December 22, 2014

Pro-government media vindicates ISIL member

Emre Uslu

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has taken its fight against the Gülen movement, inspired by Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, to the next level. So far, the government and its media outlets have accused the Gülen movement of victimizing the military, civilian bureaucrats and business circles. Over the last year, they found people to speak against the Gülen movement. However, those who have spoken against the Gülen movement are all shadowy figures, such as the owner of the Metro coach company (Metro Turizm), well-known for their criminal activities, mafia relations and other wrongdoings.

It seems that the publication of such news has not produced the impact that the AKP government wants to create. Now, the government and its supporters have changed their strategy. They have reached out to radical Islamists to speak against the Gülen movement and vilify the movement.

The first figure was the leader of Tahşiyeciler (Annotators), a group that is linked to al-Qaeda. Their leader does not hide his sympathy for al-Qaeda. The next figure, one that the pro-government Star daily found to speak against the Gülen movement, is worse. The daily found Halis Bayuncuk, also known as Abu Hanzala, a well-known supporter of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), to speak against the Gülen movement.

Here is the link for those who want to see the interview that the Star conducted with Abu Hanzala:

In that interview, Bayuncuk claims that the Gülen movement victimized him and that he does not have any ties to al-Qaeda or ISIL. Is it really true? Who is Halis Bayuncuk, aka Abu Hanzala?

Bayuncuk was born in Bingöl and began his radical Islamist activities while he was in Turkey. Then he went to Egypt to study. While in Egypt, he was also involved in radical Islamist activities. He was sent to Turkey to preach for a radical Islamist network that he is part of. The Turkish police as well as Egyptian police raided and arrested the members of Abu Hanzala's network, which is affiliated with ISIL.

Now the AKP government, in order to vilify the Gülen movement in the eyes of ordinary people, has found radical preachers to speak against the Gülen group.

For this column I found a video of Abu Hanzala delivering a sermon that has English subtitles to share with you. Here is the link for the video:

Here are some of the statements of Bayuncuk that I took from the video footage:

“First of all my brothers, if Allah allows me to, and because there were many questions regarding this, and I think this week will be as well, I want to talk about a certain issue and provide an explanation. This issue has to do with what's happening in Syria, specifically the attacks started by a group called Jobhat al-Islamiyya, against the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham, (ISIS) [another name for ISIL].”

The video goes on to say that a group called Jabhat al-Islamiyya (Islamic Front) has been attacking many ISIL bases in Syria and Maliki is attacking ISIL bases in Iraq.

He continues, saying that if you look at public opinion or the press in Turkey, the coverage is very one-sided and it is to such an extent that “many of our Muslim brothers and sisters are being deceived,” as if the main source of these problems is not ISIL.

Bayuncuk goes on: “From what I understand and know, I will, Allah willing, try to make an explanation about what is going on in Syria and Iraq with regard to ISIS and Jabhat al-Islamiyya.

“First, let me tell what I personally believe, based on the information I have: ISIS is not the (main) target of this operation. The purpose of this operation is to get rid of all the Muhajireen [jihadists] out of ash-Sham. And specifically targeting a certain Aqidah [creed], namely the Aqidah of Tawheed. Meaning how much whatsoever they uses titles such as Takfiri, Extremism, Harsh Politics, those types of titles, in reality, a certain Aqidah has been targeted without a doubt.

“The believers of this Aqidah, without differentiating between women, children and men are being attacked in a treacherous and cowardly way all over Syria, even while they are in ribaat [protected]."

“Now who attacked ISIS? Jabhat-Al Islamiyya. Well then, who are those people? Let's look back and remind ourselves with whom they consist of, who formed them who contribute to them etc., let's look at this first.

“You know that a short time before all this, big groups fighting in this area and having a flag said, ‘We will unite under the name of Al-Jabha al-Islamiyya,' such as Arhrar ash-Shaam, Liwa at-Tawheed, etc.

“They united under this name and appointed a man of their own named Zahran Alloush as Amir. At this time 72 scholars from Saudi Arabia made an official statement with their signatures. … In that statement they said, Jabhat al-Ismamiyya has been formed, we invite all Mujahideen to join them. And we are satisfied with them and it is necessary to join them."

Abu Hanzala also says that when Saudi scholars support something, one should know that the US is behind it.

I will continue to reveal the true face of the AKP government and its new partners: radical Islamists, ISIL members.

Published on Today's Zaman, 22 December 2014, Monday