Turkey's religious head calls for interfaith respect

Monday, May 05, 2014

Gormez stresses the need for getting used to living in a world with multiple religions

Gormez stresses the need for getting used to living in a world with multiple religions

ANKARA - Interfaith respect is of utmost importance in a global world where all cultures find a suitable atmosphere for coexistence, the head of Turkey's Religious Directorate said on Monday.

In a meeting in Turkish capital, Ankara, with the prime minister of the German state of Lower Saxony, Mehmet Gormez stressed the need for getting used to living in a world with multiple religions.

He presented the famous 13th century sufi poet Rumi as an example to be followed, citing the well-known lines attributed to him: "Come, come whoever you are / An unbeliever, a fire-worshipper, come."

For his part, Lower Saxony's Prime Minister Stephan Weil said people from different religious backgrounds "need to respect each other”.

He said he had visited the mosques in Lower Saxony as part of his election campaign. “As a state we want to show how we accept the Muslims, how we respect and appreciate them."

At least four million Muslims, most of them Turks, live in Germany, whose main religion is Christianity.

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