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Fethullah Gülen

Fethullah Gülen
Fethullah Gülen, 1998
Born (1941-04-27) 27 April 1941 [1]
Pasinler, Erzurum, Turkey
Religion Non-denominational Muslim[2]
Era Modern era
School Hanafi[3]
Main interests
Orthodox Islamic thought, Islamic conservatism, education, interfaith dialogue among the People of the Book, Sufism
Notable ideas
Gülen movement

Muhammed Fethullah Gülen (born 27 April 1941) is a Turkish preacher,[5] former imam,[5][6] and writer.[7] He is the founder of the Gülen movement (known as Hizmet meaning service in Turkish). He currently lives in self-imposed exile in the United States, residing in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.[8][9][10]

Gülen teaches an


  • Official website
  • Fethullah Gulen
  • Gulen Movement
  • Gulen Movement US
  • Gulen Movement Canada
  • Gulen Movement News
  • Hizmet Movement
  • Hizment and Fethullah Gulen

External links

  • FORBES - Gulen Inspires Muslims Worldwide at the Wayback Machine (archived January 23, 2008)
  • Interfaith Radio - Turkey's Champion of Interfaith Dialogue
  • The Economist - Global Muslim networks- How far they have travelled
  • The Economist- Fethullah Gulen- A farm boy on the world stage
  • Reuters - Turkish Islamic preacher - threat or benefactor?
  • The New York Times - Turkish Schools Offer Pakistan a Gentler Vision of Islam
  • The New York Times: Fethullah Gulen profile
  • Foreign Policy - Fethullah Gulen as a Top Public Intellectual
  • Profile on PBS show: Religion and Ethics January 21, 2011
  • The New Republic Magazine: The Global Imam
  • Qantara.de: The Fethullah Gülen Movement: Pillar of Society or Threat to Democracy?
  • MERIA: Fethullah Gülen and his Liberal "Turkish Islam" movement
  • ME Forum: Turkish Islam's Moderate Face
  • ME Forum: Fethullah Gülen's Grand Ambition: Turkey's Islamist Danger
  • The Gülen Movement: a modern expression of Turkish Islam
  • The Nurcu Movement in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan

General references:

  1. ^ Robert A. Hunt, Yuksel A. Aslandogan, Muslim Citizens of the Globalized World: Contributions of the Gulen Movement, p 85. ISBN 1597840734
  2. ^ Duderija, Adis (2014). Maqasid al-Shari’a and Contemporary Reformist Muslim Thought: An Examination. Still, Gulen repeatedly states that he propagates neither tajdīd, nor ijtihād, nor reform and that he is just a follower of Islam, simply a Muslim. He is very careful about divorcing himself from any reformist, political, or Islamist discourse. Gulen's conscious dislike of using Islam as a discursive political instrument, which was a distinct trait in Nursi as well, indicates an ethicalized approach to Islam from a spiritual perspective. 
  3. ^ Erol Nazim Gulay, The Theological thought of Fethullah Gulen: Reconciling Science and Islam (St. Antony's College Oxford University May 2007). p. 57
  4. ^ a b Erol Nazim Gulay (May 2007). "The Theological thought of Fethullah Gulen: Reconciling Science and Islam" (PDF). St. Antony's College Oxford University. p. 56. 
  5. ^ a b "Fethullah Gülen's Official Web Site - Fethullah Gülen in Short". En.fgulen.com. 2009-09-30. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  6. ^ a b Helen Rose Fuchs Ebaugh, The Gülen Movement: A Sociological Analysis of a Civic Movement Rooted in Moderate Islam, p 26. ISBN 1402098944
  7. ^ "Fethullah Gülen's Official Web Site - Gülen's Works". En.fgulen.com. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  8. ^ Williams, Paul L. "A visit to the Pennsylvania fortress of “The World’s most Dangerous Islamist”"
  9. ^ http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2011/may/the-gulen-movement-the-new-islamic-world-order/
  10. ^ http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_4_fethullah-gulen.html
  11. ^ a b "How far they have travelled".  
  12. ^ a b Helen Rose Fuchs Ebaugh, The Gülen Movement: A Sociological Analysis of a Civic Movement Rooted in Moderate Islam, p 38. ISBN 1402098944
  13. ^ a b c Fethullah Gulen (Author) (2010-03-16). "Toward a Global Civilization of Love and Tolerance". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  14. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-13503361
  15. ^ M. Hakan Yavuz, John L. Esposito, Turkish Islam and the Secular State: The Gülen Movement, p. 20
  16. ^ Helen Rose Fuchs Ebaugh, The Gülen Movement: A Sociological Analysis of a Civic Movement Rooted in Moderate Islam, p. 24. ISBN 1402098944
  17. ^ "Gulen-Years of Education". http://fgulen.com/en. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  18. ^ "Who is Fethullah Gülen? - Early Life". hizmetmovement.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2014-10-20. 
  19. ^ "The Gulen Movement: Communicating Modernization, Tolerance, and Dialogue in the Islamic World.". The International Journal of the Humanities. 6, Issue 12. Ijh.cgpublisher.com. pp. 67–78. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  20. ^ Religioscope - JFM Recherches et Analyses. "Religioscope: The Gülen Movement: a modern expression of Turkish Islam - Interview with Hakan Yavuz". Religion.info. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  21. ^ "| Qantara.de - Dialogue with the Islamic World". En.qantara.de. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  22. ^ "Gulen Inspires Muslims Worldwide". Forbes. 21 January 2008. 
  23. ^ "The Journalists and Writers Foundation". 
  24. ^ "About the Journalists and Writers Foundation". 
  25. ^ a b [7]
  26. ^ a b "Clement M. Henry, Rodney Wilson, The politics of Islamic Finance, Edinburgh University Press (2004), p 236". Eupjournals.com. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  27. ^ a b c d e "U.S. charter schools tied to powerful Turkish imam".  
  28. ^ "Turkish investigation into Islamic sect expanded". BBC News. 21 June 1999. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  29. ^ "Clement M. Henry, Rodney Wilson, ''The Politics of Islamic Finance'', (Edinburgh University Press 2004), p. 236". Eupjournals.com. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  30. ^ "Gülen's answers to claims made based on the video tapes taken from some of his recorded speeches". En.fgulen.com. 2001-09-24. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  31. ^ Dogan Koc, Strategic Defamation of Fethullah Gülen: English Vs. Turkish, p. 24. ISBN 0761859306
  32. ^ a b [8]
  33. ^ a b Joe Parkinson and Ayla Albayrak (20 January 2014). "From His Refuge in the Poconos, Reclusive Imam Fethullah Gulen Roils Turkey".  
  34. ^ "Turkey issues Fethullah Gulen arrest warrant". BBC. 2014-12-19. Retrieved 2014-12-19. 
  35. ^ Erol Nazim Gulay, The Theological thought of Fethullah Gulen: Reconciling Science and Islam (St. Antony's College Oxford University May 2007). p. 1
  36. ^ [9]
  37. ^ "Portrait of Fethullah Gülen, A Modern Turkish-Islamic Reformist". Qantara.de. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  38. ^ Guest Editor Zeki Saritoprak (Editor) (2005-01-01). "Thomas Michel S.J., ''Sufism and Modernity in the Thought of Fethullah Gülen'', The Muslim World, Vol. 95 No. 3, July 2005, pp. 345-5". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  39. ^ Mehmet Kalyoncu, A Civilian Response to Ethno-Religious Conflict: The Gülen Movement in Southeast Turkey (Tughra Books, 2008), pp. 19–40. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  40. ^ Berna Turam. "Berna Turam, Between Islam and the State: The Politics of Engagement (Stanford University Press 2006) p. 61". Sup.org. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  41. ^ Guest Editor Zeki Saritoprak (Editor) (2005-01-01). "Saritoprak, Z. and Griffith, S. Fethullah Gülen and the 'People of the Book': A Voice from Turkey for Interfaith Dialogue, The Muslim World, Vol. 95 No. 3, July 2005, p.337-8". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  42. ^ In Lester Kurtz's (of University of Texas, Austin) words, "One of the most striking operationalizations of Gulen's fusion of commitment and tolerance is the nature of the Gulen movement, as it is often called, which has established hundreds of schools in many countries as a consequence of his belief in the importance of knowledge, and example in the building of a better world. The schools are a form of service to humanity designed to promote learning in a broader sense and to avoid explicit Islamic propaganda." Kurtz also cites in the same work the comments of Thomas Michel, General Secretary of the Vatican Secretariat for Inter-religious Dialogue, after a visit to a school in Mindanao, Philippines, where the local people suffered from a civil war, as follows: "In a region where kidnapping is a frequent occurrence, along with guerrilla warfare, summary raids, arrests, disappearances and killings by military and para-military forces, the school is offering Muslim and Christian Filipino children, along with an educational standard of high quality, a more positive way of living and relating to each other." Kurtz adds: "The purpose of the schools movement, therefore, is to lay the foundations for a more humane, tolerant citizenry of the world where people are expected to cultivate their own faith perspectives and also promote the well being of others... It is significant to note that the movement has been so successful in offering high quality education in its schools, which recruit the children of elites and government officials, that it is beginning to lay the groundwork for high-level allies, especially in Central Asia, where they have focused much of their effort." See, Lester R. Kurtz, "Gulen's Paradox: Combining Commitment and Tolerance," Muslim World, Vol. 95, July 2005; 379–381.
  43. ^ Helen Rose Fuchs Ebaugh, The Gülen Movement: A Sociological Analysis of a Civic Movement Rooted in Moderate Islam, p 4. ISBN 1402098944
  44. ^ Spiegelman, Margaret. "What Scares Turkey's Women?". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  45. ^ Ali Unal (Author) (2000-10-01). "Advocate of Dialogue: Fethullah Gülen". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  46. ^ "Gülen: Alevi-Sunni brotherhood should not be marred by bridge controversy". Today's Zaman. 19 June 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  47. ^ Elise Massicard (2013). The Alevis in Turkey and Europe: Identity and Managing Territorial Diversity (illustrated ed.). Routledge. pp. 109–10.  
  48. ^ Greg Barton; Paul Weller; Ihsan Yilmaz (18 Dec 2014). The Muslim World and Politics in Transition: Creative Contributions of the Gulen Movement. A&C Black. p. 119.  
  49. ^ a b skyron.co.uk. "European Muslims, Civility and Public Life Perspectives On and From the Gülen Movement". Continuumbooks.com. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  50. ^ "Fethullah Gülen Web Sitesi - Devlet ve Şeriat". Tr.fgulen.com. 2006-10-31. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  51. ^ "Fethullah Gülen's Official Web Site - Women Confined and Mistreated". En.fgulen.com. 2008-05-08. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  52. ^ "Fethullah Gülen: A life dedicated to peace and humanity- True Muslims Cannot Be Terrorists". En.fgulen.com. 2002-02-04. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  53. ^ "Importance of Gulen Movement in the Post 9/11 Era: Co-existenceFethullah Gulen". Fethullah Gulen. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  54. ^ "A Real Muslim cannot be a Terrorist". Fethullah Gulen. 2004-03-23. Retrieved 2014-10-20. 
  55. ^ Lauria, Joe. "Reclusive Turkish Imam Criticizes Gaza Flotilla". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  56. ^ "Turkey and Syria: An explosive border". Economist.com. 2013-05-18. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  57. ^ "Gülen warns against Turkey’s unilateral war". TODAY'S ZAMAN. 7 October 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  58. ^ Halil Karaveli (12 November 2012). "Erdogan Pays for His Foreign Policy". The National Interest. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  59. ^ a b "Profile: Fethullah Gulen's Hizmet movement". BBC News. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  60. ^ a b Arango, Tim (26 February 2014). "Turkish Leader Disowns Trials That Helped Him Tame Military".  
  61. ^ a b c Dan Bilefsky and Sebnem Arsu (24 April 2012). "Turkey Feels Sway of Reclusive Cleric in the U.S.". New York Times. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  62. ^ Hurriyet Daily News, 16 November 2011, Banned book goes on sale in Istanbul book fair
  63. ^ Arango, Tim (26 February 2014). "Turkish Leader Disowns Trials That Helped Him Tame Military".  
  64. ^ "Turkey's Fethullah Gulen denies corruption probe links". BBC News. 27 January 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  65. ^ Tim Franks (27 January 2014). "Fethullah Gulen: Powerful but reclusive Turkish cleric". BBC. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  66. ^ Gulen's publications (Turkish), last visited 2 March 2014
  67. ^ "Gulen books in English". en.fgulen.com. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  68. ^ [10]"
  69. ^ [11]"
  70. ^ [12]"
  71. ^ 2008 top 100 public intellectual poll"
  72. ^ "World's 100 Most Influential People for 2013"
  73. ^ "The 500 Most Influential Muslims"
  74. ^ Schleifer, Abdallah (2011). The Muslim 500: The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims, 2012. Amman, Jordan: The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre. p. 55.  

Specific citations:

References

See also

Fethullah Gülen was listed as one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan.[73][74]

In 2015 center for Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team, Enes Kanter was excluded from the Turkish national basketball team for publicly stating that he supported Gülen.

Fethullah Gülen was named as one of TIME magazine's World's 100 Most Influential People in 2013.[72]

Fethullah Gülen topped the 2008 Top 100 Public Intellectuals Poll and came out as the most influential thinker.[71]

Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College awarded its 2015 Gandhi King Ikeda Peace Award to Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen in recognition of his life-long dedication to promoting peace and human rights.[68][69][70]

Reception

He contributes to a number of journals and magazines owned by his followers. He writes the lead article for the Fountain, Yeni Ümit, Sızıntı, and Yağmur Islamic philosophical magazines. Several of his books have been translated into English.[67]

Gülen's official website[66] lists 44 publications by him; these are, however, more akin to essays and collections of sermons than books on specific subjects with a specific thesis. He is also said to have authored many articles on a variety of topics: social, political and religious issues, art, science and sports, and recorded thousands of audio and video cassettes.

Publications

In emailed comments to the Wall Street Journal in January 2014, Gülen said that "Turkish people ... are upset that in the last two years democratic progress is now being reversed", but he denied being part of a plot to unseat the government.[33] Later, in January 2014 in an interview with BBC World, Gulen said "If I were to say anything to people I may say people should vote for those who are respectful to democracy, rule of law, who get on well with people. Telling or encouraging people to vote for a party would be an insult to peoples' intellect. Everybody very clearly sees what is going on."[65]

The Erdoğan government has said that the corruption investigation and comments by Gülen are the long term political agenda of Gülen's movement to infiltrate security, intelligence, and justice institutions of the Turkish state, a charge almost identical to the charges against Gülen by the Chief Prosecutor of the Republic of Turkey in his trial in 2000 before Erdoğan's party had come into power.[61] Gülen had previously been tried in absentia in 2000, and acquitted in 2008 under Erdoğan's AKP government from these charges.[27][32]

Despite Gülen's and his followers' claims that the organization is non-political in nature, analysts believe that a number of corruption-related arrests made against allies of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reflect a growing political power struggle between Gülen and the prime minister.[59][63] These arrests led to the 2013 corruption scandal in Turkey, which the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s supporters (along with Erdoğan himself) and the opposition parties alike have said was choreographed by Gülen after Erdoğan's government came to the decision early in December 2013 to shut down many of his movement's private pre-university schools in Turkey.[64]

Split with Erdoğan

[61] Gülen affiliates claim the movement is "civic" in nature and that it does not have political aspirations.[60] In 2005, a man affiliated with the Gülen movement approached then-U.S. Ambassador to Turkey

The Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON).[61] In March 2011, the Turkish government arrested the investigative journalist Ahmet Şık and seized and banned his book The Imam's Army, the culmination of Şık's investigation into Gülen and the Gülen movement.[62]

Influence in Turkish society and politics

Gülen is strongly against Turkish involvement in the Syrian Revolution.[56] While rejecting the Turkish government's desire to topple the Syrian government of President al-Assad, Gülen supports the military intervention against ISIS.[57][58]

Syrian Revolution

Gülen criticized the [55]

Gaza flotilla

Gülen has condemned terrorism.[52] He warns against the phenomenon of arbitrary violence and aggression against civilians and said that it "has no place in Islam". He wrote a condemnation article in the Washington Post on September 12, 2001, one day after the September 11 attacks, and stated that "A Muslim can not be a terrorist, nor can a terrorist be a true Muslim."[53][54] Gülen lamented the "hijacking of Islam" by terrorists.[13]

Terrorism

According to Aras and Caha, Gülen's views on women are "progressive".[25] Gülen says the coming of Islam saved women, who "were absolutely not confined to their home and ... never oppressed" in the early years of the religion. He feels that extreme feminism, however, is "doomed to imbalance like all other reactionary movements" and eventually "being full of hatred towards men."[51]

Women's roles

Gülen has supported Turkey's bid to join the European Union and has said that neither Turkey nor the EU have anything to fear, but have much to gain, from a future of full Turkish membership in the EU.[49]

Turkey bid to join the EU

According to one Gülen press release, in democratic-secular countries, 95% of Islamic principles are permissible and practically feasible, and there is no problem with them. The remaining 5% "are not worth fighting for."[50]

Gülen has criticized secularism in Turkey as "reductionist materialism". However, he has in the past said that a secular approach that is "not anti-religious" and "allows for freedom of religion and belief, is compatible with Islam."[49]

Secularism

Views on contemporary issues

Gülen has shown support towards certain demands of the Alevi minority of Turkey, such as recognising their cemevis as official places of worship and supporting better Sunni-Alevi relations; stating Alevis "definitely enrich Turkish culture."[46][47][48]

Gülen has said that he favors cooperation between followers of different religions as well as religious and secular elements within society.

Gülen movement participants have founded a number of institutions across the world which claim to promote interfaith and intercultural dialogue activities. Contrary to claims by some scholars, Gülen has positive views towards Jews, and Christians, and condemns anti-semitism. During the 1990s, he began to advocate interreligious tolerance and dialogue.[13] He has personally met with leaders of other religions, including Pope John Paul II,[12] the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomeos, and Israeli Sephardic Head Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron.[45]

Gülen with Pope John Paul II in 1998.

Interfaith and intercultural dialogue

In his sermons, Gülen has reportedly stated: "Studying physics, mathematics, and chemistry is worshipping God."[27] Gülen's followers have built over 1,000 schools around the world.[43] In Turkey, Gülen's schools are considered among the best: expensive modern facilities and English taught from the first grade.[27] However, former teachers from outside the Gülen community have called into question the treatment of women and girls in Gülen schools, reporting that female teachers were excluded from administrative responsibilities, allowed little autonomy, and—along with girls from the sixth grade and up—segregated from male colleagues and pupils during break and lunch periods.[44]

Education

The Gülen movement is a transnational Islamic civic society movement inspired by Gülen's teachings. His teachings about hizmet (altruistic service to the "common good") have attracted a large number of supporters in Turkey, Central Asia, and increasingly in other parts of the world.[42]

Activities

His teachings differ in emphasis from those of other mainstream Islamic scholars in two respects, both based on his interpretations of particular verses of the Quran. He teaches that the Muslim community has a duty of service (Turkish: hizmet)[39] to the "common good" of the community and the nation[40] and to Muslims and non-Muslims all over the world;[41] and that the Muslim community is obliged to conduct dialogue with not just the "People of the Book" (Jews and Christians), and people of other religions, but also with agnostics and atheists.

Gülen does not advocate a new theology but refers to classical authorities of theology, taking up their line of argument.[35] His understanding of Islam tends to be moderate and mainstream.[36][37] Though he has never been a member of a Sufi tarekat and does not see tarekat membership as a necessity for Muslims, he teaches that "Sufism is the inner dimension of Islam" and "the inner and outer dimensions must never be separated."[38]

Theology

On 19 December 2014 a Turkish court has issued an arrest warrant for Gülen after over 20 journalists working for media outlets thought to be sympathetic to the Gulen movement were arrested. Gülen was accused of establishing and running an "armed terrorist group".[34]

Gülen procured a green card in 2001.[33]

Gülen complained that the remarks were taken out of context,[30] and his supporters raised questions about the authenticity of the tape,[31] which he accused of having been "manipulated". Gülen was tried in absentia in 2000, and acquitted in 2008 under the new Justice and Development Party (AKP) government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.[27][32]

"The existing system is still in power. Our friends who have positions in legislative and administrative bodies should learn its details and be vigilant all the time so that they can transform it and be more fruitful on behalf of Islam in order to carry out a nationwide restoration. However, they should wait until the conditions become more favorable. In other words, they should not come out too early."[29]

In 1999, Gülen emigrated to the United States, claiming the trip for medical treatment,[27] although arguably it was in anticipation of being tried over remarks (aired after his emigration to U.S.) which seemed to favor an Islamic state.[28] In June 1999, after Gülen had left Turkey, videotapes were sent to some Turkish television stations with recordings of Gülen saying,

Gülen retired from formal preaching duties in 1981. From 1988 to 1991 he gave a series of sermons in popular mosques of major cities. In 1994, he participated in the founding of "Journalists and Writers Foundation"[23] and was given the title "Honorary President" by the foundation.[24] He did not make any comment regarding the closures of the Welfare Party in 1998[25] or the Virtue Party in 2001.[26] He has met some politicians like Tansu Çiller and Bülent Ecevit, but he avoids meeting with the leaders of Islamic political parties.[26]

"Gülen put Nursi's ideas into practice when he was transferred to a mosque in Izmir in 1966. Izmir is a city where political Islam never took root. However, the business and professional middle class came to resent the constraints of a state bureaucracy under whose wings it had grown, and supported market-friendly policies, while preserving at least some elements of a conservative lifestyle. Such businessmen were largely pro-Western, because it was Western (mainly U.S.) influence, which had persuaded the government to allow free elections for the first time in 1950 [sic] and U.S. aid, which had primed the pump of economic growth."[22]

His pro-business stance has led some outsiders to dub his theology an Islamic version of Calvinism.[21] Oxford Analytica says:

Comparing Gülen to followers of the Nursî-inspired Risale-i Nur or "Nur movement," Hakan Yavuz said, "Gülen is more Turkish nationalist in his thinking. Also, he is somewhat more state-oriented, and is more concerned with market economics and neo-liberal economic policies."[20]

Gülen was born in the village of Korucuk, near Erzurum.[15] His father, Ramiz Gülen, was an imam.[6] His mother taught the Qur'an in their village despite religious instruction being banned by the Kemalist government.[16] Gülen started primary education at his home village, but did not continue after his family moved. He took part in Islamic education in some Erzurum madrasas[17] and he gave his first sermon when he was 14.[18] Gülen was influenced by the ideas of Said Nursî and Maulana Jalaluddeen Rumi.[19]

Biography

Contents

  • Biography 1
  • Theology 2
  • Activities 3
    • Education 3.1
    • Interfaith and intercultural dialogue 3.2
  • Views on contemporary issues 4
    • Secularism 4.1
    • Turkey bid to join the EU 4.2
    • Women's roles 4.3
    • Terrorism 4.4
    • Gaza flotilla 4.5
    • Syrian Revolution 4.6
  • Influence in Turkish society and politics 5
    • Split with Erdoğan 5.1
  • Publications 6
  • Reception 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Gülen is actively involved in the societal debate concerning the future of the Turkish state, and Islam in the modern world. He has been described in the English-language media as an imam "who promotes a tolerant Islam which emphasises altruism, hard work and education"[14] and as "one of the world's most important Muslim figures."[11]

[13]

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