Defending Hizmet


Date posted: April 5, 2014

Angela Lee Ayaz

 

I have never met Fethullah Gulen.  I have read his books, and watched videos of him, and talked to those who know him, and to those who simply love him.  I have heard those who hate him, and those who call him a criminal, and those who think the world would be better rid of him.  I can only offer what I have seen and my thoughts, and hope that you would listen with an open ear.

I met people associated with the Hizmet movement for the first time in 2000.  I met young men who lived a life dedicated to service of others, forgoing their own wants and desires to help the world.  Although holding a deep Islamic faith, these men were not spreading the religion of Islam, but instead spreading the ideas of tolerance, peace, community, service, self-sacrifice, and love.  I saw young men who would work difficult jobs and long hours to turn almost all of their paychecks over to help children in Africa or widows in Bosnia or inner city children in New Orleans impacted by Hurricane Katrina.  I watched young women without jobs who when asked to give support to a new school in Kazakhstan or a hospital in Mali who selflessly remove their jewelry without hesitation and added it to the collection plate.  I watched young women give up their wedding rings in this way, the most sacred and precious piece of jewelry any woman will ever wear, something we dream about as little girls.  I watched a wealthy family eat beans and rice and not eat fruit for a year in order to teach their children what it is like to live in poverty  and famine stricken Africa and how blessed they are to live in a country with God’s bounties.   I met one young man whose entire life fit into a single suitcase and who was ready at a moment’s notice to travel the entire world to help, and heard the stories of young women who left their mothers crying at the airport to teach at a school in the Sub-Saharan who said, “Oh mother, don’t you understand, I am not going there to teach or to live, instead I am going there to die.  When I die don’t bring me home, let me be buried there as an emigrant in Allah’s cause.”  I saw a mother who missed her own daughter’s wedding to come and speak to a group of American women at a Hizmet camp, flying halfway across the world to spend just a few days telling us of the beauty she had seen in Hizmet’s way.

I have seen nothing but beauty from the Hizmet movement.  I have taught at Hizmet schools in Turkey and seen teachers who work 18 hour long days seven days a week neglecting their own families in order to teach poor villagers in Sanliurfa.  I have watched the poorest of the poor in Urfa’s streets give their few pennies to help.  I have seen doctors and lawyers, dignified men, spend Eid Day gathering the skins of sheep and cows to sell to support a school or hospital or orphan home in a country they will never see, covered in blood and dirt and wishing to be nowhere else because they know they are on God’s path.

I have never met a single person in Hizmet who expressed hatred or disrespect toward the Turkish government, Tayyip Erdogan, Ataturk, or anyone else in power in politics in Turkey.  In fact, Hizmet is a nonpolitical movement, a social movement which encourages one to think and act on their own moral compass and not on group opinion.  One of the big ideas in Hizmet is istisharah, where all join together to express their opinion on an issue and decide as a group what to do to resolve problems.   No one, despite age or position, is given a higher rank than another. The street sweeper and the Dr. both have a right to speak their heart, and as often as not the solution comes from a consensus and blending of ideas.  I was never asked to vote a certain way, or told to believe a certain person to be good or bad.

If all of these beautiful people that I have met in the last 14 years are followers of Fethullah Gulen, then I must believe that he is also a beautiful person.  From his writings I have seen him emphasize the importance of education, truthfulness, having a moral compass, and more.  I have seen him give ideas to make families stronger, education better, and the world a kinder and gentler place.  I have never read or heard a single syllable of hatefulness, power hungriness, or anger.

I am simply a foreigner who has observed Hizmet for the last decade and a half.  I am not Turkish, I did not grow up in this movement, and I have no dog in this fight.  But I must stand up when I see a miscarriage of justice.  Accusing a man who has spent the last 73 years of his life supporting beauty, truth, peace and goodness is an outrage.  It shows a hunger for power and position that is dangerous and knows no bounds.  Trying to influence an entire country through one sided conversations, edited tapes, and outright lies is a shame on the Turkish government and an insult to the Turkish people, and for that matter, to the entire world.  Allow people to judge for themselves.   Open your eyes and read the works of Gulen.  Watch his lectures from the last 40 years.  His message has never changed.  Can one really carry on such a grand scheme for that period of time without cracks showing?  Can he truly be that two-faced and double-sided that he has fooled millions around the world for 50 years?    I attest that this is a lie, and unbelievable affront to common sense.   Fethullah Gulen is an example to the world, a man who gave up everything in service to humanity.

 

A mother of 5 children

Source: fethullah-gulen.org , April 4, 2014


Related News

‘Hizmet is a social movement worldwide, that has a heart, and it’s always from the heart.’

Hizmet works around the world to overcome poverty, and they do it in a very unique way, I think. In some ways, in a model way that could be emulated by others.

Fethullah Gülen suggests Turkish coup attempt could have been staged

Islamic cleric who has been blamed by Turkey’s president for the coup attempt on Friday evening gives a rare interview and suggests that the event may have been staged by the Turkish government as a way to shore up power and excuse further arrests of those who oppose Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Fethullah Gulen: Muslims, we have to critically review our understanding of Islam

Words fall short to truly express my deep sadness and revolt in the face of the carnage perpetrated by terrorist groups such as the so-called ISIS. I share a profound frustration with a billion and a half Muslims around the world at the fact that such groups commit terror while dressing up their perverted ideologies as religion.

Operation and crossroads: Hizmet movement falsely accused

The delicate position in which the government now finds itself is real, but it is also a fact that the Hizmet movement is being falsely accused.
Those who support the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and are affiliated with the Hizmet movement do not deserve such an outcome.

Turkish-American school takes top prizes in Connecticut science fair

Putnam Science Academy (PSA), a Turkish school in the US, has taken first place and second place spots in two major categories at the annual Connecticut State Science Fair finals.

British Lords introduced to Fethullah Gülen’s concepts

Lord Ahmed, in his inauguration speech, described Gülen as “an Islamic scholar with a new and modern vision” and stressed that the movement inspired by Gülen’s thoughts has enabled Muslim Turks to internalize values such as democracy, human rights, pluralism and mutual respect. He also noted that the Gülen movement had a positive influence on British Muslim youth by preventing them from engaging in any radical groups.

Latest News

This notable Pocono resident has been living here in exile since 1999

Logistics companies seized over Gülen links sold in fast-track auction

That is Why the Turkish Government could Pay 1 Billion Euros

ECtHR rules Bulgaria violated rights of Turkish journalist who was deported despite seeking asylum

Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences in the Wake of the Western European Floods

Pregnant woman kept in prison for 4 months over Gülen links despite regulations

Normalization of Abduction, Torture, and Death in Erdogan’s Turkey

Turkey’s Maarif Foundation illegally seized German-run school in Ethiopia, says manager

Failed 2016 coup was gov’t plot to purge Gülenists from state bodies, journalist claims

In Case You Missed It

‘We will not learn how to struggle against corruption from you’

TÜBİTAK scolded for hiding olympiad winners were from Hizmet schools

Operation against the Hizmet movement soon!

Another Gülenist teacher at risk of deportation from Bosnia

German court fines pro-Erdoğan daily for calling Hizmet movement ‘terrorist’

87-year old prisoner gets 11-day solitary confinement for ‘hoping release one day’

Great interest shown in Turkish school in Egypt

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News