By Mark Ellis
The government of Turkey is completing a 15-acre, $100 million mega-mosque in Lanham, Maryland. Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan visited the site on May 15 as part of his official visit to the U.S., according to a report by the Clarion Project.
The event was also attended by the leaders of two U.S. Muslim Brotherhood affiliates.
The mega-mosque “will likely become the largest and most striking examples of Islamic architecture in the western hemisphere” when it is finished, according to the Muslim Link.
In his remarks May 15, Erdogan said he would return for the opening ceremony next week. He also warned against “Islamophobia,” branding potential critics as paranoid bigots. Erdogan recently stated that “Islamophobia” and Zionism are equivalent to fascism and anti-Semitism, saying they are a “crime against humanity,” according to the Clarion Project.
On U.S. trip, Erdogan brought with him the father of one of the Islamists killed on a Turkish flotilla that was trying to break Israel’s weapons blockade of Gaza. Gaza is controlled by Hamas, a designated terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.
The leaders of two U.S. Muslim Brotherhood affiliates in attendance included Naeem Baig, president of the
Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). A 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo lists ICNA as one of “our organizations.” The memo says its “work in America is “a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within,” according to the Clarion Project.
The second official affiliated with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood was Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). ISNA and several of its components are listed as U.S. Muslim Brotherhood fronts in the same 1991 Brotherhood memo.
“The Turkish government has been quietly spreading its influence in the U.S., but Erdogan’s public involvement in the building of this center takes Turkey’s ‘outreach’ in America out of the realm of the subtle,” noted Ryan Mauro with the Clarion Project.
The Clarion Project recently reported on connections developing between the Turkish government and Native American tribes. With assistance from Congress, thousands of Turkish contractors and their families may be settling in semi-autonomous zones of the Native Americans, out of the reach of American authorities.
The Clarion Project also reported on the Turkish Fethullah Gulen school network in America, which is currently under FBI investigation. The network is the largest charter school network in America. It has been a critical factor in Turkey’s continuing transformation from a secular democracy into an Islamic state.
Since he took office in 2003, Erdogan has been fulfilling an Islamist agenda. College admissions have been changed to favor religious students; he removed secular generals from the military (with one in five generals currently in prison on dubious charges) and women have been removed from many top government positions.
Honor killings in Turkey increased 1,400 percent between 2002 and 2009. Persecution of artists and journalists has become common as opponents are charged with “crimes” like “denigrating Islam” and “denigrating the state.”
According to the Muslim Link, the new center in Maryland will have five buildings, including a mosque “constructed using sixteenth century Ottoman architecture that can hold 750 worshipers.”
The Turkish American Culture and Civilization Center will be the largest Islamic site in the Western Hemisphere.
“The fact that it is being built by the government of Turkey represents the next step in Erdogan’s desire to increase the Islamist influence in America,” Mauro noted.