Semitic and anti-Christian verses in the Quran so “no believer can refer to a holy text to commit a crime.” Erdogan decried the group as “despicable” in a Tuesday ruling party meeting, according to The Associated Press.

“If they had read it, they would probably ask for the Bible to be banned, but they have no such concern,” Erdogan said, according to AP.

The group of 300 signed the statement, or manifesto, and had it published in Le Parisien newspaper. They issued the demand for Muslim leaders to denounce certain Quranic verses in the wake of the murder of 85-year-old Mireille Knoll, a Holocaust survivor, at the hands of her Muslim neighbor. The manifesto cited a total of 11 French Jews who were murdered for their faith in recent years.

“Why the silence? It is because radical Islam is considered exclusively by some of the elite French parties as an expression of social revolt … because the old anti-Semitism of the extreme Right is added to the anti-Semitism of the radical Left, which has found anti-Zionism as their alibi for transforming the executioners of Jews as victims in society,” the manifesto stated, according to Jewish News.

The signatories called on all of France to join in confronting and preventing anti-Semitism before France is irrevocably harmed.

“We ask that the fight against the democratic weakness that is anti-Semitism will become a national cause before it is too late. Before France is no longer France,” the manifesto stated in closing.

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