The building of this center takes Turkey's "outreach" in America out of the realm of the subtle.
The government of Turkey is building a 15-acre, $100 million mega-mosque in Lanham, Maryland. Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan visited the site on May 15 as part of his official visit to the U.S.. The state of Maryland was officially represented at the event by its Secretary of State John McDonough.
The event was also attended by the leaders of two U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities.
The mega-mosque is called the Turkish American Culture and Civilization Center and, according to the Muslim Link, it “will likely become the largest and most striking examples of Islamic architecture in the western hemisphere” when it is finished in 2014. The Muslim Link explicitly says it is “a project of the government of Turkey.”
On May 15, Prime Minister Erdogan spoke to hundreds of people at the construction site and said he’d come back for the opening ceremony next year. He warned the audience that there are groups promoting “Islamophobia,” branding potential critics as paranoid bigots. Erdogan recently said that “Islamophobia” and Zionism are equivalent to fascism and anti-Semitism, saying they are a “crime against humanity.”
On this trip to the U.S., Erdogan brought the father of one of the Islamists killed while on a Turkish flotilla which was trying to break Israel’s weapons blockade on Gaza. Gaza is controlled by Hamas, which is a designated terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department. Erdogan reportedly wanted to him to meet President Obama. (In the end, the father met with Secretary of State John Kerry.)