In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Raissouni said Turkey was targeted because it leads the Islamic world and its drive to become an economic powerhouse. 

“I congratulate the Turkish leadership and people for defeating this evil [coup],” Raissouni said. 

The Moroccan Muslim scholar said that the coup plot had targeted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkey’s democracy. 

“It’s no strange that regional,western and Israeli hands might have been involved in this coup,” he said. “The events of the first hours [of the coup attempt] showed that.” 

On July 15, renegade elements within the Turkish military attempted to overthrow the country’s democratically-elected government. 

Turkey's government has repeatedly said the deadly coup attempt, which martyred more than 230 people and injured nearly 2,200 others, was organized by U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen's followers and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO/PDY). 

Gulen is also accused of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary, forming what is commonly known as the parallel state. 

Raissouni hailed the Turkish people for its role in aborting the coup attempt against its democratically-elected government. 

“I think the failed coup attempt has paved the way for a rebirth of Turkey,” he said. 

He went on to say that the failed coup bid has helped expose the “powers of evil and conspiracy” in Turkey. 

“Turkey's helm was targeted because it was leading a drive in [creating] a powerful Islamic world, particularly in building economic power,” he said. 

“Breaking free from the West’s domination requires building independent economic and political powers that emanates from the people,” he said.

Anadolu Agency