October 23, 2014

Gülen issues condolence message for Iraqi victims of ISIL

Turkish-Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has sent a message of condolence to the families of the victims of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist organization in Iraq and he has condemned ISIL's violence.

Gülen's statement, which addressed Kurdish, Turkmen, Arab, Yazidi, Shiite and Sunni families in Iraq, was published in the leading newspapers of Iraq's Kurdish region such as Rudaw, Hawlati, Basnews, Kürdistany Nwe, Xebat and Çawder.

In his message, the Islamic scholar said he offers his condolences to the people of Iraq and Kurdistan for those who have lost their lives in “the ongoing days of agony and anxiety,” and hopes God will give them strength.

Gülen also said he prays for God's mercy for the peshmerga and Turkmen forces, as well as the soldiers of the Iraqi army, who have fallen as martyrs on military fronts.

The Islamic scholar also said that he condemns the atrocities perpetrated by ISIL under the cover of religious discourse, stressing that he joins calls from all across the world for the end of ISIL's inhumane actions and that they be brought to justice.

“Every attack, pressure or tyranny imposed on individuals or innocent civilians is completely against the diamond-like principles of the Qur'an and the sunnah of our prophet. If ISIL forces are not acting as the pawns of some power centers, they could be described as ignorant people who do not understand the spirit of Islam or know its prophet. Whatever it is, what they are doing is terrorism and it should be referred to this way,” Gülen said in his message.

He said the goal of religion is to maintain peace in the world based on human rights, the supremacy of law and high humane values. Those who act in counter to this by abusing religion are hypocritical, he said.

Referring to developments in the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, which faces the threat of an ISIL invasion, Gülen called on everyone to pray to ward off troubles and for peace to be maintained.

Gülen's messages condemning ISIL violence and offering his condolences to the families of ISIL's victims were also published in newspapers in the West.

In statements that appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times last month, Gülen said the actions of ISIL -- referred to there as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), another name it goes by -- are a “disgrace to the faith they proclaim to follow and crimes against humanity.”

Earlier this month, the UK-based Guardian newspaper also published Gülen's message condemning ISIL violence.

Published on Today's Zaman, 23 October 2014, Thursday