Is Fethullah Gülen practicing taqiyya (subterfuge) in his rejection of Islamism?
No. Fethullah Gülen is not merely pretending to reject Islamist ideology. He has clarified publicly in print and broadcast media that he and Turkish Muslims, like all Sunnis, do not have this concept of subterfuge or dissembling in their faith and practice, nor do they condone it.
Any accusation of subterfuge is symptomatic of the grossest oversimplification of the socio-cultural and spiritual dynamics of the Gülen Movement; it contradicts the consciousness and clear understanding of the growing number of supporters of the Gülen Movement (now in their millions), which is very strict in its critique of conditions in the countries where Islamist groups condone subterfuge as a tactic.
There are good reasons for being confident that Fethullah Gülen is not a secret Islamist and that he rejects Islamist epistemology. For instance, before and after 9/11, Fethullah Gülen visibly provided intellectual and moral leadership, condemned all kinds of acts of terrorism with the most courageous and unequivocal public statements, and comprehensively explained related and relevant issues. He stated that the basic principles of religion are totally opposed to the political–ideological interpretations that underlie and motivate acts of terrorism; that these basic principles should be taught to Muslims and other people through the education system; that administrators, intellectuals, scholars and community leaders have a responsibility to try to identify the originators and the motivating factors behind terrorist activities; that there are multi-national organizations which, overtly and covertly, have directed their efforts to destructiveness and the creation of fear in society.
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