The Gulen Movement: The Soft Khawarij

Mohammed Asim Alavi

This paper tries to find similarities between the Kharijite and Gulen cultist Psychologies. It does neither talk about the so called Gulen movement as a whole nor of the good people who joined  it with sincere intentions. The target audience of this article is the Muslim youth outside Turkey, as they do not have access to a wide range of materials on the Gulenist cult as those inside enjoy.

The Kharijite Methodology

There are many ways to kill people, destroy institutions and scuttle developments. There are fatal methods and non-fatal. In the Muslim world fatal methods are used by the dumb and irrational idiots. Their savagery is straightforward and clear like the sunlight. They do not fear slander or negative public opinion about them. They believe that the more inhuman their methods are the more their anger can be released. The world beyond their fiefdom is not important for them, as if such a thing does not exist at all.

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Artist’s impression of Ibn Muljam

The Khawarijite used the straightforward painful methods to wreak havoc on the Ummah. Khawarijites were a deviant sect, which according to most scholars is not unbelievers. Even great Sahabas like Ali, Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas who directly faced them did not classify Khawarites as unbelievers. This sect emerged during the Khilafah of Uthman Radhiallahu Anhu (644-656 CE). They were people of radicalistic tendencies, new entrants to Islam who came from far-flung areas, without a proper understanding of the religion, yet they practised Islam in rigid and meticulous ways. Historians say, they would recite the Qur’an in groups like bees buzzing; their level of ascetism was very high that their leaders abstained from food and rest for long hours and spent most of their time in worship. Later they joined Ali Radhiallahu Anhu. They were not satisfied with Ali on a number of issues, eventually going to the extreme extent of claiming that Ali, the rightly guided Khalifa who had been promised paradise by the Prophet (PBUH), does not rule according to what had been revealed by Allah. Nevertheless, it was they who killed Uthman and Ali (Radhiallahu Anhuma). When they began shedding the blood of Muslims and destroying their properties, Ali waged war against them. Kharijite leader Abdul Rahman Bin Muljam himself killed Ali with a poisoned sword. Their appearance was foretold by the Prophet (PBUH) in the following Hadeeth:

Yusayr ibn ‘Amr said: I said to Sahl ibn Hunayf: Did you hear the Prophet (PBUH) say anything about the Khawaarij? He said: I heard him say – and he gestured with his hand towards Iraq –: “From there will emerge people who recite the Qur’an, but  it will not go past  their collarbones. They will pass out of Islam as an arrow passes out of the prey.” Al-Bukhari (6934) Muslim (1068). (In Al Bukhari’s another report),”They will kill Muslims and leave idolaters. If I were to live to see them, I would punish them just as the nation of ‘Ad was punished.”.

In another Hadeeth reported by Abu Dawood and graded as Sahih by Albany, the Prophet (PBUH) said, “(They) will come with beautiful words and evil deeds”.

Our day’s Islamic State of Iraq and the Lavant (ISIL) is the exact incarnation of the Khawarijites. Kharijite ideology is built upon three important pillars:

  1. All other Muslims are Kafirs
  2. No allegiance to governments
  3. Spilling the blood of Muslims is lawful because their corruption reached a level beyond reform.

The Juhaiman Methodology

The infamous Makkan Rebellion occurred exactly on the first day of Hijri 1400. Juhaiman Al Otaibi was from a sound lineage, a radicalized deviant. This former officer of the Saudi National Guards studied in the Islamic university of Madinah, under respected scholar, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Al Baz (May Allah show mercy on him). Since early 1970s Juhaiman used to preach a radical ideology in parts of Saudi Arabia. He was able to gather a group of followers from Saudi Arabia and many other Arab countries. Juhaiman was a motivating orator and skilled organiser. He had a sharp yet destructive mind, he was obsessed with the idea of changing society by radical means. He called Saudi rulers to bar women’s education and employment, ban TV, expel non-Muslims from the land and put an immediate halt to the westernization process in the country. By westernisation in his conservative country he could not have meant except the negligible amount of cultural changes occurring amongst the youth of his time such as men wearing shorts in football. He proclaimed that the Saud ruling family by being corrupt and ostentatious had lost legitimacy. Once he and a group of his followers were imprisoned but later released after recommendations by the Ulema that they were not a threat. His antics were not taken fairly seriously until they climaxed in the Makkan rebellion.

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Juhaiman Al Othaibi proclaiming the arrival of Mahdi near the Maqam

Juhaiman met Muhammad ibn Abdullah Al-Qahtani, also of sound lineage, from the descendants of the Quraysh with roots in Madinah, who later became his brother in law. Both were pious yet poisonous and lived frugal life styles. This was where the real story began. His obsession for radical change made him to invent a quicker way to capture leadership. Juhaiman once told his brother in law, he saw in a dream that he (Qahtani) is the awaited Mahdi. Although the Mahdi was fake, Juhaiman could have actually seen the dream and it could be a bad dream from Shaitan. Juhaiman wrote the script for the Mahdi and designed everything in accordance with the descriptions given in the following authentic Hadeeth:

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) as saying: The Last Hour would not come before a person of Qahtan comes forth driving people with his stick (Sahih Muslim)

Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri said: “The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: ‘The Mahdi is of my lineage, with a high forehead and a long, thin, curved nose. He will fill the earth with fairness and justice as it was filled with oppression and injustice, and he will rule for seven years.’” (Sunan Abi Dawud)

The Prophet (PBUH) said: Disagreement will occur at the death of a Khalifah and a man of the people of Madinah will come flying forth to Makka. Some of the people of Makka will come to him, bring him out against his will and swear allegiance to him between the Corner and the Maqam(Inside the Ka’bah). An expeditionary force will then be sent against him from Syria but will be swallowed up in the desert between Makkah and Madinah. When the people see that, the eminent saints (Abdaal) of Syria and the best people of Iraq will come to him and swear allegiance to him between the Corner and the Maqam.

They both devised a plan to seize the Ka’bah and force the pilgrims and worshippers to pay allegiance to Muhammad Abdullah Al Qahtani. Over 500 of his followers-Saudis and foreigners, all radicalised top to bottom- who were trained in handling fire arms, entered Haram in several disguises. Weapons were smuggled in coffins. After Fajr prayers on the first day of 1400 Hijri (21 November 1979), Juhaiman stood up, snatched the microphone from the Imam and proclaimed that the Mahdi had arrived. He said Qahtani resembled all the descriptions of the Hadeeth about Al Mahdi. His followers took positions and wielded their guns to force people to pay allegiance to the fake Mahdi. The scene appeared as if Al Qahtani was brought before the people forcefully to pay allegiance. People were confused and many even believed the story to be true and paid allegiance. This had put the Saudi authorities in an awkward position as spilling blood in the Haram is forbidden. The Fitna continued for two weeks, many policemen were killed by the rebels. The authorities consulted the Ulema and chief among them, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Baz. The Ulema gave the Fatwa to break the siege by any means. The siege was broken and over 100 pilgrims and worshippers lost their lives. Juhaiman and around 67 of his followers were given death penalty and executed. This Fitna was marked as a very dark event in the history of Islam. Juhaiman had told Sheikh Muhammad Ameen Shanqeeti, the only visitor allowed to see him before his execution, that he did all that he did only for the sake of changing the society.

Gulen’s invention of a new methodology

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Fethullah Gulen reflects the pacifist Islam

Fethullah Gulen’s Hizmet movement is a cult. A cult is generally defined as “a system of religious veneration and devotion directed towards a particular figure or object” (The Oxford Dictionary. It possesses almost a four decade history. It began as a movement for the revival of Islam, but over time as new ideas developed it evolved to become a cultist formation, in which the cult leader became an object of veneration. Discussion about its social, cultural, educational and humanitarian activities is beyond the scope this article. There is no doubt about Fethullah Gulen’s Islamic scholarship and original thinking; about his recital of the Qur’an and daily rituals; his moral integrity. However, as far as his methodologies are concerned, the present Gulen is not the Gulen of the past. He is a two faced man – one for the world’s public consumption as a non-violent advocate of tolerance, peace, social service and inter-religious harmony. The other as the leader of a society designed on the methodology of Freemason Secret Society, with a secret agenda to capture power by any means, first in Turkey and then rest of the world. Gulen’s former right hand man and his biography writer, Latif Erdogan (Not related to President Erdogan), has rightly named his latest Turkish language book on Gulen as, “The Smiley Face of Shaytan”. Gulenist method is amazingly novel in the history of Islam. Some analysts argue that the presently evolved Gulen cult’s closest resemblance can be found in the Hashasheen (The English words, “assassin, assassination” were derived from this root) of the 11th century.

Hashasheen was a secret killer gang founded by the Shiite Fatimid caliphate. Its leader was Hasan Al Sabbah. Its main objective was to annihilate all threats on the way of Fatimid expansion in the regions where Abbasside and the Seljuk were ruling. Its methodology was rooted in Taqiyah. The Seljuk became the protector of the Abbasside and together fought the Hashasheen and put an end to the gang. The Hashsasheen became so effective that statesmen could not roam around without body armour and people could not leave their homes out of fear. They wore disguises and would patiently wait for years to reach their targets. They would learn the local dialects and try to stay close to the statesmen they were to kill. By making sacrifices and seeming trustworthy, they were often promoted to bodyguards of statesmen or servants in the palace. They would wait for years until the order came. Since this matter is beyond the scope of this article, those who want further details can find in the Turkish newspaper, Daily Sabah of 10th August 2016.

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Artist’s impression of Hashasheen leader Hasan Sabah

The Gulen cult in its present shape is a state of its own within a state. It has an armed wing, not by its own, but completely fed, trained and armed by the state. It is a highly skilled force in absolute devotion to the cult leader, not loyal to the state which sustains it; it acts without any legal hurdles because it is sanctioned by the state. The wing has a police force, a regular army, air force and navy – all are legal entities. No branding such as Al Qaida, Boko Haram, no Muslim identities such as turban, beard, and in most cases not even Arabic names. These are the signs that come to a Westerner’s mind when he is reminded of Islamic radicals. Further, its judicial wing, business conglomerates, media, civil administration unit, educational institutions et al worked in total freedom. Gulenists within the government made sure that no one interferes in their work. Hurdles were crippled by subtly painless means or by legal warfare with the tag of the state.

You can kill people without  killing them physically, by destroying them psychologically. Countries can be paralysed without demolishing their infrastructure, there are many poverty stricken countries with ample resources but unable to rise up due to wrong policies, foreign pressures and internal squabbling. We often hear stories of peoples’ futures being ruined by opponents in painless ways, and families and organizations being torn apart. This method is more effective and destructive than physical killing. An elusive and shrewd person with strong willpower and crooked mind can commit this to achieve his goals. He creeps through people’s weaknesses and reaches the top by smashing others under his feet. He legitimises all means to reach his goals.

Universal Imam’s Brain?

Gulen is an elusive man. Elusive people are not naturally inclined towards personal publicity. It is hard to figure out what is in elusive men’s minds; they are skillful in camouflage and giving various perceptions about themselves. Gulen possesses great mastery in this. Occasionally he would appear in the media with medical practitioners checking his blood pressure, this trick is aimed at giving the impression that his presence in the US is solely for medical reasons and he needs people’s sympathies. This attitude is quite contrary to leaders and public personalities who usually keep their health situations secret.

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Medical checkup with eyes focused on the camera

Elusive people are level-headed and normally they like to live in seclusion; by their nature they prefer to give leadership to a selected circle and do not have a mass appeal like popular leaders. They speak of lofty ideals using jargon that the common man does not understand. You will find them active in their own circles and passive and less talkative in somebody else’s circle. In a circle with outsiders, they will pretend to be attentive and contributing, but in reality their minds will be occupied in scheming. As an elusive person knows his leadership limits so he trains followers to give leadership in areas where he is weak. An elusive leader appears to be with everyone, but in reality he is only with his own people.

Unlike the temperamental Arab environment, Gulen grew up in a pacifist religious environment of Turkey. The irony remarkably visible here is that Arab despots and kings used violent methods to suppress anti-establishment voices in their countries. They contained the socio-political aspects of Islam that they found a threat to them and allowed the general parts related to worship and transactions. Whereas, Ataturk’s Turkey embarked on a mission to completely sweep what they described “The Arabs’ religion” from all walks of social life. Generations of people were trained on atheist and secularist foundations. Ataturkists produced a thoroughly irreligious secular generation who pushed Islam to the extreme margin. These generations for the past one century or so were holding the helm of the country’s affairs. They designed an education system to view any and all signs of Islam as backward and irrational. To revive Islam in such a strange environment a pacifist, non- political, non-confrontational approach was to be designed. Those revivalists who advocated this pacifist approach developed unique ways to attract adherents. They made sure their outward appearance resembles that of any secularist. They wanted to send a message across the thoroughly secularised society that Islam is compatible with their westernised lifestyles. They even tried to maintain an exclusive identity from other traditional Sufi groups in Turkey, although they had a close affinity with them on private levels. They showed that they can coexist with drunkards and the morally corrupt ones.

Gulen is a product of this mindset. He is a man of extraordinary talent as Juhaiman was. But Juhaiman did not possess Gulen’s shrewdness, foresight and elusivity. The difference between them was, unlike Juhaiman’s temperamental approach, Gulen settled in the pragmatic approach. Juhaiman’s mission short-lived whereas Gulen’s thrived against all odds. He displayed extraordinary levels of adoptability with secularist and military rulers of Turkey. Juhaiman would have viewed committing suicide is better than befriending secularists. If a person could coexist with such a wicked individual as Turkey’s coup leader and self-appointed former president, the late Kenan Evren with an anti-secular mission then that person is indeed extraordinarily shrewd. Gulen’s most productive period before AK party, according to some Turkish analysts, was under former president and freemasonry leader Suleiman Demirel. Both found a convergence of interest in containing resurgent Islam in Turkey. These secularists and Freemasons thought Gulen is a pet that can be used to neutralise the political formation of Islam spearheaded by Ustaz Nejmeddin Erbakan, but Gulen outfoxed them too. These secular politicians by nature are short-sighted and ideologically bankrupt, inclined to use violence and deceptive means to suppress opponents. When they are confronted with a logical argument they resort to violence, because that is the means they are masters at. This is the reason why they legitimised coups and undemocratic actions against elected governments in Turkey. As they view the world from a narrow scope, the more they accumulate power the more secure they can be. In their indulgence in the luxury of power, they are detached from the common folks. They have a weakness which a shrewd person can utilise to his advantage. That weakness is their hunger for power and concern for their own security.

To outfox Erdogan

It is President Tayeb Erdogan, whom Gulen tried to outfox but failed. Erdogan is not short- sighted as his predecessors. President Erdogan is a man of vision in his own mark, charismatic, people-friendly and not power hungry (Just forget about the west which venerates Egypt’s coup leader Al Sisi but demonise Erdogan who dominates Turkish politics for the last one decade and half, continuously winning free and fair elections with over 50% of votes; is a man whose popularity after the coup attempt is as high as 80%). Erdogan’s vision is the main problem for Gulen. His vision is  a combination of various aspects, which none of his predecessors had possessed. That combination includes, Wasatiyah (Moderately balanced) Islam, democracy, free market economy, justice and human welfare. Gulen thought a person with such a broad vision is poisonous for him than a secularist dumb whose only objective is attaining immediate worldly pleasures. According to Latif Erdogan, Gulen never loved President Erdogan but found a most favourable condition under Erdogan to bolster his agenda (Latif Erdogan’s interview with Aljazeera’s Ahmed Mansoor ). Can a shrewd person like Gulen coexist with a person who says, “I carry my coffin and do not tolerate another parallel structure within the state”? This elusive cult Imam utilised the magnanimity of Erdogan and schemed with his followers to infiltrate vital state institutions. Erdogan trusted Gulen and allowed his followers to occupy important positions in the government; proliferate in business. It is only under AKP government that Gulenist schools, business establishments and media organs flourished. President Erdogan and former Prime Minister Ahmed Davutoglu said, they themselves made recommendations to some foreign governments in favour of Gulenist schools. Gulen in reciprocation betrayed them like a common turncoat.

AK party’s cooperation with the Gulen movement has another important dimension. The bulk of its vote base since its foundation came from ordinary people, small scale businessmen and people of conservative religious backgrounds with little secular education. After forming its first government in 2001 the party faced a shortage of likeminded people with sound professional qualifications to run the affairs of the country. Country’ machinery was occupied by the so called white Turks who hated Islam with a colonial mindset. Gulen supplied the qualified workforce required to a significant extent. Then Prime Minister, Erdogan embraced them with an open mind.

As his parallel empire grew unprecedentedly in the free environment availed to him under AKP government, the over-confident Gulen felt that his time of openly dictating terms to the rulers has just arrived. Probably for the first time during the 2011 general election, he gave a name list of 100 followers to then Prime Minister Erdogan to be included in the AKP candidate list. Erdogan rejected the list on the basis, although they were professionally qualified, none of them were popular among the people. This enraged Gulen. To display his remote- controlled power he gave some shock treatments to the government with the purpose of impressing upon them that no ruler in Turkey can bypass his whims. When it became clear to him that he cannot coax President Erdogan with his pressure tactics, he activated more unethical ways to paralyse the government. The arrest order of intelligence chief, Hakan Fidan by Gulenist prosecutors and fabricated corruption charges on President Erdogan and his family members or the so called 17 December 2013 coup attempt were perpetrated. According to Latif Erdogan, Gulen regretted after its failure in the timing of this coup attempt. After these traitorous acts, the government took a tough stance and began to purge them from the security, judicial and civil services. Gulen, the outwardly peaceful preacher of virtue, lost his patience fearing his empire will collapse and ordered the orchestration of the most horrible coup of 15 July 2016 that modern Turkey ever saw. But unfortunately, the awaited Mahdi’s calculations have backfired. After the heroic Turkish people in their millions said No to the Gulen cult, the Imam Mahdi became a hostage in the hands of Islam’s enemies. He makes pleas to them, “This Erdogan is an evil, a threat to western democratic values, he wants to establish a theocracy similar to the one the Iranian Mullas have established; I am your most trustable partner in the Muslim world; my protection is your protection”. This is how he pleaded with the west:

At a time when Western democracies are searching for moderate Muslim voices, I and my friends in the Hizmet movement have taken a clear stance against extremist violence, from the Sept. 11 attacks by Al Qaeda to brutal executions by the Islamic State to the kidnappings by Boko Haram……… Mr. Erdogan in recent years has arbitrarily closed newspapers; removed thousands of judges, prosecutors, police officers and civil servants from their positions; and taken especially harsh measures against Kurdish communities (The universal Imam tries to say here that Turkey’s fight against PKK terror is fight against the Kurdish people which is a total lie). He has declared his detractors enemies of the state…. For the sake of worldwide efforts to restore peace in turbulent times, as well as to safeguard the future of democracy in the Middle East, the United States must not accommodate an autocrat who is turning a failed putsch into a slow-motion coup of his own against constitutional government.(Excerpts from Op-ed, Fethullah Gulen, New York Times-25 July 2016).

Indeed the west has become protector of Gulen and his close followers, but as for the believers, Allah is sufficient as The Protector.

Allah is the Protector of those who have faith (Surah Al Baqarah:257)

What worldly benefits Gulen wants to gain?

Gulen’s intention has always been to establish a Sultanate in Turkey based on a liberal and skimmed form of Islam. I have personally attended a Gulenist Iftar programme in Colombo, Sri Lanka where, at the time of Iftar along with Azan the recitals of Buddhist, Christian and Hindu scriptures were played. We have never seen such mixing of religious rituals in our culture although we live as minority. This is not at all possible without a Fatwa from Gulen. Islam certainly encourages tolerance and harmonious coexistence with people of other religions. When peoples of other religions were running away, Islam stood alone and showed the beauty of coexistence by practice. The Madinan Charter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the best example for this. But to descend to this level of assimilation with other religions is totally against Islam. An important strength of Islam is its preservation of its unique character and self-identity. Other religions lost their unique character on account of their intense assimilation with each other. As a result a Buddhist, Hindu or Christian is unable to differentiate his true religion from falsehood. Gulen’s promotion of this degree of skimmed Islam has far reaching consequences. It is in some sense similar to the Din-e-Ilahi promoted by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. According to Wikipedia, “(It) was a syncretic religion propounded by the Mughal emperor Akbar the Great in 1582 AD, intending to merge the best elements of the religions of his empire, and thereby reconcile the differences that divided his subjects. The elements were primarily drawn from Islam and Hinduism, but some others were also taken from Christianity, Jainism and Zoroastrianism”

Gulen possesses the smartness of getting along with any Turkish ruler – He seems to be possessing the characters of a sly fox and an octopus waiting in ambush. But, come 2010 we can observe gradual changes in this character of him. It was a time when he rolled up his sleeves and said, enough is enough to AK Party. Secret signals were passed down the command line to the followers to march toward the takeover. This was where Shaitan crossed in the path of this pragmatic and reclusive universal Imam and whispered him to hurry up. This process continued until the 15th July 2016 coup attempt.

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Gulen rides on shoulders of all Turkish leaders towards his goal

A natural question arises as to what worldly benefits Fethullah Gulen wants to gain by doing all these acts. A pious man who does not even have the pleasure of a married life in this world, an Islamic scholar with a number of books to his credit, an initiator of several academic and research institutions of outstanding quality has nothing to gain by orchestrating a violent coup in his own country. He lives a reclusive life in a village in the USA, whose only profession is giving religious advice to his followers to do good deeds and serve humanity. Can one imagine that such a harmless person masterminded a coup? What else can be his objective other than seeking the pleasure of Allah Almighty and attaining eternal bliss in the paradise?

This question should be eqaully posed to Kharajite leader Abu Muljam and the Makkan rebel Juhaiman. Abu Muljam found it perfectly allowed in Islam to kill the Prophet’s son in law and fourth rightly guided Khalifa.  Juhaiman found that spilling the blood of innocent Muslims in the most sacred place on earth, the House of Allah, for a Mahdi he fancied in his imagination was based on an Ijtihad. Both were religious, fulfilling their obligatory acts like Salat, fasting and immersed in the reading of the Qur’an. Yet, our fourth Khalifa, Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) decided to wage war against the Kharijites. Equally, knowing very well that Juhaiman was a religious man, the Saudi Ulema issued a Fatwa that his execution has a valid Shariah base.

The cult leader’s intention is the problem here. Although it is visibly pure, by nature it is impure like the leaders of Boko Haram, Al Shabab, ISIL and others. In the history of Islam many non-extremist deviant sects have appeared, who did not promote violence. They went out of Islam on account of their perverted beliefs and illegitimate actions. Purity of intention alone does not make a person truthful. Purity of intention, legitimate means and legitimate objectives are the criteria for actions to be accepted in Islam. Allah SWT says in lucid manner:

Most of their secret conferrings are devoid of good, unless one secretly enjoins in charity, good deeds, and setting the affairs of men right. We shall grant who ever does that seeking to please Allah a great reward (Surah An Nisa: 114)

Imam Ibn Rajab Al Hanbali commented on the above Qur’anic verses as follows:

Allah describes enjoining almsgiving, goodness, and reconciliation as good deeds in and of themselves. This is because such deeds benefit the people. However, Allah  only  promises  a reward  to  those  who  carry  out  these  deeds  “seeking  the  good  pleasure  of  Allah”.  Therefore,  if a person performs  these  good  and  beneficial  deeds  for  the  sake  of  Allah,  then  the  deeds  will be good for him as well as for those who benefit from his deeds.  If  he  had  other  ulterior motives, then these deeds will be of no good for him ( مكحلا و مولعلا عماج)

The lesson to learn here is that if an action of a person and its end result are disastrous for the Ummah, he should be dealt with according to what the Shariah demands.

The cult’s Principles:

Going by several pieces of evidence available as articles, first-hand accounts of former associates, intelligence reports and findings it becomes clear that the cult’s ideology is built upon the following principles:

1. Cloned followers. Though Gulen publicly did not claim, his followers believe he is the awaited Mahdi, and some of them have gone to the extent of believing he is the Al Maseeh(The Messiah); His words are incontestable. Latif Erdogan says, “Although Gulen knows about these belief by his followers, he never admonishes them to stop it; His silence on it means his tacit approval”. They equally believe that he is nearer to them than their jugular vein (Habl Al Wareed), which is absolutely contrary to Muslims’ belief, as the Qur’an says, it is Allah who is nearer to Habl Al Wareed (Surah Al Waqiah). Since he is so, his Fatwas are final for them. They are like cloned sheep. With regard to religious knowledge they have pawned their brains to Gulen to think for them. Hüseyin Gülerce, former chairman of the board of trustees of the Journalists and Writers Association (GYV) and the Director General of Zaman newspaper, both powerful media arms of the nefarious network in an interview with Daily Sabah newspaper of 2 August 2016 said, “Gülen is like a prophet for them. The followers assume that Gülen makes conversations with the prophet every Thursday. They think what Gülen says are the words of the prophet; Gülenists gather “himmet” saying that what they give will be monitored by the prophet. Himmet is a type of alms or donation, in this case given to affiliated charities.

As a result of 100 years of anti-Islamic form of secularism in Turkey, generations of people, particularly from the upper echelon of society, are deprived of opportunities to acquire Islamic knowledge from a variety of sources in a broader sense. Gulen cult followers are no exception to this whose only source of knowledge is what comes out of his mouth. Hence they believe what he says is true and cannot be false. In such situations it is all reasonable for them to believe that Gulen possesses some supernatural powers. If Gulen talks facts from classified top state secrets supplied to him by followers of his secret cells, if he talks of past events and future moves of the government, or predicts future happenings on the basis of his experience his followers will certainly attribute them to his supernatural powers, not to stolen state secrets.

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Huseyn Gulerce, former editor of Gulenist mouthpiece, Zaman Turkish Daily

Testimonies of high ranking military and civilian officers, some of whom with Masters and PhD degrees from prestigious universities and fine track records in their careers are surprising. Caught in the secret web of blind obedience to the purported “World Imam”, they have lost their brainpower to think on their own in religious matters. This in the first place is un-Islamic. Islam promotes critical thinking in all affairs, including Tawheed (The oneness of Allah). The Qur’an itself brings forth a conversation between our Lord and Prophet Ibrahim as a way of teaching all of us sound critical thinking.

And recall when Abraham said: “My Lord, show me how You give life to the dead,” Allah said: “Why! Do you have no faith?” Abraham replied: “Yes, but in order that my heart be at rest.” He said: “Then take four birds, and tame them to yourself, then put a part of them on every hill, and summon them; they will come to you flying. Know well that Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise (Al Baqarah:260)

A critical thinking mind is always an enquiring mind. It is how Allah SWT has created human beings. Men of sound thinking power go to the length of questioning the existence of supernatural beings and miracles. A strong believer in the existence of the Almighty Allah is not an exception to this. The Qur’an encourages man to believe in Allah not through blind obedience but by exploring, observing the nature and logical thinking. A logical thinker with a sound mind will certainly discover that there is a creator for everything and that creator is One and Almighty; he would not accept any religious matter without a counter-question. A fine quality of the servants of The Most Merciful is described as follows:

who, when they are reminded of the revelations of their Lord, do not fall at them deaf and blind (Al Furqan:73)

The attitudes of those pundits who follow Gulen’s orders blindly are similar to idol worshipping pundits of the highest eminence. They may be eminent scientists, philosophers or statesmen. They excel in utilising their critical thinking to discover marvels, but when one questions their logic in worshipping idols that they made with their own hands, they become deaf and blind. We have learned the history of a late eminent Indian leader who was in the habit of drinking cow urine in the belief that it is the urine of God.

Secondly, becoming a blind follower of a man and carrying out his orders against the state which they have promised to protect and be loyal to by oaths is prohibited in Islam. Through this man’s Fitna top state secrets have fallen onto the hands of foreign intelligence agencies.

Kahraman Sakul of Istanbul Sehir University gave the following information to Al Monitor web portal on the 2 August 2016:

….Soldiers in the covert networks are obliged to carry out the orders passed on to them by their civilian “older brothers.” No Gulenist in uniform knew any other officer of the same affiliation. This is best explained by the testimony of Muhammed Uslu, a civilian working in the private secretariat of the Prime Ministry who was also the “older brother” of Lt. Col. Levent Turkkan, the senior aide to (Turkish Chief of General Staff) Akar. We were amazed to hear how Uslu received the daily recordings of the office of the Chief of General Staff and passed them on to another civilian brother he didn’t even know.

The group that constitutes the core of the secret network would spread the unquestionable instructions to lower levels, where the only requirement was to carry them out. This blind obedience also meant that many bright Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) officers with master’s and doctorate degrees were passing on what they learned to “older brothers” they didn’t even know…..

The Gulenist disloyalty to the state which feeds it goes against the basic principle of Islam. There is no harm for a person to be loyal to a particular Jama’at or a leader, if that person is obliged under an oath. If a person has taken an oath with a government to serve it and protect its interests wholeheartedly he is obliged to abide by that oath. However, if the state commits crimes against humanity or conspires against Islam, then that person has permission to break his loyalty. The subject of loyalty to the government by Muslim citizens have been dealt extensively by eminent scholars like Allama Yusuf Al Qaradawi. Those who want further research on the subject can read those writings. Allah SWT says:

Believers! Do not be unfaithful to Allah and the Messenger, nor be knowingly unfaithful to your trusts (Al Anfal: 27)

Imam Maududi comments on these verses as follows:

‘Trusts’ embrace all the responsibilities which are imparted to someone because he is trusted. These might consist of obligations arising out of an agreement or collective covenant. It might also consist of the secrets of a group. It might also consist of personal or collective property, or any office or position which might be bestowed upon a person by the group (Tafheemul Qur’an)

Enes Kanter, the US National Basketball Association player of Turkish origin, tweeted in the aftermath of the 15th July coup, that he is ready to sacrifice his life for Gulen. After being disowned by his parents for his support for Gulen, he changed his surname to Gulen. These kinds of unfettered devotions by a disciple to his master are not beyond human nature. Man can be hypnotised to dance to the tune of the hypnotiser; he can equally be instigated into sacrificing his life to another person, wreaking havoc and creating fitna. The source of this instigation is not necessarily to be holy or divinely. The Vietcong fought against US invasion of Vietnam vehemently; the LTTE fought the Sri Lankan forces with the same vigour. During the Second World War the Japanese men jumped into enemy ships with suicide jackets and killed themselves while destroying those ships. Several guerrilla forces across the world engage in warfare with enormous self-sacrifice, certainly not for the sake of gaining God’s pleasure.  Man can be brainwashed to love a cause, hate a community, incited to kill and commit suicide for a cause. How many millions have sacrificed their lives for nationalist causes? Through meticulously planned training young people can be moulded to think, believe and act in particular ways. So, Enes Kanter’s standpoint is not unique in that sense.

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Enes Kanter’s Devotion to Gulen is not unusually great

However, cloning of people by Gulen in countries and societies where Islamic knowledge is firmly rooted and diverse may not be easy. Certainly, some people may join various arms of Gulen cult, but for commercial and professional purposes. There are remote chances for the cult to find adherent as devoted as Enes Kanter in such societies. They may find conspirators and rogues outside Turkey to do their menial work such as destabilising Turkey for money. Such scums are aplenty around the globe.

2. Pyramid Structure

Gulen cult’s administration has been structured on the Pyramid system, where the top leader is the ultimate source of inspiration and instruction. This is similar to freemasonry outfits, which are famous for erecting secret pyramid structures of administration. Gulen’s structure may or may not be a rigid pyramid structure, but the basic idea remains so.

Testimonies of Latif Erdogan and Hüseyin Gülerce confirm its pyramid structure. Gülerce said: “Gülen has always been the general director, editor-in-chief and columnist of the Zaman daily. This never changed.” He added that Gülen always had the last say for the pages and especially the front page every day”. What a rigid and weird structure? On the one hand Gulen says, I am residing in the USA to be closer to my doctors. On the other hand, he controls even the daily’s front page lead story which is published thousands of miles away over the Atlantic in Istanbul.

Latif Erdogan told Al Jazeera, that the scripts for the 2013 and the bloody coup attempt of 15th July 2016 were written by Gulen himself.

Gülerce says, Gülen is at the top of the pyramid and is the only one who knows the most confidential things. According to Gülerce, there are only two people around Gülen who have the privilege to know about some of the most confidential information. Osman Şimşek and Cevdet Türkyolu know what Gülen has always been up to. Explaining that Gülen has “strictly confidential henchmen” in Turkey, Gülerce said these men, who are called imams, deal with the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), police and judiciary. “Adil Öksüz and Mustafa Özcan are only two of the imams.

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Gulen cult’s pyramid structure – Courtesy: Daily Sabah

Man is fallible and impotent without the help of Allah SWT, it is only prophets of Allah who are infallible. No man is perfect; it is only Allah who is perfect. Man is created with haste, shortsightedness and false pride. Neither man nor his nature is omnipotent. He is neither self-sufficient nor self-existing; nor is his powers limitless. In fact, he is weak, frail, needy and destitute. He is dependent on a multitude of forces to maintain his existence, but all of them are not essentially and totally within his control. Allah SWT has assured His protection for prophets from sinning. Prophets had contact with the Almighty through Angel Jibrail. These are the exclusive privileges of prophets. One person through his extraordinary talents and marvellous achievements can go up the ladder to the peak. This does not make him a supernatural being. The gravest mistake Gulen made is to sit on top of the pyramid and undertake the responsibility of making every decision by himself. After tasting success in several projects on a global scale, and after apparently having deceived the Turkish state, the CIA and their foreign handlers, Gulen and his followers have become bullish.  The cloned followers thought our Hoca Efendi (A title used to call Gulen out of respect) does not make mistakes. They believed he is immune from erring, hence will always take the right decision. Some went to the extent of believing that he possessed some supernatural powers, because many of his decisions were miraculously successful. So they obeyed his commands blindly. They miserably failed to realise a universal fact that human might has limitations. One day you can wield power but on the other day another party comes to usurp your power. Power and strength never remain in one hand permanently. Wielding power is a historical cycle and it is Allah Almighty that causes power to change hands. It is Allah who creates opportunities for man, it’s upon man to clearly perceive these opportunities and get maximum use of it. They believed that the West and some Arab despots will protect them forever.

Their inflated sense of self-confidence paved the way for their doom in Turkey. After the 15th July coup the universal Imam’s empire collapsed like in a controlled demolition.

3. Ends justify the means

A major pillar on which Gulen has built his cult on is the Machiavellian principle, “End justifies the means”. An Islamic project cannot be based on these Shaitanic principles. If these treacherous principles are the foundations of Islam, then there is no meaning for justice (Adl) and Ihsan (Doing good/virtue). It will render the following Qur’anic verses absolutely meaningless

Surely Allah enjoins justice, kindness and the doing of good to kith and kin, and forbids all that is shameful, evil and oppressive. He exhorts you so that you may be mindful.(Surah Al Nahl:90)

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Fethullah Gulen gives lessons to followers at his Pennsylvanian retreat

Islam enjoins Muslims to strive for the supremacy of the religion of Allah on earth. But that is not through the Machiavellian principle, “End justifies the means”. Through the Machiavellian principle one may be able to establish a world empire on the foundations of secularism, greed, cut throat competition, crass consumerism, and proliferation of immorality like the Europeans. An Islamic system can never be established through falsehood, deception and lies as the objective of establishing Islam’s supremacy on earth is not to attain worldly gains. It is to fill the corrupt world with lofty ideals such as justice, brotherhood, exalted morals and a divine belief system based on Tawheed. If a person thinks that he can establish these lofty ideals through foul means, he is then indeed deceived by Shaitan, as it is the evil one who bids people to indecency and deceptive acts. The Qur’an says:

“Believers! Do not follow in Shaitan’s footsteps. Let him who follows in Shaitan’s footsteps (remember that) Shaitan bids people to indecency and evil(Surah An Nur:21)

Allama Yusuf Al Qaradawi says: “The end justifies means” is not a maxim of Shariah, nor is “Secure your right even through wrong-doing”. This can never be, for the Shariah demands that right should be secured through just means only. This is what the Prophet taught us when he said: “Verily, Allah is good and does not accept but what is good (part of a long Hadith reported by Muslim), (Al Halal Wal Haram – Yusuf Al Qaradawi, chapter:1)

Yes, in situations of war Islam has allowed the use of deception as the Prophet (PBUH) said, “War is deceit”(Bukhari-3029). That too within the boundaries of ethics of war. Khalifa Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) gave stern warnings to his commanders on the limitations of using deceptions. “It was narrated that Abu Muslimah said: “‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab said: ‘By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if any one of you were to point to the sky [i.e., a gesture to imply that he will not harm him] to make a polytheist come down to him and then kill him, I would kill him for that” (Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al Munajjid – Islam Q&A)

Gulen and his followers are using Taqiyah. Taqiyah is used by the Shiah. They generally define Taqiyah as: “concealing the truth, concealing belief in it, concealing one’s true beliefs from those who differ from one and not showing openly that which may lead to negative consequences in religious or worldly terms”(Quoted by Islamqa.info from Al Mufeed). Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: “They (Shiah) regard taqiyyah as one of the basic principles of their religion, and they tell lies about Ahl al-Bayt (the Prophet’s family), the extent of which is known only to Allah. They even narrated from Ja‘far as-Saadiq that he said: “Taqiyyah is my religion and the religion of my forefathers.” But taqiyyah is one of the signs of hypocrisy; in fact in their case, they say verbally that which is not in their hearts, and this is the essence of hypocrisy” (ىواتفلا ةعومجم, 13/263).

This type of Taqiyah is an open licence to act as an avowed hypocrite, spread lies and falsehood. Taqiyah is in stark similarity with the duplicity upon which the Jewish culture is built. Taqiya gives one the power to infiltrate the Sunni ranks and act as if he is wholesome Sunni; it makes one crooked enough to hide his true identity and create discord between people and communities; it makes a person an exceptionally talented spy. These are not mere fantasies, but are based on dark experiences the Muslim world went through. There were situations where users of Taqiyah had collaborated with the Zionists and Freemasons in order to destroy other Muslims. In Islam, it is not a general licence for one to act like a hypocrite. It is permitted only in life threatening circumstances in dealing with non-Muslims, not within the Muslim Ummah.

Permission for using Taqiyah is based on the following Qur’anic verse:

The believers may not take the unbelievers for their allies in preference to those who believe. Whoever does this has nothing to do with Allah unless he does so in order to protect himself from their wrong-doing. Allah warns you to beware of Him for it is to Allah that you will return (Al Imran: 28).

Imam Ibn Katheer explained:

The words “except if you indeed fear a danger from them” mean: except in the case of one who fears their evil in some countries or at some times. In that case, he may dissimulate (use taqiyyah) by changing his outward behaviour (to protect himself from their evil), without changing what he believes and intends in his heart. For example, al-Bukhari narrated that Abu’d-Darda’ said: We smile in the faces of some people when our hearts are cursing them (inwardly). (Tafseer Ibn Katheer- 3:28)

Al-Qurtubi said:

The basic principle concerning taqiyyah is that it is not permissible unless there is the fear of death, severing of a limb or extreme harm, and there is no report to the contrary as far as we know, except that which was reported from Mu‘aadh ibn Jabal among the Sahaabah and from Mujaahid among the Taabi‘een. (ةيهقفلا ةعوسوملا, 13/186-187-Kuwait)

Imam Abul A’la Maududi said:

This means that it is lawful for a believer, helpless in the grip of the enemies of Islam and in imminent danger of severe wrong and persecution, to keep his faith concealed and to behave in such a manner as to create the impression that he is on the same side as his enemies. A person whose Muslim identity is discovered is permitted to adopt a friendly attitude onwards the unbelievers in order to save his life. If he considers himself incapable of enduring the excesses to which he may be subjected, he may even state that he is not a believer. One should not be overwhelmed by the fear of other human beings to the extent of losing the fear of Allah. Human beings can harm a man but the most they can do is to ruin his transient, earthly life. Allah, on the other hand, can subject him to everlasting torment. If one is constrained in extraordinary circumstances to resort to a prudent concealment of faith (taqiyah) in order to save one’s life, this concealment should remain within reasonable limits. The most one is permitted to do is to protect one’s life and property without jeopardizing either the interests of Islam or of the Muslim community as a whole, and without causing loss of life and property to other Muslims. One must never allow saving one’s own life to lead to the propagation of unbelief at the expense of Islam and to the dominance of unbelievers over Muslims. Here the believers are warned that, no matter how dangerous the circumstances surrounding them, they cannot escape Allah’s reproach if they give substantial aid to those rebelling against Him, and cause any harm to Allah’s chosen religion, to the community of believers or to any individual believer. For, it is to Allah that one will ultimately return for reckoning (Tafheemul Qur’an – Surah Al Imran:28)

Nevertheless Gulen has taken Taqiyah as an effective tool to attain his deviant worldly goals. I would not be surprised if the Gulen cult wins in this world, in the way the world Zionists are winning in several fronts. Winning depends on the devastating fire power one possesses, material wealth, sophisticated training and meticulous planning. In a worldly sense those who possess all these would have the upper hand in war and non-war situations. Nevertheless, in a conflict between the truth and falsehood, certainly it is the truth that will, Insha Allah, triumph. A belief system based on distorted theories, spreading falsehood in the name of the Qur’an and fables cannot stand for the truth.

and say: “Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish.”(Al Isra:81).

Based on the above argument one can come to the conclusion that for Gulen to use Taqiyah and Machiavellian principle he should have declared, a) Turkish government is in Kufr, 2) He is in a situation of war.

3.1 The way how Taqiyah was effectively used:

  • A British Conservative MP, was paid more than 10000 Pounds to author a report which focused almost exclusively on actions by the Turkish government against Gulen-linked organizations and brought about accusations against Turkey of violating human rights. The research was commissioned by the Journalists and Writers Foundation (JWF).
  • Senior government officials, businessmen, political party leaders, journalists, actors, heads of nongovernmental organizations have been targeted by the FETO when they refused to cooperate. Some of these people were put in prison based on false accusations, or even killed.
  • Through large scale court cases initiated by Gülenist police and prosecutors, hundreds of military officers were put in prison and expelled from the army on the basis of fabricated documents.
  • The organization uses secretive methods for communication:
    • Taking an oath that promises strict obedience and loyalty to the cult
    • Special encrypted communications, such as ByLock, Tango, Eagle
    • Using “one-dollar bill”s with special serial numbers in accordance with their rank, in order to show their allegiance with the organization
    • Using code names in order not to reveal their identity
    • Disseminating  coded   messages   hidden   in   Gülen’s   sermons   and interviews
  • Those members who broke their oaths are severely punished. They are not only cast out of the cult from which they benefit in many ways but also subjected to a lynching campaign socially, economically and psychologica
  • In addition to harsh consequences of leaving the organization, members are also financially rewarded to stay in the cult, through illegally gained assets, privileges, employment etc.
  • Currently Gülen himself is the “prime suspect” in 55 different criminal indictments.
  • Exposing confidential  information  belonging  to  state  for  political  or  military espionage purposes,
  • Violating the confidentiality of private life,
  • Unlawful recording of personal information,
  • Forgery of official documents, fabricating crimes,
  • Destroying evidence,
  • Money launderin
  • In 2002, Prof. Necip Hablemitoğlu was killed in front of his house, while he was writing an investigative and critical book on Gülen. Hablemitoğlu’s wife has long voiced the involvement of Gülenists in the murder of her husband citing previous death threats. The judicial process has been blocked many times by the Gülenist police officers and judges until recently. The investigation was reopened in 2014 and has made considerable progress since then.
  • The Turkish Court has found concrete evidence of the involvement of Gülen followers in the assassination of Hrant Dink, a well-known Turkish-Armenian journalist, in 200 Colonel Demirkaya, one of the 15 July coup plotters arrested in the latest operations, is the key person in Dink’s killing.
  • The Group also used its adherents to launch judicial and administrative investigations based on forged evidence against certain people to discredit or force them to work with t The involvement by the Gülenist judges and police during the Ergenekon, Balyoz (Sledgehammer) and other high profile cases are the main examples. In these cases, military officials, opposition MPs and journalists were accused of plotting a violent coup to oust the government. It later turned out that these cases were based on fabricated evidence, and that most such fabrications were produced by the Gülenists in the police.
  • Journalists who had written about the Gülen machinations in these trials endured slander campaigns and threats of a Journalists Barış Terkoğlu, Barış Pehlivan, Soner Yalçın, Nedim Şener and Ahmet Şık served time in prison because of their work that showed Gülen’s infiltration into the state. Şık was writing a book on Gülen’s presence in the police force, while Şener was investigating the links of Gülen’s disciples with the 2007 murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.
  • In 2010 upon the orders from Fetullah Gülen, the exam questions and answer keys of the Public Personnel Selection Examination (KPSS) were stolen and handed out to the certain FETO mem The members with high scores were placed strategically in the critical state bodies.
  • Ahmet Zeki Üçok, a military prosecutor, carried out a comprehensive investigation into the Gülenists in the armed forces in 200 He discovered a large secret network within the army. He identified many members of this unlawful organization by their names. However, he could not complete his investigation as he was detained on the grounds that he tortured certain witnesses by “hypnotizing” them and also as part of the Sledgehammer case. He spent almost five years in prison. Immediately after the botched coup attempt, he declared that the leaders of the coup matched perfectly the list that he had. Referring to the F-16s that bombed the Turkish parliament he recalled the words of now-retired Col. Selçuk Başyiğit: “We are now very strong. We have F-16s, F-4s that will take off with a single order of Fethullah Gülen.” Üçok’s findings were corroborated by many soldiers who fought against the coup attempt or by those soldiers who were the victims of the Sledgehammer case.
  • Gulen issued Fatwa allowing his female followers to remove their headscarves arguing it is from the trivial issues of Islam. This facilitated Gulen followers to enter universities at a time when the Hijab was banned in public life; it also helped them to occupy important positions in the governme
  • He issued another Fatwa allowing his followers in the armed forces to consume liquor for the purpose of deceiving their secularist colleagues.   Gulen’s argument was that this is important for getting promoted to senior positions in the armed forces.  Both are based on the Marchiavellian principle of Ends justify means.

The beaten cobra and the charmer – questions for critical minds

There are strong possibilities that Gulen as a beaten cobra to become a rallying point for the enemies of Turkey and its Islamic revivalist currents. A cobra after being beaten and is not dead, will not rest until its venom is released. Many Arab despots, the Zionist state and majority of Western rulers hate President Erdogan and Turkey. They deal with him as a necessary evil while hiding their anger. Abdul Fattah Al Sisi’s Egypt has already expressed its willingness to embrace the Gulen cult. Following an instruction by Gulen his followers have been flocking with their families to Egypt and establishing their businesses since last couple of years. They have transferred huge amounts of wealth too. Gulenist newspaper, Zaman has its online Arabic edition coming from Cairo. According to reports in the Arabic press, Sisi’s henchmen are exploring the possibilities of introducing Gulenist methodology in Egypt as a counterbalance to Ikhwan Al Muslimoon. The report says, they expected such a role from Egyptian Salafists and Sufis, but both have proved incapable to stand as a counterbalance to Ikhwan due to lack of clear vision and far-reaching programmes. Gulen’s methodology in the fields of education, health, culture, media and social service with some modern Islamic flavour can be used as a model in this endeavour. Hence, it is no surprise at all that Sisi finds a willing partner of coup in the person of Gulen. In accordance with the dictum, “my enemy’s enemy is my friend”, both will stretch their wings together to demonise President Erdogan and Turkey.

David Hearst, a former lead writer for the British newspaper, The Guardian, writing in The Middle East Eye magazine on the 29th July 2016, revealed a stunning information that, the United Arab Emirates’ government collaborated with coup plotters in Turkey before the unsuccessful attempt was launched, using exiled Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan as a go- between with the US-based cleric accused by Turkey of orchestrating the plot.

The discussion whether Gulenist cult actually needs Arab money for this particular coup or whether this Palestinian bloodsucker siphoned off the Emarati money bag are beyond the scope of this article. But this revelation clearly shows the desperation these bankrupt Arab rulers have plunged into. Their desperation to pull down President Erdogan by his legs is indicative of some mental disorder. Due to this disorder they will indulge in more evil acts to destabilise Turkey with anyone.

As far as Turkey is concerned now the need to display a human face does not exist. All Gulenist secrets have been revealed and there is nothing to hide. Now only the devilish face of Gulen will be operational.

Every statement of Gulen has an outer meaning and an inner meaning. The generality of Gulenist sheep would go with the outer meaning as words of the awaited Mahdi. Only the closest minions of the cult would get a grasp of the inner meaning. These minions would have understood the feelings, “The occupation of your lands by the Crusaders was not  something serious; At least they did not overpower your daughters and wives” (تسوب ةيكرت) that Gulen expressed in a sermon in Pennsylvania on the 20th August, as a call to the Christian world that “You are better for us than the Turkish rulers”. Through this statement  Gulen  gives  a  secret message to his  followers  residing  in  the  western  world  to  activate  their  “inter-religious dialogue  canon”.    As  the fight  against  his  outfit  is  suffocating,  this  is  a  viable  strategy.

Gulen cult is the perfect Muslim partner for US-Israel. There are powerful apolitical Sufi formations in the Muslim world which the West tried to use against the resurgent Islam, without any tangible results. Further, forming and arming of radical outfits across the Muslim world also do not yield the desired results. Chalking a multi-faceted path – apolitical, non- political, political, Islamic, non-Islamic, liberal in the west, illiberal among the conservative Muslim populations – Gulen cult has practically proved to the West that it is the right partner to counter resurgent Islam.

An argument is being floated that the cult is being accused as a CIA product without any solid evidence, and such accusations are totally un-Islamic. We should not forget the fact that we live in a world where intelligence agencies live in darkest secrecy surrounded by firewalls. Finding solid evidence about their partners in crimes is possible only in one of the three situations, a). When the agency decides to divorce the partner, b). When the agency wants to inflame enmity between two parties, c). When a member of the agency decides to sell top secrets for personal gains.

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Gulenist compound in Pennsylvania. It is unbelievable that a Muslim cleric who is not even a citizen of the US built such a splendid compound on 25 acres of land in the world’s only superpower. It is total absurdity to think that the US does not have any vested interests in the Gulen movement

Man by using his God-given intellect and observing peoples’ actions can come to some conclusions about their behaviour, tastes, interests and affiliations. We learn in literature that face is the index of mind.

The Qur’an indicated to Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) that there are other ways to know the opponents than merely by being shown their faces.

“If We were to so will, We could have shown them to you so that you would recognise them by their faces, and you would certainly know them by the manner of their speech. Allah knows all your deeds” (Surah Muhammad: 30).

After the bloody coup of 15th July 2016, when the matter was ultimately decided by the Turkish people about the cult’s true identity, CIA has become its charmer. Graham Fuller, former chairman of CIA, was one among others who fought for granting a special status for Gulen in the US. This special status is termed as, “alien of extraordinary ability”. These are open truths.

Turkish newspaper, “Hurriyet Daily News”, reported on the 31st August 2016 that Zafer Dur a prosecutor in the Izmir province probing the financial links of the Fethullah Gülen movement as saying, the organizational structure of the group is the same as the Mormon Church and the Church of Scientology in the United States, claiming that all three groups were founded by U.S. intelligence.

A natural question arises, how it would be possible for a person with some Muslim identity to build a large network of schools, universities, businesses and social services in around 160 countries, with a net worth of 500 billion US dollars. None of the Muslim movements have been as successful as the Gulen movement for almost a century. It is virtually impossible for them to build such a vast empire. There are many countries in this list which are hostile to any and all forms of Islam. But Gulenists operate without any problems. They indeed had faced problems in some former Soviet Union countries, but that was only when the authorities discovered some of Gulenist school teachers were found to be working for CIA. Come to Gulen’s domicile, the USA. The Cult owns the largest number of charter schools numbering 140 across the country, where an estimated number of 6,000 students study, funded by the government to the tune of $500 million annually. It is indeed surprising for a person, who is neither born in that country nor grew up there, to hold such a swathe of influence. Does he speak their language? No!

Robert Amsterdam, founding partner of Amsterdam & Partners LLP law firm, which Turkish government has hired for its fight against the Gulenist Cult in the USA, says, (Daily Sabah: 20 August 2016) “Mr. Gülen has been brilliant in seizing on the charter school mechanism, which in the U.S. is unregulated. So, he has gone in this system where there are other schools engaging in some of what he engages in, probably not to the same extent.

Amsterdam further says:

“This is an incredibly sophisticated difficult story for people to comprehend, that an imam without knowledge of the U.S. could penetrate state, local and federal politics in this way. “It frankly does not seem believable. I have to think Mr. Gülen had his own abi (“Aabi”- elder brother in Turkish. Abis are people in-charge of Gulenist lodges. They are the ones taking care of the younger ones in the cult), because otherwise it makes no sense,”

Latif Erdogan told Aljazeera, Gulen once told him that, although he gives frequent briefings to the CIA, he feels inferior to give those briefings to officers as young as 25 years.

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Latif Erdogan, Gulen’s Autobiography writer

Gülerce also shared such information. He said,

Gülen, as a retired imam, is not capable of carrying out all this. He gets professional help from the CIA. There were high ranking Gülenist police officers who travelled to the U.S. for training. Gülenists are trained by the U.S. in perception management and psychological warfare. You cannot make it without professional help. Around 100 imams travel to Pennsylvania three times a year to get orders from Gülen. Does the U.S. not follow closely the periodical travels of 100 imams? Does Washington have nothing to say about this?

The future

If the coup attempt was successful in Turkey some dramatic changes would have happened. They are:

  • Fethullah Gulen, the universal Imam of the cult returning to Turkey flanked by his followers, like Ayatollah Khomeini returning from Paris in 1979 to Iran after its revolution
  • President Erdogan either arrested or killed if he resisted during the operation for his arrest
  • Europe and the US stamping the coup as legitimate
  • Arab despots and their minions rejoicing, Egypt restoring diplomatic relations, UAE granting the huge projects to Turkish companies that it cancelled earlier
  • Turkey plunging into a civil war, its army demoralised, economy collapsed
  • Millions of Muslims across the globe despairing of Islamic revival in Turkey

By the grace of Allah SWT nothing of this sort happened. By their selfless and heroic response the Turkish people demonstrated that the spirit of this Ummah is not dead; the taught to the West, the dubious champions of democracy, how to defend democracy. When President Erdogan called the people on the night of the coup to fill the streets and resist the putsches, people from all walks of life responded overwhelmingly and flocked in their thousands. They risked their lives to safeguard their dignity and freedom. This amply shows the love they have for their leader. On the other hand, there were Gulen cult soldiers who dared to capture and kill him. If they had the naked courage to commit the crime of high jacking F16 fighter jets to finish off a legally elected president, an ugly act which even remotely civilized countries has never seen, there is no crime in human imagination that they cannot commit to eliminate him. The Gulen cult has lately proven itself to be the Trojan horse to be used by the West to destroy Turkey.

President Erdogan is one of the greatest leaders this Ummah is endowed with. It is he who has filled the vacuum created by the fall of the collective leadership of Khilafa Uthmaniya (Ottoman Caliphate). In the last 100 year history this Ummah did not see a strong and charismatic leader as Erdogan. His leadership resembles the leadership of our great leader and Islam’s second Khalifah, Umar Bin Al Khattab. Obviously Erdogan is not Umar, but there is Umar  in Erdogan. A keen observer will  find President Erdogan bestowed with many leadership qualities of Umar Al Khattab.

We are in a fierce ideological struggle with Western materialism. It is a brazen truth that the West is ideologically bankrupt, a fact no fair minded person can contest. Look at the violent and imprudent ways they respond to Islamic revival, if they are truly ideologically sound, they should respond in a fitting intellectual way.

In the present century revival, Islamic movements have displayed extraordinary talent in striving to build a sound and just civilization on earth. They have gone through trial and error; success and failure, however their track record shows that they are ascending and their revival cannot be halted by any force. Rise and fall, victory and defeat do not shake their determination. They view this world as a temporary abode with full of challenges and struggle; a struggle where one party would gain the upper hand at one time and another at the other. They understand that their duty is to continuously strive in the path of Allah (SWT), without expectation for any worldly gains. This category of people indeed had a peaceful sleep. Can the blessed Islamic revival achieve success? The truth is that it is already on the path of success and has, time and again, successfully circumvented all kinds of enemy onslaught.

In dealing with Islamic revival, the west and its Arab allies are firm believers in violence, force, manipulation, deception and all sorts of illegitimate actions in the guise of democracy. This shows that they are in a dubious past. With their destructive mindset they invite trouble onto themselves.  As the Qur’an describes theirs is an evil tree which is not solidly grounded.

The enemies  of  Islam are grieved when a fortune  smiles on us; they are  happy when misfortune befalls us. But if we are steadfast and true to our covenent with Allah, they cannot shake us.

If anything good happens to you they are grieved; if any misfortune befalls you they rejoice at it. But if you remain steadfast and do right their designs will not cause you harm. Allah surely encompasses all that they do (Al Imran:120)

The writer is a social activist based in Sri Lanka. He can be reached at asimalav@yahoo.com. His twitter handle is @AlaviAsim

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