Why 4,000 Muslims on a Caribbean island mean so much the world’s leading purveyors of Islamic extremism and terrorism
By Ryan Mauro:
The Islamist governments of Turkey and Saudi Arabia see a growing Muslim community in Cuba and are acting quickly to ideologically lead it. The Saudis and Turks have separately asked for permission to build a mosque there. President Erdogan wants it to reflect the Ottoman Empire, the last Islamic caliphate that was abolished in 1924.
Saudi Arabia and Turkey are competing over who will build the mosque in Havana for the estimated 4,000 Muslims in Cuba. The Saudis originally expressed interest, but now the elected Islamist government of Turkey is bidding for it. Turkish President Erdogan says his country hopes to build elsewhere in Cuba if its application is rejected.
Saudi Arabia remains an extremist state and continues to promote Wahhabism, a very radical interpretation of Islam. The Saudis spendan estimated $3 billion a year promoting Wahhabism. It is a national security threat to have the Saudis shaping the Cuban-Muslim community only 90 miles away from Florida.
Turkey is no better. President Erdogan’s government is rolling back democratic freedoms, hosts a Hamas terrorist network and is a stalwart supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood. There is a scandal in Turkey over his intelligence service’s cover-up of its arming of Al-Qaeda in Syria.
The Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs says the envisioned mosque in Havana will be modeled after an Ottoman mosque in Istanbul. Its insistence that it builds the mosque without any other country’s involvement shows that this project isn’t about serving Cuban Muslims. It’s about indoctrinating the growing Cuban-Muslim community into following Turkish Islamism.
Turkey is also involved in Cuba through a terrorism-linked entity named the Humanitarian Relief Foundation. This group, based in Istanbul, is closely involved with Erdogan and his Islamist party. Over the summer, it registered people to be human shields for Hamas. The group is also linked to the scandal over Turkish intelligence’s arming of Al-Qaeda.
The IHH website says in an article all the way back in August 2012 that it is “sponsoring masjid [mosque] construction in Cuba.” IHH said hopes to “address the shortcoming of books on Islam in Spanish soon” and fly Cuban Muslims to Turkey for Islamic studies. The article says IHH delivered humanitarian aid and met with the Turkish and Saudi ambassadors there.
It’s worth reflecting on the importance of that article. The Cuban Muslim community is in need of texts to help it learn about Islam. The group that is stepping in to decide what those texts will be is openly radical and linked to the Hamas terrorist group, as well as the increasingly anti-Western government of Turkey.
The Islamist Turkish government is spreading its neo-Ottoman ideology by building mosques around the world, much as Saudi Arabia has done with Wahhabism. There are currently 18 large mosques being constructed by Turkey in the U.S., the Palestinian Territories, Somalia, the U.K., the Philippines, Russia and Central Asia.
Turkey is building the largest mosque in the Balkans in Albania. Erdogan does not hide that this was part of his neo-Ottoman project,declaring in an October 2013 speech, “Do not forget that Kosovo is Turkey and Turkey is Kosovo.”
Turkey is even constructing a 15-acre $100 million mega-mosque in Maryland that was endorsed by then-Governor O’Malley, who appears likely to run for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. The project is reported to “become [one of] the largest and most striking examples of Islamic architecture in the Western hemisphere.”
Erdogan’s government is also reaching out to Native American tribes. Turkey’s lobbyists in Washington, D.C. spent over $1 million in 2010 alone to pay for congressmen and Native American tribesmen to visit Turkey, according to Islamist-Watch, which broke the story. The director of the organization says Turkey’s strategy could cause “the Islamist ideology to spread like wildfire throughout Native American tribes.”
In addition, Erdogan is building the world’s biggest mosque in Turkey and a shipping canal rivaling the importance of the Panama Canal and Suez Canal. He is competing with Egypt by building a rival university that will “replace” Al-Azhar University as the leading Islamic authority. The overall agenda is one of aspiring domination where the Muslim world falls into the neo-Ottoman Islamist fold.
Read more at Clarion Project