Tapping on huge financial and human resources available for the use of the Turkish government’s religious arm, Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is aiming to gain a foothold in countries that have Muslim minorities in order to promote his hardline Islamist ideology and project his image as caliph to the world.
In provocative remarks delivered in a keynote address during the inauguration of the four-day Muslim Minorities Summit, held in Istanbul and organised by the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), Erdoğan urged the foreign guests in attendance to organise themselves and start dominating and ruling the larger non-Muslim populations in their respective countries. “That you are a minority in a country is never a disadvantage,” he emphasized, recalling verse 2:249 from the Muslim Holy Book, the Quran, which states: “How often, with God’s permission, have small groups defeated the large ones? God is with those who exercise patience.”
Stressing that God’s judgment is already given in such cases, Erdoğan said: “Therefore we, as communities of faith, can overcome whatever others have, including bombs and other things, with God’s permission. In history, many small, well-organised groups dominated and ruled groups that had many more people.”
In other words, the Turkish president was urging Muslim community representatives from some 100 countries including South Africa, America, Mexico, India and Argentina as well as countries in Europe to organise themselves with a view toward dominating the countries in which they live.