The responsibility of the Hizmet movement

Illustration: Cem Kızıltuğ
Illustration: Cem Kızıltuğ


Date posted: January 3, 2015

ÖZGÜR KOCA

These are difficult times for Muslims. The Islamic World is suffering from a deep economic, political and moral crisis and is taking a downward path in the vicious cycle of corruption, violence, ignorance and oppression. There are, however, several things that offer some warm light in this dark age. The Hizmet movement is one of them. The following are some reasons why I think the movement has great potential in terms of producing an important global influence:

1. The idea: One of the best ways to understand the unifying idea that grounds the whole project of the Hizmet movement is to look at the fundamental sources that are widely circulated among the participants of the movement — like the “Risale-i Nur” collection and Fethullah Gülen’s writings and speeches. This literature aims to establish a healthy relationship between some apparent poles that are usually sharply separated from each other, such as reason and revelation, tradition and modernity, individualism and collectivity, the I and the Other, religion and science, etc. From an intellectual and spiritual perspective, the project seems to be the creation of a consistent and adequate synthesis of these dichotomies with a selective and critical approach. This is a profound and charming idea.

2. The method: Aside from the allure and profundity of the idea, the movement seems to have offered an efficient method to disseminate this proposed idea. Looking at the social, political and cultural projects that the participants of the movement cherish most, one can say that the method provides both a collective and individual service to humanity. Hence, we observe the continuing emergence of institutes and individuals with religious dynamism and passion. The hitherto success of the movement in this regard is quite striking. The participants of the movement have managed to establish educational institutes, interfaith-intercultural dialogue centers, humanitarian aid organizations, media institutions, business associations and health-care facilities that are functioning around the globe. This, one must say, is an admirable achievement for a civil society movement that does not enjoy governmental funds or support.

3. Passion: The movement has a profound idea and an efficient method. The participants also display a deep attachment to and passion for their cause. This is evinced in the globalization of the Hizmet movement, which could not have occurred without the commitment of a large group of people who are willing to act altruistically in the face of a challenge.

4. Demographics: The participants of the movement are mostly between 20-40 years old. This shows that the idea and method of the movement can motivate and mobilize the young. A movement that can speak to young people is more likely to produce a lasting effect. It also gives to the movement a certain mobility in and ability to adapt to different environments.

5. Non-violence: One of the distinguishing aspect of the Hizmet movement is its hitherto success in drawing a sharp line between the participants of the movement and violent religious and ideological tendencies. We encounter no serious charge against the movement in this regard since its inception in the early 1960s. Gülen’s stance against the use of terror in the name of religion is also well-known.

6. Democracy: In sharp contrast to political Islamic ideologies and puritanist interpretations, the Hizmet movement has displayed a consistent tendency toward democracy, moderate secularism and the amelioration of minority rights. This has been particularly evident in Gülen’s writings and talks since the 1990s. It is possible that, being a part of Turkey’s belligerent and instable political environment, some participants and institutions affiliated with the movement might not have always acted consistently with the lofty ideals of democracy and freedom. But during this past year, the continuing onslaught of the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the Hizmet movement, I believe, has caused participants on all levels to have a deeper realization of the value of democracy and freedom. Now, democracy is not a just a theoretical question for participants but also an existential pursuit.

So we have a global, nonviolent, pro-democracy, faith inspired, civil society movement with a profound idea, an efficient method and a large group of dedicated people. It is true that there is much room for improvement in all these areas for the movement. Nevertheless, we can at least say that these features and the hitherto global success of the Hizmet movement imply that the movement has the potential to play an important role in shaping the future of the global Muslim experience.

In a world where all types of cruelties, atrocities and immoralities are being committed in the name of Islam, the participants of the Hizmet movement must always act with an eye on this great potential and the responsibility it entails.

This is what I meant by the “responsibility of the Hizmet movement.”

Source: Today's Zaman , January 02, 2015


Related News

DUTCH MP’S FURIOUS ABOUT PRESSURE FROM TURKISH AMBASSADOR

Parties in the Tweede Kamer – the lower house of Dutch parliament – are furious about statements the Turkish ambassador to the Netherlands made pressuring the Dutch government to help hunt down supporters of the Gulen-movement. Numerous parliamentarians expressed their annoyance to NU.nl.

Flautre: Investigation into Taraf daily, journalist over MGK docs ‘scandalous’

Hélène Flautre, the co-chairwoman of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, has described the launch of an investigation into the Taraf daily and journalist Mehmet Baransu for publishing records of controversial National Security Council (MGK) documents as being “scandalous” and “inappropriate,” adding that she has serious concerns about freedom of the press in Turkey.

U.S. would look weak, and be weak, if they sent Muslim cleric back to Turkey

For two years, Christians have prayed for the release of the Rev. Andrew Brunson, an American held in prison in Turkey. His recent release by a Turkish Court was a source of joy for America. But if it leads to the murder of the most anti-terrorist Muslim cleric who is living in America, as part of some sick “trade, …

A serious question for a respected newspaper

Abdulhamit Bilici, April 29, 2012 It is not easy to understand a fast-changing and multi-layered country like Turkey. This is a nation where some who self-identify as progressive, modern, social democrats oppose freedoms in a number of arenas and hope for assistance from military coups, while some labeled as Islamic, devout and even reactionary wind […]

TUSKON says 2 businessmen threatened members with ‘blacklisting’

Two Turkish businessmen from the Central Anatolian city of Konya have threatened a business confederation by telling it to “cut ties” with Turkey’s largest volunteer-based grassroots movement, the Hizmet movement, or be placed on a government blacklist of entrepreneurs affiliated with the movement, the head of the business confederation has said.

Turkish imam spy affair in Germany extends across Europe

The Federal Prosecutors Office (GBA) said in a statement no arrests were made in the raids in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and Rhineland-Pfalz, which aimed to collect evidence into imams conducting alleged espionage against supporters of the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen.

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

Book Review: Faith, Theology and Service in Peacebuilding

Turkish school in Philippines partners in a social project

Government as a black propaganda machine

IFLC sends messages of peace in Germany, calls for Turkey to widen its horizon

Feza Schools to open branch in Dodoma, Tanzania

Excitement of Turkish Olympiads felt in Ethiopia

An Armenian lady, Hrant and April 24

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News