Conclusion: Comparison of the Two Groups
Political Islam is a new form of religious extremism in the twenty-first Century. Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (the AKP), which has been in power since 2002, represents political Islam. It is very rigid, exclusive, and authoritarian. Under the leadership of Erdogan, the Justice, and Development Party aims to make Turkey an Islamist state and implement the sharia in its rigid form. Therefore, Erdogan wants a presidential form of government with no checks and balances and a system of one-man rule. He has replaced his authoritarian regime in the place of the previous tutelage of the military caste. According to Political Islamists, Erdogan is the caliph of Muslims, thus every Muslim must obey him. The differences in the ideology, worldview, and interpretation of Islam have eventually caused the dramatic split between the Gülen movement and the ruling Political Islam (AKP) in Turkey. The conflict between these two groups has many roots. The most effective cause that split the two groups from each other is directly related to their understanding of Islam, or in other words, how each group interprets Islam in theory and in practice. The split between them is, in reality, the difference between political Islam and Civil Islam. In order for readers to better understand the differences between the Gülen movement and Political Islamists of Turkey (the AKP), their views on key concepts such as democracy, secularism, the relations with the west, the relations with non-Muslims, nationalism, umma (Muslims Nation), caliphate, shariah, and extremism are discussed and compared in the concluding chapter.