Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the peace and well-being of millions of Muslims in the West are being threatened under the cover of counterterrorism.
Defining 2020 as "a challenging year" for all, Turkey's top diplomat has said that, in addition to the coronavirus, Islamophobia is on the rise like never before.
Speaking at the 47th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Niger's capital Niamey, Mevlut Cavusoglu pointed out the rising trend of anti-Islam, racism, and anti-migrant discourse, especially in Europe.
"However, migrants and Muslims continue to contribute to their communities. A recent example is the development of the Covid-19 vaccine by two Turks living in Germany," he said, referring to the scientists Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci.
They attracted the world's attention in November after their firm BioNTech, in collaboration with US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, announced a 90 percent success rate in its initial Covid-19 vaccine.
Saying that Europe lacks visionary leaders, as some of them dare to reform Islam, he pointed out that the peace and well-being of millions of Muslims in the West are being threatened under the cover of counterterrorism.
Cavusoglu recalled that French police have arrested children who were held for more than 11 hours in Albertville, France, on false allegations of "apology of terrorism."
"We must be awake to this dangerous rhetoric and actions and we should send a clear message regarding our red lines," he added.
'Suspending annexation plan is deception'
Cavusoglu stressed that Israel's decision to suspend its annexation plan is a deception and that the process of normalising relations encourages Israel's brutal practices.
Bahrain and the UAE agreed on September 15 to establish full diplomatic, cultural, and commercial relations with Israel after signing controversial agreements called Abraham Accords at the White House.
"The settlement expansion has reached the highest levels. Their goal is clear to make an independent, sovereign, and continuous state of Palestine physically impossible," he said.
Noting that there is a growing misconception that the Palestinian issue is losing its central place in the eyes of the OIC countries, Cavusoglu warned that the enemies of the Palestinian cause could take advantage of it if member states do not strengthen their unity.
"If we cannot unite on the cause that lies at the foundation of this organisation, how can we defend the unity of Ummah (Muslim communities) who will take our word seriously?" he added.
Cavusoglu said that voices should call for the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Uighurs, Rohingyas, Turkish Cypriots, and Turkish Muslim minority in Greece as well as those in Jammu and Kashmir, Muslims in Europe and other places.
Cavusoglu meets with Saudi foreign ministers
Cavusoglu held a meeting on the sidelines with his Saudi counterpart to discuss bilateral relations and regional issues.
In a tweet, the foreign minister called the meeting with Faisal bin Farhan al Saud "sincere" and urged stronger bilateral ties.
"A strong Turkey-Saudi partnership benefits not only our countries but the whole region," Cavusoglu said, adding Ankara attached importance to its bilateral ties with Riyadh.
In a phone talk last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Saudi King Salman bin Abdelaziz discussed bilateral ties and agreed to improve relations and keep a dialogue channel open to resolve ongoing disputes.
In a separate post, Turkish top diplomat said he attended the Youth Council of Foreign Ministers organised by the OIC.
"With such gatherings, one can feel the dynamism of the Muslim youth," he said.