Gatestone Institute October 5, 2012
When the enigmatic Turkish Islamist leader, M. Fethullah Gülen, who lives in the U.S., published, in the September 27 London Financial Times, an op-ed column with a clumsy turn from benevolent moderation to hard Islamist ambitions, he revealed his authentic character.
The topic was, probably predictably, the latest outburst of terrorism in Muslim countries, along with the pretext of indignation against a crude video made in the U.S. and which insulted Muhammad. The op-ed, entitled, “Violence is not in the tradition of the Prophet,” emphasized, in the first seven (out of nine) paragraphs, that Muslims should not react to insults against Muhammad by destructive protests: “The violent response,” he wrote, “was wrong… Muslims …must speak out [against] violence… The question we should ask ourselves as Muslims is whether we have introduced Islam and its Prophet properly to the world. Have we followed his example in such a way as to instill admiration?… [A Muslim] should respect the sacred values of Christians, Jews, Buddhists and others as he expects his own religion and values to be respected.” So far, so good.
The true outlook of Fethullah Gülen, however, was revealed in his last two paragraphs: “Hate speech designed to incite violence is an abuse of the freedom of expression… [W]e should appeal to the relevant international institutions, such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation [OIC] or the UN, to intervene, expose and condemn instances of hate speech. We can do whatever it takes within the law to prevent any disrespect to all revered religious figure, not only to the Prophet Muhammad. The attacks on the Prophet we have repeatedly experienced are to be condemned, but the correct response is not violence. Instead, we must pursue a relentless campaign to promote respect for the sacred values of all religions,” Gülen proclaimed.
Continue reading Gülen’s False Choice: Silence or Violence by Stephen Schwartz
American Thinker September 18, 2011
Jannat ul-Baqi, the cemetery in Medina of the Family, Companions, and Successors to the Prophet Muhammad sallallahualeyhisalaam, before its demolition by Saudi Wahhabis in 1925.
Three things are immediately obvious when one examines the biography of John Louis Esposito, American academic expert on Islam. The first is that — as noted by his official biographical listing of more than forty-five books and monographs, along with his standing as editor of several reference series — he seems indefatigably prolific, though the bulk of his writings present interpretations of contemporary phenomena rather than original research. The second is that he luxuriates in honors, including those bestowed by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other parties in whose objectivity about Islamic affairs few can believe. Finally, his work has provided an unremitting “explanation” that amounts to a committed defense of radical, rather than traditional, Islam. Esposito aspires to become the chief interlocutor between the U.S., if not the West as a whole, and the Muslim lands — especially the extremist elements in Islamic societies.
In his career as an academic and public intellectual, Esposito has emphasized his conviction that Islamist ideology is a path to liberation of Muslim societies from oppression, and, like many other Middle East studies experts, he is quick to accuse critics of Muslim radicalism of Islamophobia. He has accumulated a further sheaf of statements that should be embarrassing to him, but apparently is not. Most offensively, he stood up for Sami Al-Arian, who pled guilty in 2006 to a charge of providing services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a Specially Designated Terrorist Organization according to the U.S. government. At an August 18, 2007 fundraising event in Dallas for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a leading American Islamist group, Esposito declared, “Sami Al-Arian’s a very good friend of mine.”
Continue reading John L. Esposito: Apologist for Wahhabi Islam by Stephen Schwartz
American Thinker, March 29. 2010
A secretive foreign network of Islamic radicals now operates dozens of charter schools — which receive government money but are not required to adopt a state-approved curriculum — on U.S. soil. The inspirer of this conspiratorial effort is Fethullah Gülen, who directs a major Islamist movement in Turkey and the Turkish diaspora, but lives in the United States. He is number 13 among the world’s “50 most influential Muslims” according to one prominent listing.
Gülen has been criticized as the puppet master for the current Turkish government headed by the “soft Islamist” Justice and Development Party, known by its Turkish initials as the AKP, in its slow-motion showdown with the secularist Turkish military. But Gülen is also known in Muslim countries for his network of 500-700 Islamic schools around the world, according to differing sources favorable to his movement. A more critical view of Gülen’s emphasis on education asserts that his international network of thousands of primary and secondary schools, universities, and student residences is a key element in solidifying an Islamist political agenda in Turkey.
Continue reading Islamist Gülen Movement Runs U.S. Charter Schools by Stephen Schwartz