Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was praised twice with a warm applause by all attendants after delivering his speech in Turkish language at the opening session of the 5th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) on February 27 2013.
The Forum was held February 26-28 2013 at the Austrian capital Vienna. The audience, most of them government members or members of high-level diplomatic delegations, interrupted his speech with applause twice when he described Islamophobia as a crime against humanity, just as zionism, anti-Semitism, and fascism. His declarations were later sharply criticized by the Israel, the US and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who was present during and heard the speech as well as the strong applause with which Erdogan’s speech was received.
Erdogan reminded the United Nations by saying: “Zionism is Racism” of a resolution passed by the United Nations in 1975 and revoked 16 years later, adding: “Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity.”
The prime Minister continued: “We are facing a world in which racist attacks have gained momentum, terrorism has claimed more lives, and religions and sects treat each other with less understanding”. He added: “In a similar fashion, I must state that rising racism in Europe is a serious problem for the Alliance of Civilizations Forum. Aside from countries indifferent to Muslim countries, disrespectful attitudes toward Muslims living in certain countries continue to hurt consciences”.
He said: “None of the divine religions approves terror; and above all, Islam, which is a religion of peace. It is impossible for a religion of peace to encourage or approve of terrorism; we will never accept that. The Alliance of Civilizations is one of the most meaningful initiatives to remove prejudices and close the gap between sides”.
During his speech Erdogan asked: “Does the UN Security Council representing all of the world’s, wonder? Do the five permanent members represent the entire world? Do these five represent all countries in the world, represent all faith groups?”.
About Syria Erdogan said: “The modern world could not give a good exam. Since two years the number of deaths is approaching 70 thousand, the bloods of innocent children flows every day while the world remains unresponsive, damaging the sense of justice.”