Muslim scholars slam western stance on Turkey coup attempt

The secretary-general of the Qatar-based International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) has decried western policy vis-à-vis the situation in Turkey following the July 15 failed coup attempt.

In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Ali al-Qaradaghi said western policymaking was generally “Machiavellian” and based on double standards.

“Western policy is characterized by shameless double standards,” he said.

He cited as an example German criticisms of last week’s decision by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare a state of emergency in Turkey following a failed coup attempt by rogue elements within the Turkish military.

“Meanwhile, the German authorities adopted the same measure following recent attacks in Munich,” he said, in reference to a decision by the German authorities to declare a state of emergency in Munich after a gunman killed at least nine people in a shooting spree last Friday.

On July 15, renegade elements within the Turkish military attempted to overthrow the country’s democratically-elected government.

At least 246 people, including members of the security forces and civilians, were martyred during the coup attempt, while more than 2,100 others were injured in protests held in the wake of the failed coup bid.

U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen and his FETO organization have been accused of standing behind the failed coup bid.

Gulen and his followers are also accused of trying to infiltrate strategic state institutions in Turkey — particularly the military, police, and judiciary — with a view to establishing a “parallel state”.

“The international community has failed to take an honorable position regarding recent developments in Turkey,” al-Qaradaghi said.

“This was a full-blown coup attempt against an elected government,” he said. “They [western powers] should have supported the legitimacy [of Turkey’s democratically-elected government], but they failed to do so.”

The IUMS secretary-general went on to stress that the role of the military “is to protect a country’s borders and national security, not to rule”.

“From the beginning, the IUMS has reiterated its opposition to any coup attempt against the legitimate authorities,” he said.

– Hailing Turkey

Al-Qaradaghi also hailed the role played by Turkey’s religious institutions in aborting the coup attempt.

“Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate and its scholars and preachers played an active role in raising public awareness [about the failed coup bid],” he said.

“It helped rally the public to take to the streets to protect state institutions,” al-Qaradaghi asserted.

He went on to lament the positions adopted by some prominent Islamic institutions, such as Cairo’s Al-Azhar, regarding the failed coup attempt in Turkey.

Along with the Egyptian government, the Al-Azhar has kept mum regarding the July 15 coup bid.

Al-Qaradaghi arrived in Istanbul earlier this week to express support for Turkey’s democratically-elected government in the wake of the failed military putsch.

“Turkey has supported the weak and oppressed and has paid a heavy price for its defense of justice,” he said.