Almost two weeks after calling the Islamic State terrorist group the biggest enemy of Muslims, Turkey’s top religious body has billed another ideology a possible threat to Islam.
“Jediism” – a relatively new faith of the Jedi warriors in the Star Wars series – is threatening the values of Christianity and Islam, according to a lengthy article published in the country’s Directorate of Religious Affairs monthly magazine Diyanet.
“Around 70,000 people in Australia and 390,000 people in England currently define themselves as Jedis,” wrote, Bilal Yorulmaz, an assistant professor at Marmara University in Istanbul, before criticizing Turkish theater and cinema producers for portraying religious people as negative characters.
Yorulmaz’s statement comes after thousands of Turkish students launched an online petition to build a Jedi temple on their university campus in April.
While the campaign was supposed to be an amusing response to a government decision to build mosques on university campuses across the country, it seems the Turkish religious body has taken it a tad too seriously.
Religion has increasingly come under public debate in Turkey in the past few years. The government under former Prime Minister and now President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has introduced several measures opponents see as a sign of the creeping Islamization of the country, including restrictions on alcohol and the government’s denial to build a church.
Although 99.8 percent of the population identifies as Muslim, Turkey is generally considered a secular republic.