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

Turkish press council condemns false reports on Gülen movement

The High Committee of the Press Council in Turkey, following an appeal by the lawyer of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, has examined certain articles from the Sabah and Takvim dailies and condemned them for violating its basic principles of journalism.

AK Party deputy Hakan Şükür against closure of prep schools

Former national team captain and current Justice and Development Party (AK Party) İstanbul deputy Hakan Şükür, referring to the government’s plan to shut down prep schools, has said it was wrong to vote “yes” on their closure before a process is carried out which eliminates the need for the schools.

AK Party gov’t violates rule of law with mass profiling of civil servants

Profiling by the government — which a senior member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) admitted to over Twitter — of some 2,000 senior public officials including police chiefs, prosecutors and judges as well as academics, journalists and business people is a violation of the constitution, analysts have said.

Documents expose plot to hold Hizmet responsible for KPSS cheating

The Zaman daily has published documents which reveal that a plot was devised to unjustly hold the members of the Hizmet Movement responsible for a cheating scandal at the State Personnel Examination (KPSS) in 2010.

On Hizmet exceptionalism

What is perhaps saddest about this witch-hunt is that Hizmet is a priceless resource for any government. It serves without any burden on public funds and efforts. It is a rich source of reliable manpower devoted to selfless service and ready to raise the banner of Turkey, on peaceful terms, alongside the flags of all other nations around the world. Instead of being propelled by this free energy, and benefitting from its resources, the Turkish government acts in jealousy, and tries to destroy it.

An unshakable spiritual unity, unique to Hizmet Movement volunteers

Hizmet (Gulen Movement) was discussed by Turkish and American academics at a panel titled “Hizmet: A Transnational Social Movement with Participants in Turkey, the US, and around the World” at Georgetown University. The panel co-sponsored by Rumi Forum was moderated by Prof. John O.Vall, Georgetown University professor of Islamic History. Among the highlights, Prof. Thomas […]

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

Pro-Erdoğan journalist: Gülen followers should be kept in detention camps, given food tickets

Astonishing questions about the failed coup attempt in Turkey

While Erdogan Demonizes a Peaceful Movement, International Community Applauds Them.

Kurdish initiative should not be suspended by provocative acts

Turkish School Leader Abducted, and Released, in Mongolia

Turkish medical group goes to Tanzania with largest medical personnel team

Diverging points between AKP and Hizmet movement: Kurdish question

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News