(Fethullah) Gulen has been labeled “the most dangerous Islamist on planet earth,” although he has failed to attract the attention of U. S. counter-terrorism experts and the national media.
Gülen is a student and follower of Sheikh Sa’id-i Kurdi (1878-1960), also known as Sa’id-i Nursi, the founder of the Islamist Nur (light) movement. After Turkey’s war of independence, Kurdi demanded, in an address to the new parliament, that the new republic be based on Islamic principles. Kurdi turned against Atatürk and his reforms and against the new modern, secular, Western republic and Gulen has followed his militant mentor’s example.
In 1998, Gulen fled to the U.S. with a small army of followers and purchased a 45 acre parcel of land in the midst of Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains as a base for his international operations.
From this base, Gulen, who has amassed over $25 billion in assets, continues to direct the activities of the AKP and events throughout Central Asia and much of the Muslim world.
Under his direction, Turkey has transformed from a secular state into an Islamic country with 85,000 active mosques – - one for every 350- citizens – - the highest number per capita in the world, 90,000 imams, more imams than teachers and physicians – - and thousands of state-run Islamic schools.
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