[December 11, 2017] Of course, the answer is that there are many leaders in the Middle East and each with his own brand of Islam and with his own ideas about the Sunni-Shiite divide. That, however, might be changing. The Middle East is a complex region with dynamics that confuses Westerners. One thing we should know is that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is the man who is trying to unite the entire Islamic world.
President Erdoğan’s message is like no other senior leader in either the Middle East or elsewhere Muslims are found. He is crystal clear … Erdoğan wants all Muslims to unite. What he sees is that the Islamic world is wasting its energy, wealth, and reputation on destroying itself from within. It comes as no surprise that he spends his time on uniting rather than dividing.
“There is no religion named Sunni or Shiite but there is only one religion called Islam.’” – Turkey President Erdoğan
Recent efforts by the leaders of Saudi Arabia to build a military and economic coalition designed to oppose the Shiite regional influence predominantly lead by Iran has taken hold. Erdoğan has taken steps to make clear his displeasure of such a coalition and has been vocal about it. His efforts are both advancing the Islamic cause and occasionally setting it back.
The fact cannot be denied; Erdoğan wants to unify all Islamic sects under the banner of the Turkish Model of Islamic democracy and by this he pleases not only the West, but every Muslim who tires of ISIS and sectarian divides to unite them against Israel.1 He is also very anti-American and anti-West. Foremost, however, he is anti-Israel and that is what many leftists in the west desire.
Erdoğan’s end game is simple. His idea is to unite Islam against what he sees as the morally corrupt West and bring pure Islamic teachings to everyone. Those who resist are, by definition, apostates and are to be punished in the most severe manner.
Western political elites have overlooked or missed Erdoğan’s vision and instead are focused on Saudi Arabia’s Sunni unifying efforts. A few days ago, Erdoğan bitterly opposed the decision of U.S. President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and described Israel as a “state of occupation:” that uses “terror” against the Palestinians.2
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