x

Society

Greek Archbishop’s People of War Islam Slam Fires Up Turkey

ATHENS — As Greece is preparing for exploratory talks with Turkey for the first time i four years, Archbishop Ieronymos jumped into the fray by ripping Islam as a being a political party that’s used war for its aims.

In an interview with private broadcaster Open TV about the role of the Church in overthrowing the four-century rule of the Ottoman Empire in 1821, he said Mehmed, conqueror of Constantinople, used taxes to keep the populace in line.

“As we know, Islam is not a religion but a political party and political quest, and (it's believers) are people of war, of expansion” he said.

“That is a characteristic of Islam, it is also mentioned in the teachings of Muhammad. Therefore the Conqueror saw the needs that emerged: how he would govern; how he would collect taxes; and mostly how he would unify all these people under his rule,” he added.

That brought an immediate blowback from Turkey's Foreign Ministry condemning the remarks without denying their accuracy, but as likely upsetting the scheduled talks in Constantinople Jan. 25 over Turkey's plans to drill for energy off Greek islands.

“We strongly condemn the presumptuous statements of Ieronymos, the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, against Islam during a television interview,” the ministry put in a press release.

“These provocative expressions of Archbishop Ieronymos, which incite the society to hostility and violence against Islam, also show the frightening level Islamophobia has reached,” it added.

“The fact that such a statement was made at a time when preliminary preparations are being made for exploratory talks is also meaningful and is an unfortunate step towards undermining the process,” the ministry said.

The Greek Church responded the Archbishop meant “nothing more than the perversion of the Muslim faith by a few extreme fundamentalists who sow terror and death around the world.”

“The Archbishop and our Church respect in practice all the known religions,” it added. "Furthermore, the example of the peaceful and harmonious coexistence of Christians and Muslims in Thrace confirms this to us in the clearest way,” said Kathimerini.

RELATED

THESSALONIKI – It’s been a long time coming (16 years, in fact, and counting) and the butt of countless jokes, but the citizens of Thessaloniki can now see the light at the end of their new Metro tunnel.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Search Effort Intensifies after Indonesia Quake Killed 271

CIANJUR, Indonesia — More rescuers and volunteers were deployed Wednesday in devastated areas on Indonesia's main island of Java to search for the dead and missing from an earthquake that killed at least 271 people.

ATHENS - Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis paid a visit on Saturday to the Police Station of Kallithea, the southwestern suburb of Athens, which houses an Operational Office dealing with domestic violence of a network of 18 such centers incorporated in police stations.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — When officials unfurled a 25-foot rainbow flag in front of Colorado Springs City Hall this week, people gathered to mourn the victims of a mass shooting at a popular gay club couldn't help but reflect on how such a display of support would have been unthinkable just days earlier.

NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) — The Biden family's tradition of eating lunch, shopping and watching a Christmas tree lighting in downtown Nantucket on Friday became mostly about keeping the president's 2-year-old grandson from having a meltdown.

AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — Respect achieved.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.