As the killings at a French satirical magazine stunned the world last week,Turkey’s government went on a mission: to defend its brand of political Islam. In a summary of comment by Turkish officials distributed by the prime minister’s Office of Public Diplomacy, the words “Islam,” “Islamophobia” and “Muslim” were mentioned 17 times. Columnists at pro-government newspapers suggested the attacks were planned by intelligence services to justify hostility to Muslims. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned that Europe was becoming more anti-Islamic.
The publication of a new cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday has drawn criticism from several Muslim countries and Islamic bodies, but support from the U.S. and Australia.
Saudi Arabia has a unique approach of vacillating between using hard and soft power. This approach is directly linked to Saudi Arabia being one of the wealthiest nations in the world, the home of the Islamic religion, and possessing vast oil reserves.
According to Hamid, even the most “moderate” Islamists “want the state to promote a basic set of religious and moral values through the soft power of the state machinery, the educational system and the media.”