Turkish professor calls non-praying people 'animals'

2016-06-13 21:25
Person reading the Qu'ran (iStock)

Person reading the Qu'ran (iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ankara - A Turkish professor has sparked a furore by branding people who don't pray as "animals", on a state television programme celebrating the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, on Monday.

"Let me put it straight, the verse of the Qur'an says... animals do not perform prayers and those who do not perform prayers are animals," Mustafa Askar said during the show aired on the state-run TRT tv over the weekend.

Askar said human beings are the only creatures whose foreheads incline to allow the prostration of prayer.

"Human beings were created to be prayer ergonomic," said Askar, professor at Ankara University's Faculty of Theology.

With controversy growing, Turkey's religious affairs directorate, Diyanet, said it was "unacceptable" to insult people by targeting their freedom of faith.

"The place, importance and value of prayers in our religion are known by everyone," Diyanet said in a statement on its Twitter account.

"But it is unacceptable to denigrate or insult people by targeting their freedom of faith and worshipping."

Diyanet also said the professor's inference from Qur'anic verses "does not bode well with Islam's language of wisdom and its messages of mercy".

Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli, however, declined to comment on the controversy created by the professor's comments.

"We did not have the opportunity to watch in detail" the programme, Canikli told reporters after a cabinet meeting on Monday.

"If it constitutes a crime, necessary investigations and prosecutions are carried out by our prosecutors and our courts. There's no obstacle," he said.

Turkey's secular constitution is supposed to guarantee freedom of worship, but critics have complained of a growing Islamisation under the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Engin Altay, of the main opposition secular Republican People's Party (CHP), called Askar a "lunatic".

"I've read the Qur'an. There is neither a verse, nor a saying [by the Prophet]. I think this individual is a lunatic," he was quoted by the Dogan news agency.

"The ones who are animals are actually those who let him appear on such an important broadcasting company like TRT."

Read more on:    recep tayyip erdogan  |  turkey  |  religion

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.