Fethullah Gulen’s answer in August 2013 to the question about his stay inPennsylvania.
Why do you choose to stay in Pennsylvania?
Although there are no legal obstacles for my return to Turkey, I am concerned that certain circles are waiting for an opportunity to reverse the democratic reforms that were started in the early 1990s and accelerated in the last decade. I am concerned that these elements will try to take advantage of my return by putting the government in a difficult position. I have to sacrifice my intense desire to return to my homeland in the interest of both Turkey and the good work of volunteers of the (Gulen) movement around the world. I feel that I need to live with my pain of yearning to return and stay here until there are no more concerns about the consolidation of democratic reforms. Additionally, while in Turkey, I would seek corrections and possible legal actions against libel and slander. Here, I am away from such harassment, and I am less affected by them. I find this place more tranquil.
Many people love you, but there are also many people who fear you. Some want you to return to Turkey, and others fear what you might do should you go there.
I am neither the first nor the last to create such polarized attitudes and perspectives. Indeed throughout history, friends of the truth have faced obstacles and enmity, including the messengers of God. Perhaps, when looking at this situation, we should say that maybe we haven’t represented ourselves or explained ourselves accurately to people. When we reflect on this, we should say, “If we were able to make it clear that we have nothing for them to be concerned about, then they wouldn’t harbor enmity against us.” We should give others the benefit of the doubt. Around the world, whole societies experience paranoia. And people in Turkey are also affected by this. We should act and express ourselves in such a way that eliminates every negative thought or suspicion. But we should also accept the fact that some people have historically entrenched attitudes and cannot change. So it is not possible to be praised and loved at the same degree by everybody.
Source: The Atlantic August 14, 2013
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