Ankara, Oct 5: The President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan has asked the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) to encourage women and children to become more familiar to going to mosques.
Mr Erdoğan, as quoted by Hurriyet Daily News, said, there was a “taboo” against women and men praying together in mosques.
“In my eyes, a mosque is empty without our children’s joy, our youth’s excitement, our elderly’s experience, our women’s grace and dexterity. If we are to build the future, we should encourage a mosque-centered life,” he said while addressing clerics at the Presidential Complex.
“It is my personal duty to encourage open discussion of all questions related to religion and mosques in this country. Is there a verse or hadith (in the holy Quran) that bars women from going to mosques?” he asked.
“I have never heard of it or have read of such a thing. My tutors have never taught me anything like that. These false beliefs must be dispelled,” said the president.
Adding more to his statement, Erdogan said the first week of October has been celebrated as “Mosques and Religious Officials Week” since 1986. He also pointed out that turning mosques solely into houses of prayer would be the one of the worst things that could be done.
Erdogan also said false beliefs about Islam have been used by certain terrorist groups to exploit people’s faith and Diyanet needed to step in to dispel such beliefs.
“The reason why groups such as FETO and Daesh (another acronym for ISIL) could gain a foothold in a society is because there are spiritual gaps, which our institutions fail to fill,” he added.
“The language of sermons and khutbas should be updated, renewed and refined for youth to understand.,” the president said.UNI