Prof. Dr. Mehmet Seyfettin Erol: The Abraham Accords and the ‘Evangelical Islam’ Project

Prof. Dr. Mehmet Seyfettin Erol: The Abraham Accords and the ‘Evangelical Islam’ Project

While the normalization agreements were signed between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain, the 3 countries also jointly signed the text called “the Abraham Accords”.

Reactions from the countries of the region, especially from the Palestinian administration, are rising against the “normalization” process with Israel.

We discussed the impact of the agreements “to normalize relations” signed at the White House on the region and Turkey with Prof. Dr. Mehmet Seyfettin Erol, faculty member of Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University/AHBVÜ Department of International Relations, President of Ankara Crisis and Political Research Center /ANKASAM.


US President Donald Trump said in his speech after the agreements signed at the White House, “We mark the dawn of a new Middle East.” One of the agreements is called the AbrahamAccords. What do these agreements mean? Taking ‘the deal of the century’ into consideration, is a plan in action as part of The Greater Middle East project?

The “Abraham Accords” actually reveal the whole project and process. With the destructive effect of the “Greater Middle East Project” (MENAP), which is tried to be implemented by Neo-Cons, the target of the formation of the “New Middle East” and what dimension it will take becomes clear. Another point that has become clear is to see what some of the slogans and concepts brought forward (such as “Interfaith Dialogue”, “Abrahamic Religions”) mean in this process.

In plain words, everything falls into place.

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We see that a new strategy is being implemented for the Arab-Islamic world, which has been dominated by war and violence until yesterday, and designed within the framework of the principle of “disintegrate-make them conflict one another-intervene-rule”. The “peace process” initiated with Egypt under the ‘Camp David Accords’ in 1979 has been accelerated with the inclusion of Jordan in 1994 and then the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain this year. With this momentum, it becomes clearer why Trump made his first overseas visit to Saudi Arabia after he took office.

Indeed, in his speech at the White House on the occasion of the signing of the “normalization agreements”, Trump emphasizes that the Middle Eastern countries prefer cooperation over conflict in today’s world and says: “They (the UAE, Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain)are choosing a future in which Arabs and Israelis, Muslims, Jews, and Christians can live together, pray together, and dream together, side by side, in harmony, community, and peace.”

This statement shows us that the “Interfaith Dialogue” project, which is widely brought to the agenda by the Vatican / Papacy, has begun to perform. This view, which tries to gather the monotheistic religions under the concept of “Abrahamic religions”, aims to gather all believers (children of Prophet Abraham) at the point of belief in “One God” and to end the disputes between them by ignoring the part of the prophets. Trump and the USA fulfill their duty here as a mission state (which should not be forgotten that the USA is founded on a Messianic understanding). Trump’s emphasis on Al-Aqsa Mosque is eye-catching in this respect. At the point of holy places, efforts to show Israel as a “peaceful-tolerant” country should not be ignored.

This accord is important in the aspect of showing the progress reached between Jews and Christians in terms of the Abrahamic religions. Those who see and defend themselves as the true representatives of the Abrahamic religions, and who have engaged in disputes and massacres, seem to form alliance within themselves with the US at least (because Europe and Russia in general are unlikely to accept such a thing for now). Muslims are also tried to be included in this alliance established through the “Old Testament”.

The “New Middle East” is shaped as the center of the old world, as its capital Jerusalem, under the leadership of the USA-Israel, i.e., evangelism. Therefore, although the discussions on Jerusalem are now on the agenda in the context of the capital of the “Jewish State of Israel”, it actually has a place and importance outside of the classical nation-state capital. To put it very clearly, Jerusalem is being prepared as the capital of the “Kingdom of the Earth”, more precisely, the “Evangelical Empire” (Greater Israel), and Trump’s emphasis on “We mark the dawn of a new Middle East” is equivalent to the ‘Alliance of Abrahamic Religions’.


In the construction of the “Kingdom of the Earth” of the USA-Israel duo, religions other than “Abrahamic religions”, exhibit themselves as a unifying “other”. At this point, China seems to be more prominent in the upcoming period as a threat to “Abrahamic religions” and their holy lands (“Gog and Magog”). This reveals the geopolitical-strategic objectives that lie behind the theological dimension of the accord. The agreement signed with the Taliban is also part of this goal.

 Therefore, it is no coincidence that the normalization process is launched, and that the of one of the agreements is called “The Abraham Accords”. This naming is a direct declaration of the USA’s new strategy for the Islamic world. The USA is trying to reorganize and rebuild its relations with the Islamic world / Muslims within the framework of the understanding of “Evangelical Islam”. In this context, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the “Moderate Islam” project actually targets or means “Evangelical Islam”.

The world is trying to be dragged into a different religion war under the leadership of the USA / Evangelists. “Confrontation” in the form of “Monotheistic/Abrahamic Religions vs. Superstitious Religions” seems to be brought forward frequently in the coming period. This time, there is a different “Crusade”, the target is further east at least.…


Palestinian experts had previously commented that Arab-Israeli NATO is being established. Do you agree with them? 

The “Arab-Israeli NATO” obviously would not be too surprising in the current conjuncture. Trump gave the most concrete signal of this during his visit to Saudi Arabia in May 2017. Trump, who met with the leaders of 54 Arab and Muslim countries, called for unity and marked the visit with two photographs. The “sword dance” performed by Trump with Saudi King Abdulaziz and the photo given by the leaders of the USA, Saudi, Egypt, UAE, Bahrain around a globe. With this photo, the “Globe Alliance” was declared to the whole world and support for the “Peace Plan” was declared.

Even the name of the “Army” that the “Globe Alliance” tried to establish, which indicated Iran as a threat at the very beginnig, was confusing. The call of Saudi Arabia to establish an “Arab Army / Arab NATO”, an “Islamic Army / Islamic NATO”, showing the Iranian threat in the civil war in Yemen as a very close reason, was important. That army could not be established thanks to cautiousness of Turkey and Pakistan and the rejection of Qatar and other Arab states to support it.

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Apparently, the evangelical structure did not give up its goal of “Arab-Israeli NATO”. As a matter of fact, the alliance / cooperation agreements with Israel after 2017 strengthen the claims of this army to be established under the roof of “Arab-Israeli NATO”. Trump’s speech in Washington and the “Abraham Accords” confirm this fact.


In fact, the idea of “Arab-Israeli NATO” coincides with the war waged by the United States against all institutions, structures and values of the Cold War era that were revealed with Trump. In this context, Trump’s attitude towards NATO, NATO member countries is obvious. It seems that Trump is trying to implement the idea of “Arab-Israeli NATO” and “Regional NATOs” or “Regional NATO members” in the “New Middle East”, firstly. Thus, the US is trying to strengthen its position against China and its allies by acquiring more operational, rapid “partners” who are loyal to the USA, with a lower cost, in a “regional leadership” sense / ambition.

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In his statements, Netanyahu thanked the leaders for putting pressure on Iran and giving unconditional support to Israel. Trump, on the other hand, emphasized that ‘we will reach an agreement with Iran after the election’. What do emphases on Iran mean? 

Although it is a very assertive statement, it is possible. Because an agreement was made with Obama. It is very important here who will compromise more. We are talking about Iran in Afghanistan and Iraq, who cooperates with the US and does not hesitate to show this. (There is a confession of Ahmadinejad, one of the former presidents.) After this time, an agreement to be compromised by Iran will be a “delivery agreement” equivalent to a “change of axis”. So, at least the content of the agreement with the Iranian dimension is very important.

So why did Trump need to make such a statement? I think this is the point to be focused on. The answer is simple. To materialize “Evangelical Islam” project that is brought forward along with The Abraham Accords, and the “Abrahamic religions Alliance”, the two key countries should be convinced: Turkey and Iran. Unless taking these two countries’ support, the project cannot be materialized. So Trump has to reach an agreement with Iran somehow. Trump is giving the message that he will force Iran to deal in one way or another after the election. Therefore, the questions of ‘how will this agreement be’, ‘which means and methods will be used’ is important.


– The US President said that Saudi Arabia could be the next country in the “normalization” rush. However, the Saudi administration keep their silence now. What do you think, will Saudi Arabia sign a normalization agreement with Israel?

Yes, but not now. Saudi Arabiawill be the last country. There are five basic points for Saudi Arabia’s silence. The first is Saudi Arabia’s position in the context of holy places and its “leadership” claim aimed at the Arab-Islamic world. As such an agreement will make Saudi Arabia a party, Saudi Arabia wants to maintain its “in the middle” position for now, as it will reduce the maneuvering area.

Secondly, there is a segment in Riyadh who consider these developments as part of the MENAP and some “Princes” see themselves as a target. (As it is known, Saudi Arabia is one of the divided countries in the “New Middle East” according to the MENAP map. However, Saudi Arabia has not given up the idea of ​​the leadership of the “Great Arabia”).

Third, the UAE etc. consider the agreements made with their competitors as an attempt to strengthen their own interests and competitors.

Fourth, there is a power struggle within Saudi Arabia. The House of Saud is divided into two, and the current image indicates that the US-Israel duo cannot fully control The House of Saud. The last point is that if Saudi Arabia signs such an agreement, they will lose its role of persuading and calming the Palestinians they have traditionally undertaken since Ibn Saud. Therefore, Saudi Arabia will continue to wait until the last moment.


What kind of results do these agreements cause the region, particularly Turkey? New confrontations are emerging on Palestine. How Turkey can expand the areas of cooperation in this confrontation?

It is obvious that the process in question served the construction of the “Great Israel” – the “Evangelical Empire” through the “Kingdom of Earth”. Therefore, we are going through a period in which the crises in the region will expand and deepen. This is because the transition from MENAP to Great Israel Project (GIP) has been registered. This development, no doubt, is targeting Turkey, as well. They aim to narrow Turkey’s influence and maneuvering areas in the region as well as isolating Turkey by the means of Arab-Islam World.

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So, what Turkey can do? First, Turkey knows that this project cannot be performed under the current conditions and due to its dynamics and Iran. That is why Turkey-Iran cooperation is primarily important. Turkey and Iran can also reveal a similar reflex in the face of common threats in the future, as they gave the game away in Iraq in the context of MENAP and spoiled the ‘Islamic Civil War’ project carried out through themselves in behalf of the region. As I mentioned before, Turkish-Iranian history is not just about Çaldıran and Kasr-ı Şirin; There is also the “Great Seljuk” experience and dimension.

In addition, we see that European states do not support this project to a large extent. Their attitudes towards Jerusalem-Palestine are obvious. We should not ignore the Russian/Orthodox factor. Therefore, the project does not present a unique  stance on Christianity and Islam. And more importantly, China must see these developments very clearly. When these developments are listed respectively, a picture emerges, in which Turkey is actually not on his own. Turkey will give the game in the region away via his advantage and historical experience. None should have doubt about this!

Elif İlhamoğlu

Elif İlhamoğlu is political scientist and  journalist (Turkey). She is studying for PHD on the political science and international relations department at Istanbul University. She visited Middle East countries, Syria, Lebanon, Iran several times and did interviews with the leaders as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hilal al-Hilal Secretary General of the Syrian Ba'ath Party.

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June 2024