Date posted: January 1, 2017
Fethullah Gulen issued a message of condolences and condemnation of the terrorist attack in an Istanbul nightclub on New Year’s Eve. Gulen said,
“I pray that God grant mercy and forgiveness to those who lost their lives during a time normally reserved for celebration, hope and renewal.”
The attack claimed lives of 39 people in Reina nightclub, in the Ortakoy neighborhood of Istanbul overlooking the Bosporus. Many of the victims were foreigners.
Gulen further said,
“I once again condemn all forms of terrorism, no matter what purpose the perpetrators believe it serves.”
Gulen is a strong advocate of diversity and accepting everyone for who they are and show respect. He teaches that differences should not lead to separation but be considered as cultural richness.
This heinous terrorist attack came after vicious discussions in the country about Christmas and New Year Celebrations. Political Islamists, knowingly or ignorantly, mix up Christmas and New Year and they claim that New Year is a celebration of birth of Jesus, although Jesus is a Prophet in the Islamic tradition.
Under Erdogan regime, Turkey has been polarized deeply and the society has been divided into camps who hate each other.
“The first step towards this end should be the acceptance of everyone as they are. Everyone can think differently about different issues. For example, due to their ethnic priority, some may not feel fully a part of this nation or there can be different opinions regarding beliefs or world-views. In societies where democracy has reached a certain level, people solve their problems by means of discussion and persuasion, not by using brute strength and force as is the case among uncivilized ones. In a time when we all share common grounds and when everyone is given the freedom and right to work, think and express himself/herself, we are all longing to build a world without conflict and contention based on tolerance and dialogue. Today all of us should take full advantage of this process and the circumstances that pave the way for it and accept that it is natural for everyone to benefit from these same rights.”
You will find at the end of Gulen’s message below some reading materials on Gulen’s philosophy on diversity, respect and acceptance of the other.
Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences and Condemnation of the New Year’s Eve Terrorist Attack in an Istanbul Nightclub
New York (January 1, 2017) – I condemn, in the strongest terms, the New Year’s Eve terrorist attack in an Istanbul nightclub that cost the lives of at least three dozen people and wounded dozens more.
I pray that God grant mercy and forgiveness to those who lost their lives during a time normally reserved for celebration, hope and renewal. I extend my condolences to their families and relatives and to people of Turkey and other nations who lost their citizens. I pray for the quick recovery of the wounded.
I once again condemn all forms of terrorism, no matter what purpose the perpetrators believe it serves. I urge the Turkish authorities, with the support of the international community, to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
The attack finished a year of unspeakable tragedy for Turkey and the Turkish people. I pray that the new year brings comfort and peace instead of strife and war.
About Fethullah Gülen
Fethullah Gülen is an Islamic scholar, preacher and social advocate, whose decades‐long commitment to education, interfaith dialogue and altruism has inspired millions in Turkey and around the world. Gülen is the honorary chairman of the Rumi Forum, Washington, DC and the Intercultural Dialogue Platform, Brussels, Belgium.
About Alliance for Shared Values
The Alliance for Shared Values (AFSV) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that serves as a voice for cultural organizations affiliated with Hizmet, a civil society movement inspired by prominent preacher and peace advocate Fethullah Gülen. The Alliance strives to promote peace and social harmony by helping reduce misinformation and false stereotypes about any or all ethnic, cultural and religious communities. To learn more about the Alliance please visit www.afsv.org.
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