Why is it that Fethullah Gülen and the Gülen Movement are still accused of being a “threat to the state”?

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Even though Fethullah Gülen has clearly stated and demonstrated that he has no political agenda, that he is against the instrumentalist use of religion in politics, that his emphasis is on the individual, the protectionist elite still, in a ritualized way, accuse him and the Gülen Movement of being a “threat to the state.” The Australian researcher Greg Barton comments, “His critics, most of whom appear not to be very familiar with his writing and ideas, see him as promoting a different kind of Islam to that recognized and approved by the state. This apprehension is largely based on a false understanding. In fact Gülen is not so much advocating a different kind of Islam but rather an Islam that reaches more deeply into people’s lives and transforms them to become not just better believers but better citizens.”[1]

[1] G. Barton, Progressive Islamic Thought, civil society and the Gülen movement in the national context: parallels with Indonesia. Paper presented at Islam in the Contemporary World: The Fethullah Gülen Movement in Thought and Action, Rice University, Texas, November 12–13, 2005, 9.