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Erdogan, Qaradawi, Ramadan, Hamas, and Obama

Who will stand with Israel?

4:00 PM, Jun 3, 2010 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
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The crudity of Erbakan’s Jew-hatred cannot be exaggerated. In 2007, the Middle East Media Research Institute rebroadcast a television interview with Erbakan in which he alleged that Jews had sought world domination since the delivery of the Torah. According to Erbakan, “the safety of Israel . . . means that they will rule the 28 countries from Morocco to Indonesia. . . . All the Crusades were organized by the Zionists.” While the Crusades came long before the Zionist movement, and Jews were often among the victims of Crusaders, Erbakan insisted that “racist imperialist Zionism organized 19 Crusades just to reach its goals. To organize the Crusades, it used the Christians.” Erbakan, who referred to Jews as “bacteria,” also claimed Jews invented Protestantism. In a particularly notable flight of paranoia, he declared that a Jewish man named “Kabbalah” originated a scheme for world conquest. The last reference, which Erbakan repeated insistently, is drawn from the most disreputable precedents in Tsarist Russian defamation and persecution of Jews.

Erbakan was an early proponent of a Turkish alliance with Iran, and his Milli Gorus movement has gained influence among the three million Turkish Muslims living in Germany, where MG claims 200,000 members and control of 400-600 “prayer spaces” (often storefronts and private homes rather than mosques). Milli Gorus is also active among Turkish Muslims in the Netherlands. MG members have risen conspicuously in Erdogan’s administration. Through the Turkish state religious office or Diyanet, Erdogan’s government exercises extraterritorial authority over 900 major mosques on German soil. While in the past, preaching in Turkish state-controlled mosques in Germany was moderate, the mosques were alleged to serve as centers for political monitoring of the Turkish Muslims in Germany. Under the Erdogan government, a turn toward radicalism within them cannot be ruled out.

Prime Minister Erdogan is tied to Erbakan, al-Qaradawi, Ramadan, and Hamas, and Turkey now represents a major element in the global panorama of radical Islam. The response to this reality by the Obama administration, which appears to fantasize that extreme Muslim ideology is merely a product of social ills, rather than of official support in countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Turkey, no less than in Iran and Syria, is badly mistaken. 

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