Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said Monday the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, which translates to “Party of God,” should change their name to “Party of Satan” for their role in killing thousands of Syrian civilians.
“Those who stand by the Assad regime and kill their own Muslim brothers and indiscriminately kill women and children in the battlefield should not appeal to Islam and the Quran to legitimize their actions,” Bozdag said, according to Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman.
Bozdag made the comments during an international symposium on Muslim affairs in Ankara, “Problems of the Islamic World and Solutions,” Today’s Zaman reports. Bozdag has served as Turkey’s deputy prime minister under PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan since 2011.
During his speech, the deputy prime minister condemned Hezbollah, which has attempted to rally support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who stands accused of using chemical weapons against dissidents. He added that the Shi'ite militia, considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. and Israel, should change its name to Hezb al-Shaitan, or “Party of Satan.”
The Turkish official also compared Assad to Pharaoh from the Bible’s Book of Exodus, likening the Syrian leader’s attempt to maintain power to Pharaoh’s order to slay all newborn Israelites. “The Pharaoh gave orders for the killing of innocent children and their mothers to maintain power. What is the difference between what the Pharaoh did and Assad is doing?” he asked.
Bozdag added that the violent activities of terrorist organizations -- such as Hezbollah and al-Qaida -- were an insult to Islam. “What the al-Qaida is doing is causing huge damage to the Muslim world. Muslims have nothing to share or do with people whose hands are full of blood,” he added, according to Today’s Zaman.