A Universal Islamic Phenomenon in Turkish Religious Practice: the Fethullah Gulen Case

Jan 30 ’13

Terror from an Islamic perspective

M. Fethullah Gulen Terror, from the Islamic prospect, causes only disaster and tragedy in this world and leads to Hell in the Hereafter. The word Islam is derived from silm and selamet, which mean submission, salvation, providing trustworthiness, and peace. Innumerable arguments in Qur’an and the Hadith literature, the essential sources of Islam, support these […]

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Jan 7 ’13

A Comparative Approach to Islam and Democracy

Fethullah Gülen Religion, particularly Islam, has become one of the most difficult subject areas to tackle in recent years. Contemporary culture, whether approached from the perspective of anthropology or theology, psychology or psychoanalysis, evaluates religion with empirical methods. On the one hand, religion is an inwardly experienced and felt phenomenon, one mostly related to life’s […]

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Dec 3 ’12

Fethullah Gulen Suggests Nonviolent Options to Young Activists

Below is an interview by Nuriye Akman with sociologist Elisabeth Ozdalga about Fethullah Gulen and religion/secularism issues in Turkey. Akman interviewed Ozdalga in June 2003. Akman: Why are you more interested in sociology of religion? Ozdalga*: During the first half of the 1970s, there were important developments for the left in Turkey, and people had […]

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Sep 24 ’12

A Universal Islamic Phenomenon in Turkish Religious Practice: the Fethullah Gulen Case

Maimul Ahsan Khan* Fethullah Gulen started his professional career as a traditional imam, trained and certificated by the governmental authorities in Ankara. His innovative ideas of educational and social reform have made him a household name in modern Turkey and increasingly around the world for several decades now. In 2008 he was recognized as the […]

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Aug 20 ’12

Clashing Minorities, Converging Majorities: Toward a Coming Religious Peace

Jon Pahl, Ph.D.* For scholars of religion and violence, the recent past poses a conundrum. Are civilizations clashing—as Samuel Huntington has provocatively posed, or cooperating, as Steven Pinker has recently contended? Pinker recognizes the apparently quixotic character of his argument on behalf of cooperation, and acknowledges that the 20th Century and first decade of the […]

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Jun 20 ’12

Tolerance in the Theology and Thought of Fethullah Gülen

In his writings and oral addresses, Gülen prefers the term hoshgoru (literally, “good view”) to “tolerance.” Conceptually, the former term indicates actions of the heart and the mind that include empathy, inquisitiveness, reflection, consideration of the dialog partner’s context, and respect for their positions. The term “tolerance” does not capture the notion of hoshgoru. Elsewhere, […]

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May 5 ’12

Fethullah Gülen’s Views on Jihad, Peacemaking, and Violence

Fethullah Gülen’s views on jihad and peaceful co-existence of different faith and cultural communities are Gülen strongly grounded in Qur’anic and Sunnaic perspectives and represent a mimetic continuity with them. As a practitioner of tasawwuf (Sufism), he emphasizes the importance of the greater internal jihad without disavowing the necessity of the lesser external jihad in […]

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Mar 30 ’12

The Gülen Movement, Dialogue, and Tolerance

Tolerance and dialogue are among the most basic and broad dynamics of the Gülen movement. These two concepts, first developed on a small scale, have turned into a search for a culture of reconciliation on a world scale. Today, the idea of different groups peacefully living together is a philosophical issue that modern states are […]

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Mar 11 ’12

From Gandhi to Gülen: The Habitus of Non-Agressive Action

New Social Movement theory regards all cultural movements as “expressive” and “confrontational” social movements. Instead, as proved in the Gandhian Chipko movement and the Gülen movement cases, cultural movements are more prone to combine strategic and expressive elements simultaneously when they are compared to political movements.

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Mar 11 ’12

Real Muslims Cannot be Terrorists

Islam literally means “surrender” Islam is the religion of contentment, security, and peace. These principles are so commonplace in the lives of Muslims that when they once start to perform the prayer they cut off all ties with the world, bow and prostrate before God and then stand with their hands clasped in respect. When […]

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