By Barry Rubin
One of the key factors about revolutionary Islamism is that it is an innately ant-American and racist doctrine. Usually this is seen through antisemitism or ant-Christian views (since in the case of Islam, religion now seems to have been reintepreted as a race when convenient) but sometimes there are different, but not highly publicized examples, such as the racism employed against Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Palestinian and other Arabic newspaper cartoons.
Can you imagine how the United States would react if someone said something like what Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan has just said. Remember that President Barack Obama has flattered endlessly the radical Turkish leader, ignoring insults and the subversion of U.S. interests. Erdogan seems to be Obama’s ideal leader, a “moderate Islamist.” Obama has turned over U.S. Syrian policy to Turkish regime direction.
Yet despite Obama’s pro-Islamist policy, Erdogan is blaming him for the fall of Egypt’s government!
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This is despite the fact that the increasingly repressive Erdogan has publicly blamed the opposition to him as a Jewish plot. Perhaps with the U.S. government supporting the Muslim Brotherhood antisemitism is no longer a detriment to Obama Administration backing.
But what does Erdogan really think of Obama?
As customary last Tuesday Erdogan addressed his AKP party group in the parliament.
As usual, part of his speech was devoted to ridiculing Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the opposition, secular-oriented Republican Peoples Party (CHP).
But this time he ended that part of his speech with these words:
“Kilicdaroglu is striving every bit he can to raise himself from the level of a black person (zenci in Turkish, which is the same as “Negro’) to the level of a white man.”
Might that be offensive? Might that be reported in the American mass media?
Incidentally, Kilicdaroglu is a Kurd and in a Politically Correct country that would also raise questions of whether Erdogan is a racial supremicist. One might reflect that if not for the Obama Administration the Turkish army would have acted like the Egyptian one.
Instead, dozens of Turkish military officers and journalists, among others, are in prison for years without trial. Intellectuals are intimidated. Turkish democracy is headed the same way that Egyptian democracy was.
Yet where is the Western sympathy for the Turkish opposition? Ironically, Kilicdaroglu is a social democrat yet he can expect no support compared to Erdogan’s extreme reactionary stance Obama only supports the far right when it is Islamist. The violent repression of recent demonstrations broke the media silence about ignoring Erdogan’s increasingly repressive state.
Last year the Turkish ministry of education was caught running a viciously antisemitic website and there are hundreds of other misdeeds. Millions of Turks are desperate at the tightening noose.
But not a betrayal of the United States on the Iran issue, not the Islamization of Turkish life, nor the massive arrests, nor repression, and even the subordination of U.S. Syria policy to Turkish interests, nor antisemitism is sufficient to wean Obama from his Erdogan-worship.
And neither is anti-black racism.
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Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs
(GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International
Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest book, Israel: An Introduction, has just been published by Yale University Press.
Other recent books include The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition),
The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle
East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center and of his blog, Rubin Reports. His original articles are published at PJMedia.