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BEWARE: Fethullah Gülen’s Grand Ambition- Turkey’s Islamist Danger

by Rachel Sharon-Krespin

Fethullah Gulen

…What Are Gülen’s Intentions?

Conglomerates have long had a dominant position in Turkish society. Secular businessmen such as Aydın Doğan and Mehmet Emin Karamehmet have interests not only in industry but also in media, the banking sector, and even education. Never before, though, has a single individual started a movement that seeks to transform Turkish society so fundamentally. Gülen now wields a vocal partisan media; a vast network of loyal bureaucrats; partisan universities and academia; partisan prosecutors and judges; partisan security and intelligence agencies; partisan capitalists, business associations, NGOs, and labor unions; and partisan teachers, doctors, and hospitals. What makes Gülen so dangerous? Gülen’s own teaching and sermons provide the best answers.

In 1999, Turkish television aired footage of Gülen delivering sermons to a crowd of followers in which he revealed his aspirations for an Islamist Turkey ruled by Shari‘a (Islamic law) as well as the methods that should be used to attain that goal. In the sermons, he said:

You must move in the arteries of the system without anyone noticing your existence until you reach all the power centers … until the conditions are ripe, they [the followers] must continue like this. If they do something prematurely, the world will crush our heads, and Muslims will suffer everywhere, like in the tragedies in Algeria, like in 1982 [in] Syria … like in the yearly disasters and tragedies in Egypt. The time is not yet right. You must wait for the time when you are complete and conditions are ripe, until we can shoulder the entire world and carry it … You must wait until such time as you have gotten all the state power, until you have brought to your side all the power of the constitutional institutions in Turkey … Until that time, any step taken would be too early—like breaking an egg without waiting the full forty days for it to hatch. It would be like killing the chick inside. The work to be done is [in] confronting the world. Now, I have expressed my feelings and thoughts to you all—in confidence … trusting your loyalty and secrecy. I know that when you leave here—[just] as you discard your empty juice boxes, you must discard the thoughts and the feelings that I expressed here.

He continued,

When everything was closed and all doors were locked, our houses of isik [light] assumed a mission greater than that of older times. In the past, some of the duties of these houses were carried out by madrasas [Islamic schools], some by schools, some by tekkes [Islamist lodges] … These isik homes had to be the schools, had to be madrasas, [had to be] tekkes all at the same time. The permission did not come from the state, or the state’s laws, or the people who govern us. The permission was given by God … who wanted His name learned and talked about, studied, and discussed in those houses, as it used to be in the mosques.[47]

In another sermon, Gülen said,

Now it is a painful spring that we live in. A nation is being born again. A nation of millions [is] being born—one that will live for long centuries, God willing … It is being born with its own culture, its own civilization. If giving birth to one person is so painful, the birth of millions cannot be pain-free. Naturally we will suffer pain. It won’t be easy for a nation that has accepted atheism, has accepted materialism, a nation accustomed to running away from itself, to come back riding on its horse. It will not be easy, but it is worth all our suffering and the sacrifices.[48]

And, in yet another sermon, he declared,

The philosophy of our service is that we open a house somewhere and, with the patience of a spider, we lay our web to wait for people to get caught in the web; and we teach those who do. We don’t lay the web to eat or consume them but to show them the way to their resurrection, to blow life into their dead bodies and souls, to give them a life.[49]

Many Gülen supporters and members of the Islamist media affiliated with the cemaat suggested the sermons were somehow forged[50] but the denials are unconvincing given the video footage and reports by Gülen movement defectors….

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