---Muslims Against Erdogan---
THE TURKISH PRESIDENT RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN IS NOT WELCOME IN CAMBRIDGE
As UK Muslim residents and particularly of Cambridgeshire and student groups and societies at the universities and colleges in Cambridge, friends of Muslims, and others alike, we write to express our frustration with the insensitive decision taken by the committee of the Cambridge Central Mosque to invite and host the president of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for the inauguration of the mosque on Thursday, 5th December 2019. As Muslims we are very pleased and honoured to have such a beautiful house of worship dedicated to the worship of God (SWT) and bringing communities closer to fight Islamophobia, therefore, we categorically reject the use of our mosque and town as a platform for individuals that represent one of the most war-mongering and anti-democratic regimes in the world today.
The Cambridge Central Mosque belongs to all Muslims, and in particular the Cambridgeshire residents, and it must therefore represent the people not a state or a political organisation. Allowing the mosque to be used as a propaganda platform by a state or a government will certainly displease God (SWT) and compromise His house for worship, as well as marring the Muslim image in the UK and particularly of that of Cambridge Muslims. We reject the use of God’s house and message of Islam to be hijacked by any group, such as the Turkish state.
Mr Erdogan is the head of a state with a history of taking genocidal measures against minorities, which is currently systematically abusing the human rights of Muslims and other religious and ethnic minorities alike living within Turkish borders, as well as engaging in cross-border wars of aggression and military operations against majority Kurdish regions of Syria and Iraq. In the last five years alone, the Turkish state’s indiscriminate killing sprees resulted in the death of thousands of Muslim Kurds in three countries.
A 2017 report by the UN High Commission for Human Rights highlighted the significant deterioration of the human rights situation in the Kurdish towns and cities across South-East Turkey since July 2015, which included the indiscriminate massacre of hundreds of civilians, enforced disappearances, torture, systematic destruction of housing and the displacement of up to half a million people. Thousands of Turkish academics signed a petition calling on Turkey to respect Kurds’ human rights, many of whom were later charged with terrorism.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Turkey is currently “the world’s worst jailer of journalists”. Tens of thousands of civil society activists, lawyers, writers, teachers, workers, and women’s rights defenders, as well as legally elected MPs and mayors are in Turkish jails for criticizing Mr Erdogan’s government of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). By inviting and hosting such a brutal leader in a holy mosque in one of the world's leading intellectual and tolerant towns, we will give unintentional support to the systematic crack-down on basic God-given rights perpetrated by the Turkish state.
In early 2018, Mr Erdogan, launched an illegal cross-border operation and invaded the majority Kurdish enclave of Afrin in Northern Syria, with the help of ISIS and Al-Qaeda remnants. Hundreds of civilians were murdered in the illicit operation, whilst more than 300,000 people were forcibly displaced, and an ethnic cleansing campaign ensued by the Turkish state to demographically change the region’s composition and identity. The occupation of Afrin resulted in the targeted destruction of ancient sites and the systematic looting of homes, wild stocks and crops, directly in violation of the teachings of the Qur’an and the Islamic Prophet Muhammad (saw). The Turkish state along with affiliated extremist groups that led the occupation on the ground committed serious offences such as sexual violence as a tool of war, kidnappings of civilians, and forced conversions of religious minorities, again in violation of Qur’anic verses (Surah Al-Baqarah [2:256]).
In October 2019, Mr Erdogan, launched yet another illegal cross-border invasion operation against the multi-ethnic Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (NES), leading to mass displacements of over 300,000 indigenous peoples of the region in apparent act of ethnic cleansing. This ensued by destruction and looting of civilian properties, field execution of civilians and politicians and mutilation of dead fighters, as well as using internationally banned weapons on civilians, all of which mounting to war crimes committed by the Turkish state, and yet again directly violating the teachings of the Islamic faith.
Mr Erdogan represents a deeply racist and un-Islamic government and state which viciously oppresses its citizens and denies minorities basic human rights and equality. These shameful practices are highly in contrast with our beliefs in equality and mutual respect for common values such as fundamental human rights, bestowed upon us by the Almighty.
As UK Muslim citizens, friends, and particularly Muslim residents and friends alike in Cambridgeshire and affiliated groups at universities and colleges in Cambridge, we stand in solidarity with the people suffering from the anti-democratic regime and violence of the Turkish state. Furthermore, as citizens of the UK, a country with a colonial past that has resulted in the occupation and persecution of the Kurdish population in the Middle East, we feel obliged to the people, who use their civil and human rights to struggle for democracy, equality, and freedom. We reiterate in the strongest terms that the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not welcome at our mosque and town under any circumstances. We demand the Cambridge Central Mosque committee to formally withdraw this invitation and denounce the un-Islamic practises of the Turkish Republic led by Mr Erdogan and sever all ties with the Turkish Republic.
Muslims Against Erdogan
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