"Fantastically disorganized" --
or fantastically organized?
by C.A.S.I.L.I.P.S. - Citizens Against Special Interest Lobbying in Public Schools
"Loosely organized," "diffusely organized," etc.
Notice how numerous Gulenist sympathizers use the exact same phraseology:
"In summary, the Gülen movement is a loosely organized network of local organizations whose supporters interact through meeting in local circles."
- Helen Rose Ebaugh, "The Gulen Movement: A Sociological Analysis of a Civic Movement"
"The Gulen movement is a loosely organized Islamic movement, with extensive economic holdings and widespread networks of schools, both within Turkey and abroad."
- Feyzi Baban, Associate Professor of Politics at Trent University, in his review of Berna Turam's book "Between Islam and the State: The Politics of Engagement"
"Since its inception in Turkey in the 1960s, the Gülen Movement has grown into a loosely organized “glocal” network. which is rooted in the teachings of Islamic scholar M. Fethullah Gülen (b.1941).
- Dr. Johan Leman, Professor, Catholic University of Leuven, in his introduction to"The Gulen Movement" by Gurkan Celik. Dr. Leman now occupies a chair named after Gulen, which almost certainly implies some sort of financial support from the Gulen Movement.
"This one-day conference stimulates the academic analysis by reflecting different dimensions of the Gülen Movement, which originated in Turkey and then expanded throughout the world. (...) This multidimensional approach will provide useful pointers about this loosely organized “glocal” movement, ..."
- From the website for the 2010 Gulen Conference, "Mapping the Gulen Movement," Dialoog Academie, Netherlands
"One of the most powerful—and controversial—Islamic movements in Turkey is the Gulen community, diffusely organized around the charismatic leader Fethullah Gulen (b. 1938).
- Elizabeth Ozdalga, Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies (Spring 2003) 12(1)61–73 "Secularizing Trends in Fethullah Gulen’s Movement: Impasse or Opportunity for Further Renewal?"
"Furthermore, the movement is loosely structured and decentralized, and each of its ventures are individually financed (and usually self-financing), and run on a voluntary basis by sympathizers with the network. The movement consists of numerous businessmen's associations, education trusts, and the like--each acting independently.
- Bill Park. The Fethullah Gulen Movement. Global Politician Dec 31, 2008.
“Gulen's supporters belong to a "fantastically disorganized organization," said the Rev. Walter Wagner, a Lutheran minister and adjunct professor at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. They do not report to a central authority or maintain membership lists.”
- Rev. Walter Wagner, quoted in Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Nov 28, 2010 article "Imam who lives in rural Pennsylvania arouses praise, concerns" by Andrew Conte
Yet a large body of evidence points to the Gulen Movement being highly organized, with disciplined and obedient followers
Oxford Vision recruits English teachers for Gulen schools around the world. Their advertisement states: "Established in 1995, Oxford Vision has grown to offer a variety of ESL services for English teachers and students. In addition to our office in London, we have partner offices in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Ghana, Germany and China. // We are the official UK representative of a global schools network consisting of around 500 private schools, universities and language centres all over the world. We recruit TEFL teachers in various countries."
(A "loosely organized" network of independently run schools would not have a single "official" representative in charge of recruitment.)
From a Hurriyet Daily News article, May 14, 2010:
"The Gulen Movement members are disciplined, loyal and they complete their assignments as they are told. The movement is able to mobilize its members to fulfill its leader's vision even in America."
"The unexpected and sudden decision to combine all of their 180 organizations under one umbrella assembly was a surprising move, at any rate, for those who follow the Gulen movement closely and are aware about its cautious strategies and steps.
"This decision of 'combining all Gulen-related Turkic or Turkish associations and federations under one assembly,' was decided by Fethullah Gulen, another active member of the movement who came to the reception from a long distance said. "This decision was too big to let other leading members of the Gulen Movement to take on. Gulen took the initiative," said the well-connected member while listening to speakers at the reception."
(Is this suggestive of the absence of any central authority?)
From The New Republic, "The Global Imam" by Suzy Hansen, Nov 10, 2010
“'Our people do not complain,' Aksoy replied. 'They obey commands completely.'"
"One of the biggest mysteries is how much sway he holds over his followers. Some visit Pennsylvania as much as once a month; what do they want from their visits? At the end of my tour ... I asked him whether Gulen tells people what to do.
“'He would never tell; he suggests,' Aksoy replied. 'And then what do people do with that suggestion?' I asked. 'Let me put it this way,' he said. 'If a man with a Ph.D. and a career came to see Hocaefendi, and Hocaefendi told him it might be a good idea to build a village on the North Pole, that man with a Ph.D. would be back the next morning with a suitcase.'
(Decentralized? Locally run?)
From the website of Turkic American Alliance, under a posting entitled “Armenian Resolution HR.252 failed:”
"On Friday, right after a rumor about the resolution’s passing, we as the Turkic American Alliance took an emergency action and posted a letter on our website about the potential harm that Congress would have faced if the Resolution had passed. Then, our 180 plus member organizations nationwide were informed and encouraged to contact the Turkic American Communities in their respective areas."