The International Religious Freedom Report the U.S. Department of State recently issued includes much criticism of Turkey.
I agree with the criticism of the fact that Alevi citizens' places of worship are not officially recognized. However, I have not seen any example of repression of Alevi broadcasts or publications.
Also, the comments that the places of worship of non-Muslim citizens, especially of Christians, are harassed seem exaggerated to me since these occasional incidents are not systematic. They are only spontaneous actions from small marginal groups, and government officials, politicians and the public harshly respond to such incidents.
The report also cites the Christians or Alevis among those detained or investigated after the July 15 coup attempt on religious grounds, which leads to questioning the seriousness of the report.
The Turkish state will thoroughly respond to these claims.
However, what caught my attention is the self-confidence and professionalism of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who issued a statement on the report.
Arguing that this report gives voice to all those seeking to live in accordance with their conscience, Tillerson seems to forget that a state of siege was declared in some U.S. cities since fascist groups took to the streets with Nazi flags and heavy weapons.
The secretary of state of a country in which millions of assaults are not considered newsworthy even though people are killed and where Muslim-, Latin-, Asian- and African-Americans are constantly anxious, cannot teach lessons of religious freedom with such a confident demeanor.
Tillerson should bear in mind that it is not that easy to manage the U.S. in the international arena only through professional gestures now that the U.S. has exhausted the credence given to political correctness during former President Barrack Obama's eight years in office.
Therefore, instead of focusing on the problems of 200 countries, the U.S. State Department must first take interest in its own problems, which perturb the whole world. This is essential for the good of the U.S., as well as the rest of the world.
So, does the potential of the racist threat in the U.S., where it is said that getting guns is easier than getting a job, only consist of the fascists who recently took to the streets, with one killing one and injuring 19 counter-protestors, or is it exposed to a greater danger?
What kind of a plan does it have to protect ethnic and religious minorities in the country who are anxious about their future? How many Muslim killings would be acceptable to them?
Above all, can President Donald Trump, who was appreciated by the Ku Klux Klan for his statements following the latest racist attacks, go any further than that?
In Tillerson's words, these questions form a part of the voice of those seeking to live in accordance with their conscience.
Do they hear these questions as part of their so-called sensitivity to religious freedom?
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