Children’s comic printed by Turkish government encourages boys and girls to seek Islamic martyrdom… and shows a mother telling her daughter she just needs to ‘desire it enough’
- Cartoon published by Diyanet, the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs
- Comic reportedly shows girl telling her mother ‘I wish I could be a martyr’
- It has sparked anger amid claims it ‘transfers the message of martyrdom to children’
The Turkish government has printed a children’s comic apparently encouraging boys and girls to seek Islamic martyrdom, it has been reported
A cartoon called ‘may god bless our martyrs, may their graves be full with holy light’ was published by Diyanet, the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs.
The colourful drawings show a young girl saying ‘I wish I could be a martyr’ to which her mother replies: ‘If you desire enough, Allah will give you that opportunity’, according to a Russian news outlet.
RT reports that another cartoon shows a father explaining to his son ‘how good it is to be a martyr’ and telling him that martyrdom gives people the chance ‘to gain the right to go to heaven.’
According to RT, the drawings are accompanied by statements, one of which reads: ‘Our prophet says: a martyr feels the pain of dying as much as you feel pain when being pinched.’
The cartoon, which was reportedly published by government agency Diyanet, the highest national religious body, has sparked anger in some quarters.
‘They want to use the drawings to transfer the message of martyrdom to children because they think it will be more attractive,’ psychologist and professor Dr. Serdar Degirmencioglu told the Evrensel newspaper, according to RT.
He also likened the mentality in the comic to the mindset of those who carried out terror attacks in Ankara as well as in Brussels and Paris.
He told the newspaper: ‘Turkey is overwhelmed with the pain of these massacres and with those pursuing the mentality of religiosity. All this has led to the death of people.
‘Exactly the same mentality that blinds people to the horrors is what the Presidency of Religious Affairs is trying to spread among the children in Turkey. The children will grow up and they will run toward death when those in power tell them to.’