"We must establish that there is absolutely no difference between the murderer who killed innocent people in New Zealand and those who have carried out terrorist acts" in Turkey, Europe, elsewhere - President Erdogan writing in The Washington Post.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the Australian-born terrorist who killed at least 50 people at two New Zealand mosques is the same as Daesh terrorists.
In an opinion piece published in The Washington Post on Wednesday, Erdogan also called on Western leaders to learn from "the courage, leadership and sincerity" of New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and "embrace Muslims living in their respective countries."
The opinion piece's headline read: "The New Zealand killer and the Islamic State are cut from the same cloth."
Erdogan said the West "must reject the normalisation of racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia."
After attacks by the Islamic State, there was no shortage of Western politicians and commentators blaming the most deplorable acts of terrorism on Islam and Muslims — people whose opinions are very much aligned with the Australian senator Fraser Anning. At the time, we objected to the association of our faith with terrorism, and pledged to disallow any attempt by terrorists to hijack our religion. Unfortunately, Islamophobia and xenophobia, among other practices incompatible with liberal values, were met with silence in Europe and other parts of the Western world. We cannot afford to allow this again. If the world wants to prevent future assaults similar to the one in New Zealand, it must start by establishing that what happened was the product of a coordinated smear campaign.