Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy on April 10 argued that Hollywood “played an important role in the formation of” Islamophobia.
The Culture and Tourism Ministry, Presidency of Communications, and Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) organized the Third International Media and Islamophobia Forum in the capital Ankara.
Speaking in the forum, Ersoy said Islamophobia means "hatred of Islam, not fear of Islam." He said "With a Eurocentric understanding, a large part of the West sees itself as the right to define itself as it wishes, by positioning itself as the master and the other societies as slaves. I reject this attitude and emphasize how important it is to develop our own definitions for a correct understanding of the issue."
“We cannot say that this hatred is produced only by far-right political parties. Hollywood has played an important role in the formation of this perception. Western media presented Muslims as the most dangerous people in the world, as those who advocate violence and have no respect for human rights. The media developed a racist discourse against Muslims. A hierarchy was established among immigrants,” Ersoy added.
The minister argued that insulting religions and religious values cannot be deemed “freedom of speech.”
“Insulting neither Judaism, Christianity, nor Islam and the sanctities of these religions can be excused. Insulting and mocking religion, the sacred and the beliefs of societies is not freedom of speech. Just as anti-Semitism is a crime against humanity, anti-Islamism is also a crime against humanity. Blasphemy is a hate crime, it's racism, it's a reflection of a sick point of view.” Ersoy said.
On the other hand, RTÜK head Ebubekir Şahin said the media is crucial in the fight against Islamophobia. “Anti-Islamic circles actively use the digital space. In the fight against Islamophobia, our media should be at the forefront. It should warn the society and support politicians who develop strategies against this insidious danger.”