During of a cross-border operation by Turkish troops against ethnic Kurds in Syria, all 90,000 mosques in the country over the weekend invoked a prayer from the Quran that promises reward for jihad and commands that Muslim warriors be “ruthless against unbelievers.”
The attack was launched Saturday in Syria’s northwestern Afrin region against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units, who are fighting ISIS, reported the English-language Hürriyet Daily News in Turkey. The Turkish government regards its Kurdish minority and the Kurds across its borders as enemies of the state because of their quest for independence.
Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate, known as the Diyanet, sent a message Saturday to all offices of muftis and religious officials across the country.
The head of the Diyanet, Ali Erbas, declared Saturday that the “Surah Conquest,” or Surah al-Fath, from the Quran “will be cited during the special sessions to pray for the victory of our heroic security forces, who have launched an operation against terrorist groups that threaten our nation and our peace.”
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Jihad Watch Director Robert Spencer pointed out that Surah al-Fath, the 48th chapter of the Quran, promises Muslims who wage jihad will reap material reward.
The passage reads: “Allah has promised you much booty that you will take and has hastened for you this and withheld the hands of people from you – that it may be a sign for the believers and He may guide you to a straight path.”
Verse 29 in the passage contains the command: “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are ruthless against the unbelievers, merciful among themselves.”
“This is the message that the Turkish government is giving to its soldiers as it sends them against the Kurds,” Spencer wrote.
“It’s interesting in light of the fact that Islamic apologists in the West routinely insist that such verses apply only to seventh-century situations, and not to today in any way, shape or form,” he said. “The Diyanet didn’t get the memo.”
WND reported in December Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at a convention of his ruling party, invoked a Muslim hadith — a collection of the accounts and sayings of Muhammad — prophesying that all Jews will one day be destroyed.
Erdogan — as with imams in Raleigh, North Carolina; Houston; and Garland, Texas — invoked the hadith in response to President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Islamic nationalism overtakes Atatürk’s Turkey
WND reported many geopolitical analysts are concerned the NATO nation, once regarded as a potential member of the European Union, is being systematically transformed into an anti-Western power. Fifteen years into his rule, Erdogan is abandoning the secular tradition of the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, in favor of Islamic nationalism.
In April, Erdogan declared victory in a referendum to grant him sweeping powers in a vote opponents charged was marred by irregularities.
The measure, with 51.5 percent of the vote, replaced Turkey’s parliamentary system with an all-powerful presidency and abolished the office of prime minister.
A week before his visit to the U.S., Erdogan urged Muslims to swarm the Temple Mount to act as a counter to the “insult” of “occupied Jerusalem.”
He called Israel a “racist and discriminatory” state that is reminiscent of apartheid in South Africa.
Erdogan also met with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to work on “unifying efforts to protect Jerusalem against attempts of Judaization,” the independent Palestinian Maan news agency reported.
In December 2016, as WND reported, hacked emails released by WikiLeaks showed Erdogan’s son-in-law was tied to the company accused of importing oil from ISIS. Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov previously told journalists in Moscow that Erdogan and his family were “involved” in ISIS’ illegal oil trade and personally benefiting from it.
At the White House in May, President Trump and Erdogan described the relationship between the two countries as strong but avoided the differences over strategies for confronting ISIS in northern Syria.
The previous week, the Trump administration decided to supply heavy weapons to the Kurdish rebel militias in Syria, the YPG, fighting ISIS. Turkey is in an ongoing battle with Kurdish separatists in its southeast.
Last May, as WND reported, Erdogan watched his security officials beat protesters outside Turkey’s embassy in Washington. The Turkish embassy claims the protesters were affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the leading Kurdish separatist group, which has been banned in Turkey.
The persecution of Christians in Turkey has become an issue at the White House. The case of Pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been imprisoned in Turkey without formal charges since October 2016, was brought up three times during Trump’s May meeting with Erdogan, twice by Trump and once by Vice President Mike Pence, CBN reported.