Civil Islam

Was Gulen really “Once a close ally” of Erdogan?

Was Gulen really “Once a close ally” of Erdogan?

Taking into account their contrasting roots and development in broader perspective, contending that Gulen and Erdogan were once close allies is not reasonable and accurate. Particularly, using this clause to justify the organized cruelty and tragedy in Turkey is completely unfair. Their ideology and viewpoints generally contradict. Hostility of and distrust by the National Outlook against Gulenists persists for decades. …

Gülen flatly rejects the totalizing ideology of Islamism

Gülen flatly rejects the totalizing ideology of Islamism

Gülen is well aware that generally speaking Islamism is a reactive and reactionary ideology that is formed by contemporary human and social needs rather than what actually religion dictates. Put differently, he strongly refutes the claim of the Islamists that what they advocate is indeed the true, authentic, original and pure Islam.…

Gülen on Secularism, Democracy and the Rule of Law

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."…

Gülen vs Erdoğan – two diverging interpretations and practices of Islam

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.…

Sufism and its origins (by Fethullah Gulen)

Sufism and its origins (by Fethullah Gulen)

Sufism requires the strict observance of all religious obligations, an austere lifestyle, and the renunciation of carnal desires. Through this method of spiritual self-discipline, the individual’s heart is purified and his or her senses and faculties are employed in the way of God, which means that the traveler can now begin to live on a spiritual level.…

Gulen Movement, Civil Islam and Turkey’s Future

Gulen Movement, Civil Islam and Turkey’s Future

The Civil Islam of Hizmet once more verifies the movement’s anti-Islamist stance. The politicization of Islam is a dangerous path, one that could lead to totalitarian control of the state by giving ambitious men the religious license they seek to undermine the civil society and the separation of government powers that constrains them. If Turkey is to pull back from its current drift toward Islamist autocracy, then its citizens will need to resist the instrumentalization of religion for worldly power and demonstrate the compatibility of Islam with civil democratic modernity.…

Civil Islam and Democratic Modernity in Gülen’s thought

Civil Islam and Democratic Modernity in Gülen’s thought

Throughout Gülen’s teaching, one can see an abiding concern with fostering a communitarian ethos that aims to improve modern society through the revitalization of Islamic spiritualism, individual religious piety and service to others. Gülen’s ideas are effective in practice because they have rationalized religious ideals and shown their core compatibility with secular interests. This is a projection of worldly mysticism onto his understanding of secularism.…