Muslim-cleric scholars from Asian and European countries have lashed out at the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and issued a joint declaration to call it a terrorist group rather than a religious movement.
A four-day summit of Muslim scholars from Asian and European countries was held in Istanbul, which focused on the exploitation of Islam by terrorists, concluded on Friday with a joint declaration by clerics.
The declaration says, although the terror cult claimed to start out as the Hizmet Service Movement (the name Gülenists gave themselves), it is a fact that they exploited Islam and its values for their network of dirty affairs in order to pursue their own goals, adding that they distorted Islamic beliefs for their own interests. "FETÖ is a terrorist group, a group seeking power under the guise of a religious agenda. Its religious ties are suspicious and it aims to undermine Muslims' unity. It committed sins by violating people's rights and exploited zakat and alms defacing Islam under the guise of an interfaith dialogue," it stated.
The scholars stated in the declaration that FETÖ opened schools in Eurasia following the collapse of the Soviet Union in a false bid to bring the understanding of Islam to Eurasian countries and to address the educational needs of the people in the former Soviet countries and eastern European countries. "However, their institutions have become tools to achieve their secret political goals. Instead of promoting a clear understanding of religion and religious education, it used its educational stance to exploit the people in those countries," they said.
The declaration also touched upon al-Qaida and Daish, two other terrorist groups distorting the Quran and sunnah (Prophet Muhammad's religious teachings) and said the two groups distorted the traditional understanding of Islam in Eurasia in order to recruit more people to their cause while FETÖ posed as followers of a "moderate Islam" to gain following against al-Qaida and Daish.
"Although Daish or al-Qaida and FETÖ are viewed as completely opposite of each other, they are groups exploiting religious and humanitarian values for their ultimate goals. They are united in the goal of dividing Muslim communities to pave the way for conflicts and possible foreign intervention to such conflicts," the declaration reads.