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.”
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.
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.
As a Christian involved in working with Muslims and other religious believers for peace through interreligious dialogue, I am grateful for the insights of Said Nursi and for the leadership in this field provided by Fethullah Gulen.
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.
Published by Gulen Chair at Leuven University in Belgium, this new book is a selection of some of Fethullah Gülen’s essays on violence, just war, terrorism and Muslims’ responsibility.
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.
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.
Yes, at one time, there had been rapprochement and mutual support, but reality and history show that such an alliance has long been overstated. The truth is, Erdoğan and Gülen only came together when Erdoğan’s stated goals reflected deeply held beliefs by Gülen. As is often the case, perception is mistaken for reality. Gülen is not Erdoğan’s biggest threat, nor was he his chief ally.
My teaching has always been to act within [the] law and in an ethical way. If anybody who follows my works acts illegally or unethically, or if they disobey the lawful orders of their superiors, that is a betrayal of my teachings and I fully support their being investigated and facing the consequences.