First of all, a Ramadan greeting to all our readers as this holy month starts. With the rest of the Islamic world, we too had our first fast yesterday.
Unfortunately, while Turkey welcomes Ramadan in peace, for many Muslims it will not be peaceful and tranquil. In Syria, Yemen and in Palestine, Muslims are forced to go through Ramadan in war. What is happening in Palestine is total carnage. It is as if Israel waited for Ramadan to attack. It has been bombing Gaza for days. Many buildings, including the building where Turkey's official news agency, Anadolu Agency (AA), which was showing the world Israel's attacks against Palestinians and primarily toward civilians, have been destroyed.
Israel is willing to stop the world from seeing the atrocities it has been committing as it has been attacking people without distinguishing the old, the women and the children. What is sadder is the response of the EU against these attacks. The EU, with the statement it gave, not only disregarded the bombs Israel is firing from land and air but portrayed Gazans as the cause for the events. It also didn't mention Israel's hit on AA, and the murders of many civilians, including a 14-month-old baby.
Yes, in Palestine, Syria and Yemen Muslims are facing a war of survival in dire circumstances. However, what is even sadder is that they are the targets of racist attacks around the world as well. Especially in the U.S., attacks and threats against Muslims have increased. For the Muslims living in European countries, life is not easy either. Islamophobia is spreading every day. Many women are harassed in the streets daily because they are wearing headscarves. Such harassment is not occurring in the rural areas of Europe; on the contrary, it is happening in modern cities and in capitals. In a city like Venice, where many tourists come from many parts of the world, a city that is flourishing due to tourism, Muslim women are being harassed about their clothing. If such harassment is occurring in modern European cities, it is not difficult to understand how hard life has become for Muslims in the areas where far-right and far-left populist parties are getting a large number of votes. Muslims are targets for far-right and far-left groups. One of the main subjects for the upcoming May 23-26 European Parliament elections is "Muslims and Islam." Far-right and far-left groups are openly declaring that they don't want Muslims in the European Union at their rallies. Living standards are getting harder in counties, cities and districts where Muslims live, and discrimination is seen in many fields. As if all of this was not enough, far-right groups and especially far-left racist groups cooperating with the PKK terrorist organization are attacking mosques.
European Muslims are rightfully concerned for the safety of their lives and belongings. Such developments toward European Muslims are a big threat for democracy in Europe. European democrats have gone silent recently. However, now it is time to stand together with Muslims. The rise of the far-right cannot be answered by being silent; on the contrary, it is possible to stand against the tide by standing together with those who are upholding democracy.
European democrats, both Christian and Muslim, can stand together and show the far-right and far-left parties and groups that the "field is not empty." European Parliament elections coincide with Ramadan. European Muslims will have to listen to far-right and far-left populist parties and their lies about Muslims and Islam for the entire month of Ramadan. Because of this the attitude of the Christian democrats, Social democrats, liberals and green party members in the EU will be very important and valuable for Muslims. Our wish is for European democrats to advocate that Christians, Muslims and people from other religions can live in Europe under equal circumstances in peace, and that Europe's Muslims are not alone.