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Message on the Terrorist Attacks on the USA
Jan 1, 2002

No matter who perpetrates it and where it comes from, any terrorist act is a great blow against peace, welfare, and prosperity. No matter for what reasons and purposes it is committed, no terrorist act can ever be condoned at all. Terror cannot be a means of gaining freedom or independence. Terror takes so many innocent lives and victimizes so many innocent people. In addition, we know that such atrocities only rebound against the interests of those whom the terrorists claim to defend, as we witnessed in the last half of the 20th century.

For all these reasons I consider Tuesday's terrorist onslaught against America to be not only an attack against America but also to be an outrageous,despicable sabotage against world peace.Such an atrocity can only be perpetrated by barbaric souls and is inhuman.Besides, terror can never ever be used in the name of Islam or for the sake of any Islamic ends.

A terrorist cannot be a Muslim and a Muslim cannot be a terrorist. A Muslim can only be the representative and symbol of peace,welfare, and prosperity.

Let me clarify this with the analogy of a ship. If nine criminals who have been sentenced to death and one innocent person are on board a ship, Islam does not permit the ship to be sunk in order to punish the criminals, in case the rights of that one innocent person are violated. These rights in Islam are a fact. They may not be ignored. There is no lesser or greater right. An innocent person's rights may not be sacrificed even for the sake of a whole community. The Qur'an, Islam's sacred Book, declares that if one takes a life unjustly, it is as if he or she has taken the lives of the whole of humankind, and if one saves a life, it is as if he or she has saved the lives of all. Also, our Prophet Muhammad says that a Muslim is one who does no harm with either his or her tongue or hand.

For this reason, I strongly condemn the terrorist actions which were carried out on Tuesday, the biggest terrorist onslaught the United States has suffered in its history. I strongly condemn such atrocities no matter from whom they came and no matter their intentions or aims. Such acts deserve only hatred and condemnation and should be despised and condemned by all.

I extend my most sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to all those who lost their relatives and to all American authorities and statesmen, along with all American people.

Condolence message by Fethullah Gulen released to press on September 12, 2001, right after the terrorist attacks on the USA.