Argentine president angers Muslims with remarks on “Islamic terrorism”

CIRA Condemns Anti-Islamic Remarks by Argentine President

The Islamic Center of the Republic of Argentina (CIRA) has strongly condemned the anti-Islamic remarks made by the newly elected president Javier Milei during his speech at the opening ceremony of the Jewish Olympic Games in Buenos Aires on December 28, 2023. The center, which represents the Muslim community in Argentina, issued a statement on its official website, denouncing the president's offensive and hateful language towards Islam and Muslims.

President's Speech at Jewish Olympic Games

According to the statement, the president, who is known for his controversial views and policies, expressed his full support for the state of Israel and the Jewish people in their fight against what he called "Islamic terrorism". He also announced his intention to move the Argentine embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is considered a violation of international law and a provocation to the Palestinian cause. Moreover, he revealed his desire to convert to Judaism, saying that he feels a deep connection with the Jewish faith and culture.

Pope Francis' Message on Interfaith Dialogue

The CIRA statement reminded the president of the message of Pope Francis, who is also from Argentina, regarding the coexistence and respect among different religions. The pope, who is widely respected and admired by Muslims around the world, has repeatedly stated that there is no such thing as a terrorist religion, and that Islam is a religion of peace and justice. He has also urged the followers of different faiths to work together for the common good of humanity and the planet.

CIRA Requests Urgent Meeting with President

The CIRA also requested an urgent meeting with the president to demand that he stop his inflammatory and divisive rhetoric that incites hatred and violence towards the Islamic community in Argentina and elsewhere. The center stressed the importance of fostering a climate of dialogue and understanding among the diverse segments of the Argentine society, which has a long history of peaceful and harmonious coexistence. The center also expressed its solidarity with the Jewish community in Argentina, which has also suffered from discrimination and persecution in the past.

Muslim and Jewish Communities in Argentina

The statement concluded by providing some information about the size and composition of the Muslim and Jewish communities in Argentina. According to the statement, there are more than 400,000 Muslims in Argentina, most of them of Arab origin or descent, who have contributed to the economic, social and cultural development of the country. The number of Jews in Argentina is estimated at 170,000, making it the largest Jewish community in Latin America. The statement called for mutual respect and cooperation between the two communities, as well as with other religious and ethnic groups, in order to preserve the diversity and richness of the Argentine identity.