Father Alexei on Fethullah Gulen and Hizmet Movement


Date posted: November 3, 2014

Father Alexei Smith served as an elected member of the Council of Priests of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for six years, and currently is a member of the Spirituality Commission of the Archdiocese. He served as president of the Interreligious Council of Southern California for five years. In 2007, he awarded the prestigious Religious Leadership Award of the Valley Interfaith Council.

Giving reference to the Pope Francis, Father Alexei speaks of “authentic Islam” to be one which abhors violence and is open to dialogue. “And this is precisely what I see in the Hizmet Movement and certainly in my readings of the teachings of Fethullah Gülen.”

“…one of the things I really appreciate about the movement, is the amount of service you do, not only to your fellow Muslims but to all of us, and the whole aspect, then, of inter religious dialogue and certainly education and learning.”

Father Alexei makes mention of Fethullah Gulen’s approach to the word ‘tolerance’; “He [Fethullah Gulen] talks about, ‘let your heart be as tolerant as the wide open ocean’. And that indicates to me an openness, an openness to allowing the other to enrich you as you enrich them.”

As a “great advocate of inter-religious learning”, Fr. Alexei makes reference to Miroslav Volf in describing interfaith dialogue as an ‘embrace’. He says, “What do you do when you embrace someone? You open your arms to put your arms around that person and opening your arms, you’re making room in yourself for the other person. And that is what we all need to do.”

In reflection his impression about the Hizmet Movement Fr Alexei comments, “I think that Hizmet, amongst the Islamic organizations, movements and such, seems to epitomize that triad of service, dialogue and education.”

In expressing his regret for any attempts to curtail Hizmet Movement’s activities, Fr. Alexei notes, “…because I look upon them, I look upon Mr. Gulen, I look upon the whole movement’s efforts as a shiny beacon in the Islamic world, a beacon of hope for the future.”


*Produced by Spectra Media exclusively for Irmak TV, Atlas of Thoughts (Fikir Atlasi) connects the scholars, politicians, jurists, religious figures, journalists, and academics reflecting on Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen and the Hizmet Movement with the audience. Each episode features a person from a different segment of the society with diverse experiences regarding the Hizmet activities and its volunteers. If you are interested to hear about the Hizmet and Mr. Gulen from these people’s perspectives, do not miss this show!

Source: Spectra Media


Related News

Gülen calls on corrupt politicians to confess their sins, beg forgiveness

Turkish intellectual and Muslim scholar Fethullah Gülen called on senior officials in Turkey on Friday to repent for their sins and lies made to scapegoat others and avoid the blame for their own corruption.

What is lacking in democratization package is democracy itself

This time’s so-called democratization package to soon be submitted to Parliament is an overt effort to make judicial proceedings nearly impossible if the consent of a governor or one of their deputies has not been granted. A prosecutor who wants to start an operation will first go to the governor (read: the government) in order to get a license to use law enforcement bodies in any sort of operation. This move is not only against democratic norms and the principles of transparency and the rule of law, but is also a clear reflection of a defensive mechanism in light of mounting corruption and graft claims surrounding senior government officials.

The cleric next door: Pocono neighbors weigh in on Fethullah Gülen, the man Turkey wants back

“People fear what they don’t know,” said Howard A. Beers Jr., the chairman of the Ross Township Board of Supervisors, the municipal government that oversees Saylorsburg. “I can tell you directly that these are the nicest people,” Beers said last week after a township meeting at which building inspection fees and a squabble over a local bar were major points of concern. “There’s nothing to fear.”

Report: White House denies remarks attributed to Obama about Gülen

White House has reportedly denied remarks attributed to US President Barack Obama about Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, describing them as “not accurate.” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday during a live TV interview that Obama received “the message” about his complaint of Gülen residing in the US.

Teaching Peace in Schools

Alp Aslandogan, President, Alliance for Shared Values* This week New York City hosts the United Nations General Assembly, the Clinton Global Initiative and the Education Nation conference. These massive events focus on international diplomacy and peace, societal problem-solving and improving classroom instruction. However, just a few blocks away from these grand assemblies, a smaller group […]

Toward an Islamic Enlightenment: The Gulen Movement (Book Review)

BOOK REVIEW Ten years after co-editing his first book on the Gülen movement, Hakan Yavuz, a leading scholar on Turkish society, brings his academic prowess and careful observations to bear on this dynamic phenomenon in Toward an Islamic Enlightenment: The Gülen Movement.1 This well-timed book not only provides an update on the growth of the […]

Latest News

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

Grondahl: Turkish community strong in wake of threats from back home

Turkish-Kyrgyz educator’s abduction shows Ankara’s ruthless disregard for law: HRW

Kenya: Investigate Deportation of Turkish National

In Case You Missed It

Turkey: Babies behind bars

Dialogue and Friendship Dinner in Portland, Oregon

Major Says No One In Erdoğan Assassination Attempt Trial Has Links To Gülen

Real democrats cannot politicize Islam

3 detained Turkish educators and their families handed over to Turkey by Gabon

Government [in Turkey] replaces military in defamation tactics

Parents seeking urgent Release of School Principle Fatih Keskin

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News