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The New Arab & agencies

Ban the Bible too? Erdogan slams French celebrities seeking to purge Quran of 'extremist verses'

Muslims believe that the Quran is the permanent word of God [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 May, 2018

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reacted angrily to a group of some 300 well-known French personalities who urged prominent Muslims to denounce anti-Jewish and anti-Christian references in the Quran.
Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reacted angrily to a group of some 300 well-known French personalities who urged prominent Muslims to denounce anti-Jewish and anti-Christian references in the Quran.

Addressing a ruling party meeting on Tuesday, Erdogan described the group that includes actor Gerard Depardieu, singer Charles Aznavour and former President Nicolas Sarkozy as "despicable", accusing them of attacking scriptures sacred to Muslims.

The group signed a manifesto which was published in Le Parisien newspaper on 21 April.

The statement urged Muslims to denounce some references in their holy book so "no believer can refer to a holy text to commit a crime".

Erdogan suggested other holy books had controversial references, saying: "If they had read it, they would probably ask for the Bible to be banned but they have no such concern".

If they had read it, they would probably ask for the Bible to be banned but they have no such concern."

Both Turkey's and Egypt's top religious bodies have slammed the statement, saying it amounts to calling for 'redacting' the Quran.

The Turkish directorate of religious affairs said on Monday that the signatories "are the Western versions of Daesh", an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

The manifesto has also sparked anger from French Muslims, who have said their religion was being unfairly "put on trial".

Tareq Oubrou, imam of the Grand Mosque of the southern city of the Bordeaux, pointed out that Islam was not the only religion whose ancient holy texts contain anachronistic passages.

"Any number of holy texts are violent, even the Gospel," Oubrou said.

Muslims believe that the Quran is the permanent word of God that was revealed to the Prophet Mohammad in the Arabic language.

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