by Dr. Ephraim Herrera
In contrast to the ideology of the Islamic State group, the Muslim Brotherhood espouses Islamic control of the world through peaceful [and subversive] measures -- meaning through preaching Islam and natural growth.
In a recent speech that received a great deal of coverage in the Arab media, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Europe of having double standards, in part due to its silence over the May 11 execution of a senior Muslim Brotherhood member in Bangladesh. Motiur Rahman Nizami, 71, was charged with committing genocide, rape and torture during his support of Pakistan in its war against Bangladesh in 1971. In that heinous war, 3 million people were killed and 10 million were expelled from their homes. Erdogan called Nizami, who was executed by hanging, a "shahid" ("martyr").
This is not the first time that Erdogan has come to the defense of a senior Brotherhood member. A year ago he harshly condemned the death sentence given to Mohammed Morsi, the overthrown Egyptian president, saying: "Morsi is the president of Egypt, not [Abdel-Fattah] el-Sissi."
The Muslim Brotherhood owes a debt of gratitude to the Turkish president. The organization's spiritual leader, Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, declared in August 2014: "The association of Islamic scholars decreed that the caliphate must be established in Istanbul, the capital of the caliphate ... the new Turkey, which combines religion and state, the old and the new, the Arab and the non-Arab, and unifies the 'Ummah' (Islamic community). The person who made this possible is Recep Tayyip Erdogan. ... You must stand alongside him, swear your allegiance to him and tell him: March onward. I envision his success, if Allah wills it."
Qaradawi later nominated Erdogan as the next Islamic caliph, or in other words the leader of the entire Muslim nation. A month ago Qaradawi thanked Erdogan for supporting the Palestinian "muqawama" ("resistance"), for his trips around the world in support of the Palestinian cause, for the Mavi Marmara ship (which in 2010 attempted to violate an Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip), for the Turkish shahids who were killed on board, and for his devotion to the Quran, the Sunnah (the Prophet Muhammad's teachings) and Shariah (Islamic law).
Erdogan meets on a regular basis with the terrorist leaders of Hamas, who are guests of honor in Turkey, chief among them Khaled Mashaal, whom he last met in December 2015.
In contrast to the ideology of the Islamic State group, the Muslim Brotherhood espouses Islamic control of the world through peaceful measures -- meaning through preaching Islam and natural growth. This is the movement's declared policy, and Qaradawi predicts that it will succeed where previous military Islamic conquests of Europe failed (in the eighth and 16th centuries). It appears that here lies the reason behind Erdogan's demand that Europe open its gates to Turkish citizens, in exchange for Turkey stemming the flow of immigrants crossing its borders into Europe. The European Union agreed to this demand in principle, but conditioned it on a series of steps, including an amendment to Turkey's anti-terrorism law. If the deal materializes, the number of Turkish Muslims living in Western Europe is expected to rise significantly.
It is therefore not surprising that many Europeans fear the notion of Turkish citizens no longer requiring visas. Israel, which is currently engaged in the process of renewing diplomatic ties with Turkey, must similarly make sure it has its eyes open, particularly regarding the manner in which any future deal is conditioned. Israel must deem whether Turkey's rapprochement is earnest, or just a ploy to extract Hamas from its isolation.
Dr. Ephraim Herrera is the author of "Jihad -- Fundamentals and Fundamentalism."
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