Hindi: Erdogan, a jihadist with a necktie

by Dr. Toufic Hindi (July 12, 2020)

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was behind the production of the famous and interesting Turkish series “Resurrection Ertugrul,” which ran for five seasons from December 2014 till November 2018 and can be seen today on Netflix. Its hero is the jihadist leader Ertugrul, the father of Othman the founder of the Ottoman Empire. It is about Turks and Islam. Its aim is ideological: the promotion of Islamic fundamentalism.

Erdogan is the leader of the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood party. He is in the process of Islamizing the secular Turkey of Ataturk step by step. Nevertheless, Erdogan continues to wear a necktie at this stage.

No one should be surprised of Erdogan’s decision to reverse the 1935 decision of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the secular Republic of Turkey, who transformed Aya Sophia from a mosque to a museum. By reversing this decision, Erdogan is insuring his Islamic legitimacy and promoting himself as the genuine heir of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire. It is worthwhile recalling that the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, who conquered Constantinople in 1453, ordered the cathedral Aya Sophia be converted into a mosque.

It is also worth noting on this occasion, the sudden surge of Islamic fundamentalism in Erdogan’s behavior, and the presence of historic ideological links between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic Republic of Iran, which could explain the political positions and behaviors of the leaders of both countries in the past, the present and the future.

The ideology of Muslim Brotherhood has been influenced by the writings of the Persian cleric Jamal El Din Al Afghani. Conversely, the Khomeinist ideology has been influenced by the important thinker of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sayed Qutb, the cantor of jihadism. The Supreme Guide of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ali Khamenei, translated some of his books in the 1970’s.

Khalid Islambouli, the murderer of the Egyptian President Sadat, has a street in Teheran in his name. And of course, the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood organization, Hamas, is backed by Teheran.

Khamenei called the Arab uprisings “the Islamic Spring,” instead of “the Arab Spring.” He was convinced the Islamic Revolution in Iran had triggered these uprisings and had good relations with Egypt when it was under Muslim Brotherhood rule.

Thus, the non-Islamic states worldwide; especially the Western states; have to grasp the reality of these Islamic entities and the danger they represent to world stability and peace. The West needs an over-arching plan to deal with Islamism in all its varieties, not just to react to each separate event individually, such as the issue of Aya Sophia.

Dr. Toufic Hindi is a Lebanese politician, a university professor, and a commentator. He was the political advisor to the Commander of the Lebanese Forces, Dr. Samir Geagea, from 1986 to 1994 (when Dr. Geagea was jailed by the pro-Syrian regime in Beirut). Hindi played a central role in the LF and in the opposition to the Syrian occupation of Lebanon between 1994 and 2005. In that period, he was arrested and jailed by the pro-Syrian regime of Lebanon before he was released by the courts. 

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