Academics: Hizmet a movement, not a gang; Gülen builds ties


Date posted: May 14, 2014

THESSALONIKI

The Hizmet movement led by US-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen is not a gang but a movement, academics have said in reaction to a smear campaign led by the Turkish government against the movement and its representatives.

The campaign began after a corruption scandal implicating four of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s then-Cabinet ministers erupted on Dec. 17, 2013.

“[Hizmet] is not a gang; [it is] a movement,” said Sotiris Livas, a professor on the Middle East and Turkey at Ionio University, on the sidelines of the 11th International Book Fair held in Thessaloniki.

Gülen, a scholar inspired by Sufism, was also greatly motivated by Turkish-Kurdish scholar Said Nursi. “He is a person who possesses a new-age intellectual character. His approach is to [have] friendly relations in [his] contacts with the West. He stresses that Islamic, moral and traditional values [can] be [upheld] along with modern developments as well,” Livas said.

A book written by Gülen was introduced to the Greek public at the fair. Titled “Love in Human Essence,” it was introduced alongside a book authored by American academic Jill Carroll called “A Dialogue of Civilizations: Gulen’s Islamic Ideals and Humanistic Discourse.”

Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) Secretary-General Hüseyin Hurmalı, who also attended the event, said the Hizmet movement places importance on understanding people, not discriminating against them. “The movement is faith based and is a civil community that aims for a culture of togetherness,” Hurmalı said. Summarizing the Hizmet’s solution method for global problems Hurmalı said that the movement strives for understanding through education against illiteracy, economic development against poverty and dialogue against division.

Answering a question from a member of the audience, Hurmalı said Gülen has clearly and several times underlined his support for democratic rule. Gülen and his teachings are healing the Muslim community and he is not encouraging Islamic politics like Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden or Palestinian group Hamas.

Addressing another attendee’s question, Hurmalı said: “If you look at what Gülen wrote 40 years ago and what he has recently written, you will see that there is no difference. He talks about universal principles based on democracy and human rights. Politicians and officials who are coming closer to these principles have been thought of as walking on the same path together with Gülen. In fact, Gülen is on the right path. When [Turgut] Özal, [Süleyman] Demirel, [Bülent] Ecevit or Erdoğan remained close to these principles, they were working in cooperation with Gülen and his Hizmet movement.” He emphasized his belief that Erdoğan changed after his second term in Turkey.

Noting that the developments in Turkey also concern Greece, Dimitris Keridis, the director of Navarino Network, a public policy think tank in Thessaloniki, said, “Gülen is one of those rare people who is building a bridge between modernity, free market, technology and science.”

Keridis also said he cannot accept what he says are “nonsense” written about Islam, underlining that Gülen is one of those scholars who supports reconciling Islam with modernity. Keridis said Islam is a way of life which is followed by 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. Islam is not a religion whose so-called representatives abducted school girls in Nigeria.

Islamic group Boko Haram kidnapped schoolgirls at a boarding school in northeastern Nigeria last month, bringing international attention to the extremist group amid outrage that most of the girls have not been rescued.

Source: Todays Zaman , May 14, 2014


Related News

This is beyond a witch-hunt – Turkey now blames Gülen movement for 9/11 attacks

In yet another example of scapegoating the Gülen movement for anything bad in Turkey or in anywhere else in the world, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s chief advisor Yiğit Bulut hinted at connections between FETÖ and the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US.

Police raid successful Gülen-inspired schools in western Turkey

Just after another Gülen-inspired school was raided by the police in the southern province of Gaziantep on Monday, private schools established by the volunteers from the Hizmet Movement were raided in the western province of İzmir on Tuesday morning.

Hizmet is not a terror group, they embraces the entire human family

I’m saddened to hear that the Hizmet Movement here is being categorized as a terror group. To classify them as terrorists in any form is a great misrepresentation. And I consider it a privilege and an honor to be associated with them and to be part of the brotherhood. They’re a benefit to the Muslim community and humanity as a whole.

Secular Pakistanis resist Turkey’s ‘authoritarian’ demands

Turkey has asked Pakistan to crack down on institutions run by US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara believes was behind the failed coup against President Erdogan. But many Pakistanis do not want to follow along.

Turkey, The great purge – Four lives upturned by Erdogan’s ‘cleansing.’ Episode 4 – Betul

Every afternoon from January 23 to March 28, Ms. Celep arrived at the square wearing a white traffic waistcoat emblazoned with the words, “İşimi geri istiyorum” – Turkish for “I want my job back”. Through sunshine and the shivering Istanbul rain, she stood there as supporters — many of whom had also lost their jobs in Turkey’s great purges — arrived to cheer her on, encouraged by the young woman’s sheer guts and charisma.

Turkey’s treatment of dismissed officials reminiscent of Nazis: Luxembourg

Luxembourg’s foreign minister said on Monday that the Turkish government’s handling of civil servants dismissed after a failed coup attempt reminded him of methods used by the Nazis, and that sooner or later the EU would have to respond with sanctions.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Turkish school takes US approach to get foothold in Egypt

Educational unions lash out against gov’t-backed school raids

Gülen donates Manhae award honorarium to Peace Projects

Turkey’s Koç: I met with Gülen; there is nothing wrong with that

In Georgia the Shahin Friendship School facing closure – Political influence?

Kimse Yok Mu to stop beggary in Sakarya, Turkey

Why does Öcalan need to approach the Gülen movement?

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News