“PakTurk Schools” Mesut Kacmaz, Principal of PakTurk Schools and Colleges, respond to Robert Terpstra.


In reference to Mr Robert Terpstra’s article published on the 7 May 2008 issue of the Pakistan Christian Post, I should say that I am simply shocked to read a tirade of prejudiced and misinterpreted points which also involves the school system to which I belong.
What Mr Terpstra has done is inserting what he had from the New York Times’ article and flavouring it with his own mistaken beliefs without troubling himself for doing a full-fledged research like that of the NYT journalists.
Not only Mr Terpstra commented on this volunteer educational movement with dissimilar examples drawn from the West, and especially from various Christian factions, he also libelled against Fethullah Gulen with baseless allegations.
PakTurk International Schools & Colleges, likewise their many other sister concerns worldwide, are not sponsored by any government or official entity but by the non-governmental foundations established by the philanthropic Turkish people from Turkey. Neither do these schools have any political agenda nor have they any strategy imposed by the West. PakTurk Schools, having been applauded by all because of providing solutions to the common social ills that are plaguing our society such as Ignorance, Bigotry, Division, and Poverty, and doing it without observing any nepotism for any creed, race or understanding for more than a decade, make use of the unifying and equalizing language of education.
Contrary to what Mr Terpstra alleges, PakTurk and none of the Turkish Schools worldwide have a claim to counteract or reverse the procedure that was started by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. How on earth could Mr Terpstra reach a conclusion like through such a volunteer educational movement, the re-establishment of Caliphate was in the making and that Fethullah Gulen advocated this? Please refer to http://en.fgulen.com/content/view/1928/25/ and let Mr Terpstra have his own idea, then. He might have misinterpreted the concept of Man’s trusteeship/stewardship/caliphate over creature as the most exalted being created by God.
Arab World does not mean Islam and Turkey is a non-Arab country. Therefore, Mr Terpstra’s allegation which goes as ‘making Arab world a forum where learning is at the forefront of concern’ (and doing it so through Turkish schools worldwide) is just a sightless contention.
While expecting Mr Terpstra to quote Rumi in the context of Sufism, having read his interpretation of Sufism by quoting Sayyid Qutb and the Muslim Brotherhood, I took it as a grand mess-up committed by him. Jalaluddin Rumi, who embraced everyone regardless
of their creed, culture or tradition, was respected by the members of all faiths and following his death, his bier was born by Christians, Muslims and Jews, who lamented for having lost an all-encompassing soul who respected the humanity for the sake of their humanity.
While it is so, it looks as if while Mr Terpstra was trying to illustrate on Sufism, he browsed at some sources and sprinkled a bunch of concepts and names regarding the contemporary Muslim figures randomly across his article, without making an in-depth
research on who they were and what they were all about. Yet, attaching these names to the context of Turkish Schools is another gross mistake or (should I say, prejudice?)
The way Mr Terpstra mentioned about the PakTurk Schools pushes forth the false notion as if PakTurk was taking on with Pakistan in a quest of conversion or moderating Islam to the masses. The expression of education-cum-religious teaching is yet another prejudice and jumping into conclusion.
We are tired of intolerant, bigot and dividing individuals who especially infest and molest Abrahamic religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism. How long shall we relinquish ourselves unconditionally to the mercy (!) of such inflexible souls? How long shall we vent out unpleasant outbursts and show knee-jerk comments overrun with misconceptions?
By committing blasphemy one cannot counteract blasphemy. Why don’t we get into dialogue?
I hereby request you to initiate for requisite clarifications inprint and at least some generous outlook towards the facts to explore the real aspect of what is quoted in the article published in your newspaper.

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