Gülen say, “The principles and form of government that form the basis of democracy are compatible with Islamic values. Consultation, justice, freedom of religion, protection of the rights of individuals and minorities, the people’s say in the election of those who would govern them…[are] principles espoused by both Islam and democracy.”
Alparslan Kuytul, president of the Furkan Foundation and leader of a religious group critical of the Turkish government, said he was advised to put the blame on the faith-based Gülen movement for a police intervention in a meeting of his followers in April and that the government would ultimately clear the way for his group to operate freely.
The Erdogan government jails its citizens without due process, severely curtails freedom of speech by jailing journalists, and ignores the plight of vulnerable minorities. They are the least credible messengers to warn Americans about their civic duty. The Turkish Consulate’s attempt to use McCarthyite tactics to spread fear and unduly influence American civic life is simply abhorrent and deserves condemnation.
Mr. Erdogan’s own Islamist and autocratic tendencies have also compounded the country’s vulnerability. Since an attempted coup last summer, the President has purged thousands of police officers and soldiers, and the resulting talent and resources gap may have damaged Ankara’s counterterror capabilities.
Leading academics from various countries discussed the role of movements in the Muslim world and the experiences of the Gulen Movement at Arab League headquarters in Cairo. The conference, jointly held by Cairo University’s economic and political science faculty, Academic Studies and the Internet Foundation from Turkey, and Hira magazine.
The Turkish secular elite who have long feared an Iranian-style theocracy in their own country may finally be seeing the worst of their fears come true. The widespread purges under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following last month’s failed coup attempt against his government suggest the Turkish state is moving toward authoritarian Islamist rule of the sort that Iran introduced in 1979.
“Dynamics of Radicalism: Why are people radicalized and why?” the second of the conference series titled “Combating Violent Extremism,” co-organized by the Journalists and Writers Foundation’s (GYV) Abant Platform and Vienna-based Friede-Institut für Dialog (Peace Institute for Dialogue) was held at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in the UN headquarters in Vienna.
Religion, particularly Islam, has become one of the most difficult subject areas to tackle in recent years. Contemporary culture, whether approached from the perspective of anthropology or theology, psychology or psychoanalysis, evaluates religion with empirical methods. On the one hand, religion is an inwardly experienced and felt phenomenon, one mostly related to life’s permanent aspects.
The violent extremist ideology cannot be rooted out until an effective, coherent, comprehensive and well-reasoned counter-narrative is evolved. For that, all the theological, religious, political, historical, instrumental and socio-psychological underpinnings of the global jihadism have to be counter-argued and dismantled.
The world has judged the two attacks in Paris and Brussels, which claimed a number of lives and damaged property, as associated with Islamic-inspired terrorism. The attacks also delivered the psychological message that acts of terror and hatred can occur even in the most prosperous and highly secured countries that respect diversity and human rights. […]