Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to receive delegations affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood at the presidential palace in Ankara. On Wednesday he welcomed a delegation led by Oussama Jammal, the secretary-general of the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) and a prominent Muslim Brotherhood figure in the United States. Stating that they had come to congratulate Erdogan on his re-election in May, Jammal remarked that this achievement was a victory for the entire Muslim world.
Erdogan emphasized to the delegation the vital importance of the Ummah (global community of Muslims) standing against Islamophobia, intolerance and discrimination as well as being united in the fight against these threats. He also requested USCMO support against Turkey-hostile lobbies in the US. Additionally, he highlighted his hope for closer contacts with the Turkish community in the United States.
Jammal, expressing his honor and pleasure to be with President Erdogan, said: “We are here today to congratulate you. You have achieved a historic election victory. This election victory is not only yours or Turkey’s, but it appears to be a triumph for the entire Muslim world. We believe that you will do your best to continue supporting Muslims all over the world, and Allah will support you. Not only American Muslims but the entire Muslim world is praying for you, have prayed for you, and Allah has accepted our prayers.”
The meeting was also attended by Turkish foreign minister and former spymaster Hakan Fidan and the president of the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet), Ali Erbaş.
Jammal has been strategically engaged by the Erdogan government to advance its ideology within the American Muslim community. In recent years Jammal has fostered increasingly close connections with the Turkish president. Turkey’s support and funding for the Muslim Brotherhood network in the US and other nations underscore this relationship. Jammal’s elevated status is obvious due to the VIP treatment he consistently receives during his visits to Turkey, which include private meetings with President Erdogan.
Moreover, a lecture Jammal gave at the Diyanet complex in Maryland highlights the collaboration between the Erdogan government and influential figures within the US Muslim community. This partnership raises legitimate concerns about the extent of political and ideological influence exerted by the Turkish government over religious matters in the United States and beyond.
Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate, a huge state-funded organization with control of some 80,000 mosques in Turkey and abroad and a staff of close to 150,000, was ordered by the Turkish president to support Jammal and global Muslim Brotherhood networks.
Last year Erdogan’s wife Emine Erdogan was honored with an award from the USCMO, personally presented in New York City by Jammal.
In his introductory speech Jammal kept praising the Erdogan government while slamming rich and developed nations for ignoring the plight and suffering of people around the world.
Although the banner posted by the USMCO on its website and distributed on social media states that the award was launched to recognize American Muslim women, Emine Erdogan, who does not hold US citizenship, was honored with the award.
Erdogan remains committed to maintaining his affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood despite the anticipation of financial support from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, both of which view the Muslim Brotherhood as a threat.
President Erdogan on August 10 received a delegation from the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), a Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organization, in Ankara. The meeting was attended by Ali Muhyiddin al-al-Qaradaghi, the secretary-general of the IUMS, as well as Diyanet president Erbaş and Prof. Dr. Mehmet Görmez, chair of the Institute of Islamic Thought and former head of the Diyanet. No information apart from photos of the meeting was shared by the president’s office.
The IUMS, designated as a terrorist organization by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain in 2018, enjoys political protection, diplomatic support and financial aid from Turkey as well as Qatar.
With the exception of Qatar, the Gulf countries perceive the Muslim Brotherhood, which represents a militant and politicized Islamist ideology, as a potential challenge that could undermine the stability and continuity of their monarchies. As a result, these countries often view the activities and presence of the Brotherhood within their borders with a sense of caution and take strong measures against it.
Many Muslim Brotherhood figures including Hamas members have settled in Turkey in the last decade, establishing foundations, schools and companies and building networks. The Erdogan government facilitated the fast track approval of residency and immigration status for them, and many later acquired Turkish citizenship and adopted new names.