Turkish President Abdullah Gül has blamed terrorism in the name of Islam for soiling the faith’s image in the world and resulting in the growth of Islamophobia, while calling on Muslim countries to intensify their efforts to fight against prejudices against the religion, Hurriyet Daily News reports.

“The deliberate negative propaganda activities and the violence and terrorist activities, which some evil people and circles exploiting our sacred Islamic values for their heinous aims, have a big role in the perpetuation of this problem,” Gül said during his inaugural address yesterday at the Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (COMCEC) 29th session in Istanbul.

According to Turkish President, the lack of education, spiritual emptiness, poverty and income inequality are what feed violent, militant movements, and governments should act to rectify these issues with determination, the president said.

Islamophobia still remains a critical problem that instigates “groundless biases against Islam and Muslims,” Gül said, adding that all Islamic countries should etch the idea that “there is no room for terrorism in Islam” in everybody’s minds.