Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen offers antidote to terrorism

Gulen on terrorism – reflections from various scholars.

Prof. Jack Goldstone, George Mason University:

“Unfortunately, some of the news we get out of Turkey today, where you hear the Turkish government attacking Hizmet and Gülen also projects this view that Hizmet is somehow wrapped up in conflict, which is not at all what it’s about. So I think it’s very hard for someone who is not familiar with the history of Hizmet and the work of Gülen to understand what is happening. There’s just a wall of noise that really shouts “conflict” all the time. “This is wrong, this is dangerous.” And I think it’s going to be necessary for Hizmet to do an even better job of explaining itself, reaching out, introducing people to the work of Gülen. When you read Gülen’s work, it’s all about peace, understanding, knowledge, progress. There’s very little in it about conflict, except how to get past conflict, and get over it.”

Rev. Dr. Walter Wagner, Moravian Theological Seminary:

“Over and over again, it is, “we are not a political movement. We are a social movement seeking to build up humanity.” Within some other groups, I do get around to Christian congregations, making presentations on Islam. And the usual questions that I will get are, “why do they hate us? Why do they want to kill us?” And I can say, “who? Who is doing this to you? Not the people that I know.” And to present Hocaefendi’s views, to present those positions, his quotations, that Islam, you cannot be a Muslim and be a terrorist. This insistence. And that is sincere.

Yasmin Ratansi, Canadian politician:

“So, if you look at Islam, we keep on saying Islam is a religion of peace and submission to the will of God. And peace is something that the Hizmet Movement has been–and Fethullah Gulen has been–very very focused on. Peace through love, through harmony… And Islam teaches love, it does not teach hatred. In fact, Islam says, to kill one life is to kill humanity. And that type of progressive thinking, that type of approach, it’s the true approach to Islam. And I think, the Hizmet Movement and Fethullah Gulen are on that path, the true path to Islam.”

David Newton, Retired U.S. Ambassador:

“Unfortunately, we have a lot of fundamentalists, some of them violent, and the only other voice you tend to hear in the Arab world is a purely traditional one. A moderate one, yes, but traditional. It seems to me, particularly in the Arab world, there’s a great need for a modern, progressive, pro-education view of Islam, to get the Arab world out of its troubles. So that to me, they need something very much like the Hizmet Movement, and a person like Mr. Gülen, like the Hocaefendi, who brings science, education, but above all, preaches tolerance. Because to me, tolerance is the mother of all virtues.”

Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, Director of the Islamic Society of Orange County, California:

“Turkish people, they need this movement. And this movement, of course, need the help of the government. Although the movement is not a political movement. It does not involve in politics. But at the same time, there is many area the government should not hinder the work of the movement, and should be supportive, if not collaborating with it, at least support and at least does not hinder, does not make, create a problem. And so there should be… the movement is peaceful movement; it’s not involved in any violence or anything like that, so this is the good… So that’s what we have to do; we have to support and encourage peaceful movements in the Muslim world.”

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