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Response to Hatchet Job on Turkish Scholar, M. Fethullah Gülen

8 October 2012 Editorial 33 Comments Email This Post Email This Post
M. Fethullah Gulen

M. Fethullah Gulen

(In the spirit of providing context and balance, here is the link to the article by Stephen Schwartz which Islamic Studies Professor Scott Alexander rebuts in the below guest editorial to IslamophobiaToday.com: Gulen’s False Choice: Silence or Violence)

by Scott C. Alexander, Ph.D.

I am puzzled by the fact that a man as seemingly intelligent and articulate as Mr. Schwartz appears to have deliberately misread the Op-Ed piece by Mr. Gülen. I say this because, in the very beginning of Mr. Schwartz’s critique, he clearly demonstrates that he has no intention of striving for even the least degree of objectivity and fairness in his analysis of Gülen’s remarks. In fact, I am saddened to say that what Mr. Schwartz attempts to offer as a trenchant critique of Gülen and the global Gönüllüler Hareketi (“Volunteers’ Movement”) amounts to little more than a hatchet job on a religious leader who has inspired thousands, perhaps millions, of men and women to a reawakening of their faith and a faith-based commitment to service.

How else can one explain Schwartz’s absolute refusal to take Gülen at his word, despite the fact that what Gülen says in this Op-Ed piece is utterly consistent with his thought as articulated in numerous publications which span at least three decades? Why does Schwartz imply with insistence that Gülen’s agenda is to enact hate speech laws in the U.S. when Gülen is explicit in the piece that “We can do whatever it takes within the law to prevent any disrespect to all revered religious figures“? Why does Schwartz assail Gülen, who seems to recognize the need to respect the legal systems of various societies in the fight against anit-religious bigotry, but not the Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon, Bechara Rai? Just one week after the pope’s visit to Lebanon, Patriarch Rai boldly proclaimed: “We shall not simply accept a condemnation, but shall ask the international community to issue a United Nations resolution that will ban denigrating religions” (http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Patriarch-Rai-tells-Muslim-leaders:-no-insults-against-religions-25903.html).

Although additional evidence for my indictment of what Mr. Schwartz has written can be found throughout his text, there are a few particularly tell-tale moments.  For example: in his opening paragraph, Schwartz refers to Mr. Gülen as “enigmatic.” Why?  What is “enigmatic” about Gülen?  Not unlike Pope Benedict XVI (albeit on a somewhat smaller scale), Gülen is a global religious leader who has a website which makes his writings and speeches accessible to the widest possible audience (www.fethullahgulen.org). The former have been translated into over 30 languages and the latter are available (in Turkish) on a weekly basis, if not more frequently. True, Gülen lives a reclusive life, making few public appearances. But this is no different than many highly regarded but deeply humble religious figures who shun the public spotlight.

In this regard, allow me to return to the papal analogy. Before Pope John Paul II set the novel precedent of papal “pilgrimages” to nearly every continent (and the consequent numerous public appearances beamed around the world), most of his predecessors could well be described as “reclusive.” The faithful could get a glimpse of the pope if they made a pilgrimage to Rome. But even after traveling long distances to Holy See, the best these pilgrims could ever do was to spy the pope from afar as he stood on the iconic balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, or from a considerable distance at a grand liturgical ceremony. And even in this age of comparatively frequent papal travel and satellite TV, popes like John Paul II and Benedict XVI were/are not exactly “out there” in the way that Mr. Schwartz is rather disingenuously implying Mr. Gülen ought to be. Despite the spotlight which Pope Benedict seems to occupy so regularly, he still does not give interviews to the media, and only meets personally with high-level and highly select individuals and groups. In fact, were it not for the fact that the Bishop of Rome is also a head of state–a position which Mr. Gülen decidedly does not hold–one might well maintain that such papal meetings and travels would be substantially fewer than they currently are.

Which raises the question as to whether or not Mr. Schwartz would describe the popes as “enigmatic,” rather than simply “reclusive.” Beyond this, as a Roman Catholic, I wonder whether Mr. Schwartz would describe Benedict XVI in the distinctively negative context in which he portrays Gülen? Would he dub the pope as “an ingenious priest” who controls an “army” of followers? This is certainly the way popes were described by people like Thomas Whitney, Congressman from the Fifth District of New York and one of the founders of the infamous anti-immigrant, and especially anti-Catholic, “Know-Nothing Party. Whitney is the author of a classic mid-19th-century nativist tractate entitled, A Defence of the American Policy, as Opposed to the Encroachments of Foreign Influence, and Especially to the Interference of the Papacy in the Political Interests and Affairs of the United States (New York: DeWitt and Davenport, 1856). In this text, Whitney uses almost exactly the same rhetorical tropes as does Schwartz. Whitney speaks of “the course of Jesuitism” as a “subtle and insidious” force of the papacy, designed to further the designs of “Romanism” in the U.S. which, according to Whitney, is nothing less than the “despotic” and quasi-militaristic conquest of the American Republic (pp. 79-82).

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I’m guessing that Mr. Schwartz would not describe Pope Benedict in the same terms as he casts Mr. Gülen. When I wonder why this is, I am led to the strong suspicion that Mr. Schwartz’s problem with Gülen is not that the latter is a reclusive religious leader who is the inspiration behind a large group of faithful who see themselves as having a global mission. I strongly suspect that Mr. Schwartz’s problem with Mr. Gülen is that Gülen is a Muslim.

This may seem ironic, given the fact that Mr. Schwartz is himself a Muslim. Upon closer examination, however, the irony begins to fade.  This is for a many reasons. One is that some of the fiercest condemnations of religious figures and movements tends to come at the hands of co-religionaries who are at significant odds with one another.  And this certainly applies to Schwartz vis a vis a great many of his fellow U.S. American Muslims. The mission statement of Schwartz’s “think tank,” the Center for Islamic Pluralism, says that the purpose of the center is to challenge “the dominance of American Muslim life by militant Islamist groups.” Here Schwartz is taking to an even higher level the incendiary, highly subjective, and completely unsubstantiated claim made by Shaykh Hisham Kabbani at a 1999 State Department forum that 80% of the mosques in the U.S. are “being run by the extremist ideology, but not acting as a militant movement.” It is, therefore, not surprising that someone who actively chose to attack the mainstream organized Muslim community in the U.S., has an ax to grind.

What is truly ironic, however, about Schwartz’s ardent opposition to Gülen and the Volunteers’ Movement is that Schwartz has made a name for himself as a strong proponent of Sufi spirituality and an equally strong opponent of certain extremist forms of Wahhabi-inspired Salafism–and so has Gülen. Although I am not a Muslim, I share Mr. Schwartz’s and Mr. Gülen’s

concerns that a certain strain of so-called “Salafis” have entered, however unwillingly, into an unholy alliance with the most virulent Islamophobes. It seems as if these self-appointed champions of Islam are completely unaware of the irony that it is they who pose what amounts to one of the greatest threats to the faith they profess: namely, that Islam potentially be reduced from a dynamic tradition of belief and practice replete with guidance for humanity, to little more than a potent, yet spiritually bankrupt, anti-Western ideology.

Why, then, attack Gülen and attempt to portray him as an extremist when one of the cornerstones of Gülen’s Sufi-inspired approach is his teachings about the principle of hoşgörü (i.e, seeing the good in others) and dialogue? Why not expose the work of extremist Salafis such as Khalid `Abdallah and Muhammad al-Zughbi who–by translating clips into Arabic and using mass media to widely disseminate these clips–apparently played key roles in instigating the violent protests in outrage over The Innocence of Muslims?

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33 Comments »

  1. that’s a long article. but ““We shall not simply accept a condemnation, but shall ask the international community to issue a United Nations resolution that will ban denigrating religions”” that’s crazy. so what is denigrating? if you say one religion’s prophet is a false prophet, is that denigrating? so was it not denigrating when muhammad destroyed the arab pagan’s idols when he conquered mecca?

    i thought this site was making progress with their understanding of freedom of speech with that other article. one step forward tow steps back i guess.

  2. Yes, it is such a puzzle and a wonderment that people harbor suspicions of muslims. Dear me what can it be?

    Denigrating religions? Like what blasts from Cairo loudspeakers? Do we really think muslims are going to leave off howling for the death of Jews, Christians, amadis, etc.?

    What constitutes denigration? Muslims can work themselves into a position to regard everyone who isn’t their brand as an insult worthy of the death penalty.

    Gulen is just another of those “we’re going to rule the world” people only maybe with better manners. Supremacy with a smile. Wear cloth or else, ladies.

    Mormons are in a similar position. They have separate scriptures, have accepted another prophet besides Jesus and have a list of prohibited substances. They just don’t have the pumping drive to theocratically squash everyone else under their boot.

    If they supported a contingent of terrorists we would be leery of them, too.

  3. You two have been commenting on these articles with nothing but nonsense…get a life…true Islam means to respect and coexist, your agenda is pathetic… you two only see faults and hidden meanings, perhaps because you two, along with Mr. Schwartz, are full of faults and hidden meanings…God bless & good luck!

  4. Mike, it is one thing to say our prophet is false or level intellectual arguments against Islam (there is a vast array of this kind of material that Muslims do not object to) and quite another to mock, ridicule and level all sorts of despicable language. Muslims respect freedom of speech and have had much discourse with others whose basic stance is that our prophet and Islam is false. There is nothing in that kind of interchange that causes tempers to flare, but i think you will agree that completely hateful and hurtful speech has no business being held to the same level as genuine thoughtful disagreement. I am not defending one sort of thoughtless and careless behavior over another. Listen if someone tears a photo of my mother and spits on it, i know she was not harmed in any way and i can ignore it, but there will still be something inside of me that will hurt and sadden me. Is this the kind of behavior we want to be defended and demand others not feel hurt by? We should be above this as human beings.

  5. Both anon and mike commit two mistakes here. The first is to attribute a claim by the Patriarch to Scott Alexander. Alexander is asking why Schwartz is assailing Gulen for his demand of regulations for hate speech against religions while he doesn’t say anything toward the Patriarch demanding the same thing more strongly. In another words, the author is exposing Schwartz’s inconsistent argument and selective targeting of Gulen. He is not asking the same thing Patriarch is asking.

    Another mistake is to use generalizing statements on Muslims. We know that the majority of Muslims didn’t show any violent reaction. We know that only a few people put the death threat against Rushdie or others. We know that it was only a few hundred radicals in Libya that perpetrated violence. We know that most Muslims, like Gulen, stay away from violence and advocate dialogue and communication. Yet, a significant majority in the West starts their talk on Islam by saying Muslims are violent, Muslims are that, Muslims are this… Why not take a small positive step to toward dialogue by just saying that not every Muslim is terrorist? Are these people really scared to be called “pro-Islam” when they say some positive things about Muslims, which is the case for many media outlets? Are the Westerners really taken hostage by the Islamophobic principle that nothing positive can be said of Islam?

    Look at anon’s statement that Gulen wants to rule the world not violently but with a smiley face. Where in the world is the evidence that Gulen is after a world hegemony??? He is 72 years old and shies away from any position of power. Why use speculative and unfounded accusations that only come from hardcore secularists of Turkey who are crying and blaming everyone in Turkey because they lost their dogmatic and dictatorial way of ruling the country?

    One can only hope that by learning more can we overcome these hostilities even though it seems way too difficult for some.

  6. Thanks for the link, mike, supwitchoo, bro?

    Am always glad when the Taliban shows their hand. Of course children are not exempt. They may even be put in harm’s way in order to make pathetic claims of victimhood. They are butchered so their parents will flee an area. They have been used to clear minefields. They make good obedient cruel soldiers. Children may be put to all sorts of uses.

    Maybe we will one day take a page from their book and a mob of thousands will run through NYC yelling death to the muslims, beating up/killing anyone in costume and destroying muslim businesses.

    We can all be savages.

  7. I really like how these so called “enlightened” westerners know so much about Islam that they can compartmentalize all 1.6 billion Muslims in the category of extremist; it’s almost as if they project their own perverse view of reality on Muslims so that they can sleep better at night believing that they aren’t alone in there quest for neoliberal domination of the “orient” and the rest of the world. It’s like they believe that by putting Islam and Muslims under close scrutiny, the rest of the world will turn a blind eye when they espouse Crusader rhetoric and general violence towards Muslims and others who don’t fit their nuanced, American Exceptionalist worldview…

  8. “Yet, a significant majority in the West starts their talk on Islam by saying Muslims are violent”

    Really? Do you have the figures?

    “Why not take a small positive step to toward dialogue by just saying that not every Muslim is terrorist”

    Who has said every muslim is a terrorist?

  9. “Crusader rhetoric”

    What’s that? I take it you know the crusades were in reaction to muslims attacks against europe and muslim imperialism in the levant?

  10. The Crusades Jane, were an action of furthering Euro-Christian hegemony over the Mediterranean as well as a furtherance of the precursors to what is commonly called dominionism. Why don’t you go over to Religion of Peace or Jihadwatch Jane, the populace there at those sites is more in line with your worldview-

  11. Joey, the Christians and Jews were there first.

  12. Joey, the arab imperialists conquered the levant which had been jewish and christian, They then pushed on into north africa, into spain, siciliy and southern italy, also managing to sack rome on a couple of occasions.

    All before the crusades.

  13. Jane, if you remember the coverage of the aftermath of the Libya incident by the media and follow the comments under the infamous video, you will see that people in the West tend to make no separation between the few radicals and the peaceful majority. Muslims are called enemies of freedom; all violence comes from the Qur’an, Muslims are the eyesore of the earth etc.. Blaming Islam and the Qur’an for the violence committed does mean that all Muslims are pro-violence if they really believe in Islam and follow the Qur’an. You may be making a distinction between the radicals and mainstream Muslims but this is a too common trend in the West to ignore. Look at how Gulen is treated despite his consistent emphasis on non violence and interfaith communication.

  14. Selim, generalisations come from all sides.

  15. Selim, Islam is not in the world to make nice with everybody. It is here to dominate. I quote from the famous CAIR speech.

    Muslims certainly do want to foist their ideas on everybody. Most are delusional utopian theocrats. Most keep their hands clean.

    I prefer the ignorant violent mobs expressing honest hatred to the smirking liars and hypocrites purring coexistence.

    Some cultures, like the HIndu, have been able to fend off the muslims by getting very rough with them.

  16. Anan
    I know at least on religion which does not want to foist its followers ideas on everybody and that is not Islam!!!
    Cursing Islam is called freedom of speech but when one say something inappropriate to another religion that is called hatred.
    I strongly recomend you first to face yourself and your double standard then say a word about Islam.

  17. anon, you seem to have been nurtured with the fear of Muslims quite a bit. You certainly can’t live with peaceful and honest Muslims side by side as these peaceful Muslims would keep turning to monsters in your nightmares and make you sick to the brain. Most Muslims realize that peace is essential to enjoy the beauties of life grounded on Islam. Most dislike the politicization of Islam. Most are realistic enough to see the impossibility of converting all or dominating the world. All would dislike being labeled liars and hypocrites by the ignorant hateful dumb whose only pride is to pump hate and fear in the disguise of an enlightened and independent observer. Most Muslims would wonder how come their world is judged by a selective and terribly weak reading of history that appears in your understanding of Hindu-Muslim relations.

  18. Most muslims seem terribly ineffective at combatting their extremists.

  19. my bad, didn’t mean 4 pastes. computer error. because i’m without faults.

    ahmed,

    “Mike, it is one thing to say our prophet is false or level intellectual arguments against Islam (there is a vast array of this kind of material that Muslims do not object to) and quite another to mock, ridicule and level all sorts of despicable language.” well then, who is to judge what is intellectual and what is mocking? what language is “despicable”? “muslims do not object”? wasn’t there a big row (in honour of the brits you run this site) when the pope quoted another pope over what islam has brought to the world?
    “Muslims respect freedom of speech and have had much discourse with others whose basic stance is that our prophet and Islam is false.” respecting freedom of speech, in america at least, menas respecting one’s right to say despicable things. perhaps you aren’t an american. google the skokie illinois case.
    “There is nothing in that kind of interchange that causes tempers to flare, but i think you will agree that completely hateful and hurtful speech has no business being held to the same level as genuine thoughtful disagreement.” of course it is not the same level. but it is protected. one must keep their temper in check. rioting, murder, to quote a wise man: We should be above this as human beings.
    “I am not defending one sort of thoughtless and careless behavior over another. Listen if someone tears a photo of my mother and spits on it, i know she was not harmed in any way and i can ignore it, but there will still be something inside of me that will hurt and sadden me. Is this the kind of behavior we want to be defended and demand others not feel hurt by? We should be above this as human beings.” yes. this kind of behavior needs to be defended. you familar with piss christ? the westboro baptist church? some light reading for you if you care to understand american freedom of speech:

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-751.pdf it’s a bit long but here are some partial quotes for ya.

    “The Westboro picketers carried signs that were largely the same at all three locations. They stated, for instance: “God Hates the USA/Thank God for 9/11,” “America is Doomed,” “Don’t Pray for the USA,” “Thank God for IEDs,” “Thank God for Dead Soldiers,” “Pope in Hell,” “Priests Rape Boys,” “God Hates Fags,””

    “First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.” Texas v. Johnson, 491 U. S. 397, 414 (1989). Indeed, “the point of all speech protection . . . is to shield just those choices of content that in someone’s eyes are misguided, or even hurtful.”

  20. Selim Egeli,

    “The first is to attribute a claim by the Patriarch to Scott Alexander.” how’d you come up with that? i sttribute no such thing?

    “Another mistake is to use generalizing statements on Muslims.” oh my jesus fucking christ, how many timesdo i hae to explain this to people. muslims means two or more muslims, not ALL.
    “We know that the majority of Muslims didn’t show any violent reaction. We know that only a few people put the death threat against Rushdie or others.” well are you shia. when a grand ayatollah issues a fatawa are not his followers bound by his fatawa. there where what 30 40 million iranians at the time. so you in the muslim world came out against the fatawa. even cat stevens said rushdie should die. and he wrote peace train, before reverting to islam. strange don’tyou think.
    “We know that it was only a few hundred radicals in Libya that perpetrated violence.” ok. so what about the hundreds of egyptians, pakistanis, shit there were riots in 20 maybe more islamic countries. how about the cartoon riots, the koran burning riots. your hundreds is quickly becoming thousands. and you do know that women and children land old men usually don’t riot. so how many sympathizers would you attribute to each rioter? a thousnad, 10,000, a million? you do know there are limited american embassies in the islamic world. might not do much good to riot on one’s own farm. or even in the second largest city in egypt or palistan.
    “We know that most Muslims, like Gulen, stay away from violence and advocate dialogue and communication.” i know nothing of this gulen. he is insignificant. the koran and the hadiths are the root of the problem.
    “Yet, a significant majority in the West starts their talk on Islam by saying Muslims are violent, Muslims are that, Muslims are this… Why not take a small positive step to toward dialogue by just saying that not every Muslim is terrorist? Are these people really scared to be called “pro-Islam” when they say some positive things about Muslims, which is the case for many media outlets?” that’s funny. because at this very time on this very site, spencer is quoted as saying something positive about islam and he is called a liar for it. damn if you do damned if you don’t i quess.
    “Are the Westerners really taken hostage by the Islamophobic principle that nothing positive can be said of Islam?” no. positive things are said about islam all the time. shit after 9/11 the president called it a religion of peace. but then again bush is a dumbass. no the last hostage crisis we had was in iran in 79. check that terry anderson in lebanon. planes hijacked throught the 80s. hang on daniel pearl. somali pirates? sorry, to hard to keep track of all the practitioners’ of the religion of peace hostage taken incidents.

  21. dongo,

    you see now why my first comment to you was that you forgot to bring up the crusades. remeber, that’s when you called me a pond frog, sewer rat and a street dog. fond memories.

    you have a good one my tree frog friend. might have time to day to recreate my comments on the le pen discussion. i have no life.

  22. holy shit, ghosts in the machine. what happened to my response to nick?

  23. let’s see if it sticks this time.

    Nick,

    “You two have been commenting on these articles with nothing but nonsense…get a life…” ieght
    “true Islam means to respect and coexist, your agenda is pathetic…” you a western muslim? what do you think of the opening of the 24th surah?
    “you two only see faults” no there is some good in it. but the faults are what are important, disconcerting. what should be questioned.
    “and hidden meanings,” no, no hidden meanings. they are right on the surface for all to see.
    “perhaps because you two, along with Mr. Schwartz, are full of faults” i can’t speak for anon, but i’m definately full of faults.
    “and hidden meanings…” but no i have no hidden meanings. my creed is “do what you say and say what you mean.”
    “God bless & good luck!” thanks for your “blessings” but i don’t believe in god or luck. you have a good one boss.

    “respect and coexist”? then i accidently pasted this hadith 4 times. maybe that pissed the moderator off. oh well, as the old indian in “the outlaw jose wales” said: we shall endeavor to persevere.
    Narrated ‘Ikrima:

    Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to ‘Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn ‘Abbas who said, “If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s Apostle forbade it, saying, ‘Do not punish anybody with Allah’s punishment (fire).’ I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Apostle, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.’”

  24. “I know at least on religion which does not want to foist its followers ideas on everybody and that is not Islam!!!”

    Double negative?

    “Cursing Islam is called freedom of speech but when one say something inappropriate to another religion that is called hatred.”

    All religions should be open to ridicule, which ones aren’t?

  25. I made some research about that Gulen guy and found these websites relatively trustworthy than the other ones.

    http://www.fethullahgulen.org/ (official page)
    http://www.fethullahgulenconference.org/
    http://fethullahgulenforum.org/

  26. People are here making generalizations about Islam by talking out of context. That is fallacious at best. You can’t just bring one chapter of the Qur’an and present it as if it is the whole discourse throughout the Qur’an.

    If you want to hear the Qur’an from an Agnostic Jew, go to TED Talks and see how that Agnostic Jewish lady beautifully describes Qur’an. She even confesses her own hubris when she started doing the research about the Qur’an.

  27. reggie,

    TED? you talking about: technology entertainment design? i saw jj abrams speak at ted once. what does that have to do with religion? and how can you be an agnostic jew? you confuse me.

    “People are here making generalizations about Islam by talking out of context. That is fallacious at best.” so what context should be applied to a hadith? is it not a story unto itself. why do people keep bringing out the old tired out of context? so explain the context.
    “You can’t just bring one chapter of the Qur’an and present it as if it is the whole discourse throughout the Qur’an.” i don’t know what that means. if the koran says to lash a fornicator 100 times, what other context is needed? the four witnesses 10 verses later. ok. still you are advocating torture, sorry muhammad and allah are advocating torture. what context is needed for the sexist inheritance laws of the koran? what context is needed for slavery?

  28. reg,

    this guy maybe a forward thinker for turkey. and i can’t post all those websites or their sub-links. but he says:

    “People need the protection and services of the State for suitable circumstances so that they can live their religion confidently and feel themselves at peace. The State, on the other hand, needs the invincible power of the religion to help individuals attain perfection, to put families and society in order, to guide the conscience and open the gates to the heart, thereby preventing many evils. The State has to be backed by this power, which is achieved through a quality education in the religion. Human beings are not creatures of this world only; there are many other-worldly features that we possess and it is not possible for us to earn the qualities we need by the secular approach; these are possible through the religion.”

    “it is not possible for us to earn the qualities we need by the secular approach;” he clearly has no seperation of religion and state. fuck this guy. “invincible power of religion? attain perfection,” what is this guy smoking? pass that over here.

    “Human beings are not creatures of this world only;” bullshit. this guy is nuts.

  29. Half of loving something is understanding. You can get more information about Gulen Movement at official pages like : http://gulenmovement.ca & http://en.fgulen.com

  30. He is a theocratic delusionist and what is he doing in the US? Setting up camps I think it is. Claiming territory? It’s all about real estate.

  31. Why should Muslims be expected to agree on so much when Jews and Christians, among themselves, agree on so little?

    I criticized Gulen for using the phrase “within the law” that implies the adoption of “defamation of religion” laws. I will be interested to see if Gulen condemns such projects.

    Gulen is “enigmatic” above all because of the visible attempt of his followers to infiltrate the power centers of the Turkish republic. This is the main reason Gulen is controversial in Turkey and elsewhere. In my article I cited the case of the repression of the journalist Ahmet Sik for writing a book critical of Gulen, THE IMAM’S ARMY.

    Scott Alexander chose to ignore this aspect of the behavior of Gulen and his followers.

    Anybody interested in the real Fethullah Gulen can look up coverage of him in English from Turkish dailies like HURRIYET DAILY NEWS on google. There is a rich file of challenges to Gulen’s claims and Alexander’s faux naivete about the reasons I and others question Gulen’s motivations is embarrassing to read.

  32. Further, anybody who wants confirmation of the claim that 80 percent of mosques in the U.S. are under fundamentalist control should ask Islamic Sufis (not New Agers) and Shia Muslims. The equation of the Wahhabi- and Deobandi-influenced or dominated mosques, acting in the name of Sunnism, with “the mainstream organized Muslim community,” and therefore implying that fundamentalist “Sunnism” is “the one Islam,” is factitious, ideological manipulation, and insulting.

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