At an event held on April 11 to unveil the 2017 European Islamophobia Report — released by the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research — Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu called on EU governments to criminalize Islamophobia.
“There is no ideology or terminology called ‘Islamism’; There is only one Islam and it means ‘peace,'” he declared — incorrectly: salaam means peace; Islam means submission. He also claimed that populist politicians are “increasingly engaging in extremist, anti-immigrant, xenophobic, and Islamophobic rhetoric to get a few more votes,” and that “centrist politicians are… using a similar rhetoric to get back the votes they have lost.”
Urging all politicians to recognize Islamophobia as “a hate crime and a form of racism” in their constitutions, Çavuşoğlu accused European judiciaries of applying a double standard by not paying as much attention to Islamophobia as they do to anti-Semitism. Using the Holocaust as an analogy, he continued: “There is no need to relive Auschwitz or wait for Muslims to be burned in gas chambers like Jewish people.”