From the beginning of the 1990s onward, it has become clear that a new generation was coming to the helm in Islamic countries around the Mediterranean. I don't know how accurate it is to pigeon-hole this generation in an ideological framework in general, but we can say that they identify with Islamic movements. It is not correct to describe this period as an awakening movement in the general sense of the word, because its representatives were candidates vying to have a say in their administrations. Political parties in Algeria and Bosnia have made great progress toward becoming ruling parties. There was no doubt that this was a new political roust. Islamist movements in Tunisia, Egypt and Palestine demonstrated that the era of awakening is on our tails. It was obvious that the same holds true for Turkey. Western European countries, the U.S. and Israel have intervened openly in the process and managed to extinguish the hopes that flourished in this region. We have seen and lived through the great destruction of the last three decades.
It is a known fact that the Wahhabist movement gained legitimacy during the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire. Likewise, the identity-based approaches based on Arab frustration became a useful tool for Western imperialism. There was a direct relationship between the marginalization of the Ottoman Empire and the success of British imperialism. The anti-Ottoman sentiment of the Arab intellectuals representing secularism and the tribes within the Wahhabi movement were due to different reasons. It was clear that these movements were open to foreign tutelage. Over time, the emergence of different religious structures with similar characteristics is an indication of foreign interventions. We need to see that the most important weakness of the region is intellectual tutelage. Urabî Pasha in Egypt and the Mahdi Movement in Sudan are examples that illustrate the problems we mentioned. In both movements, anti-Ottomanism was a common feature. It is of such importance to note that entities such as Daesh and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) are united in their animosity towards Turkey.
Today, a new axis is being formed in the Muslim world by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia. It seems that Egypt has an important role to play in this axis. Likewise, it is not difficult to see the influence of the U.S., U.K., France and Israel in the formation of this axis. It was understood that the UAE and Saudi Arabia could cause great destruction in our region. They did not hesitate to deal with Israel. King Abdulaziz bin Saud played a major role in the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine. His evil legacy encompasses many parts of the Muslim world.
The following was reported in a news article published in Yeni Şafak daily on Tuesday, “The UAE struck a deal with deputy head of Sudan's ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who gained prominence after the military coup in Sudan, to deploy militia from the country to join the final battle for Tripoli”. One doesn’t have to be an expert on the subject to understand that the militia forces mentioned in the article refer to terrorist groups similar to Daesh. The UAE will send funds to Sudan and recruit men to fight alongside Khalifa Haftar against the legitimate government in Libya through non-governmental organizations there. The recruited men will think they’re fighting for Islam, but they will be used against government forces supported by Turkey. It is not difficult to see that this is a new example of our intellectual weaknesses.
This indicates that we’re no strangers to NGOs recruiting men. We know that men that were recruited by both religious and non-religious organizations alike in Turkey. The news article published in Yeni Şafak does not describe an isolated incident. We can see cursed structures like FETÖ everywhere. Even after July 15, FETÖ encompassed such large territories, we need to start worrying about the extent of intellectual weaknesses.
The intellectual weaknesses of religious entities that claim that they took action to preserve faith in the twentieth century were an important problem. The type of developments these movements would be exposed to was a significant problem. We know that this issue is ignored by opinion leaders. It is nothing new that weaknesses turn into threats. We have been witnessing similar quests for a hundred and fifty years. We have certain structures that have become such useful tools for Western imperialism. Both the ideology and those that represent it can be turned into useful tools of imperialism. There is a direct correlation between Turkey’s marginalization and the success of imperialism.