Oslo: Jihadists use children as human shields during violent anti-Israel demonstration

Because it works: children as shields in violent Oslo Anti Israel protest

thanks to JW

Oldies but Goldies:

Sweden: Former UN President Waves Hezbollah Flag in Anti-Israel Demo

Israeli Foreign Minister and Kadima leader, Tzipi Livni, under a swastika. Photo Björnbrum.

Former party secretary for the Social democrats Lars Stjernkvist under the Hezbollah flag.
Photo by Erik Svansbo.

From gudmundson.blogspot

Pali journo confirms what the world ignores — that Hamas uses civilians as human shields

And he doesn’t like it. The mainstream media in the West, meanwhile, continues to pretend that Israel is indiscriminately targeting civilians. “PA Newspaper Editor Attacks Hamas’s Use Of Gaza Residents As Human Shields,” from the MEMRI Blog

Hafez Al-Barghouti, editor of the Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, has attacked the use of civilians as a human shield by Hamas’s military wing. He also said that the release of videocassettes showing Hamas members digging secret tunnels beneath Gaza residents’ homes permits Israel to excuse their strikes on the homes, and called on Hamas members to keep their distance from populated places, and to protect the lives of the citizens instead of using them.

Source: Al-Hayat Al-Jadida , Palestinian Authority,


In 1987, the Arabs living in the territories occupied by Israeli in the 6-Day war began a series of riots and violent confrontations known as the Intifadeh, a movement quite independent from PLO leadership. Soon after, Islamic militants founded the Hamas movement. The movement was formed from the Mujama movement, which had been a political party with no military ambitions that was given some encouragement by Israel earlier in the decade, as a means of countering the influence of the PLO, and perhaps because the opposition of the Hamas to an international conference that would adjudicate the problem of Palestine, coincided with the policies of the Begin and Shamir governments.

The Hamas has a ‘military’ wing or wings that engages in terrorist acts and a ‘civilian’ wing that supposedly confines itself to education and ‘good works,’ Israel successively assassinated its leaders, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Sheikh Ahmed Rantissi, forcing the leadership underground. However, in January of 2006, candidates representing the Hamas swept to victory in Palestinian elections, overcoming the traditional leadership of the Fateh and PLO. 

Click here for details of Hamas history.

The principles of the Hamas are stated in their Covenant or Charter, given in full below. Following are highlights.

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”

“The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. “

“There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

“After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.”

Ami Isseroff

Use every means — the state tax bureau, for example, need only start finding out which cash-only businesses — gas stations, convenience stores — have been fiddling them, and they will be amazed to find what a high proportion are owned by Arabs — to stop up all the ways, other than the Saudi money that comes in, that help keep afloat the would-be murderers in our midst. Keep your own silent boycott, for your own very good reasons — well, not completely silent, for you can quietly convey your thoughts to others, and urge them to do the same. Point to the streets of Western Europe, point to what will inevitably happen, is happening, in Western Europe, for what must be learned from, and avoided.

Deport, deport, deport, all those who have not yet managed to obtain citizenship. Come down hard on those who make those false marriages of convenience. Enroll black ministers — and pay them, too — to conduct campaigns of counter-Da’wa in the prisons. Identify all the means by which the psychically marginal are attracted to Islam, and figure out what other outlet for their mental desarroi might be found, might be substituted, for menacing Islam.

Close down those consulates, and even embassies, in all countries that show any signs — the slightest signs — of having nationals who are engaged in violent Jihad. Do not trust the locals to properly vet those who apply to visit as tourists or students, and simply cut off all of that altogether. We don’t need, we must not do, anything that swells the already dangerous-to-our-society’s-wellbeing ranks of Muslims. Thos who can openly, clearly, convincingly, make the case that they are real refugees from Islam, akin to those who were refugees from the Nazis, and from the Communists (and the former did not, once here, work to make this country safe for Nazism, and the later, once here, did not work to make this country safe for Communism), and can show it, by thought, word, and deed.

“The Constitution is not a suicide pact,” sand Mr. Justice Jackson famously. Nor should our Immigration and Naturalization Service, be a facilitator of national suicide. It makes no sense. Those who presume to protect us simply must start understanding things, understanding that what is written in the Qur’an, the Hadith, the Sira really does exist, really does have a powerful effect, an amazing effect, on the minds of the vast majority of Muslims, who by Islam itself have been encouraged in the habit of mental submission. Keep vigilantly in mind that there is a very great distance from the very occasional and old-fashioned, even pioneerish-little-house-on-the-prairie use, by Christians, of that phrase “the Lord works in mysterious ways” and the constantly-used Muslim phrase, Alla Ta’allah, or “Allah Knows Best.

These last ten days have been instructive. These demonstrations, by aggressive, violent, hate-filled, at times nearly-hysterical people, who all over Europe have inspired, in non-Muslims who until now have been inclined to swallow the drip-drip-drip of the anti-Israel propaganda fed them by their political and, especially, media elites, a great revulsion. It has happened in Italy, where the spectacle of thousands of Muslims choosing to burn Israeli flags and end their antisemitic demonstrations in front of, right in the parvis of, the Duomo of Milan, and to do the same thing in Genoa, has infuriated not only bishops and cardinals, but people who may be as indifferent to organized religion, or even perhaps as anti-clerical as they come. And in Malta, the two hundred Muslims who marched have attracted all sorts of attention from the Maltese none of it favorable, for Malta, after all, is the place famous for holding out, historically, against Muslim would-be conquerors.

No, these demonstrations have actually been most instructive, most useful. More and more Europeans, even those indifferent too, or until now even mildly hostile to (because so steadily misinformed about) Israel, are way ahead of their leaders. They are worried about Islam, and that worry will only grow, and grow.


Posted by: Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 7, 2009 12:49 PM

2 thoughts on “Oslo: Jihadists use children as human shields during violent anti-Israel demonstration”

  1. It appears that Israel is the only land that stands between Islam and the future Caliphate of EURABIA and USABIA. If Europe and the USA still continue to live in the Chamberlin/Hitler world declaring ‘ Peace in our times…..’ the Caliphates in Europe and the USA including Australia would soon become a reality.

    Women in EURABIA and USABIA will be wearing dark black Burquas and Hijjabs and look like BATMAN in the dark. They will not be allowed to travel out of the home unless escorted by a brother or husband.

    To avoid being stoned for getting they MUST always have 4 reliable male witnesses by their side at all times. {Probably the witnesses may rape them too. in a regular manner as she has no choice in the circumstances}. They will be segregated in buses and tranis and in the super markkets. Oh. What a lovely feeling. It is coming soon. So do not worry now.

    Then, the Police forces will have specialists for chopping off arms and legs and possibly other protruding objects in males.

    Males could also become martyrs and have the choice of 70 virginns and numerous pink nubile boys in Paradise.

    How wonderful it would be to visit Eurabia and USABIA as a tourist in those times where dogs and pigs will be missing and – alchohol non existent.

    Perhaps by then everyone in EURABIA and USABIA would already have been converted to Jihadis and ‘peace’ will be reigning all over what was present day Europe and USA. Ladies in Black and men with Muslim skull caps. How beautiful a scene it would be.

    From today’s trends this is what the stars seem to foretell because the whole of Europe and USA seem to be occupied by DHIMMIES. It is mind boggling to thibk that there are so many dim witted top level leaders in Europe and the USA who just cannot visualise what is happening now and what is going to happen as time goes on.

  2. Take the following article as a forewarning and as a guide to know how things are workking out for the future Caliphate:

    As Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP) begins its seventh year in leadership, Turkey is no longer the secular and democratic country that it was when the party took over. The AKP has conquered the bureaucracy and changed Turkey’s fundamental identity. Prior to the AKP’s rise, Ankara oriented itself toward the United States and Europe. Today, despite the rhetoric of European Union accession, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan has turned Turkey away from Europe and toward Russia and Iran and reoriented Turkish policy in the Middle East away from sympathy toward Israel and much more toward friendship with Hamas, Hezbollah, and Syria. Anti-American, anti-Christian, and anti-Semitic sentiments have increased. Behind Turkey’s transformation has been not only the impressive AKP political machine but also a shadowy Islamist sect led by the mysterious hocaefendi (master lord) Fethullah Gülen; the sect often bills itself as a proponent of tolerance and dialogue but works toward purposes quite the opposite. Today, Gülen and his backers (Fethullahcılar, Fethullahists) not only seek to influence government but also to become the government.

    In 1998, Fethullah Gülen left Turkey for the United States, reportedly to receive medical treatment for diabetes. Since his voluntary exile, Gülen has resided on a large, rural estate in eastern Pennsylvania, together with about 100 followers, who guard him and tend to his needs. It is from his U.S. base that Gülen has built his fame and his transnational empire.

    Today, Turkey has over 85,000 active mosques, one for every 350 citizens—compared to one hospital for every 60,000 citizens—the highest number per capita in the world and, with 90,000 imams, more imams than doctors or teachers. It has thousands of madrasa-like Imam-Hatip schools and about four thousand more official state-run Qur’an courses, not counting the unofficial Qur’an schools, which may expand the total number tenfold. Spending by the governmental Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet IÅŸleri BaÅŸkanlığı) has grown five fold, from 553 trillion Turkish lira in 2002 (approximately US$325 million) to 2.7 quadrillion lira during the first four-and-a-half years of the AKP government; it has a larger budget than eight other ministries combined.[1] The Friday prayer attendance rate in Turkey’s mosques exceeds that of Iran’s, and religion classes teaching Sunni Islam are compulsory in public schools despite rulings against the practice by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the Turkish high court (Danıştay).[2] Both Prime Minister ErdoÄŸan and the Diyanet head Ali BardakoÄŸlu criticized the rulings for failing to consult Islamic scholars.

    Gülen now helps set the political agenda in Turkey using his followers in the AKP as well as the movement’s vast media empire, financial institutions and banks, business organizations, an international network of thousands of schools, universities, student residences (ışıkevis), and many associations and foundations. He is a financial heavyweight, controlling an unregulated and opaque budget estimated at $25 billion.[3] It is not clear whether the Fethullahist cemaat (community) supports the AKP or is the ruling force behind AKP. Either way, however, the effect is the same.

    Gülen’s Background
    Born in Erzurum, Turkey, in 1942, Fethullah Gülen is an imam who considers himself a prophet.[4] An enigmatic figure, many in the West applaud him as a reformist and advocate for tolerance,[5] a catalyst of “moderate Islam” for Turkey and beyond. He is praised in the West, especially in the United States, as an intellectual, scholar, and educator[6] even though his formal education is limited to five years of elementary school. After receiving an imam-preacher certificate, he served as an imam, first in Erdirne and later in Izmir. In 1971, the Turkish security service arrested him for clandestine religious activities, such as running illegal summer camps to indoctrinate youths, and was, from that time on, occasionally harassed by the staunchly secular military.[7] In 1981, he formally retired from his post as a local preacher.

    To build an image as a proponent of interfaith dialogue, Gülen met Pope John Paul II, other Christian clergy, and Jewish rabbis[8] and emphasizes the commonalities unifying Abrahamic religions. He presents himself and his movement as the modern-day version of tolerant, liberal Anatolian Sufism and has used the literature of great Sufi thinkers such as Jalal ad-Din Rumi and Yunus Emre, pretending to share their moderate teachings.[9] Quotes from their teachings adorn Fethullah’s Gülen’s propaganda material. The movement, its proxy organizations, and universities—including Georgetown, to which it donates money—hold conferences in the United States and Europe to discuss Gülen. In October 2007, the British House of Lords feted Gülen with a conference in his honor.

    Gülen was a student and follower of Sheikh Sa’id-i Kurdi (1878-1960), also known as Sa’id-i Nursi, the founder of the Islamist Nur (light) movement.[10] After Turkey’s war of independence, Kurdi demanded, in an address to the new parliament, that the new republic be based on Islamic principles. He turned against Atatürk and his reforms and against the new modern, secular, Western republic.

    In 1998, Gülen departed for the United States, reportedly to receive medical treatment for diabetes. However, his absence also enabled Gülen to escape questioning on his indictment in 2000 for allegedly promoting insurrection in Turkey in a series of secretly-recorded sermons. Since his voluntary exile, Gülen has resided on a large, rural estate in eastern Pennsylvania, together with about 100 followers, who guard him and tend to his needs. These servants are educated men who wear suits and ties and do not look like traditional Islamists in cloaks and turbans. They follow their hocaefendi’s orders and even refrain from marrying until age fifty per his instructions. When they do marry, their spouses are expected to dress in the Islamic manner, as dictated by Gülen himself.[11] It is from his U.S. base that Gülen has built his fame and his transnational empire.

    Gülen’s Education Network
    The core of Gülen’s network is his educational institutions. His school network is impressive. Nurettin Veren, Gülen’s right-hand man for thirty-five years, estimated that some 75 percent of Turkey’s two million preparatory school students are enrolled in Gülen institutions.[12] He controls thousands of top-tier secondary schools, colleges, and student dormitories throughout Turkey, as well as private universities, the largest being Fatih University in Istanbul. Outside Turkey, his movement runs hundreds of secondary schools and dozens of universities in 110 countries worldwide. Gülen’s aim is not altruistic: His followers target youth in the eighth through twelfth grades, mentor and indoctrinate them in the ışıkevi, educate them in the Fethullah schools, and prepare them for future careers in legal, political, and educational professions in order to create the ruling classes of the future Islamist, Turkish state. Taking their orders from Fethullah Gülen, wealthy followers continue to open schools and ışıkevi in what Sabah columnist Emre Aköz called “the education jihad.”[13]

    The overt network of schools is only one part of a larger strategy. In a 2006 interview, Veren said, “These schools are like shop windows. Recruitment and Islamization activities are carried out through night classes … Children whom we educated in Turkey are now in the highest positions. There are governors, judges, military officers. There are ministers in the government. They consult Gülen before doing anything.”[14]

    The AKP’s controversial education policies, coupled with the Islamist indoctrination in Fethullahist schools, have accelerated the Islamization of Turkish society. During AKP’s first term in government, the ErdoÄŸan government has changed textbooks, emphasized religion courses, and transferred thousands of certified imams from their positions in the Directorate of Religious Affairs to positions as teachers and administrators in Turkey’s public schools.[15] Abdullah Gül, Turkey’s first Islamist president and a Gülen sympathizer, appointed a Gülen-affiliated professor, Yusuf Ziya Özcan, to head Turkey’s Council of Higher Education (Yükseköğretim Kurulu, YÖK). He has also used his presidential prerogative to appoint Gülen sympathizers to university presidencies.

    Beyond Turkey, the Fethullahist schools also serve as fertile recruiting grounds. In his Institut d’Etudes Politiques doctoral thesis on Gülen schools in Central Asia, Bayram Balcı, a French scholar of Turkish origin, wrote, “Fethullah’s aim is the Islamization of Turkish nationality and the Turcification of Islam in foreign countries. Dozens of Fethullah’s ‘Turkish schools’ abroad—most of which are for boys—are used to covertly ‘convert,’ not so much ‘in school,’ but through direct proselytism ‘outside school.'” Balcı explained, “He wants to revive the link between state, religion, and society.”[16] The schools of Gülen’s Nur movement in Central Asia have worked to reestablish Islam in a region largely secularized by decades of Soviet control. Balcı explained, “The aim of the cemaat is to educate and influence future national elites, who will speak English and Turkish and who will one day prove their good intentions towards Fethullahists and towards Turkey.” Several countries in the region have taken steps against Gülen’s educational institutions because of such suspicions. Uzbekistan has banned the schools for encouraging Islamic law,[17] and the Russian government, weary of the movement’s activities in majority Muslim regions of the federation, has banned not only the Gülen schools but all activities of the entire Nur sect in the country.[18]

    Neither Uzbekistan nor Russia are known for their pluralism, but suspicion about Gülen indoctrination has spread even to more permissive societies such as that of the Netherlands. In 2008, members of the Netherland’s Christian Democrat, Labor, and Conservative parties agreed to cut several million euros in government funding for organizations affiliated with “the Turkish imam Fethullah Gülen” and to thoroughly investigate the activities of the Gülen group after Erik Jan Zürcher, director of the Amsterdam-based International Institute for Social History, and five former Gülen followers who had worked in Gülen’s ışıkevi told Dutch television that the Gülen community was moving step-by-step to topple the secular order.[19] While the organizations in question denied any ties to the Gülen movement, Zürcher said that taqiya, religiously-sanctioned dissimulation, was typical in the movement’s interactions with the West. An unnamed former Gülen follower who also once worked in Gülen schools and ışıkevi reported that Fethullahists called the Dutch “filthy, blasphemous infidels” and that they said “the best Dutchman is one who has converted to Islam. All the Dutch must be made Muslims.”[20] Indeed, of the thousands of Fethullahist schools in more than one hundred countries that allegedly teach moderation, none are located in countries such as Saudi Arabia or Iran that exist under domineering strains of official Islam, and most appear instead geared to radicalize students in secular Muslim and non-Muslim societies.

    Eviscerating Checks and Balances
    Fethullahists have also made inroads into Turkey’s 200,000-strong police force. Their infiltration has had a compounding effect, as Fethullahist officials have purged officials more loyal to the republic than the hocaefendi. According to Veren, “There are imam security directors; imams wearing police uniforms. Many police commissioners get their orders from imams.”[21] Adil Serdar Saçan, former director of the organized crimes unit within the Istanbul Directorate of Security, confirmed these statements in reports he prepared on the Fethullahist organization within the security apparatus. In a 2006 interview, he said,

    Fethullahists began organizing inside the security apparatus in the 1970s. In police academies, students were being taken to ışıkevi by class commissioners. One of those commissioners is now the director of intelligence at the Turkish Directorate of Security. During my time at the [police] academy, those in the directorate who did not have ties to the [Gülen] organization were all pensioned off or fired in 2002 when the AKP came to power. … I was at the top of my class when I graduated from the police academy, and throughout the twenty-four years of my career, I maintained and was honored for my stellar record. After 2002, the AKP blocked my promotions. They promoted only those officers whose files were tainted with allegations that they were engaged in reactionary Islamist activities. … Belonging to a certain cemaat has become a prerequisite for advancement in the force. At present, over 80 percent of the officers at supervisory level in the general security organization are members of the [Gülen] cemaat.[22]

    Such statements, however, may have consequences.[23] In October 2008, Turkish police arrested Saçan on suspicion of involvement in the so-called Ergenekon plot to overthrow the Turkish state.[24] Most Turkish analysts believe that the Ergenekon conspiracy, short of any evidence of unconstitutional activities, is more a mechanism by which the Turkish government can harass critics.[25]

    Writer and journalist Merdan YanardaÄŸ provided statistics to illuminate the Islamist penetration of the Ankara Directorate of Security. He explained,

    Prior to Ramadan, personnel at the Directorate of Security in Ankara were asked whether they would be fasting during Ramadan, in order to establish the number of meals that would be needed during that period. Of the 4,200 employees, only seventeen indicated that they would not be fasting. Considering that some of the seventeen might have been sick or taking medications, the numbers speak for themselves. [26]

    Wiretapping scandals in spring 2008 also highlighted Gülenist penetration of the security service’s most important units. After the Turkish Security Directorate obtained a blanket court permit in April 2007 to monitor and record all the communications in Turkey including mobile and land-line telephones, SMS text messaging, e-mail, fax, and Internet communications,[27] Turks have grown uneasy about having telephone conversations fearing intrusion into their privacy. Recent leaks to pro-AKP media of recordings of military personnel meetings, lectures, top secret military documents, strategic antiterrorism plans, private medical files of commanders, and contents of personal conversations between state prosecutors have shocked the nation as has the appearance on the Internet video site YouTube of some of those recordings.

    The alleged network of Fethullah followers in the security system has an impact on domestic affairs as they use restricted technology or privileged information to further their political agenda. In February 2008, for example, several websites posted the voice recording of a secret speech delivered by Brig. Gen. Münir Erten announcing the timing of an upcoming Turkish military operation into Iraqi Kurdistan, details of a private discussion with the chief of the General Staff, and private information concerning Gen. Ergin Saygun’s health.[28] The following month, several websites including YouTube posted a secretly recorded conversation between prosecutor Salim Demirci and a colleague regarding ErdoÄŸan and Efkan Ala, then governor of Diyarbakir and subsequently a counselor of ErdoÄŸan’s office. ErdoÄŸan responded by ordering a criminal investigation against Demirci.[29] In June 2008, the Islamist Vakit published Saygun’s entire medical file, disclosing information about his diabetes as well as the treatments and medications he had received in the Gülhane military hospital.[30] Others whose tapped conversations appeared on Islamist websites and in Gülen’s newspaper network included ErdoÄŸan Teziç, the former head of Turkey’s Higher Education Council, and prominent members of the center-left opposition Republican People’s Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, CHP). Many Turkish journalists believe that Fethullahist-dominated police tap their communications, and according to reports, the head of the wiretapping unit, who was appointed by ErdoÄŸan in August 2005, is a Fethullah follower.[31] Islamist newspapers including Vakit, Yeni Åžafak, Zaman, and the pro-AKP Taraf published leaks from private conversations held inside government offices and military headquarters. The Islamist, pro-AKP media has reported alleged confidential evidence relating to the police investigation of the so-called Ergenekon plot that posits a secularist cabal of military officers, journalists, and professors sought to overthrow the AKP government.[32] The net effect of such leaks is to tar the reputations of or intimidate AKP’s political opponents and the Turkish military.

    Islamization within police ranks also contributes to police brutality against anti-AKP demonstrators. On May 1, 2008, the police used gas bombs, pepper gas, water cannons, and clubs against workers who wanted to celebrate May Day peacefully in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, the traditional site of demonstrations in Turkey’s largest city; scores were injured.[33] Labor unions and opposition parties condemned the police brutality and accused ErdoÄŸan of using police to silence opposition voices.[34] Police also suppressed labor protests in Tuzla (Istanbul) shipyards.[35] Similarly, police have harassed individual citizens after they criticized ErdoÄŸan’s policies. ErdoÄŸan’s own security guards abducted a 46-year-old man from Antalya for speaking out in public against his social security policies, taking the man to a deserted location where the guards beat and threatened him. The victim alleged that his attackers said they could easily plant guns or drugs on him and kill him.[36]

    While Turkey’s military is guarantor of the constitution, Veren alleged that Fethullahists had also entrenched themselves within the military, police, and other professions:

    The Fethullahist military officers were once our students, who we financially supported, educated, and assisted. When these grateful children graduated and reached influential positions, they put themselves and their positions at the service of Fethullah Gülen … [Gülen] directs and instructs, and, through them, maintains power within the state … When Gülen’s students graduate from the police or military academies—as do the new doctors and lawyers—they present their first salaries to Fethullah Gülen as a gesture of their gratitude. Newly graduated officers even bring him the swords that they receive during the graduation ceremony.[37]

    According to Veren, Gülen has argued that the military expels no more than one in forty Islamist officers; the rest remain in undercover cells. While such allegations may seem the stuff of conspiracy theory, recent leaks to pro-AKP media suggest a number of Islamist sources within the military ranks, creating speculation that followers of Gülen now populate the senior infrastructure of the Turkish General Staff. Such speculation gained additional credence after the August 2008 Supreme Military Council (Yüksek Askeri Şura, YAŞ), which, for the first time, declined to expel suspected Islamists from military ranks.

    The AKP government has also aided the Gülen movement with its reorientation of the judiciary. Over the first five years of his rule, ErdoÄŸan replaced thousands of judges and prosecutors with AKP appointees. Now that the president is Islamist, it is unlikely that he would veto the appointment of Islamists to the bench, as did his predecessor Ahmet Necdet Sezer. Indeed, it now appears that the government intends to appoint thousands more to judicial positions.[38] The AKP has also enacted a law that would require applicants for judgeships to first interview with AKP bureaucrats in order better to gauge and adjudicate applicants’ adherence to Islam. The results of the AKP’s targeting of the judicial system are already apparent as anti-secular, pro-AKP officials have been at the forefront of some controversial trials, such as the case against Van University president Yücel AÅŸkın,[39] the Åžemdinli investigation in which the prosecutor tried to implicate Gen. YaÅŸar Büyükanıt before he became chief of the General Staff, and, most recently, the Ergenekon probe.

    Indeed, it is such overtly political and vindictive prosecutions that have led some former Gülen sympathizers, such as University of Utah political scientist Hakan Yavuz, to a change of heart. In one interview, Yavuz told odatv.com that four important legal cases had changed his thinking: the case against AÅŸkın; the Semdinli case; the Atabeyler operation, uncovered in 2005, involving an organized crime group with alleged plans to assassinate Prime Minister ErdoÄŸan;[40] and the Ergenekon probe. Yavuz explained, “The cemaat has attempted to steer all four cases. Look at the slanderous reports in archives of the cemaat’s newspapers, how they defamed Yucel AÅŸkın. And now it’s Ergenekon. Keeping [prominent] personalities in jail for over a year without indictment is inexplicable.” Yavuz also suggested Gülen’s cemaat spoke differently to its members than to outsiders and that it was pursuing a political agenda that conflicted with the founding philosophy of the modern Turkish republic. He accused Fethullahists of “co-optation” and said that they were recruiting people and paying them money—without any formal receipts or records—to write and speak favorably about the movement while criticizing the secular Turkish state.[41]

    The Fifth Estate
    If the police, military, and courts might normally protect rule-of-law from within official Turkish government structures, there might still be an external check to abuse of power in the Turkish media. The Turkish media has traditionally been relentless in its reporting of abuses of power and corruption. Soon after assuming office, however, ErdoÄŸan proved intolerant of the concept of a free press. The AKP government has systematically sought to create a media monopoly to speak with one voice and on behalf of the government. ErdoÄŸan lashes out at media organs that he does not control. In his first term, ErdoÄŸan brought more than a hundred lawsuits against sixty-three journalists in sixteen publications, against many writers, as well as the leaders and members of parliament of all opposition parties. The number of lawsuits may be far greater. In 2008, ErdoÄŸan declined to answer a parliamentary inquiry by a Democratic Left Party deputy demanding information on how many lawsuits ErdoÄŸan had initiated against journalists—claiming that such information was in the realm of his private life.”[42] Most of ErdoÄŸan’s lawsuits against journalists involve criticism that any other democracy would consider legitimate. In 2005, for example, he sued Cumhuriyet cartoonist Musa Kart for depicting him as a cat entangled in a ball of string. Last year, he sued the LeMan weekly humor magazine for ridiculing him in its January 30, 2008 cover.[43]

    ErdoÄŸan lost some of his lawsuits, and courts threw out others, but the effect has nonetheless been chilling. Journalists know that not only does the prime minister seek to make them financially liable for any criticism, but that the AKP might even seek to assume control of their publications. During AKP’s 6-year rule, the government has seized control of several media outlets and subsequently sold them to pro-AKP holdings affiliated with the Gülen community. In April 2007, for example, the governmental Saving Deposit Insurance Fund (Tasarruf Mevduatı Sigorta Fonu, TMSF) seized Sabah-ATV, Turkey’s second largest media group in a predawn raid. The TMSF, staffed by ErdoÄŸan appointees, then sold the group to Çalık Holding, the CEO of which is ErdoÄŸan’s son-in-law. Çalık financed the purchase with public funds taken as loans from two state-owned banks and by partnering with a newly-founded, Qatar-based media company that bought 25 percent of Sabah shares. It was Abdullah Gül who introduced Ahmet Çalık to Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa during his January 2008 visit in Syria; Çalık also accompanied Gül in February and ErdoÄŸan in April when they visited Qatar. Media reports indicated that other consortiums that had initially shown interest in purchasing Sabah-ATV with their own money pulled out of the tender shortly before the bid after ErdoÄŸan contacted them, leaving Çalik the sole bidder.[44] Sabah has since become a strong advocate of the AKP government. In September 2008, ErdoÄŸan demanded all party members and aides boycott newspapers owned by the DoÄŸan Media Group after it reported on laundering of money to Islamist charities.[45]

    Excluding the Islamist television and radio stations, newspapers such as Zaman, Sabah, Yeni Şafak, Türkiye, Star, Bugün, Vakit, and Taraf all have AKP and/or Gülen-affiliated ownership. By circulation, such papers represent at least 40 percent of all newspaper sales in Turkey.[46]

    What Are Gülen’s Intentions?
    Conglomerates have long had a dominant position in Turkish society. Secular businessmen such as Aydın DoÄŸan 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.

    U.S. Government Support for Gülen?
    Many Turkish analysts believe that, prior to ErdoÄŸan’s election, Gülen and his supporters in the U.S. government helped obtain an invitation to the White House for him at a time when ErdoÄŸan was banned from politics in Turkey due to his Islamist activities—an event viewed as a U.S. endorsement ahead of the 2002 Turkish elections. That the U.S. government and, specifically, the Central Intelligence Agency support the Gülen movement is conventional wisdom among Turkey’s secular elite even though no hard evidence exists to support such allegations.

    When Turkish secularists are asked to defend the view that Gülen enjoys U.S. support, they often point to his almost 20-year residence in eastern Pennsylvania. After the Supreme Court of Appeals in Turkey (Yargıtay) confirmed on June 24, 2008, a lower court’s ruling to acquit Gülen on charges that he organized an illegal terrorist organization to overthrow the secular government in Turkey, Gülen won another legal battle, this time in the United States. A federal court reversed U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service decisions that would have denied Gülen’s application for permanent residency in the United States on the basis that Gülen did not fit the criteria as someone with “extraordinary ability in the field of education.” The Department of Homeland Security characterized Gülen as neither an expert in the field of education nor an educator but rather as “the leader of a large and influential religious and political movement with immense commercial holdings.”[51]

    While the court ruling that allowed Gülen to remain in the United States may provide fodder for Turkish analysts who suggest U.S. support for Gülen, the process is actually more revealing. Indeed, the U.S. government noted that much of the acclaim Gülen touts is sponsored or financed by his own movement. Gülen attached twenty-nine letters of reference to his June 18, 2008 motion, mostly from theologians or Turkish political figures close to or affiliated with his organization. John Esposito, founding director of the Saudi-financed Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, who, after receiving donations from the Gülen movement sponsored a conference in his honor, also supplied a reference. Two former CIA officials, George Fidas and Graham Fuller, and former U.S. ambassador to Turkey Morton Abramowitz also supplied references.

    The letters may have worked. On July 16, 2008, U.S. district judge Stewart Dalzell issued a memorandum and order granting Gülen’s motion for partial summary judgment and ordering the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to approve his petition for alien worker status as an alien of extraordinary ability by August 1, 2008. The court found that the immigration examiner improperly concluded that the field of education was the only statutory category in which Gülen’s accomplishments could fit and that Gülen’s accomplishments in such fields as theology, political science, and Islamic studies should also be considered. The court further determined that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Administrative Appeals Office erred in concluding that Gülen’s work was not “scholarly” by applying an unduly narrow definition of the term. Finally, with regard to the statutory requirement that the applicant show that his or her entry into the United States would substantially benefit the United States, the court found that Gülen had met the requirement.[52]

    Regardless of the legal rationale behind his current stay, the U.S. decision to grant Gülen residency will enable his movement to continue to imply Washington’s endorsement as the AKP and its Fethullahist supporters seek to push Turkey further away from the secularism upon which it was built.

    Gülen enjoys the support of many friends, ideological fellow-travelers, and co-opted journalists and academics. Too often, concern over Gülen’s activities is dismissed in the Turkish, U.S., and European media as mere paranoia. When Turkey’s chief prosecutor indicted the AKP for attempting to undermine the secular constitution, the pro-Islamist media in Turkey along with Western diplomats and journalists dismissed the case as an “undemocratic judicial coup.”[53] Yet at the same time, many of the same outlets and officials have hailed the Ergenekon indictment, assuming a dichotomy between Islamism and democracy on one hand, and secularism and fascism on the other.[54] The repeated branding in Islamist outlets of Turkey’s Islamists as “reformist democrats” and of modern, secular Turks as “fundamentalists” has to be one of the most offensive but sadly effective lies in modern politics.

    Indeed, Turkey has never seen a single incident of attacks on pious Muslims for fasting during Ramadan, whereas in recent years there have been many incidents of attacks on less-observant Turks for drinking alcohol or not fasting.[55] While women who cover their heads in the Islamic manner can move freely in any area of the country, uncovered women are increasingly unwelcome in certain regions and are often attacked.[56]

    Contrary to the impression prevalent in the West—that the conflict is between religious Muslims and “anti-religion, secular Kemalists”—the fact remains that the majority of Turks, secular included, are traditional and observant Muslims many of whom define themselves primarily as “Muslims first.”[57] While the Turkish constitution recognizes all Turkish citizens as “Turks,” the dominant sentiment in the country has always been that in order to be considered a Turk, one must be Muslim. The complete absence of any non-Muslim governor, ambassador, or military or police officer attests to the prevalence of Islam’s dominance in the Turkish establishment. Therefore, it appears Gülen is not fighting for more individual freedoms but to free Islam from the confines of the mosque and the private domain of individuals and to bring it to the public arena, to govern every aspect of life in the country.[58] AKP leaders, including Gül and ErdoÄŸan, have repeatedly expressed their opposition to the “imprisonment of Islam in the mosque,” demanding that it be present everywhere as a lifestyle. Most Turks vividly remember statements by AKP leaders not long ago rejecting the definition of secularism as “separation of mosque and state.” Gül has slammed “secularism” on many occasions, including during a November 27, 1995 interview with The Guardian. What Turkey’s Islamists really want is to remove the founding principles of the Turkish Republic. So long as U.S. and Western officials fail to recognize that Gülen’s rhetoric of tolerance is only skin-deep, they may be setting the stage for a dialogue, albeit not of religious tolerance, but rather to find an answer to the question, “Who lost Turkey?”

    Rachel Sharon-Krespin is the director of the Turkish Media Project at the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Washington D.C.


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