"Islam today is part of Europe. It is important to understand this.One should not see Islam as outside Europe. We already have an important presence of Islam and Muslims among our citizens," Barroso told a press conference this afternoon after an informal dialogue between EU leaders and around twenty high-level representatives of Christianity, Judaism and Islam in Europe.
"We can be a European citizen being a Christian, being Jewish or Muslim or having no religion," he noted.
On his part, the Grand Mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Dr.Mustafa Ceric, said Islam is indeed part of Europe but unfortunately Turkey is not yet part of Europe.
"Following this logic Europe has to prove that Islam is part of Europe by not delaying the acceptance of Turkey to the EU," Ceric told the joint press conference.
Many people in Turkey and the Muslim world believe that Turkey will not be accepted as an EU member because it is a Muslim country.
Mondays meeting was co-chaired by European Commission President Barroso, Slovenian Prime Minister and current President of the European Council, Janez Jansa, and the President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pottering.
This year's meeting focused on two major challenges facing the European Union: Climate Change and Reconciliation.
Source: Khabrein (English)