Not a day passes without a headline in the Turkish media about the revival of Islamophobia in the West. Pundits wonder how Muslims in the West will be affected. As Al-Monitor’s columnist Cengiz Candar wrote, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is extremely sensitive about the growing Islamophobia in the West and does not miss an opportunity to express his concerns in public. Erdogan’s claim to the leadership of the Muslim world is well documented. Yet, we must ask, are all Muslims equal and treated fairly in Turkey?
Shiite-phobia is the other side of Islamophobia. It is not a term frequently used in Turkey, and the label is often misunderstood. For instance, one notable Shiite elder told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “There is no fear of the [Shiites], they just really do not like us because they think we are heretics.” Shiite-phobia indicates irrational fear, dislike and hatred toward Shiites. It is anti-Shiism.