Turkey's Gulen movement, which promotes service to the common good, may have grown into the world's biggest Muslim network. Is it the modern face of Islam, or are there more sinister undercurrents?
|Blinded by the light of the Islamic Shari'a utopia ~ Muhammad's failed|
dream ~ that keeps much of the Muslim world in mental bondage.
It is like every generation ~ their heads are filled with the same delusion!!
And in this most ambitious plan to take the whole world
what of the non-Muslims ~ if it a recapturing of the
Ottoman Empire ~ then what about others? Fables of the time,
tell of Muslims and Christians getting along ~ but where are those Christians?
It is a scary thought.
Here is the scheme ~ despite the tolerance talk publicly -
here is what Gullen was reported to have said in private:
...video which surfaced in 1999, in which he seemed to tell his followers
that they should deliberately attempt to infiltrate mainstream structures:
"You must move within the arteries of the system, without
anyone noticing your existence, until you reach all the power centres.
You must wait until such time as you have got all the state power,
until you have brought to your side all the power of the constitutional
institution in Turkey."
From Kenya to Kazakhstan, a new Islamic network is attracting millions of followers - and billions of dollars.
Inspired by a little-known Turkish imam, the Gulen movement is linked to more than 1,000 schools in 130 countries as well as think tanks, newspapers, TV and radio stations, universities - and even a bank.
This massive network is unlike anything else. It has no formal structure, no visible organisation and no official membership.
Its supporters say they simply work together, in a loosely affiliated alliance inspired by the message of charismatic preacher Fethullah Gulen, who promotes a tolerant Islam which emphasises altruism, hard work and education.
Turkish businessmen are attracted by what they see as his international outlook and pragmatic approach to issues like using credit.
In Turkey today, it is thought to have up to 10 million supporters. A recent study suggests many give between 5%-20% of their income to groups affiliated with the movement.
In US Gullen schools teachers complained of less qualified Turkish teachers being brought in and paid more. Wikileaks reports brain washing that goes on in the schools. Dutch Gullen schools are barred from receiving public funding ~ as the state believes the groups true aims are subversive. [+][+]
I think the problem is ~ people want to say ~ we can trust someone from the the Islamic community ~ in fact people are often desperate to demonstrate this social cohesion /multicultural, etc.. ~ but when it comes to the Islamic religion ~ this is where such alliances become problematic. At least understand ~ the command [See Koran 9:29] that they need to subjugate you ~ or get you to join them, in either staying out of their way ~ or helping to subjugate others. Kind of like the cold war weapons ~ you need to know what is there and the thinking around them. Muslims try to get us to focus on their Islamic 'peace' ~ that they have not even achieved ~ apparently it can be understood [with study and time...], often knowing full well that this peace is meant to be found at the end of the Sharia-utopia-bow ~ where non-Muslims don't get a good deal ~ in this sense the Koran conversely becomes a manual for war and deceit. Their peace means your demise, subjugation ~ for all others ~ one has to be deceitful.
Its unfortunate because sometimes you do not select a hand you are dealt one ~ Islam and all that comes with it ~ is one of those hands you are dealt. These are Muhammad ideas, no one has been able to question them, and they have been passed down by force. Number one ~ frightened people, delusional or brainwashed people can easily follow, especially when combined with the coercion that Islam uses...
We should know who we are dealing with.
Here was a Prophet that called his men to rape non-Muslim women [in front of their husbands, dismayed that some of his men ~ displayed a shred of human decency and ~ would not go along with it, these orders led to Koran 4:24], demonstrates that whatever Muslims say Islam is ~ it is not for you the non-Muslim.
Critics claim its aim is to gain power, to spread socially conservative Islamic attitudes on issues like marriage and alcohol around the globe, and to suppress any opposition.
In the past year, three of its most prominent critics have been jailed in Turkey, sparking claims that it has become a sinister controlling force in its native land.
Mr Gulen's critics point to a video which surfaced in 1999, in which he seemed to tell his followers that they should deliberately attempt to infiltrate mainstream structures:
"You must move within the arteries of the system, without anyone noticing your existence, until you reach all the power centres. You must wait until such time as you have got all the state power, until you have brought to your side all the power of the constitutional institution in Turkey."
The following year, Mr Gulen faced charges of trying to undermine Turkey's secular state.
He left for the United States, claiming the recording had been tampered with. He was later cleared in absentia of all charges.
Today, aged 70, Mr Gulen lives a reclusive life on a country estate in Pennsylvania.
He has urged his followers to build schools instead of mosques, and encourages interaction with people of other faiths through dialogue societies, including one in the UK.
The movement's schools usually boast hi-tech facilities, and many students are on scholarships funded by Gulen-inspired businessmen.
Although the schools are secular, teachers are expected to act as role models. Smoking, drinking and divorce are frowned upon.
Fatma Disli first came across the movement - which she prefers to call "Hizmet" ("service" in Turkish) - at a school it founded to help students pass university admissions tests.
"The people I met through Hizmet were really hard-working, virtuous people who were practising their religion, but at the same time had important jobs. I realised that it's possible to be religious and to have a career."
Gulen supporters argue that the movement has also played a part in the growth of Turkey's economy by bolstering exports.
Serdarj Yesilyurt, from Turkey's Federation of Businessmen and Industrialists, says 95% of his members are Gulen supporters.
"Mr Gulen put forward some international values which helped to bring down mental barriers about doing trade abroad, and helped people to think big."
The combination of philanthropy and business has been powerful, he says, with Gulen-inspired schools supporting and smoothing the way for Turkish businessmen in emerging markets like Africa and Central Asia.
Press freedom threat
However, a media group run by Gulen supporters, which includes newspapers, TV and radio stations and a news agency, has been criticised for being too close to the Islamic-rooted governing party.
There are claims that supporters of the movement dominate parts of the police and the judiciary.
Last year, a police chief who wrote a book on this subject was jailed. Earlier this year, two Turkish investigative journalists, Ahmet Sik and Nedim Sener, were arrested after investigating similar claims.
As Sik was arrested, he shouted: "Whoever touches them burns!" All three men are still in jail.
They were arrested in connection with an alleged plot by right-wing extremists, hardline secularists and army generals to overthrow the state.
Press freedom campaigner Ferai Tinch says most journalists in Turkey believe that they too will suffer if they criticise the movement.
“It's illogical to think that Gulen followers would be involved [in arresting critics]”
"The imprisonment of journalists is the tip of the iceberg. Nobody dares to write directly against the Gulen movement," he says.
The movement insists it had nothing to do with the arrests.
"It's illogical to think that Gulen followers would be involved [in arresting critics]," says Cemal Usak, of the Gulen-linked Journalists and Writers Foundation.
"That would do the biggest harm to the movement. They must be out of their minds to think such a thing."
The only point that both supporters and critics seem to agree on is that it wields huge power in Turkey - and that its global expansion shows no sign of slowing.