Fethullah Gülen: A Muslim scholar, preacher and social advocate

Is Mr. Fethullah Gülen an Islamist? Recently Mr. Fethullah Gülen has been referred to as an Islamist in some news articles. Mr. Gülen’s life, his opinions in his speeches and writings, and his actions in educational and dialogue oriented initiatives show that such description is inaccurate. A more accurate title for Mr. Gülen is a Muslim […]

Gülen on Secularism, Democracy and the Rule of Law

Gülen: “Members of minority communities should be allowed to live according to their beliefs. If these sorts of legislations are made within the norms of international law and international agreements, Islam will have no objection to any of these. No one can ignore the universal values that the Qur’an and the Sunnah have presented with regard to the rights mentioned above.”

Education as Peacebuilding – Ibn Khaldun and Gülen

Contemporary scholars of peacebuilding have elaborated on certain elements that are essential for making peace in any part of the world. Two of these elements are education and knowledge. There is no doubt that Fethullah Gülen’s greatest efforts and contributions are related to these two fields.

Is Gulen a Turkish nationalist?

Gülen has been defined as nationalist but when analyzed in detail it will be seen that he cannot be a nationalist for various reasons. First of all, as an observant Muslim, he can only be a patriot and love his people but this cannot be to the exclusion of others.

Gulen Movement And Transparency

The transparency of the Hizmet or Gülen Movement has long been a theme of various critics – writers, intellectuals and politicians. In the context of Turkey where secularism is deployed as a means to control religion rather than to separate it from politics, it is not hard to understand why this theme has been so popular.

Why Is Turkey Targeting Hizmet? Questions about Erdoğan’s Post-Coup Crackdown

But if Hizmet was not involved, then who? The Turkish press has called out all the usual suspects: the United States, Israel, the Vatican, Kurdish nationalists, ISIS. Some have argued, as was noted in articles in Politico and Independent (“in the same way Hitler used the Reichstag Fire to suppress all opposition”), that the coup was stage-managed by Erdoğan himself to create a pretext for destroying Hizmet and suppressing his secular and leftist critics. Certainly, he had the most to gain and has, in fact, gained the most.

Gülen vs Erdoğan – two diverging interpretations and practices of Islam

The medieval-minded Islamists divided the world into two sharply distinguished parts — Islamic caliphate vs. un-Islamic countries, including the democratic states. They coined the terminologies like “Dar al-Kufr” (land of infidelity) and Dar al-Islam (land of belief) which are instrumental for the present-day jihadists. But Fethullah Gülen, as a sagacious modernist Islamic scholar, urges to replace all such obscurantist and dichotomous terms with the spiritual Islamic concepts.