Muslim cleric says “If the sword is not used, then this is not Islam”

How could Yusuf Selami Çakaroğlu, who has dedicated his life to understanding Islam properly, have missed what is crystal clear to so many non-Muslim politicians in the West, that Islam is a religion of peace? Yusuf Selami Çakaroğlu is likely now to run afoul of Pope Francis, who has made the risible claim that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.” No doubt he is on his way to Turkey now to explain to Çakaroğlu how he is misunderstanding his peaceful religion.

“Jihadist cleric who adores al-Qaeda gets released to continue preaching in Turkey,” by Abdullah Bozkurt, Nordic Monitor, June 17, 2020 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

Yusuf Selami Çakaroğlu, a Turkish pro-al-Qaeda cleric under indictment, escaped from the grip of the criminal justice system in Turkey thanks to the intervention of the Islamist government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He has been freely preaching in Turkish provinces and parading on government-controlled TV networks to propagate radical views for some time now.

Çakaroğlu, 49, was part of what is called in Turkish the Tahşiyeciler, or Molla Muhammetçiler, a jihadist group led by Mehmet Doğan (aka Mullah Muhammed el-Kesri), who openly declared his admiration for Osama bin Laden and called for armed jihad in Turkey. The group had been under surveillance by Turkish security agencies since early 2000, and internal communiques among intelligence services described it as a dangerous group supportive of al-Qaeda. The probe revealed that the terrorist group had sent close to 100 people to Afghanistan for arms training….

In seized tape recordings intended for indoctrination purposes, Mullah Muhammed was heard calling for violent jihad: “I’m telling you to take up your guns and kill them.” He also asked his followers to build bombs and mortars in their homes, urged the decapitation of Americans, claiming that the religion allows such practices. “If the sword is not used, then this is not Islam,” he stated. According to him, all Muslims were obligated to respond to then-al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s armed fight.

Ali Fuat Yılmazer, the police intelligence chief, informed provincial intelligence units about the Tahşiyeyeciler on December 3, 2008, describing it as a radical group with a membership of around 5,000. The intelligence note stated that the group was spreading jihadist propaganda and listed as one such site. According to the WayBack machine’s archived page of the now-defunct website, the group openly identified itself with al-Qaeda and posted news, videos and articles promoting armed jihadist activity around the world.

The declaration made by the administrators of reads: “We are on the path and belief put forward by the jihadist community gathered under the banner of al-Qaeda, and where Sheikh Osama bin Laden, Sheikh Zawahiri and Sheikh Zarkawi wanted all jihadists around the world to follow and comply with.”…

Erdoğan vigorously defended Mullah Muhammed, helped secure his and his associates’ acquittals through his loyalist judges and prosecutors, launched a crackdown on journalists who criticized his radical group and even hired a lawyer to file a civil suit in the US against Muslim scholar Fethullah Gülen for defaming this fanatic. The Bakirköy 3rd High Criminal Court acquitted all suspects including Mullah Muhammed and Çakaroğlu of al-Qaeda charges on December 15, 2015. In a contradiction of past records, the Security General Directorate (Emniyet) also issued a new report whitewashing the activities of the group.

What is more, the Erdoğan government invited Mullah Muhammed and his men including Çakaroğlu in 2014 to file criminal complaints against the police officers, prosecutors and judges who investigated the group as well as journalists and Muslim scholars like Gülen who criticized this al-Qaeda-linked organization.

Portraying Tahşiyeciler as victimized, Erdoğan even launched a public campaign on behalf of Mullah Muhammed, saying in a speech delivered on December 15, 2014 that Mullah Muhammed was unjustly arrested, served 17 years in jail and lost 90 percent of the sight in both eyes. That was not true, of course, as the cleric served only 17 months and had perfect vision. He was reading quite easily from a document when he declared his love affair with Osama bin Laden during a live TV interview on CNN Türk with Akif Beki, a former spokesman for Erdoğan….

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