Who would ever have thought we’d see a time when the media, Democrats, and establishment Republicans would suddenly mark Turkish president and de facto Muslim Brotherhood leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the most dangerous threat to the world? For once, I actually agree (mostly) with their feigned outrage, except that I’m truly outraged by Erdogan. If Republicans were smart, they’d call the Democrats’ bluff on their new anti-Erdogan crusade and ban his government from spreading poison on our soil.
If Erdogan is now the biggest threat to global security because of his actions in the Syrian civil war, then shouldn’t we be more concerned with his subversion activities in our own country by a factor of a million? Thus, Democrats most certainly would want to prevent Erdogan from radicalizing Muslims living in America and investigate the organizations with ties to his government, right?
On April 2, 2016, Erdogan officiated at the inauguration ceremony of the Diyanet Center of America (DCA), the largest mosque in North America, located in Lanham, Maryland. Some of the top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood organizations were in attendance and pictured with Erdogan. Where does the name Diyanet come from? The mosque’s website states that it “works in full cooperation with the Religious Affairs Directorate of the Republic of Turkey (Diyanet).” In other words, it is Erdogan’s largest foothold in America, controlled through his religious affairs office. Erdogan spent $100 million on that mosque.
So, let’s get this straight: The Turkish government agency that doesn’t allow Christians and Jews to practice freely in Turkey is allowed to fund religion in America? The media practically wants to go to war with Erdogan, but doesn’t seem to be bothered by this.
Which scenario is more likely to cause the next 9/11 – a change in the Syrian civil war overseas or Erdogan funding radical anti-American sentiment in American mosques? To quote the 9/11 Commission report, “Terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country.” It’s not the terrorist fighters in Syria locked in a multi-pronged civil war that threaten us; it’s those we bring into the country who are radicalized by people like Erdogan and the Muslim Brotherhood organizations he supports.
In 2016, Erdogan said of the DCA mosque complex that it “also has an important task for spreading Islam’s values embracing the whole of humanity, and our Prophet’s message of love and compassion.”
But what sort of Islamic values does Erdogan hold? He supports Hamas to the tune of several hundred million a year and is the global leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Do you think for a minute that his mosques will be promoting an enlightened view of Islam? Or will they promote the Hamas view? In 2018, during a speech before his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP, Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi), Erdogan grabbed a sobbing six-year-old girl on stage and said, “Look what you see here! Girl, what are you doing here? We have our maroon berets here, but maroon berets never cry.” He then continued, “She has a Turkish flag in her pocket too. … If she’s martyred, they’ll lay a flag on her, God willing. She is ready for everything, isn’t she?”
Look no further than the 1991 Explanatory Memorandum of the Muslim Brotherhood to understand the goals of the reputed leader of that global movement:
The general strategic goal of the Group in America … is the “Enablement of Islam in North America, meaning: establishing an effective and stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood which adopts Muslims’ causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at unifying and directing Muslims’ efforts, presents Islam as a civilization alternative, and supports the global Islamic State wherever it is.”
It’s no surprise that the Diyanet’s leadership boasted about meeting with Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., at CAIR’s annual community congressional reception this past January. Birds of a feather always flock together. It’s the Ilhan worldview that will be promoted in Erdogan’s mosques in our country.
As David L. Phillips, director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, warned at the time, “These mosques are not places of worship. They are centers for political mobilization functioning like madrasas, distorting [Islam] and radicalizing youth.”
Americans living here have the right to spend money on mosques just like they can on churches, but foreign governments have no constitutional right to fund religion on our soil, especially one regarded by our government as terror supporting.
Republicans would be smart to ban all Turkish funding of religion in America as well as designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terror group. Then dare the Democrats to oppose the bill. Countries like Russia, Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain have already designated them as terrorists.
How can Democrats feign concern over Erdogan and support groups like CAIR? Nihad Awad, CAIR’s executive director, posted a picture of himself on Twitter three years ago in Turkey promoting Erdogan after his brutal repression of the coup attempt.
— Nihad Awad نهاد عوض (@NihadAwad) August 1, 2016
Why do groups like CAIR get a pass for their support from Erdogan? Republicans will never find a better time to demand answers to these questions, as Democrats harness anti-Erdogan sentiment for their agenda of “orange man bad.”
It’s time for the Trump administration to leverage the feigned anti-Erdogan fervor into a relentless war against Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood on our own soil, which threatens us exponentially more than what happens in Syria.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.