Islamic scholar Gülen urges followers to remain calm in face of insults

Turkish Islamic Scholar Fethullah Gülen. (Photo: Cihan)
Turkish Islamic Scholar Fethullah Gülen. (Photo: Cihan)


Date posted: February 18, 2014

İSTANBUL

Fethullah Gülen, the inspiration behind the Hizmet movement, which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continues to insult and target with a smear campaign, threatening to pursue criminal proceeding against it, has urged his followers to remain calm and avoid making inflammatory remarks about those who appeal to insults.

The endless insults against Gülen and the Hizmet movement have sparked public outrage, leaving many people stunned by the incendiary remarks of the prime minister, who is trying to build new momentum by mobilizing his electoral base through appealing to a conspiracy narrative ahead of critical local polls.

A sweeping corruption investigation went public on Dec. 17 and has rocked the country ever since, leading to the resignations of three ministers and numerous other deputies and members. It has left the people wondering whether the prime minister could weather the most challenging crisis he has faced during his 11-year tenure. Erdoğan opted to portray the graft investigation as a concerted effort and plot by Gülen and his followers to unseat him, a claim firmly rejected by the Islamic scholar.

Speaking during the Turkish and Arab Intellectuals Forum, a joint meeting organized by Turkish Review and the Hira magazine that brought together Turkish and Arab intellectuals from the Middle East and North Africa to review the recent developments in Turkey and the Muslim world, Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) President Mustafa Yeşil shared his observations from his recent meeting with Gülen.

Yeşil said the Hizmet movement has no intention of “acquiring” a state apparatus, firmly rejecting Erdoğan’s accusations against the movement.

“Hizmet is a positive movement,” Yeşil said, as he rejected the baseless allegations of a parallel structure within the government. According to him, had there been a single piece of evidence of such a parallel structure, the system of military tutelage that dominated Turkey for decades would have brought it to the surface.

Referring to several lawsuits that the regime filed against the Hizmet movement and Fethullah Gülen on charges of being a terrorist organization, Yeşil said Gülen was acquitted even during the height of military tutelage in Turkey, despite heavy control of the judiciary by the military.

Gülen called on his followers to turn a deaf ear to the insults. “Even if they call you ‘dogs,’ don’t respond to them.” Gülen, Yeşil says, said he bears no grudge against anyone and that he has forgiven all the oppressors who had tried to make his life miserable. “These days will pass,” Gülen said. “But even if we forgive those people who smear us endlessly, I doubt that God will forgive them.”

Source: Todays Zaman , February 18, 2014


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