Quebec: 5 Million Dollars Wasted On 'Hijab Research' Results In "Go Back To Sleep"

From the Brain-Police of the multiculti Stupidity & Cubititi department in Canuckistan:

* We reported: Canucks told to swallow the cool-aid and shut up

Stop bitchin’ about the Muslim hijab; we have ways to shut you up!

There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s no real threat to Quebec values. And most women here wear it by choice, not because of coercion.

* Predictable muddle-headed multiculti BS: they are whacked into submission and threatened with death at an early age and told what to say to the irritated kuffars…

That’s what the Bouchard-Taylor commission has concluded after a year of study costing $5 million.

And in the end, what happens to the freedom of each and every one to display her deeply held convictions, as long as they don’t impinge on the rights of others and don’t lead to anybody being put out?,” Gérard Bouchard and Charles Taylor write.


In the final draft of their report Рwhich was submitted to the provincial government yesterday and is to be made public at a press conference Thursday Рscholars G̩rard Bouchard and Charles Taylor say Quebec society will have a lot to lose if it restricts the wearing of the Muslim head scarf strictly to the home and outdoors.

* Link: Horror under the Hijab

* Death of Aqsa Parvez had “nothing to do with Islam”, Muslim leaders say

* In Germany, brother tells police he stabbed teenage sister in apparent honor killing

* They all ‘chose’ to wear hijab because otherwise they’re dead…

Saying the province’s 130,000 Muslims, especially Arab Muslim immigrants, are “along with blacks, the group that is the most touched by different forms of discrimination” in Quebec, Bouchard and Taylor plead for an end to bickering over the hijab.

“Let’s finish with the head scarf, which has caused so much distress in the last few years,” the reasonable accommodation commission’s chairmen say in their report, parts of which The Gazette obtained last week.

“In light of a great number of unequivocal testimonies, we can take it for granted – believe us – that the young girls or women who wear it give it various meanings and are motivated in contrasting ways, some of which, it’s true, don’t jibe with the dominant values of our society.”

In light of a great number of unequivocal testimonies, we can take it for granted – believe us – that the young girls or women who wear it give it various meanings and are motivated in contrasting ways, some of which, it’s true, don’t jibe with the dominant values of our society.”

(In a footnote, the professors explain some of those different meanings: “Sometimes it signifies submission and oppression, pure and simple, sometimes prudishness, respectability and modesty, and sometimes a way of affirming one’s identity or autonomy or even feminism.”)

“But by trying to combat these situations, isn’t there a risk that we’ll harm other citizens who made a perfectly clear choice? How is it possible to disentangle the two? And in the end, what happens to the freedom of each and every one to display her deeply held convictions, as long as they don’t impinge on the rights of others and don’t lead to anybody being put out?”

Devout Muslim women – a small minority of Quebec Muslims overall – suffer intimidation and discrimination in the Quebec job market for wearing the hijab “because employers fear getting demands for accommodations,” the commissioners say, recounting testimony from several Muslims in public hearings last fall.

For example:

A young hijab-wearing woman studying to be a pharmacist “saw her job applications rejected by 50 pharmacies before she was finally able to land a job with an Arab pharmacist.”

A 17-year-old Muslim girl “drew constant taunts at school and in the street” because of her hijab. “But her mother taught her never to answer them, because she doesn’t want to ‘fill her with hate.’ “

The commissioners also write that the hijab is a lightning rod for a wide range of opponents in Quebec, all of whom see it in a negative light.

“Diverse voices are raised to denounce the Muslim head scarf: those of radical feminism, those of republican egalitarianism and – we heard various ways of it being expressed – also those of intolerance.”

That condemnation shouldn’t happen, they say.

“The freedom to manifest one’s religion or one’s conviction is recognized by all the great international legal conventions and by the Quebec charter (of human rights and freedoms),” they say in a footnote, also quoting the testimony of a Muslim man named Mohamed Chraibi, who addressed the commission at a hearing in Laval last November this way:

“No one has the right to impose nor forbid the wearing of the hijab by a woman.” Or, as an unnamed Muslim woman at the Laval hearing put it: “My body belongs to me – I’ll show what I want of it.”

In another footnote, Bouchard and Taylor talk of some Quebecers’ “often irrational” opposition to the hijab, which they see as a denial of a woman’s femininity, a symbol of her submission to men and to God, or simply a restrictive piece of clothing that would be better left in a drawer.

They quote from a brief submitted to them in November by a woman in Longueuil, when their 17-city tour of the province swung through town: “In 2007, in Quebec, when a Muslim women wears the veil, I tremble,” the woman wrote.

“To anyone who shares that feeling,” the commissioners add reproachfully, “may we suggest they read the quite different testimony at the hearings in Montreal of Jean Dorion, the ex-director of the Société St. Jean Baptiste de Montréal?”


Dorion told the story that day of his friendship with a Muslim woman named Karima, a hijab-wearing immigrant whose family daycare was a home away from home for 18 months for Dorion’s infant daughter. Although he hesitated at first because the woman wore “clothing that revealed only her face and hands,” the experience turned out to be joyous and rewarding.

That’s how the hijab should be greeted day-to-day, according to Bouchard and Taylor – as a possibility to connect with someone with a different way of life.

After all, they note, “the most publicized cases involving Muslims all involved activities where they were participating or integrating into our society: visiting a cabane à sucre, taking part in tournaments (soccer, tae kwon do), wearing the head scarf at public school, etc.

“Would it be wise to ban them for reasons that are, in the end, very superficial?”

It’s wrong to think that all veiled Muslim women are somehow under a man’s thumb, the commissioners also say.

“There’s a strong feminist current among Muslim women. It follows an original path and is a model that differs from Quebec feminism. It goes along with the wearing of the head scarf.”

Lest anyone think the veil is a sign of Muslim extremism – even a subtle form of terrorism – the commissioners try to set the record straight.

“A word on fundamentalism and the threat of terrorism,” they write. “There is, indeed, among Muslims in Montreal, a small minority of rigorists who are solidly rejected by their religious brethren. It’s true that in this type of milieu the germs of terrorism can appear. The threat is therefore not non-existent. What is the right attitude to take?

“Our position is this: Let’s let the police do what they can to disrupt the terrorist threat wherever it is – and it does exist. For the rest, as citizens, we have the duty to treat people equitably and without reproach.”

Montreal is not Paris, they add – breeding grounds for Muslim terrorists appear to be rare here.

“In Montreal there’s little need to worry about the type of problem found in the Parisian suburbs,” they say. “Contrary to what can be observed in France, the Muslims who are established in Quebec don’t constitute a disadvantaged class that has long been oppressed and pushed to the margins of society.

“They’re very educated here and have a great desire to integrate.”

* Sure thing. That’s why they wear hijab, you dumb shits…

10 thoughts on “Quebec: 5 Million Dollars Wasted On 'Hijab Research' Results In "Go Back To Sleep"”

  1. >>””women here wear it by choice, not because of coercion.

    They CHOOSE to wear it rather than get killed.

  2. Why is it that canadians and englanders are so much stupider than Aussies? Why do they insist on being dhimmified? How much longer will the governments of those lands be appeasers? And, why don’t they learn from history? Why don’t the englanders overturn their dhimmi government? Oh yes, I forgot. The government took away their guns………

  3. “There’s a strong feminist current among Muslim women … It goes along with the wearing of the head scarf.”
    === === === === ===

    Sorry, fella… wrong answer. Feminism= educated, independent women who KNOW they are full equals to men, making their own choices. Head scarf= Islamic conservatism, Arab supremacism, male-dominated hierarchy, females worth half of men; covering up is an effort to keep those animalistic “cat-meat” men (Muslims!) away, to keep the family’s “honor” clean and thus not give your father or uncles or brothers a reason to slit your throat …

  4. For the first time in western Sydney (Penrith) I saw a woman wearing the full bit. Everything covered, including the eyes. For some reason I felt extremely uncomfortable.

    The old Muslim fellow with her appeared very pleased with himself.

    Feminism in islam???? utter rubbish….

  5. I personally am not the type to judge others by what is worn on their bodies If women are more comfortable wearing the hijab I say wear what forms you as a individual both within and without. What I find offensive is when one is instructed by another to wear something on the grounds it opens doors of impuity based on ones religon. We live in a evil world full of people looking to take advantage of anothers weaknesses. The problem with this whole subject is, are we that shallow that we have to be offended by what another wears for clothing the real issue is Islam and its faslehoods of being a peaceful way of life. I do agree that certain parts generate compassion but if followed to the letter according to the Koran it is anything but peaceful in what it offers towards ones beliefs and ways of living in harmony with the rest of humanity.

  6. Canadians should read the article below about TURKEY to see how deviously the state created by Kamal Ataturk – the “Remover of the Veils” is being turned into a Caliphate. The process will be slower but it is bound to slowly but surely creep into Europe, the USA and Canada if the present dumb DHIMMIES continue with their holier than thou attitude – instead of sending the Faithful back to their own countries where they can hold street protests and breaking up shops ( after which under ‘Sharia’ they will have their arms chopped off by the Religious Police thugs):

    “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 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.

  7. I find it quite amusing that people would waste their time making comments about subjects that they know nothing about. I’m an active feminist, educated and starting my PhD, I earn my own money and lived on my own in a foreign country for years, I come for an atheist family that is not remotely arabic, and yet I choose to cover my hair. Nobody threatened to kill me if I ever will to remove it, actually quite the opposite, and I’m certainly not dominated by any man. My choice has nothing to do with keeping arabic men at bay either. I understand that you might feel more confortable with a scantily clad woman that you can easily objectify, but I will certainly not let anybody, and even less a man, tell me what to show of my body. This is my self respect. Since I am an intelligent being, I don’t need to convince people with short skirts and low cut tops, and I refuse to be an arm candy. I actually was for sometime before adopting Islam, by myself through a long study, and this was when I felt disrespected and degraded. Ads for cars and toothpaste using images of bikini wearing women are signs of a male dominated society. I invite you all to make research and actually read to Quran instead of exposing your ignorance and ridiculing yourselves.

  8. Don’t call my country “Canuckistan”, you gutless cocksucker. You sound like that brain-dead Christian faggot Pat Buchannan who falsely accused Canada of being the place where the 9/11 bombers came from. Total bullshit. They were all from USA and flight-trained in Florida. We are not “dimmified”. Our soldiers are fighting these animals in Afghanistan. To date we have lost 134 soldiers, four of them (and a Canadian journalist) most recently. You can fuck off for them too. You people sound like the fucking propagandists you condemn, no better than fucking winos. You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. As for the Aussie, ask him why his country allows Muslims to rape Australian girls on the beaches there. There have been over 50 rapes there. How’s that for being subjugated to the Muslims, asshole? He doesn’t know a fucking thing about my country.

    My country is called Canada, you cocksucker. Don’t forget it.

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