“Do not befriend Jews and Christians” – local Turkish religious authority
A branch of Turkey’s state religious authority, which runs the country’s legal mosques, has warned Muslims not to befriend Christians or Jews.
Turkish Islamists have long been angered by the popularity of New Year celebrations in the overwhelmingly Muslim country and done their best to discourage the festivities.
“O, those who believe, do not befriend Jews and Christians,” a leaflet distributed by the Gemlik district mufti’s office in Bursa province warned, reproducing a verse from the Quran, OdaTV said.
“They are friends to each other. Whoever among you becomes close to them is doubtless one of them. God will doubtless not guide the oppressors to the light.”
A popular English Quranic translation renders the verse to warn Muslims off allying with Jewish and Christian clans rather than encouraging a boycott of individuals.
The leaflet also included a “hadith of the week”, which appeared to be intended at discouraging Muslims from celebrating the New Year.
“Doubtless every tribe (nation) have a celebration. Ramadan and Eid al-Adha are our celebrations,” the hadith read.