For years, Turkey has been harboring preachers of hate with the aim of weaponizing them to destabilize regional countries. Since 2013, when the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group was toppled form governing Egypt, hundreds of extremists fled to Turkey.
Furthermore, hundreds also of hardliner clerics left other Arab countries and found refuge in dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Turkey.
One of those notorious preachers of hate is Hakem Al-Mutairi, a Kuwaiti citizen living in Turkey’s largest city of Istanbul, who is on the terror list in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirate and Bahrain because of his “Takfiri fatwas” which legitimize the killing of Muslims who he considers apostate owing to disagreements in the interpretation of some Islamic teachings and views.
Generally speaking, Middle Eastern countries view such individuals (the Takfiris) as a threat because they are able to persuade their naïve followers to join terror groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda, while they do not go themselves nor their families to places of war and chaos. Thus, many of those Takfiris are behind bars in the Middle East to prevent them from preaching hate and causing avoidable terrorist attacks.
أ.د. حاكم المطيري@DrHAKEMتقرر شرعا بأن أي دولة تحارب النبيﷺ ينتقض عهدها وأمانها مع المسلمين جميعا وتكون تلك الدولة دار حرب لا دار سلم وأمان وعهد! ﴿وإن نكثوا أيمانهم من بعد عهدهم وطعنوا في دينكم فقاتلوا أئمة الكفر إنهم لا أيمان لهم لعلهم ينتهون﴾ وأئمة الكفر رؤساؤهم كماكرون فرنسا! ومن يتولهم فإنه منهم!
Hakem Al-Mutairi tweeted yesterday that “France is a place of war and not a place of peace,” which is a hint to his followers that they have his blessing to attack France from inside or attack French interests all over the world.
Hakem and the likes of him are taking advantage of social media platforms and the right of free speech to reach out to naïve Muslims. That must end because what is at stake today are the lives of innocents such as the poor victims who were killed in Nice.
According to Nordic Monitor, Hakem was denied entry into Turkey in 2013, but then dictator Erdoğan personally intervened in lifting the ban. Since then he has been actively working under the supervision of the Turkish intelligence to attack Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE, while amplifying dictator Erdoğan’s image by calling him the caliph and protector of oppressed Muslims all around the world.
Hakem is also a frequent guest on Al-Jazeera, the Qatari state-owned channel, where he is given an opportunity to share his extremist ideas to millions of viewers around the world.
Certainty, Turkey and Qatar know how dangerous this individual is but still support him and present him as a moderate Islamic cleric and a defender of oppressed Muslims!
In 2018, Imam Mohammed Bin Saud University in Saudi Arabia issued a statement warning all of its students and staff from five extremist preachers. The list of extremists includes Youssaf Al-Qaradawi, a Qatari based preacher who is notoriously known for legitimizing suicide bombings and a vocal supporter of dictator Erdoğan. Hakem Almutairi is also on the same list with other extremists based inside Syria.
Terrorist attacks will never stop if preachers of hate continue to incite on social media without any serious actions taken against their hatful statements. Moreover, dictator Erdoğan’s policy of harboring fugitive and terrorist must end immediately.
Terrorism only ends when preachers of hate and their supporters are held accountable for each and every terrorist attack. Otherwise, the war on terror will fail, and a new batch of terrorists will be born and cause more misery. Yes, individually, we can make a change be reporting the accounts of those preachers to keep social media platforms safe and deny hate preachers from abusing the right of free speech.
Abdulrahman Taleb, is a British-Arab researcher in Middle East North Africa studies.