Muslim scholars denounce FETÖ, its clout in Eurasia
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULOct 14, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Oct 14, 2016 12:00 am
Muslim scholars from European and Asian countries, convened in Istanbul for an international meeting, condemned the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), which was behind the July 15 coup attempt, and its schemes to deceive Muslims. They also highlighted the need to counter the cult's influence in Eurasian countries.
Istanbul is host to the ninth meeting of the Eurasian Islamic Council, which brings together renowned scholars and faith leaders from Asia and Europe for the four-day event with the theme of "Islam in Eurasia, Unity and Solidarity Against Religious Exploitation and a Perspective for the Future." Naturally, FETÖ, which portrayed itself as a religious group before its plot to take over the state was revealed, is a focal point of the event.
Speaking at yesterday's sessions, scholars from Tatarstan, Kosovo, Greece and North Ossetia emphasized the danger the terror cult posed for Muslims. Kamil Samigullin, mufti of Tatarstan's Muslims, said FETÖ was among the terrorist groups exploiting Islam. "We consider them enemies of Muslims. In almost every century, we see such false religious groups emerge. They harm the essence of Islam and in this age of globalization, they grow rapidly. We need to talk about how to stop them. You can counter an ideology with another ideology. We see FETÖ has nothing to do with Islam but we have to put it into action and show it," he said. Samigullin said five members of the terror cult had been discovered on duty at religious schools in Tatarstan and been dismissed, citing that one of them was "a leader for FETÖ in Russia."
Ahmet Mete, mufti of Xanthi (İskeçe) in the Western Thrace region of Greece, where a Muslim population is concentrated, spoke about FETÖ's relations with Greece. He said the FETÖ presence complicated Muslims' affairs with Athens. "It is a group conspiring to acquire power with fraud, with sinister acts and employing religion to advance their own interests. They do everything they are capable of to dispose of genuine defenders of Islam," he said. Mete stated that FETÖ cooperated with the Greek state to defame them and help Greece justify seizing control of Muslim foundations.
Naim Ternava, head of the Kosovo Islamic Community, said Muslims in the Balkan country were not aware before July 15 that FETÖ would be such a danger, and attempt to seize power in Turkey. He noted that the terror cult first made its foray into Kosovo by setting up a school after the war ended in 1999, and acquired clout by attracting academics, politicians, business people and intellectuals to the cult. He said Muslim scholars rejected cooperation with the terror group but it still enjoys support from some political parties in the country.
Hajimurad Gatsalov, head of the North Ossetia Muslims Board said Muslim civilization faced a growing divide and they should focus on efforts to prevent this divide. "FETÖ and similar groups are very dangerous not because of the power they obtained but because they exploit the weaknesses of Muslims. We should be united to counter their threat," he said.
Through the council meeting, Turkish officials aim to convey Ankara's call to participating countries to sever any ties and cooperation with the terror cult. FETÖ boasts a massive presence in Eurasia, from the ex-Soviet republics in Central Asia to Balkan countries with large Muslim populations. It employs its schools and companies, exploiting the hunger for religious education, and manipulates the close Turkish ties of the Muslims in those countries.