The Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) are hosting their 16th annual conference this week in Chicago.
The guest of honor for today’s events was Sümeyye Erdoğan Bayraktar, daughter of Turkish Islamist dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is currently engaged in a massive purge of politicians, judges, journalists, doctors, teachers, police officers, and the military.
— MAS-ICNA Convention (@MAS_ICNA_CONV) December 26, 2016
Tens of thousands have been arrested on Erdogan’s orders since an aborted coup in July.
The Turkish American National Steering Committee identifies Erdogan as “our President” in its event promotions:
Our President’s daughter Sümeyye Erdoğan Bayraktar will be speaking at the convention at 2.30 on Monday 26th December. Please Join Us pic.twitter.com/Yp6yWln1di
— Steering Committee (@ourtasc) December 26, 2016
— Steering Committee (@ourtasc) December 26, 2016
Not everyone in the Muslim community is happy about her appearance, however:
Right before blocking me.
Pure gold. pic.twitter.com/lM7Su7pHAm
— rabia chaudry (@rabiasquared) December 27, 2016
Opposition to a close family member of one of the most active dictators in the world at the moment is understandable.
Turkey currently holds the distinction of the “world’s top jailer of journalists” — as it is imprisoning one-third of all jailed journalists worldwide.
— AfSV (@AfSV_US) December 16, 2016
A new round of journalist arrests was just announced yesterday.
Another list of journalists published by pro-AKP anon accounts allegedly naming next round of jail travelers.About ~150 more Turkish journos
— ilhan tanir (@WashingtonPoint) December 25, 2016
Journalists are not alone being targeted in Erdogan’s continuing purge. In fact, as the Washington Post just reported, Erdogan is having to build 174 new jails to hold all of his purge victims:
Turkey plans to build dozens of new jails after post-coup crackdown https://t.co/ju7CudByjw
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) September 15, 2016
Here is a sampling of some of the recent headlines on Erdogan’s purge:
— Emre Celik (@emrecelikrumi) October 7, 2016
Turkey suspends another 2,000 education staff for alleged links to failed coup https://t.co/i0lha3WXAO
— Reuters World (@ReutersWorld) December 21, 2016
— Turkey Purge (@TurkeyPurge) December 13, 2016
— Aylin Özçelik (@Aylinozcelik3) December 26, 2016
NPR reported just a few days ago that two dozen Turkish military officers stationed at a NATO command in Norfolk, Virginia, have claimed asylum for fear of being returned to Turkey:
Turkish military officers in the U.S. seek asylum, fearing wrongful imprisonment if they go home. https://t.co/LKVr4aZjYd
— NPR (@NPR) December 22, 2016
Erdogan’s daughter was not the only featured speaker at today’s MAS-ICNA convention:
Mohammad Qatanani, the New Jersey imam facing deportation for not disclosing past ties to Hamas, spoke at @MAS_ICNA_CONV today.
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) December 27, 2016
That would be this Mohammad Qatanani:
Leader of one of New Jersey’s largest mosques heads to court to fight off being deported. https://t.co/iFhlQ1p5Me
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 3, 2016
In June 2012, I reported exclusively here at PJ Media on New Jersey Homeland Security documents identifying Qatanani as a Hamas member.
Erdogan has a considerable following among leaders of American Muslim groups.
In September, a number of U.S. Muslim leaders met with Erdogan in New York City while he was in town for the UN General Assembly as his purge of Turkey was progressing.
Attending the meeting were Executive Director of the Zakat Foundation Halil Demir, Executive Director of the Muslim American Society Mazen Mokhtar, theologist and Spiritual Leader of American-Albanian Bektashis Eliton Pashaj, Executive Director of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Mohamed Magid, Moutasem Atiya of Al Madina Institute, President of the Diyanet Center of America Yaşar Çolak, Ahmed Shehata of the Egyptian American Organization for Democracy and Human Rights, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Nihad Awad, Secretary General of the US Council of Muslim Organizations Oussama Jammal, Executive Director of Muslim Legal Fund of America Khalil (Eric) Meek, Mir Masoom Ali of the Brooklyn Bangladeshi Community, Zahid Bukhari of ICNA, President of the Adams Center Syed Moktadir, National Director of ISNA Sayyid Syeed, Chairman of the TURKEN Foundation Behram Turan, Chairman of the Islamic Relief Khaled Lamada, Ayman Hammous and Lana Safah of the Muslim American Society, Secretary General of ICNA Muhammad Tariq Rahman, Moviz Asad Siddiqi of ICNA Relief, Director of the New Brunswick Islamic Center Sami Catovic, President of the Center for Egyptian-American Dialogue Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, Yasir of Boston Muslim Community, Mohamed Elsanousi and Imrana Umar of the Adams Center, Coordinator for Egyptians Abroad for Democracy Worldwide Mohamed Ismail, President of Helping Hand for Relief and Development Farrukh Raza.
When Erdogan was in the Washington, D.C., area this past April for the opening of the $110 million mega mosque in Lanham, Maryland, many of these same U.S. Islamic leaders attended and later dined with him.
One of the regular attendees of these meetings with Erdogan has been Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has become a big fan of Erdogan’s purges:
— Nihad Awad نهاد عوض (@NihadAwad) August 1, 2016
— Mhurk (@MhurkSurvival) August 4, 2016
One notable absence from the MAS-ICNA convention is would-be DNC chairman Rep. Keith Ellison, who was forced to bow out of the event after being hammered by critics in recent weeks over appearances at events with known anti-Semites.
Ellison’s Name Disappears from Islamist Convention Program After IPT Report https://t.co/OefIyPh6JE
— InvestigativeProject (@TheIPT) December 22, 2016
Maybe Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s son will be available for next year’s MAS-ICNA convention?