Rotterdam: Councillor claims Gülen movement is fundamentalist

Rotterdam: Councillor claims Gülen movement is fundamentalist

Two years ago the Fethullah Gülen movement founded a school in Rotterdam, which was criticized for being in fact a Turkish school and not helping integration.

Update: See also Fethullah Gülen's Grand Ambition: Turkey's Islamist Danger, from the Middle East Quarterly


The Turkish Fethullah Gülen movement is really an Islamic fundamentalist group, claims Rotterdam council member Anita Fähmel (Leefbaar Rotterdam) on the basis of her own study of the Turkish movement. The Dutch intelligence service claimed in the past after a study that the movement is not an organization which is dangerous to the state.

For her study the council member looked up public sources. She also says she had at her disposal documents entrusted to her. Fähmel now concludes that the Gülen movement is a group which plays an important role in the Islamization of Turkey and which makes use of intimidation, discrimination and oppression.

She bases herself on a study of the Bogazici University, according to her the most prominent university of Turkey. In this study of the Islamization of Turkey, the movement came out very badly, writes the councillor in her study. "The Gülen movement uses intimidation, discrimination and oppression to accomplish its goals."

Former Minister of Integration and Housing, Ella Vogellar (Labor Party) had the AIVD do a study after the Parliament asked for one after a broadcast of the actuality program Nova in July about the organization. Turkey experts explained in the broadcast that the movement which is known as moderate and which receives a government subsidy, has a double agenda.

The Turkish Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen did not strive for dialog but for the Islamization of society, it was argued in the program. the movement had thousands of supporters in the Netherlands and is active in education, media and in business.

After the AIVD study, Vogelaar reported that Fethullah Gülen is not turning against Dutch society. "They do not turn away from the West at all," said the minister. "the movement is just very socially involved."

Fähmel says she hopes that she proves with her study that the movement really holds influence in Rotterdam "and that this influence raises barriers against integration, freedom, education and security." The councillor thinks that her reports is at the least a reason to make a better study of the organization. Fähmel will present the results of her study Thursday in the Administration, ,Security and Means committee meeting.

Source: Trouw (Dutch), h/t allochtonen weblog

See also: Rotterdam: Controversy around new "Turkish" elite school

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