Turkish religious leader warns Americans about FETO
The head of Turkey's religious affairs in the state of Maryland warned the Muslim Americans about the malicious terror group, the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) Friday.
Speaking at a press briefing at the Diyanet Center of America (DCA) in Maryland, Ali Erbas, explained he had "fruitful" meetings with both the Turkish community representatives and the leaders of the American Muslim community.
"We had held meeting with many leaders, including Turkish Ambassador Serdar Kilic for more effective strive against the detrimental groups which was started in the name of Islam but turned into terror groups such as FETO, Daesh and PKK," Erbas said.
Recalling that it was FETO behind the bloody coup attempt on July 15th 2016, he said he met with religious leaders about the necessity of informing people, who are under influence of the FETO with true information and accurate religious knowledge as the Holy Quran and Sunnah prescribe.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the country through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
During his speech, Erbas, also brought attention to the rise of Islamophobia in the U.S.
"The other critical issue we need to fight is Islamophobia. The efforts to show Islam as a minacious and dangerous religion have been increasing day by day," he told reporters. "In response to these malicious efforts, we must show the warm face of Islam and the understanding that Islam is a religion of peace both to our own people and everyone."
Emphasizing the importance of educating youth and children with accurate religious education, Erbas said he asked Muslim leaders to organize programs for achieving this goal within and without of the DCA center.
He also stated that the events and organizations within the mosque will be expanded and they will make changes in the structure.
"We believe there is a necessity of a day care center, primary school maybe even a high school within the Diyanet Center of America," Erbas said, adding that the center could also be used as a school, if the people who live in the area support the idea.
The center, opened in late 2015 by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is run by Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs. It holds regular Friday congregational prayers, Ramadan dinners, religious holiday celebrations and various other social, cultural, and religious activities.
In addition, Erbas gave the sermon during Friday prayer. He called on the Muslim world to reunite, saying it had become divided on the basis of race and denominations in recent years.
"We also have to fight against ignorance," he noted, saying that particularly those who are trapped in the perception of false religion should be recovered with true and accurate religion in the path of the Holy Quran.
On Tuesday, he went to Georgetown University where he inspected their Islamic Cultural Center which has been renovating under the auspices of the Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs, he added that the center will be very useful for around 600 Muslims students from various ethnicities at the university.
It was reported that the center, which will allow a large number of Muslim students to pray at the same time and to organize different cultural events, will be completed and put into service as soon as possible.
Erbas will leave for New York to meet with Turkish-American opinion leaders late Friday.