When Evil Fails and Goodness Prevails: Regarding the Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey

When Evil Fails and Goodness Prevails: Regarding the Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey

by Hamza Yusuf on July 31, 2016

The world is, and has always been, a dystopia. There is no such thing as a perfect or flawless government, and any doctrine or ideology that entices people with the promise of a paradise on earth is flawed and demonic; the Devil tempted Adam with a “Dominion that would never end.” Democracies, liberal or otherwise, are profoundly imperfect systems. Monarchies are also flawed in many ways, but kings are far less susceptible to corruption, given their vast wealth, than elected leaders who often emerge from the petty bourgeois, with natural predilections to social status and ladder-climbing that invites corruption. Despite that, historically, many anti-monarchical movements were motivated by the decadence of monarchs out of touch with the people and ruling the moribund and collapsing empires of Europe and the East. Many of these rebels were well-intentioned people but became pawns in the hands of others with more nefarious schemes. The Ottomans were one of the great empires brought down by fifth columns from within that were often working in tandem with Western powers.

Recently a coup was attempted in Turkey that immediately provided fodder for conspiracy theories, even among people who usually are not prone to such theories. One such theory making the rounds postulates that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan planned the attempted coup himself in order to solidify power, an absurd assertion even in light of what we already know. As “evidence” of this assertion, it was immediately claimed the attempt was half-baked and inconsequential. Does this really make sense given that F16s were mobilized from NATO bases, major television stations were taken over, bridges were secured, and both Ankara and Istanbul had curfews imposed? Even major Western news magazines such as Time and Newsweek acknowledged that the coup was extremely well-planned and almost succeeded. Claims that Erdoğan’s party, the AKP, is using it to consolidate power and remove all opposition from the army, the judicial branch, and the education system, is to speak hastily without the facts at hand; more pertinently, it ignores entirely the reality facing those in power who may still be threatened by subversives yet to be identified. It is far too early for all the facts to emerge. The country is still in shock, and the leaders of the democratic government, with the proven support of most of its people, are trying to restore order and ensure that the democratic system of Turkey is not compromised again.

What is tragic is that except for a handful of countries, including Sudan, Qatar, and Morocco, the democracies around the world did not show immediate support for Turkey’s democratically elected government. The American administration clearly was waiting to see what would happen; whether it had prior knowledge of the coup attempt or not is fodder for conspiracies. Given our history of involvement in coups and coup attempts, including in Iran, Argentina, and Cuba, such a theory may not seem preposterous, but without solid evidence, we should refrain from such theories that threaten longstanding alliances of friendship and cooperation. At least President Obama came out in strong support of Turkey’s government once it was clear the coup had failed—late, but a good sign, nonetheless.

Again, as democracies go, Turkey has been less flawed than most others in the past decade, with an economic record that is the envy of most of the world’s nations. In my many visits here, I have always found it to be a clean, beautiful, prosperous, and safe country. One only had to hear, in the midst of the coup attempt with all its uncertainty, the response of a BBC correspondent who was asked by his colleague in London whether he was scared; he replied that he felt safer in Turkey, even amidst the chaos of the coup, than he did in London, and mentioned the warmth of the Turkish people. This put the lie to the historical “cruel Turk” trope, a long-standing and vicious Western stereotype. One only need read the 18th century reflections of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, the wife of the English Ambassador to Turkey, to see how extraordinary even late Ottoman culture was. She learned from the Turks about smallpox inoculation and took the procedure back to England, where Edward Jenner is still credited as being the pioneer of the vaccination. Moreover, anyone who has experienced Turkish hospitality and warmth knows that those bigoted beliefs about the Turks are apocryphal.

In my own assessment of Western reporting on the recent coup attempt, I consider it flawed and misleading. Asked to speak to a crowd in Konya the night after the coup occurred, I told several thousand Turks who had assembled in support of their country’s democracy, “Civil society is a precious gift and one that must be protected. Turkey has one of the most civil societies I have ever lived in.” In my estimation, only Japan and Oman rival it. I went on to explain that democracy is susceptible to the tyranny of the majority, as there will always be people who did not support or vote for the elected leaders. “The way for those who are not happy with the current a government,” I said, “is to work to oust them when the next election cycle comes around again. That is how democracy works, like it or not.”

The overthrow of a government the majority of people support, even a government that some may think is bending the law or dismissing dissent (something many in America believe happens too often there), is recklessly callous, criminal, and treasonous. Hence, the perpetrators of any coup attempt must be brought to justice as a deterrent for anyone contemplating treasonous actions. I don’t have the information the Turkish intelligence has, nor do the American media. Nevertheless, the vilification and even demonization of President Erdoğan, despite his immense popular support at home, that has been relentless for sometime in our Western press is thoughtless and biased, and reinforces the view that it is motivated by an antipathy toward Islam.

The irony is that President Erdoğan is not the Islamist that Western media have portrayed him to be. He is the secular head of a nation that asserts the rights of all Turks irrespective of their creed, race, or even sexual orientation. President Erdoğan, by all measures, is a devout Muslim attempting to navigate modernity and live his faith in the context of secularity. His party has helped Turkey move away from French laicism toward a more American model of secularism that allows for public display of religion and guarantees the right of a politician to say that, indeed, faith does inform his decisions. Nonetheless, he is not calling for Shariah law, he is not seeking a one-party system, and he is certainly not a dictator by even the loosest definition of that term. Even his desire to increase the executive powers of the president’s office is simply to move toward an American model as opposed to the current European one. He has undeniably opened up Turkish society in ways unthinkable only ten years ago. Most people, especially the previously persecuted devout Muslims, feel freer now in Turkey than they did under the laicism of previous governments when even wearing a headscarf was banned.

As far as I’m concerned, President Erdoğan showed immense valor in the face of great danger, risking his personal safety for the safety of his country’s institutions. He could have easily fled to a safe haven, but, instead, he chose to put his own life on the line by taking to the streets and setting the very example of what he was asking of his people. His popular support is palpable, and, despite the snide and cynical barbs of Western journalists about his “Ottoman-like” pomp, I can attest personally to his genuine and natural humility. At this stage, in light of the extenuating circumstances, he deserves to be given the benefit of our doubt. Our own Western culture and civilization owe a great deal to the Ottoman Empire, and while the Ottomans are gone, their great people, the Turks, are alive and well, and thriving in a democratic country of great industry and diversity. They deserve our best wishes and our support for their recently threatened democracy. Much disinformation and misinformation is being spread about Turkey and its leaders, but from the ground it looks cool, calm, and corrected.

All Comments (19)

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  1. senturk July 31, 2016

    I am somewhat disappointed to see the first time an incomplete story of a subject by Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, whom I have a great admiration. My two brothers and five nephews, excluding many friends and distant relatives, have been fired by the Erdogan government in the aftermath of the failed coup with allegations of support for the coup itself or the coup plotters. Did they take part in the coup or know anything about it? No. But they were fired within two three days of the coup like other 60,000 people, who had nothing to do with the coup. No explanation, no statement, no evidence. Their crime was their support or involvement in the Hizmet movement of Fethullah Gulen. They cannot get a job of teaching (40,000 teachers purged) in Turkey because the Erdogan government wants to make sure that they don’t come back to public schools through legal procedures. He does all of these in the comfort of the emergency rule and his decision to withdraw Turkey from European Human Rights Convention. Now, a devout Muslim perpetually misunderstood in the West, Erdogan has wide support for his purge because he has been consistently demonizing and vilifying the Hizmet movement since December 2013 when some prosecutors, allegedly affiliated with Fethullah Gulen, started corruption investigation against some of Erdogan’s ministers and people including his son. Mountain of evidence leaked to the news media for corruption, bribery, misuse of government tenders but they were supressed by Erdogan claiming that it (December investigations) was a “coup” against his government. Since then, he closed down or took over many newspapers, organizations, and businesses affiliated with the Hizmet movement. And all investigations of corruption were dismissed along with many thousands from the police and the judiciary. With the real coup attempt in July, he found a “gift of God” to cleans the state and the society from the Hizmet movement arresting, detaining, and firing about 70,000 people with no real evidence and within a few days of the coup. Aside from the questionable sides of the coup attempt (believe me there are too many questions unanswered but if you ask these questions you are blamed with supporting or justifying the coup), I like to ask Sheikh Hamza in what conception of justice and fairness the actions of the Erdogan government can be explained? My nephews, small town teachers, knew nothing about the coup. They did not even touch a gun in their lives. They damned the coup just like everybody else. But they are now being called traitors and cannot go out comfortably. They cannot get a job even in the private market. A few days ago, the Turkish government canceled 50,000 passports, arbitrarily. The Erdogan people are mocking them as “trapped little babies.” In what conception of justice, secular or Islamic, can these actions be explained for God’s sake? Why such hostility? Erdogan officially announced and branded the Gulen movement as a terrorist organization several months before the coup but with no single act of violence. Now he is arresting everyone involved in the movement as supporter of terrorist organization.

    Just a few questions on the night of the coup. Why did Erdogan blame the Gulen movement in the first hour of the coup immediately even though he was informed of the coup a few hours earlier? Why did he call the coup a blessing of God? Why did not the intelligence or the military brass did not do anything even though they knew about the coup at least six seven hours before everything started? The West knows about Erdogan’s suppression of dissent, his closing down newspapers, his divisive language, his alienation or humiliation of the political opposition, his tactics of solidifying his base while demonizing his opposition (the other 50 percent), his strict control over the news media and how he suppresses anything that would harm his image. I would expect a few words of warning from Sheikh Hamza for Erdogan if he is close to him. I hope he tries to do it in one of the frequent meetings with him.

    1. byrakciemre July 31, 2016

      why are you trying to mislead the concept of truth for Hamza Yusuf? as if you dont know why you have been fired and you are performing like a actress . You and your TERRORIST Gulen organization are gonna pay for what you did. Dont try to manipulate people.

      1. AdamA August 1, 2016

        A brief survey of Erdoganist people in and outside of Turkey based on the anonymous comments they leave on social media represents very well what the state of mind of Erdogan and his supporters, totally destructive, unforgiving and violent at times. You can see how they have been attacking people and business of people who they think opposing them. I am afraid that they show signs of behavior we have seen from ISIS members, that is probably why they have been very accommodating of ISIS per US and Russian intelligence and satellite images. They both (Erdoganist and ISIS) show similar behavioral patterns which is really scary, and I hope neither one makes its way to our communities in US.
        … you Mr. Yusuf, you think Turkish people deserve this? I don’t know, maybe they do …

        1. esilajdz August 1, 2016

          I have been unable to locate any proof provided by Turkish govt of Gülen’s complicity in the press. Are you aware of any Sheikh Hamza?

    2. Taha Enes July 31, 2016

      Please keep your ‘insight’ outside of our sight. Non-Gulenist high military officials have given a very high approximation of Gulenists within the military – let alone those in the bureaucracy and the police department. Don’t agitate the issue and don’t play the ‘my family’ card. Many people, including myself, has or has had family members affiliated with the Cemaat and anyone who has been near enough their educational institutions knows that they’ve been providing the exam questions to their members for years. They’ve infiltrated every governmental institution and everyone knows that Fethullah Gülen had been advising his followers to join the police department also for years. The purge is more than necessary – it’s indispensable. Even the Kemalist military officials have come in support for Erdoğan.

    3. Harun Celik July 31, 2016

      No answer would satisfy a Gulenist who has been brainwashed for years to believe that they are the choosen ones to bring salvation to Ummah under the supreme patronage of their semi-holy leader Fethullah Gulen who has constantly implied that he is in communication with Prophet PBUH (remember Gulen’s own stories about seeing Prophet PBUH in his or his followers dreams directing the Gulenists to take some actions like sending more twits against AK Government-Yeah you know what i am talking abut).

      So, Sheikh Hamza i would recommend you not to bother yourself to answer a Gulenist so called “questions” which can not be answered because no answer would convince someone who never question his beliefs.

      Gulenists are talking about the innocent teachers are victimized alrhough they are totally unaware of the failed coup attempt but they could never try to question how a Gulenist teacher would be an imam(leader) of a secret Gulenist military cell as evidenced by the testimony of one of the detained putschist. Or he would never understand how would a Nazi youth Jugendbund member would be a partner in crime of genocide. In an organized crime like a gang you do not have to hold the gun yourself some would provide the money, legal protection or a media support. A Gulenist would ask how could it be possible to identify 60K Gulenists within a couple of days as if they are unaware that the Turkish State did describe the Gulen Group as a threat against the National Security and there has been ongoing investigations last three years on the Gulenist network in business, government, army, police, etc.

      The Gulenist propaganda portraying themself as champions of interfaith dialogue, education, democracy, human rights, etc is nothing but a dirty make up which would have been succesful so far to hide the real agenda to inflitrate the Turkish State last 40 years(as can be seen in Mr. Gulen’s video dates back early 90s) but now all Turkish Nation (not the 50 percent AK supporters but all the political parties including CHP, MHP and even the Kurdish HDP) is convinced that Gulen is a ship in a wolf’s clothing.

      This is a common perception of a nation except the Gulenists they keep continue believing their semi-holy imam working to bring salvation.

      Yes alhamdulillah the failed blody coup is a blessing because it has let whole nation to open their eyes and see the evil soul hidden behind a fake mask.

      Now there is nothing for a Gulenist but to keep telling the same stories to maintain the support from their Western allies who obviously failed to stand by a nation and choosen to support a group of heretic.

  2. kasimkopuz9 July 31, 2016

    Thank you and jazakallahou khayral jazah dear Shaikh Hamza. Your eloquent article tells the truth of what is going on in and outside of Turkey currently. In fact your stand with the heroic people of Turkey who stood up against the vicious and evil coup attempt that is carried out by those who are intoxicated with utopia of religious distortions and deep rooted political agendas is a historical stand that reminds us great activists such as Gandhi, M. L. King and Mandela. I hope and pray that joining of your voice with the voices of Turkish people will help dispel the lies and hypocrisies that are being produced by a fringe, but very well organised, group of hate-mongers whose only tool left is to pollute and misinform the national and international discourses. May Allah (sw) reward you with the best of the rewards in hereafter.

  3. seydanur July 31, 2016

    Thank you for speaking the truth in a time when so few have chosen to stand with Turkey. The reluctance of many to condemn the military coup attempt was a true disappointment.
    It is now time to call out the perpetrators behind this heinous attempt, the Fethullah Gulen Terror Organization. Anyone who looks beyond the embellished image of the so-called Muslim cleric will see the array of illegal activities that lies behind this network.
    On the night of July 15th, coup-plotting soldiers used the weapons, tanks, and helicopters that were entrusted to them to kill innocent civilians. Many of them have since then confessed they were serving the Fethullah Gulen Terror Organization.

  4. jozdalga July 31, 2016

    Thank you so much for reflecting the reality in Turkey in a balanced and just way. Nothing more can be said…

    It is indeed very unfortunate to hear abhorrent comments at the US media outlets recently from so called religious leader that coup attempt in Turkey seems like a Hollywood movie. After loss of 260 innocent civilian lives, thousands of injuries… Turkey is now more united than ever against this heinous plot organized against the will of the people. Testimonies of suspects, top army generals, video footages, seized documents reveal the mastermind role played by US based so called preacher.

    In Turkey, in a country with such diversity, If any reader of Honorable Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, and of this article visits any mosque, any public places, he/she would clearly observe the similar environment expressed in this article despite growing disinformation in media. Thank you so much for being brave defending the people of Turkey and defending the truth. May Allah (swt) guide us all on the straight path and prevent us from departing it.

  5. amatullahtahirah August 1, 2016

    INTHE NAME OF ALLAH THE MOST LOVING THE MOST WISE AS-SALAAMU ALAIKUM I AM AN AMERICAN CONVERT BLESSED TO HAVE BECOME MUSLIM IN 1977 I HAVE GREAT RESPECT FOR PRESIDENT ERDOGAN HIS STAND ON BEHALF OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE WAS FOR ME THE FIRST SIGN OF HIS HONORABLE CHARACTER, MAY OUR ALLAH AZZA WA JAL BLESS YOU AND YOUR PEOPLE MR PRESIDENT WITH THE BEST OF THIS LIFE AND THE BEST OF THE HERE-AFTER FROM YOUR SISTER IN USA PEACE.

  6. AdamA August 1, 2016

    American people could not care less about Turkey, Erdogan or Gulen, so if you are going to make noise here, you better have some facts, so please enough with reciting Erdogan’s mind reading games, your intuition or somebody else’s feeling about the topic.
    I am so sick of hearing muslims living in western countries wishing more conservative governments in muslim countries while they would die before going and living there themselves. People in those countries don’t want a devout muslim leader, they want a political system that doesn’t promote a single individual who can decide and take control over the entire government if he wishes to, a system that only thinks and works towards providing a better quality of life for ALL its people, not try to make them a better muslim.
    Politics is a corrupted institution by its very definition, so mentioning or promoting of religion by a corrupted institution (especially by its very corrupted politicians) will only push people away from religion. Just as well, it will cause people of faith to bash each other and call each other infidels for solely political reason.
    Maybe you don’t realize it but by saying, oh well Erdogan has done good and he is devout muslim (like anyone cares), you are approving/justifying all his aggressive oppression of millions in Turkey, covering up pending corruptions cases related to his then government, his son and himself.
    I think, subconsciously you just don’t think people of Turkey deserve a western system political system with checks and balances.
    In the absence of such checks and balances, saying ohh well “that is how democracy works, like it or not” is a insidious evil itself.

  7. Ismail August 2, 2016

    With all my respect to Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, I have to admit that I was very disappointed when I read this article. If I had not seen his name under the article I would have thought somebody from within the Turkish government wrote the article in order to praise President Erdogan.

    To oversee, neglect, ignore or play down any human rights violations is not something that suits an Islamic scholar. Umar ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “If a lost sheep under my care were to die on the banks of the Euphrates, I would expect Allah the Exalted to question me about it on the Day of Resurrection.” There are so many human rights violations reported by Turkish citizens before and after the attempted coup.
    Here are a few examples:
    Bulent Korucu was the editor-in-chief ot Yarina Bakis a daily until the Turkish government shut it down in the post-coup crackdown. Now, he is wanted for arrest. On July 30, Turkish authorities detained his wife, Hacer Korucu, as a hostage until her husband surrenders.

    Mustafa Torer was among nearly 20,000 people taken under custody as part of a massive crackdown following the coup attempt on July 1. He was taken to Iskenderun jailhouse. Under severe stress and trauma, Mustafa, who had already been suffering of diabetes, died over a heart attack.

    Amnesty International is reporting about torture and rape:
    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/07/turkey-independent-monitors-must-be-allowed-to-access-detainees-amid-torture-allegations/

    I am really wondering how Hamza Yusuf responds to these issues???

    Furthermore. in order to have a vital civil society democratic principles such as freedom of speech and freedom of thoughts need to be guaranteed. As we all know, all opposition media has been either shut down or taken over by the Erdogan government. I have many friends who live in Turkey and fear to express their opinion publicly.

    I would have expected from a scholar an objective and critical analyses of the situation in Turkey. To support an oppressive government unconditionally is raising questions about the relationship between the Erdogan regime and Hamza Yusuf.
    I would urge Hamza Yusuf to respond to the question if he or any organization that is affiliated with him is receiving any monetary funds or any kind of support from the Turkish government.

  8. senturk August 2, 2016

    Erdogan and his people, like some who posted here, want everybody believe that each and everyone of the Hizmet people is evil and they must be eradicated. According to Erdogan, they (the Hizmet people) don’t deserve even a glass of water (Erdogan said the exactly same thing in March 2014 after evidence of corruption of the AKP people was leaked to the media). If what Erdogan is doing to Hizmet people is Islamic and can be justified under the Islamic morality and Islamic law, I have nothing further to say. I challenge anyone who could justify his actions based on the Islamic tradition.

    I know no one in the Hizmet community that would approve killing of innocent people or shedding blood in any way. We reject any and all accusations of terrorism. If anyone linked with the Hizmet movement, including Fethullah Gulen, has ordered or approved the heinous attack, I am ready to disavow them completely. I am sure all Hizmet people would do the same. But for one, I will not take the word of Erdogan on this in any way. He has repeatedly lied and accused Gulen and the Hizmet people with baseless claims. He called the Hizmet people terrorists long before the July coup without showing any single proof of terrorism. He set out to destroy the Hizmet movement and eradicate it not only from Turkey but all over the world even before the corruption investigations. He shut down organizations owned by Hizmet or people linked with Hizmet. What kind of threat did the schools in Africa, Afghanistan, or Central Asia pose to the Turkish government that Erdogan spent millions of dollars to personally visit and pressure the leaders of those countries with Hizmet schools? His rage and vengeance against Hizmet seems to have justified any kind of action toward the Hizmet people. He called them servants of Israel, agents of the West, puppets of international order, etc. Before the July coup attempt, he openly called the Hizmet his number one target claiming that until his last breath he will fight against the Hizmet. Looking at what he did or said in the past, I won’t believe Erdogan in any way that the Hizmet is responsible for any kind of violence. His people have fabricated plenty of false accusations against Gulen or the Hizmet people. They are very much capable of doing the same thing from now on.

    Besides, if the West is the source of all evil in Turkey, I don’t understand why Erdogan and his guys criticize the West for not buying their version of the story. Why do they care what the West thinks of them anyway?

    I want to believe that Sheikh Hamza Yusuf upholds due process, justice and fairness even it is against the ones he respect and applaud (Nisa 135).

  9. toco23 August 3, 2016

    Just as senturk, who wrote an elaborate comment below, I am very disappointed. I remember one talk of Hamza Yusuf in which he emphasized the importance of nuances in Islam. The article above is almost lacking of nuances. I understand that measures have to be taken after a coup attempt and 300 killed. But the policy of Erdogan showed already before the coup some dictatorial characteristics. (For example the freedom of press is really under threat, and now thousands people are fired without any investigation). From the ground it looks cool, calm, and corrected………..tell that to the Kurds, I wonder what they would say.
    Best regards,
    Albert

  10. Han August 5, 2016

    This cannot be the Sheikh Hamza Yusuf I have come to admire and learned so much from. With all due respect to the Sheikh’s personal views, condemnation of the coup attempt, and praise for the Turkish nation and the country, the entire message sounds more like an undeserved eulogy for Erdogan. Sheikh, I am sorry to say this, but it seems you are unaware of the scale of the crackdown Erdogan is imposing in Turkey and around the world, and the scale of corruption charges he and his government is facing. Messing with Syria, oil trade with ISIS, purging tens of thousands of public servants including teachers, doctors, and journalists… the list is far too long and heavy for a redemption as this one. Zarrab, the top suspect of a huge money-laundering mechanism whom Erdogan called “a philanthropist” and his government had dirty bribery relations, was arrested in the US a couple of months ago for what may account for a record-breaking corruption cycle. Zarrab’s boss in Iran has been convicted with a death penalty for the same crime. Unfortunately, many Muslims around the world are under the illusion of the current Turkish government which utilize state privileges to please them with generous donations to their foundations, building monumental mosques, waving Rabia signs, and even recitations from the Qur’an. AKP’s past achievements like headscarf freedom and health care reforms do deserve praise; yet their recent sins and years-long corruption cannot and should not be ignored. In this last two weeks, they closed down more than a thousand schools, many hospitals, and foundations, fired or arrested thousands of professors and deans for an alleged association with the coup.

    Sheikh, you are doing your best to represent Islam in the West in the best way it should be; you must be among those who should realize that the image of Islam has been terribly tarnished by Erdogan’s rhetoric. What people in the West see in Erdogan is a tyrannical leader in shameless corruption with no respect for rule of law. Serving Islam and Muslims cannot be by dividing the world, but by embracing all with compassion. How Islamic is it to slander other Muslims without any credible evidence? How Islamic is it to arrest a suspect’s wife or mother, when the suspect cannot be found? How Islamic is it to confiscate dissident’s property and lift their right to travel? Just today a teacher died while under police detention because of diabetic coma, for he was not allowed to take his medication. No one knows why he was detained, other than being a teacher in one of the closed schools. The purge Erdogan is overseeing now includes everyone who is critical of him.

    No, Sheikh. Do not make yourself an unintended accomplice to the grave tyranny Erdogan is imposing. Do not compromise from your most honorable scholarship by trying to redeem him from all the injustices and corruption he and his government have deeply soaked in. No, Sheikh.

  11. Masoud August 11, 2016

    To all those who are objecting to the Sheikh Hamza’s essay: Please read it again and again carefully! Do not hasten to criticize. Notice that he starts off with the statement that no government is perfect. And remember, we live in an era of failed governments (specially in the middle east and Muslim states). Now, a government that manages to maintain the relative stability of its state should be primarily applauded and supported rather than be criticized for its flaws! Any attempt to topple such a government is against the sound intelligence and the elementary teachings of religion and may lead to tragic consequences. Just imagine what would have happened if the stability of the nation had been compromised. You do not want to have another chaotic state in the region! If the government has to change, it should be done through a democratic and civil process. Turkish people deserve this. Please control your emotions and calm down.

  12. one.atiq October 14, 2016

    Assalaamu’alaykum, Jazaak-Allahukhair respected Shaykh Hamza Yusuf for shedding some rare light on the reality of what happened in Turkey and something that is recurrent in several other countries in the world. May Allah (swt) Reward you and your family immensely, ameen.

    It’s very sad and rather shocking to see the effects of media on the masses, the effects of manipulation of reality and people, something it was designed to do. I would go as far as to say it’s far more dangerous than any military weapon ever made. Simply because it can create puppets that can be brainwashed into becoming voluntary advocates of injustice and discrimination. The media that can make terrorists look like heroes, and innocent victims such as even babies devoid of any bad to look like terrorists.

    I believe in the Quranic verse: Nay, We hurl the Truth against falsehood, and it knocks out its brain, and behold falsehood doth perish! (21:18)

    So in reality despite the rarity of Truth these days, it’s enough to stand on its own and will overcome the falsehood that surrounds it.

    Anyone who supports or tries justifying a group of rebels going against the masses in a country, killing innocents in the process to take over leadership and control in a country is inciting terrorism, dictatorship and evil. How many nations have been destroyed in the claims of taking down a minority group of people? How can such wars be justified? Anyone with some level of sense left in their hearts and minds can see the aftermath of such actions that results in nothing but utter destruction, and yet many will advocate its continuity.

    May God Almighty instill sense in our hearts to stand up for what’s right and overcome the falsehood, ameen.

  13. hanif.safi9 May 18, 2017

    I really wonder whether Mr. Hamza Yusuf still thinks the same way. A topic on recent developments would be illuminating.

  14. Hayrullah November 16, 2017

    Still not sure who Fetullah Gulen is? He apparently loves Turkey so much he wants to own it so he organized a coup & had he succeeded, he was preparing to return as a dictator & publicly declare himself a prophet, a leader of the Muslim world. Kinda strange he needs Turkey to do this but that’s what he tells his ever loyal brainwashed cult followers but the truth is clear, he would’ve become the zionist’s tool to control their biggest threat…Turkey. Turkey is the only country in the middle eastern region of the world which hasn’t been turned into a hell hole & the only country fighting for Muslims so if Turkey is “sorted out” then Gulen the tool will be in charge of corrupting the Muslim world, no different to being the pope of Islamic world. He loves Turkey yet won’t live there because his CIA handlers have easy access to him in Pensilvania, no questions, no issues, just walk right in. It’s easier to give Gulen his regular mind conditioning treatments, easier to monitor & manage his global network of cult members/spies/terrorists, managing It clearly wouldn’t be that easy or discreet If Gulen was in Turkey. Yes, the CIA manage him & his cult. Surely nobody would believe a worn out old man with a primary school education could possibly control & organise millions of people over 40 plus years to infiltrate every aspect of government & enterprise, orchestrate a coup attempt, assassinations, blackmail & brainwash millions into “donating” their entire wealth to him…..all on his own? Of course he couldn’t. That’s what his team of CIA handlers are for, he’s only the tool.

    – he’s a CIA trained spy;
    – he’s an attention seeking, power hungry megalomaniac who threw a Kuran at worshippers in a small town mosque in the 70’s;
    – spent two months in a mental institution for a psychotic breakdown;
    – the then PM of Turkey (Bulent Ecevit) assisted him in his departure from Turkey to the US in 1999 with the reason being medical care & he never returned;
    – he lives the life of a recluse on a massive ranch in Pensilvania, fearing the outside world;
    – he claims to only live in small humble room with minimal furniture;
    – he claims to be poor & owns only one jacket;
    – he owns tv & radio stations, hundreds of private schools, self serving foundations, hundreds of private student dormitories & hundreds of companies in varying industries, just to name a few;
    – his net worth is estimated to be at least $22 billion;
    – he’s surrounded by hundreds of body guards, carers & servants;
    – he claims his only income is a modest pension from his preaching days in Turkey;
    – he claims his reason for never marrying is due to his absolute dedication & devotion to delivering God’s messages & worshipping.