Question: The terrorist attacks in London once more clouded the bright
face of Islam and hurt the image of Islam in the world. How do you comment on
these attacks in relation with world balance?
Answer by H. President Fethullah Gulen: I have
never seen these attacks as they are planned and carried out by real Muslims or
by a true Islamic organization. Even though some of them carry Muslim names, I
consider them as they are being manipulated by some outside evil forces. And
those are people whose volition is taken out of their hands with certain drugs,
and they are brainwashed as well.
Whenever a similar attack took place, I immediately did not
look for responsible people in the Islamic world. Islam and Islamic law
do not permit any of these horrible acts in principle.
All Muslims and anyone who has little knowledge of Islam know
that no one can declare a war without an authority. A person or
a group cannot declare war by themselves even though their freedom is in
jeopardy or their country is being invaded. Declaring war needs to be involved
with whole nation so no one is allowed to declare war against anybody by
himself. Because of this, I have never reconciled these acts with Islamic
This could be understood by some of the words I used like
“A Muslim cannot be a terrorist and a terrorist cannot be a
Muslim”. The unrestricted usage is related for the perfection: When we
say “Muslim” it means that it is not possible for anyone who is open to the
mentality and teachings of Islam to perform these horrible acts. If someone
claiming to be a Muslim does these, he or she is not a real Muslim. Some related
prophetic traditions like “A Muslim cannot commit adultery as long he is a
Muslim”. This means Muslim does not commit adultery and it also means an
adulterer is not a real Muslim at least while he is performing it. Theologians
have various comments on this tradition; some of them being hard to relate to
the main topic. The main issue, however, is if a person believes in
Allah, hereafter with its Hellfire and Heaven, and if he also believes that he
will be responsible whatever he has committed in this life and as long these
feelings surrounded his whole being, he cannot and does not commit this
homicide. From this perspective, a terrorist is not a Muslim while he
is terrorizing. In other words a Mu’min (believer) as long he believes sincerely
cannot commit terrorism. Nothing can be achieved by terrorism. This idea can be
found in any religion. From this perspective, a person who believes in Allah
sincerely and truly, I believed and defended, does not perform any of these evil
acts. This is my understanding of Islam and its doctrines.
So, I never believed that these atrocious acts,
wherever in the world take place, are performed and carried out by the people
who discern the essence of Islam. I also do not believe some imaginary
persons are alive. They mention some names and I am not sure those people exist.
Anyone can post a note on a website on behalf of an imaginary person claiming
that “I destroyed the buildings now I will come and destroy your country”.
Anyone can put up something like this on a website.
On the other side, if some others need an excuse for
their oppressive acts and need and atmosphere to show themselves as innocent
people, they take advantage of this situation and launch a campaign in
which the public will not see their cruel actions. They need paranoiac
state/atmosphere so that they can still sail their ship. This has been their
scheme all along the history.