Pacifica Institute Utah hosts ‘Love is a Verb’ screening for interfaith season

"Love Is a Verb" is a documentary detailing the life and teachings of Turkish Islamic teacher Fethullah Gulan.


Date posted: February 28, 2015

MADDIE SWENSEN

SALT LAKE CITY — Pacifica Institute Utah sponsored a screening of the film “Love is a Verb” on Monday, Feb. 23, at the Salt Lake City Library as part of Interfaith Season sponsored by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable.

Interfaith Season is a two-month celebration of all the different faiths in the Salt Lake valley. The Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable works to promote cooperation by providing information and encouraging dialogue between different faiths.

Pacifica Institute Utah is the local chapter of a nationwide nonprofit organization of Turkish-American volunteers based in South Salt Lake. Members carry out projects promoting awareness of issues such as social welfare, education and poverty.

Andrew Coserok, a local sculptor, was at the event to share his personal feelings of the Gulen movement. Although not a member of the Pacifica Institute, he described the organization as “seem(ing) to exist solely to find excuses to be nice to their neighbors.”

“Love is a Verb” is a documentary highlighting the life and work of Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic scholar from Turkey. Gulen inspired the “Hizmet” movement, named for the Turkish word for service.

“Love is a Verb” has been nominated for awards at various film festivals throughout the United States and won Best Documentary Film at the Maryland International Film Festival.

The Hizmet movement, often called the Gulen movement, focuses primarily on education, interfaith and intercultural dialogue and humanitarian outreach.

“In these fields, the Hizmet movement exerts a considerable influence on the global society,” Coskun Kariparduc, a member of Pacifica Institute Utah, said in an email. “The participants of the movement have managed to establish educational institutes focusing on academic success and universal ethical values, humanitarian aid organizations that function wherever there is a disaster without distinguishing between races, and interfaith-intercultural dialogue institutes that establish bridges between diverse communities.”

According to the documentary, the first Gulen-inspired educational institute opened in 1980. As of 2009, it was estimated that 2 million students attend the 1,300 Gulen-inspired schools worldwide.

Hizmet’s humanitarian organization, “Kimse Yokm Mu?” which translates to “Is anybody out there?” carries out service projects across the world, bringing relief to the most impoverished places.

According to the documentary, the Gulen movement is often viewed negatively in Turkey, and as a result, a warrant was out for Gulen’s arrest, forcing him into self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania. When the Turkish government was reorganized, the warrant was suspended and Gulen was invited back, but he regretfully declined.

Prior to viewing the documentary, Coserok spoke to the audience about his personal feelings on the Gulen movement.

He expressed the fear and questioning he felt toward the Muslim faith after 9/11. Eventually, he came to the conclusion that he was going to approach this faith as he would want someone to approach his.

“Islam, as it is practiced today, is a beautiful rainbow of faith built on many of the same principles of my own (Christian) faith,” Coserok said. “Muslims love their children and want to do good in the world. In the Quran it says, ‘And if anyone save one life, it would be as if you saved the life of the whole world.’ ”

Wanting to learn all he could about Islam, he read the Quran, talked to his neighbors, emailed scholars about the faith and eventually met members of Pacifica Institute Utah and learned of the Gulen movement.

“Fethullah Gulen does not govern anyone or direct any efforts. He simply continues to show the truth of what he knows,” Coserok said. “And those who are able do good wherever they are. There is a beautiful truth in this, common to every faith but often lost to our jaded sight. When God answers prayers, many times it is by the hands of the good-hearted and the faithful.”

Source: Desert News , February 28, 2015


Related News

A Trip to Turkey: Religious Practice and the Secular State

Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli Beyond the borders of Turkey, the city of Konya is well-known. Located just south of Ankara, it is Turkey’s most religiously conservative city. On the trip I made this summer with the Interfaith Dialog Center, all of us, Catholics, Protestants and Muslims, were excited to visit this center of Sufi mysticism. […]

Explained the secret: Gulen gave it as a gift

“I always wear two watches on my both wrists. One of them is my watch and the other one is Gulen’s gift. When someone asks me about these watches I tell them that my watch shows Turkey’s time.”

Turkish Cultural Center Vermont gives awards at Friendship Dinner

The Turkish Cultural Center is the Vermont’s premier source of information on Turkey, its history, culture and heritage. TCC awards paid tribute to outstanding individuals and organizations whose contributions markedly strengthen peace, harmony and diversity. TCC recognizes and celebrate the altruism, philanthropy and selfless commitment of distinguished individuals or organizations working toward a better peaceful world.

Reflections on Hizmet Movement at conference in Taiwan

The Formosa Institute held an international conference on “The Hizmet Movement and the thought and teachings of Fethullah Gulen: contributions to multiculturalism and global peace” at National Taiwan University (NTU) this weekend. The conference aimed to explore the impact of the Hizmet movement on education, dialogue and peace, with a focus on transcending traditional boundaries […]

Finance Minister is the 1001st volunteer at meat distribution campaign

Mehmet Simsek, the Minister of Finance, spent the first day of Eid-Al-Adha at his hometown, Batman, an ethnically diverse city in the Southeastern Turkey. There he attended Kimse Yok Mu Association’s brotherhood event. When Simsek was told that a thousand volunteers from outside the city were gathered in Batman for the Eid-Al-Adha, he replied “Then, I’d be the thousand and first one!”

PBS airs story on Gülen movement

Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) program Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly featured a story on the Gülen movement on Friday, quoting well-respected American observers, as well as the movement’s members and admirers. The 10-minute-long story by PBS correspondent Luck Severson gave information on the movement, which is a group of volunteers engaged in interfaith and intercultural dialogue […]

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

A Comparative Approach to Islam and Democracy

Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) bridging Eastern, Western worlds

IFLC: Promoting Intercultural Dialogue

Twitter shouldn’t let itself become a tool for tyrants

Turkey targets the Gulen family

Turkish school leaves tight quarters for spacious former Wayne corporate building

Sareshwala: Agitation and confrontation doesn’t get Muslims anywhere

Copyright 2023 Hizmet News