Fethullah Gulen

Democracy in the Thought of Gülen and Erdoğan’s Politics

Democracy in the Thought of Gülen and Erdoğan’s Politics

Fethullah Gülen: In the past, I did support the idea of a presidential system if it is to be modeled after the U.S. or France or other countries where there are checks and balances against the president. But Erdoğan’s proposal was akin to a sultan regime. I could not support such a system with a clear conscience. Erdoğan put pressure on me and Hizmet sympathizers to publicly support his idea of a presidential system.…

A select biography of Fethullah Gülen

A select biography of Fethullah Gülen

Gülen pursued his secular education in positive sciences, literature, history and philosophy through informal self-education. During his military service, his commander recommended a number of major thinkers for his reading. Among the writers whose work he encountered this way were Hugo, de Balzac, Kant, Shakespeare and Einstein, and French existentialist philosophers such as Sartre and Camus, as well as Marcuse’s critique of modernity and Shakespeare’s plays. With this background, he would later develop his thoughts on reconciling modernity and spirituality through Islamic values.…

The Gülen Community – Who to Believe, Politicians or Actions?

The Gülen Community – Who to Believe, Politicians or Actions?

For those who know Mr. Gülen personally or have had contact with the open-hearted and idealistic members of the Hizmet movement, claims of subversive “terrorism,” (in Erdoğan’s words) seem incongruous. I have known Mr. Gülen for over 20 years and find the retired, soft-spoken Qur’an-teacher to be preaching and living a particularly attractive interpretation of Islamic faith.…

The Turkey I no longer know

The Turkey I no longer know

The Turkish population already is strongly polarized on the AKP regime. A Turkey under a dictatorial regime, providing haven to violent radicals and pushing its Kurdish citizens into desperation, would be a nightmare for Middle East security. I probably will not live to see Turkey become an exemplary democracy, but I pray that the downward authoritarian drift can be stopped before it is too late.…

The Intellectual Shaping of Fethullah Gülen

The Intellectual Shaping of Fethullah Gülen

The world into which Gülen was born in 1941 was one where, in his country of birth, the Ottoman reality with a staunchly proclaimed declaration of complete religious freedom had been succeeded by a secular republic in which religion would play absolutely no role within the administration of the state and religious practice was suppressed in the public sphere.…

Top Three Reasons Why Turkey’s President Erdogan is Obsessed with Gulen

Top Three Reasons Why Turkey’s President Erdogan is Obsessed with Gulen

Why is the president of a country of 75 million so obsessed with pursuing a retired preacher who has been living in the U.S. since 1999? There are three main reasons for Erdogan’s obsession with Gulen: First, a desire to cover up massive and systemic corruption; second, the need for control over civic leaders and third, his need for a scapegoat to blame the country’s troubles and justify his authoritarian drive.…

Fethullah Gülen on Jihad

Fethullah Gülen on Jihad

Basically the lesser jihad is to perform established religious duties while the greater one is to do them in a sincere and conscious manner. It is difficult to refrain (which is called al-jihad al-akbar) from immoral human qualities such as hate, enmity, jealousy, egoism, arrogance and so on, which are the deadly enemies in our spiritual development.…

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.…

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