Islam’s internal enemies

Abdulhamit Bilici
Abdulhamit Bilici


Date posted: November 2, 2014

Caliph Omar, who is renowned for his attention to justice, paid a visit to sacred sites after taking over control of Jerusalem from Governor Sophronius. He visited Masjid al Aqsa and later also wanted to see the Church of Resurrection where, according to Christian belief, Jesus was crucified and prepared for burial. Sophronius, who was walking with Omar, recalled that he performed prayers everywhere he visited and asked him to do the same at the church. Omar rejected the request saying, “If I perform prayer here, Muslims will build a mosque on this very spot.” Instead he found an empty area to the south of the church for prayer, upon which Muslims thereafter erected a mosque named after Omar.

Caliph Omar, before leaving the city, introduced guarantees for the local people so they could freely exercise their religious freedoms. The pact, undersigned by the Caliph and his commanders, guaranteed the properties and lives of all people regardless of whether Omar, the Caliph, was sick or healthy. He further assured the people that there would be no interference in their sacred places, symbols or religious beliefs; that churches would not be converted into residential homes; that the previous rights of the people would be preserved; and that there would be no pressure or repression. Overall, he assured that nobody would be harmed.

This approach, which has served as the basis of how Muslims should treat others, has been upheld from then until now. The Ottoman experience confirms this. A book entitled “Macedonia under the Ottoman Rule,” based on archive resources, provides a clear example of the approach in the Balkans. Yako, a Jewish man who was living in Skopje, addressed a petition to the Office of the Governor on Aug. 1, 1870 to sell alcoholic beverages in his store in Tahtakale. The petition was referred to the municipality for review the next day. The local assembly, in its reply six days later, stated that even though the location was suitable for launching such a business, it was necessary to seek the opinion of the administrative assembly as the store was facing a church. The administrative assembly in turn denied permission on the grounds that it was facing a church and there were a large number of people walking by the store.

This is part of our legacy of religious tolerance but to understand our current status one must simply look around. Everybody talks about the idealized state of religious freedom and acceptance during the Ottoman era but in reality, there is a state of savagery everywhere which is intolerant of other religions and even dissenting Muslim views. The radical and extremist movements, including the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and its derivatives, who convert sectarian and ethnic identity into political fanaticism do the greatest harm to Muslims. Beheadings, the destruction and burning of educational institutions and places of worship, young people being killed violently while delivering meat to the poor, are all products of this mindset.

Talking to the person sitting next to me on a plane back from Erzurum, I realized the situation was even graver. The man was a 30-year old pharmacist with a long, black beard. A friend of his had told him to shave his beard or he would be targeted in the belief that he was a member of ISIL. He did not shave his beard but some of his friends did. In particular, he complained about the promotion of views and current ideas that did not originate in these lands. Recently Muhammed Keskin from the İsmailağa Islamic community also wrote about efforts to rid Turkey of its national identity and of Turkish Islam in his piece published in Marifet Magazine. He was thereafter strongly criticized by those who welcome foreign religious movements and ideas into the country. Perhaps this is the main reason for growing hostility by the oligarchic structure against the Hizmet movement, one of the representatives of constructive religious movements in Turkey and around the world. Some may not realize the coming danger and rely on the so-called parallel state arguments but Fethullah Gülen, aware of the threat posed by this trend against all Muslims, draws attention to the danger by sponsoring ads in European, American and more recently the Kurdish media. Gülen, who condemns the violence committed by ISIL, particularly as it relies on religious discourse, cautions against the danger in Kobani and delivers messages embracing all people and groups in the region.

It is important to preserve national independence but it is equally important to preserve the unique spiritual identity of the people as well. Unfortunately, Muslims who hold a twisted view of and approach to Islam are doing greater harm to their religion than their enemies.

Source: Today's Zaman , October 31, 2014


Related News

40,000 people reported to authorities for being Gülen followers since July 15

As many as 40,000 people have been reported to the Ankara Police Department for being followers of the Gülen movement since a failed coup attempt on July 15. Although the movement strongly denies having any role in the corruption probe and the coup attempt, the government accuses it of having masterminded both despite the lack of any tangible evidence.

Secret police intervention following suspicion of Turkish murder-plot in Denmark

Swedish Radio today: Danish intelligence averted suspected Turkish plot to use criminal gang to assassinate a Gülenist in Denmark, a NATO ally of Turkey.

Junior Coalition Partner Demands Explanation Why Bulgarian Govt Turned over Abdullah Buyuk to Turkey

Right-wing Reformist Bloc, the junior partner in Bulgaria’s minority coalition cabinet, has demanded that Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova explain to Parliament why the government turned over Turkish businessman Abdullah Buyuk to Turkey last week. “The Reformist Bloc expresses disagreement with the violation of basic principles that guide the coalition; for us these are the rule […]

Why Gulen-sympathizers with their babies risk death to flee Erdogan regime

There is a reason why Turks risk death to flee with their babies. It’s not that they are looking for a better life. They are fleeing torture and life imprisonment.

Shocking change and disappointed hearts…

Since Dec. 17, Erdoğan’s discourse has become more and more strict and a major smear campaign has been initiated by the pro-government media against the Hizmet movement, which has been active in education activities all around the world. The Hizmet movement and the followers of Hizmet have never been affiliated with violence or any other crime-related issues. This was proven as a result of a judicial process.

Reassignments — new mobbing on massive scale by gov’t to silence dissent

According to commentators, the governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party), through these reassignments, is not only putting pressure on those carrying out the graft probes but also sending a message to its critics in state positions that their fate will be no different from that of their reassigned colleagues if they do not desist from their criticism of the government.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Pak-Turk Schools react to baseless claims

EP discusses transparency call for Hizmet

Why should education in Pakistan be held hostage to the politics of other countries, however brotherly?

Teacher gets arrested, wife suffers miscarriage amid gov’t crackdown on Gülen movement

Did you say extradition?

Abant Platform raises support for EU process, criticism for parties

Kimse Yok Mu offers a hand of compassion to Kyrgyz orphans

Copyright 2023 Hizmet News