Balkans | Greeks interact with those who choose Islam because they associate Islam with Turkishness

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Balkans |  Greeks interact with those who choose Islam because they associate Islam with Turkishness

Greek researcher author d. Stefanos Kefkiris said that the Greeks equate Islam with Turkish and that is why Greek Muslims are seen as “traitors” in the country.

Kifkiris assessed the discrimination he faced from his family and friends when he converted to Islam, and the anti-Muslim sentiments in his country.

Kiphoris said he was born in 1972 into a devout Orthodox family in Athens, the capital of Greece, and converted to Islam at the age of 20, adding that his family reacted strongly to his conversion.

Kifkiris stated that he was interested in the history of religions at an early age, and said, “While searching for Orthodoxy, I had to look at the history of the Middle East, and that’s when I decided to research Islam. I started by asking a Lebanese Muslim friend in my school about Islam.” He said.

“My family sees Islam and Turkish as the same thing”

Referring to the fact that he decided to become a Muslim when he was 16 years old and his family pressured him not to change his religion for 4 years, Kefkiris said: “My family sees Islam as Turkish as both. According to my family, ‘Turks are the main enemy’ and I am.” Traitor” for choosing their religion. I couldn’t explain to them that this hadn’t happened in 30 years.” He said.

Affirming that he had received negative reactions from his relatives and family, Kefkiris stated that he was ostracized in social environments and subjected to anti-Muslim expressions.

Recalling that he went to Germany to study at university because of the pressure and exclusion he faced in his country, Kifkeres continued as follows:

When my family learned that I was a Muslim, they threatened me. I had to leave the house. They would tell me, “You’ve become a Turk.” I told them: Not all Turks are Muslims and not all Muslims are Turks. I used to say that Islam is a religion above me. After leaving home, I went to Aachen to study. I met my Muslim wife in Amsterdam through a friend, and together we became more attached to Islam.”

Pointing out that his family has not spoken to him for 30 years and does not want to admit that he is a Muslim, Kifkeres said that his parents were affected by the negative propaganda about Turks and Muslims in the country.

“The Greeks who discover the beauty of Islam become Muslims faster”

Noting that the youth are no longer as vehemently anti-Muslim as the older generation, Kifkiris said that during his recent visits to Greece, he had noticed an increase in the number of Greeks converting to Islam.

Reminding that Greece is trying to prevent Islam by closing mosques, Stefanos Kefkiris said, “Currently, Greek and Greek sermons are read in some mosques. Greeks who discover the beauty of Islam become Muslims more quickly. I don’t get such great reactions as in the past when you go out and say” I’m a Muslim” because young people no longer take these things seriously. He said.

Pointing out that far-right and racist groups in Greece are not only against Muslims but also against everyone who is not one of them, Kefkiris made the following assessment:

The Greeks see Turkish as Muslim. The middle generation and Greek fascist groups identify as Greek Orthodox. These groups also have problems with Greek Catholics or Protestants. For them, the idea of ​​the Greek nation is Greek Orthodoxy. This is a mental issue that we must face. I try to explain to people in my country that Islam has nothing to do with race, skin color and nationality.”

Kifkiris stated that the conquests of the Ottoman Empire in Greece were described as major massacres in his country, and he said that hostility from the past affected the current atmosphere.

Stressing that other states and countries do not view Islam as political as the Greeks, Kiphoris said, “The Greek people say: ‘We were slaves of the Turks, we fought and we were saved.'” If you become a Muslim in Greece, presumably you will be hostile to the state because you are now considered a collaborator with Turkey because you are a Muslim. You are always a suspect.” I finish.


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