Joel Richardson is the self-proclaimed prophet who thinks that the Islamic Mahdi is the Antichrist and that Islamists in Turkey are working to create a future Islamic caliphate. (Glenn Beck agrees with this theory and has promoted it on Fox News and his radio show.)
Richardson promotes the latter point in his June 3 WorldNetDaily column. He claims that Turkish leaders share Al Qaeda's desire for a caliphate and that through "the use of outreach, they have successfully branded themselves as paragons of religious tolerance." He says that this strategy is "specifically custom-tailored to win the hearty approval of the West" and that "we have fully fallen for their ploy." From Richardson's column:
Several years ago, I began publicly stating that the world will witness the rise of a Neo-Ottoman Caliphate. With the Islamist party in Turkey poised to win yet another sweeping election victory next week, now is another appropriate moment to revisit the subject.
Since 9/11, Ankara has been all too willing to portray themselves as the most natural counterbalance and answer to al-Qaida and radical Islamism globally. For the past decade, the Turks have pursued the methodology of the world's most powerful Islamist group, the Fethullah Gulen Movement, of which Prime Minister Erdogan and President Gul are both students. The goal of the Gulen movement is quite simple really. They want to be endorsed. Through the use of outreach, they have successfully branded themselves as paragons of religious tolerance. While radical groups such as al-Qaida have utilized terror to achieve their goal of a caliphate, Turkish Islam has championed the approach of presenting itself in a form specifically custom-tailored to win the hearty approval of the West. But their ultimate goal is the same: the unification of the Islamic world, the revival of the caliphate. And to date, we have fully fallen for their ploy.
Today, Turkey has a thriving economy as well as the largest army in the region. And of course, only Turkey has a proven track record of ruling the Middle East. Now place yourself back in the shoes of the Sunni Muslim. None of these facts are missed by those who have been looking for a viable Islamist strong horse to get behind. And it is precisely for this reason that Erdogan is now the single most popular leader in the region. The starry-eyed Islamists of the Muslim world have solidly fixed their hopes on Turkey.