Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â From Jihad Watch, Germany:
- Gelsenkirchen, Germany: another Milli GÃ¶rÃ¼s – mosque gets the go-ahead…
And who is behind this stealth jihad? Read it all…
Fethullah GÃ¼len: the Turkish Khomeini?
Will this man destroy Turkish secularism?
Building his empire in Philadelphia. Is he planning to return to establish Sharia rule in Ankara? “Fethullah GÃ¼len: the neo-Ottoman dream of Turkish Islam,” by Geries Othman forÂ AsiaNews, May 6 (thanks to JW):
Ankara (AsiaNews) â€“ AtatÃ¼rk’s secularism and the social order guaranteed by the military appear to be teetering in Turkey today. This is due to the government of Prime Minister Recep ErdoÄŸan, backed by a moderate Islamist party, but especially to the fact that despite the secular constitution, religion appears to be taking root in society. This trend in turn is supported by one of the best known and more controversial figures in today’s Turkey, Fethullah GÃ¼len, who is seen a the most important modern Muslim theologian and political scientist today.
Son of an imam, GÃ¼len was born in Erzurum in south-eastern Turkey, in 1938. A great disciple of Said NursÃ®, a mystic of Kurdish origin who died in 1960, he is in favour of a conservative and orthodox vision of Islam without rejecting modernity which he believes must be addressed.
In the 1970s he organised summer camps in Izmir to teach Islamic principles, setting up the first student or ‘light’ hostels. Still tolerated by the state he began building his first schools, then a university, mass media, groups and associations to breathe life into “modern Turkish Islam” whereby religion and nationalism could be one.
Because of some statements, Turkey’s National Security Council condemned in 1998 for ”trying to undermine the country’s secular institutions, concealing his methods behind a democratic and moderate image.” For this reason he has been living in voluntary exile in the United States since he was sentenced in absentia.
From his headquarters in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), he continues to build his empire, which includes a network of more than 300 private (Islamic) schools in Turkey and 200 abroad (from Tanzania to China, Morocco to the Philippines and former Soviet Republics with large Turkic minorities), a bank, various TV stations and newspapers, a 12-language website and many charities, a virtual business empire worth billions of dollars….
Officially his movement has about a million followers, including tens of thousands of public sector employees in Turkey who are protected by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan (one of GÃ¼len’s best known sympathisers).
In 2006 a Court in Ankara acquitted him from charges of creating an illegal organisation for the purpose of overthrowing Turkey’s secular state and replacing it with one based on the Sharia. But despite that and his large following, he has been criticised by a large number of secularists who believe that underneath a veneer of humanist philosophy,Â GÃ¼len plans to turn Turkey’s secular state into a theocracy.
Secular Kemalists have compared him to Khomeini and fear that his return to Turkey might turn Ankara into another Tehran. The governments of Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are also weary and suspicious of his “Turkish schools promoted by Islamic missionaries.”
At the basis of GÃ¼len’s teachings is the notion that state and religion should be reconnected as they were in Ottoman timesÂ and that Turkey should play the role of beacon for the Balkans and the republics in the Caucasus. Through him a “neo-Nur” philosophy is integrated into Turkish, if not pan-Turkic nationalism, which explains his success among ethnically related Turkic peoples in post-Soviet Central Asia….