In general, lawful Islamist movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood work to insert themselves into Western society, exploiting liberal, democratic bodies to promote their own illiberal and anti-democratic ideology.
Whether co-opting Western democracies to silence its critics, or funding American Islamist organizations with long histories of extremism and ties to terror, the Turkish regime is now a crucial component of the global Islamist threat.
For the past few years, the international Muslim Brotherhood has found a welcoming home in Ankara in the face of opposition from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Consequently, U.S. Islamist organizations have also turned to the Turkish regime for collaboration and support.
On September 18th, a Washington, D.C.- based organization, the Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC), hosted an event in New York City with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “US-based Muslim Brotherhood supporters have a busy week coming up,” the Middle East analyst Eric Trager noted. “They’re hanging with Erdogan on Monday, protesting Sisi on Wednesday.”
Organizers of the TASC event included Ahmed Shehata, a lobbyist for the Muslim Brotherhood who has also worked for Islamic Relief and the Muslim American Society — two prominent Islamist groups designated as terrorist organizations by the United Arab Emirates in 2014.
Last year, following Turkish claims of an attempted coup against the regime, a TASC rally in support of Erdogan outside the White House included Shehata and a number of prominent American Islamist leaders, such as Nihad Awad, the Executive Director of the terror-linkedCouncil on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). As the Investigative Project on Terrorism notes, Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party subsequently sent a delegation to the United States to hold meetings with senior CAIR officials. Since then, Awad has continued to meet with representatives of the Turkish regime.
Such partnerships are not new. Since a coalition of U.S. Islamist organizations travelled to Turkey in 2014, prominent American Islamic groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood have become some of Erdogan’s staunchest advocates in America
U.S. Islamist organizations have turned to the Turkish regime for collaboration and support. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
In 2014, the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) featured three regime-linked speakers, including Erdogan’s senior advisor, Ibrahim Kalin. ISNA, a Muslim Brotherhood front , was named by federal prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator during the 2008 Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial.
Also in 2014, Turkish regime official Mehmet Görmez recorded a video message for America’s largest Islamic conference, organized jointly by two prominent Islamist organizations: the Muslim American Society and the Islamic Circle of North America (MAS-ICNA). In his message, Görmez announced the completion of a Turkish-funded mosque in Maryland, the Diyanet Center of America.
The MAS-ICNA conference that year was funded by the “Turkish-backed” American Zakat Foundation. In return, MAS-ICNA announced that the “Turkish presidency, agencies, several NGOs, state-media TRT World and Daily Sabah will organize events during the summit in Chicago, while President Erdoğan’s daughter … will attend the summit as guest of honor.”
The Turkish regime and U.S. Islamist organizations have looked out for one another. Erdogan has denounced American attempts to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. And in 2015, U.S. Islamist groups, including CAIR, released a statement opposing recognizing the slaughter of Armenians organized by Turkey in 1915 as a genocide.
Turkey’s intolerance for its critics is whitewashed by American Islamist groups. At the 2016 MAS-ICNA conference, Erdoğan’s daughter defended the regime’s purges – managing both to justify and deny mass-arrests of journalists. Prominent American Islamist operatives and clerics praisedher speech.
In general, lawful Islamist movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood work to insert themselvesinto Western society, exploiting liberal, democratic bodies to promote their own illiberal and anti-democratic ideology.
Proving itself to be a natural ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey makes use of this same deception: on September 18, Erdogan’s office demanded that NATO prevent a critic of the Turkish regime from speaking at a NATO Parliamentary Assembly conference organized by the Middle East Forum. When the dissident appeared anyway, the Turkish delegation interrupted proceedings and then stormed out.
Whether co-opting Western democracies to silence its critics, or funding American Islamist organizations with long histories of extremism and ties to terror, the Turkish regime is now a crucial component of the global Islamist threat. The West must recognize this, and work to counteract both.
Sam Westrop and Samantha Mandeles are based at Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.
A screenshot of the “Make Israel Palestine Again” T-shirt that was being sold on Amazon.
Amazon is no longer selling a T-shirt that reads “Make Israel Palestine Again” amid outrage from consumers and followers of the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), a nonprofit that tracks radical Islam.
A screenshot of the “Make Israel Palestine Again” T-shirt that was being sold on Amazon.
British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photo: Reuters / Pierre Albouy.
UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn — longed dogged by antisemitism accusations — is facing a fresh round of criticism and calls for his resignation following the publication this weekend of photos of him laying a wreath at a memorial in Tunisia for Palestinian terrorists who perpetrated the 1972 Munich Massacre.
Last week, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis had changed the Catholic catechism. After 2,000 years of teaching that a moral use of capital punishment for murder is consistent with Catholic teaching, the pope announced that the catechism, the church fathers and St. Thomas Aquinas, among the other great Catholic theologians, were all wrong.
And God and the Bible? They’re wrong, too.
Syrian Kurds could be a wild card in a possible showdown between Damascus and Ankara; Russia keeps the peace, for now, on the Israel-Syria border; Israel may have opened a new front of secret assassinations; the political economy of Iran’s protests.
Syrians gather at the site of a car bomb in the northwestern Syrian city of Idlib, Aug. 2, 2018.
The killing of a Syrian missile-engineer, widely attributed to the Mossad, is likely meant to serve as a message that the lives of those developing weapons against Israel are in danger.
A Syrian soldier inspects the wreckage of a building described as part of the Scientific Studies and Research Center compound in the Barzeh district, north of Damascus, during a press tour organized by the Syrian information ministry, on April 14, 2018.
The mass Muslim migration to Europe has galvanized civilizationist forces of populism and nationalism across the continent. This happens in three different ways, as shown by recent elections:
* In Hungary, the civilizationist part on its own forms the government.
* In Austria, the conservative party joined in a coalition with the civilizationist party.
* In Italy the anarchist-left Five Star Movement formed a coalition with the civilizationist party.
The 73rd anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where two nuclear weapons killed at least 129,000 people—most of them civilians, with thousands more dying years later due to indirect injuries and radioactive exposure—is a worthy time for introspection, where we should ask ourselves, “What have we learned from such a tragic event?”
Simply put, very little.
If the current violence between Israel and the Hamas terrorist regime in Gaza escalates into a full-scale war, one thing is certain. The main thoroughfares of the West’s great cities will be filled with thousands of protesters marching in support for Hamas and its strategic goal of annihilating Israel.
The anti-Israel demonstrations this time around will dwarf all those that preceded them.
We also know with mathematical certainty that Jewish institutions and Jews will be violently assaulted from London to Melbourne, Paris to San Francisco.
What does the future hold for Iran?
The American sanctions on Iran went into effect this week and a large number of companies stopped doing business with Iran so as not to lose their permission to continue to be active in America’s economy. The sanctions will turn more severe in three months time and will include banks and energy industries, with the result that Iran will lose much of its income, the major part of which stems from oil, gas and related products.
I’ve written recently about the “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference that is now opening a branch/front in the U.S. From October 15-18, in Oklahoma City, this diabolical group of anti-Israel, pro PLO narrative activists has now released a speaker’s list.
It’s a Who’s Who of Christian Palestinianists, including Gary Burge, Bob Roberts Jr., the overtly anti-Semitic Stephen Sizer, and Gerald McDermott.