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West must act against attacks on Muslims: Top Turkish cleric

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s highest Islamic authority on Tuesday decried the lack of action by Western leaders against the “massacres” of Muslims, after many world leaders joined a mass rally to protest the jihadist attacks in Paris.

“On one hand 12 million people have been massacred over the past 10 years in the Muslim world, which has suffered greatly,” Mehmet Gormez, the head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate, said in a speech.

“But last week in Paris 12 people were brutally killed in a way that no Muslim could approve of,” he added.

“We have seen that humanity, which has not risen up against the massacre of 12 million people, does rise up against the murder of just 12 people,” he said.

“Humanity must have an immediate rethink.”

He was referring to mass rallies in Paris and elsewhere in France on Sunday which drew almost four million people, in response to three days of jihadist attacks which left 17 people dead including 12 at the offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

Five other people, including four Jews taken hostage in a kosher supermarketshot, also died before security forces shot and killed the three gunmen involved.

Turkey’s Islamic-rooted government has unambiguously condemned last week’s attacks while denying any link between Islam and violence and denouncing Islamophobia it complains is increasing in Europe and elsewhere.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Tuesday also commented on the variable reactions of world leaders.

“If one day world leaders get together and march hand in hand for the children of Gaza and the Al-Aqsa mosque martyrs, peace would prevail throughout the world,” he told a conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

On Monday President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also denounced Western “hypocrisy”.-AFP

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