Istanbul panel discusses way forward for Islam in Europe

ISTANBUL

Future of Islam in Europe was discussed by academics at a conference in Istanbul’s Ibn Haldun University on Thursday. 

Recep Senturk, head of the Ibni Haldun University, said the university is setting up a new research center dedicated to studies on Islam and its future.

In this center, researchers will carry out studies to find answers to questions like, “What is Islam’s future in Europe?” and “Can Muslims be able to protect their cultures and languages?”

Noting that Islamophobia is growing in Europe, he said it is a threat for the continent, America and the whole humanity.

Muslims fail to show that Islam brings peace and prosperity to not only Muslims but to non-Muslims too, Senturk said.

He also said some Muslims have forgotten the teachings of Islam and act against them.

Bulent Ucar, professor from Germany’s Osnabruck University, for his part, said history of Christianity in Europe is not an ancient phenomenon.

“When we think about Europe we always assume it is Christian, non-Muslim. Same goes for Africa and Asia, we think these places are largely Muslim.

“However, this is wrong. Europe met Christianity later in the history. And for the Islamic world, countries like Egypt, Syria and Turkey had a large non-Muslim population until very recently,” he added.

Speaking at the conference, Professor Merdan Gunes said Muslims should work together to solve today’s problems and set aside little differences and disagreements.  

* Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic

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