02 February 2017

Rift over "Islamist terror" language as Merkel visits Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan got upset Thursday when German Chancellor Angela Merkel used the term "Islamist terror" as part of a list of threats against which she is battling.

"The expression Islamist terrorism seriously hurts us Muslims," he said in Ankara, as the two sat next to each other in front of journalists. "Islam and terror have nothing to do with each other. The meaning of the word Islam is peace."

"There is a difference between the terms Islam and Islamist," said Merkel in response, insisting: "We do everything possible to let Muslims in Germany live their religion freely." She noted that together with Muslims, she raised her voice against terrorism.

The debate over the terminology is hardly new. Former US president Barack Obama went to great lengths to avoid using the phrase at all, with his aides insisting that the words were counter-productive and most Muslims would condemn acts of terrorism. [europe online] Read more