In a statement published under the initiative of Ali Muhiuddin Qara Daghi, (known as Ali Karadaği in Turkey), general secretary of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), a Muslim Brotherhood-linked organization funded by Qatar, 55 scholars from various Islamic countries called for a vote for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey’s May 14 elections
The scholars claimed the elections in Turkey were an important event that affects Muslims worldwide, so they cannot be silent, referring to verses from the Qur’an.
According to the statement, Muslims have greatly benefited during the Erdogan era, with the policies he pursued ensuring freedom and security for all. In addition, it said, Erdogan had lifted bans imposed on the hijab and that the number of memorizers of the Qur’an had increased.
“While Turkey used to be a faltering country, it has become a strong political actor in the regional and international arena, and it has entered the G-20 as one of the most economically powerful countries in the world. It has witnessed developments in the field of health as well as in its own electric car, armored vehicles, aircraft carrier and unmanned aerial vehicles,” the scholars said in the statement.
The text, which gives the distinct impression that it was written by Erdogan’s office, states that Istanbul, which struggled with water and sanitation in the past, has become one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Text of Muslim scholars’ statement that calls for Erdogan’s re-election:Muslim scholars endorse RTE
“Turkey has become a safe haven for everyone, from Uighur and Rohingya Muslims in the Far East who are persecuted as well as for Muslims in the West who are concerned about Islamophobia,” the statement says.
However, Turkey’s Uyghur policy has come under strong criticism from the opposition. The Erdogan government is accused of ignoring the Uyghur issue in order not to damage its growing economic relations with China. Uighur Muslims are not even allowed to hold protests in front of the Chinese embassy in Ankara.
The statement also mentions that Erdogan stopped the occupation of Tripoli by intervening in Libya, secured the northern regions of Syria and supported Qatar in a 2017 crisis, underlining that these were to the benefit of Muslims.
The statement, which also mentions the conversion of Hagia Sophia back into a mosque in 2020, claims that the opposition, which is supported by the enemies of Turkey and the Islamic world, will abandon all or most of Erdogan’s pro-Islamic policies.
“Muslims who have the right to vote in these elections should go to the polls and vote in favor of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his Justice and Development Party and its distinguished reform project.”
The scholars further recommended that Muslims who are unable to vote in the upcoming elections should show their support for their fellow Muslims in Turkey by contributing financially, using their influence in the media and politics and employing other available means to assist them.
The International Union of Muslim Scholars was established by the late Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Known for his strong support for Erdogan, al-Qaradawi had attended many events in Turkey and thanked the Erdogan government for leading the world’s Muslims. Saying, “If we keep Turkey alive, we will be able to sustain ourselves as Muslims,” al-Qaradawi described Erdogan as a hope for the Islamic world.
At an event he attended in Turkey in 2016, al-Qaradawi had said, “Turkey offers unlimited blessings and services to refugees fleeing the war in Syria,” adding, “Turkey carries our honor and dignity. Turkey is the most glorious country in the history of Islam. Turkey is one of the rare countries that has been a servant of Islam throughout history. If an oppressed [person] needs help, Turkey has always stood by him.”
He also endorsed suicide bombings and armed rebellion in Syria. IUMS, listed as a terrorist group by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain, has been branching out in Turkey.