Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the “spirit of fascism” was rampant on the streets of Europe, comparing the treatment of Muslims there to that of the Jews prior to and during World War II. “The Jews were treated the same in the past,” he said, referring to the persecution of Jews under Nazi Germany, which carried out a systematic plan to annihilate Europe’s Jews in the Holocaust.
Daily Mail Erdogan branded European leaders ‘fascists’ and ‘links in the chain of Nazism’ as he said Muslims on the continent ‘are now subjected to a lynch campaign similar to that against Jews in Europe before World War II’.
It is just the latest attack from the Turkish strongman leader after he spent the weekend verbally lashing French President Emmanuel Macron, over his toughed stance on Islamic extremism.
Speaking out after a French teacher was beheaded for showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to his class, Macron defended the cartoons and accused ‘radical Islamists’ of ‘trying to steal our future’.
He also called Islam a ‘religion in crisis’ and promised a range of new laws to crack down on what he called ‘Islamist separatism’, which he said had created a ‘parallel culture’ in France. The moves have prompted talk of a ‘crackdown on Muslim individuals and groups’ in France and sparked fury in the Islamic world.
Erdoğan cited recent events as evidence that European Muslims were under sustained attack, including a police raid last week on the Kreuzberg Mevlana Mosque near Berlin where 150 officers were deployed. Prosecutors in Germany said they suspected €70,000 in emergency coronavirus funds had been used fraudulently by officials in the mosque.
After a weekend of verbal attacks against Macron, Erdogan ramped up the rhetoric on Monday, calling for European leaders to ‘put and end’ to what he called Macron’s ‘anti-Islam’ agenda.
Moroccan leaders also spoke out to call the Mohammed cartoons an ‘act of provocation’, while urging Macron to stop ‘stoking resentment’ with ‘immature’ actions.
Elsewhere, Pakistani PM Imran Khan accused him of ‘attacking Islam’ while summoning the French ambassador to explain himself.
Macron subsequently spoke of problems created by radical Muslims in France practicing “”Islamist separatism”.
But Erdoğan said the French leader had attacked Islam and freedom of faith. Over the weekend he questioned Macron’s mental health and said he ought to be examined.