President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has managed to unify the feelings of Muslims from east to west. They have become one heart in one body, and when one limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever, as our Prophet (peace be upon him) told us.
Many hearts were close to God and raised their hands in prayer for Erdogan’s election victory. That is why Turkey’s former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglo said, “We do not win only with the votes in the ballot boxes, but also with the prayers that ascend to the heavens.”
Muslim reformer Muhammad Rashid Rida once said that power is not confined to money, descent, governance, authority or an abundance of aides or supporters. The world has sensory and moral forces and therein lies the importance of prayer; it is the weapon of believers.
Why were hearts set on Erdogan, and prayers made for a victory for him and the Justice and Development Party?
There is no doubt that Recep Tayyip Erdogan has had a positive impact on the situation in the Muslim world, especially the Arab countries. Citizens of these countries wish for a president like him who can take his people from a state of misery, humiliation and oppression to the level of prosperity, advancement and dignity felt in Turkey. The Arab countries continue to be under oppressive, tyrannical regimes, whether monarchies or presidential systems governed by the military. All, with no exception, are corrupt, with the leaders and their hypocritical supporters benefitting from the country’s wealth while the vast majority of their people suffer from poverty, hunger, deprivation and illness, unable to make a decent living or receive adequate medical treatment.
The rulers of the Arab countries do not step aside through the ballot box because they did not come to power through free elections, nor were they chosen otherwise to govern their people. Honest, free and fair elections are anathema to them. Instead, they have ballot boxes prepared in advance with the names of the leader who arrived on the back of a tank or inherited the throne from his father or grandfather. These rulers only step aside when death takes them.
This is why the people across the Arab world have given up on the possibility of changing their corrupt and despotic rulers, even if hope grew with the Arab Spring revolutions that succeeded in toppling Hosni Mubarak, Zine El Abidine, Muammar Gaddafi and Abdullah Saleh. This frightened other Arab leaders, especially the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who felt the earth shake beneath their thrones. That is why they have hindered and thwarted the Syrian revolution, and created counter-revolutions managed by the intelligence agencies based in the UAE, to restore the corrupt tyrannical systems that had been toppled by the people. This is what happened in Egypt with the 2013 coup which overthrew the government of President Mohamed Morsi, who was elected via the ballot box in the first free elections ever held in Egypt.
That is why the people’s hearts soared and the Arabs and Muslims joined with Turkey in spirit on election night. Their desire for Erdogan to win was not only a projection of their suppressed desires and lost dreams, but also their hopes of finding an Arab Erdogan in their own countries.
Indeed, Erdogan has become a dream President for all vulnerable people in the world, and that is why they rejoiced in his victory, cheering for him and chanting his name. This was an election night when the tyrannical regimes that conspired against Erdogan were silenced and saddened. Saudi Arabia and the UAE spent millions of dollars trying to overthrow Erdogan simply in order to ensure that their own people would not have a positive example of a Muslim ruler and thus destroy any sense of rebellion that would lead to regime change in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.
There is no doubt that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the most important political figure of the 21st century to-date, at least as far as the Arab and Muslim world is concerned. The search is now on for an Arab Erdogan.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.