The Indonesia Islamic scholars council’s fatwa on FETÖ

After Dec. 17-25 2013, serious discussions began on the terrorist organization which came to be referred to as the “parallel state structure.” However, the terrorist organization, although it disregarded the law to orchestrate the Dec. 17-25 coup, the threat it posed to Turkey was never seriously discussed during the following one-and-a-half-year period. The reason why there was a great shock on July 15 is the result of a lack of intellectual preparation.

Here I want to share a little anecdote with readers: The spring right after Dec. 17-25, in a circle of friends some were claiming that members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) were not a threat anymore. My personal opinion was just the opposite as I tried to explain that the organization could get much more dangerous in the future, but all my friends looked at me cynically. To tell the truth, it wasn’t possible for me at the time to foresee an attempt like the July 15 coup. The signs of the coup started to appear after one year. However, I had no doubt that the organization was posing a great threat. This threat, moreover, wasn’t only a military threat. Essentially, the other problems they were causing were more important for us. Especially their views on creed were striking, and their unorthodox views on religion were worrisome.

I still haven’t given up on my thoughts about the organization. Again, in different circles people talk about the blows dealt to FETÖ and that their organizational structure has collapsed. Of course, one cannot deny the efforts, which should be taken seriously, to eradicate them from the security forces and to stave off the danger. We shouldn’t disrespect those who were taking patriotic steps to realize this. However, this should not mean that the terror organization has or will be weakened.

Until Dec. 17-25 2013, no one could talk about FETÖ openly. If Erdoğan did not take a clear stance against them starting from 2012, we could have been in a much worse situation. The reason why there was no sensitivity about this issue was because the issue was not analyzed on a level of information. Knowing is important. Since people were acting with their emotions, their faith and their assumptions, they couldn’t see the danger FETÖ was posing. The same is also valid for the current threatening connections of the organization. Despite all these negativities, the fatwa by the Indonesia Islamic scholars council is a very important development and it is a step taken fearlessly. There is no other fatwa like this.

The Indonesia Islamic scholars council says that the fatwa (Islamic ruling) was written after a comprehensive analysis of FETÖ terrorists. The text of the fatwa which was also published by newspapers is the following:

1. Fetullah Gülen has greatly deviated in interpreting the verses of the Qur’an, and his teachings and thoughts can damage the Islamic Aqedah based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad;

2. Early in spreading his teachings, Fetullah Gülen taught in the name of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, but after investigation in the past few years, he turned out to have deviated from Bediuzzaman Said Nursi’s teachings. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi was only used to attract the sympathy of Muslims, especially among the youth and campus activists;

3. Fetullah Gülen with all his actions and thoughts on Islam, especially about Sufis, is a heresy that will damage the Sufi values

4. FETÖ is not just a movement or a socio-religious organization but a movement or organization that is more directed to the form of terrorist organizations that hide behind a mask of social and religious movements that have strong ties to Zionists.

What else can be said! The Indonesia Islamic scholars council analyzed FETÖ from the perspectives of ideology, tradition, policy, and law, and shared the conclusion they reached. The articles above need to be analyzed in more detail. However, we can say that the council analyzed FETÖ quite successfully.

The initial inferences from the articles are the following: FETÖ’s creed is incompatible with Islam, ideologically their basis is built upon deviation, and they destroy traditions and are politically involved with the Zionists. Hence it is an alien organization to its geography.

It seems that the Indonesia Islamic scholars council brought up a new way of defining FETÖ. We still haven’t witnessed any other analysis of this sort which considers the situation from a broader perspective. I hope that some circles will take this into consideration.

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