Civil Rights, the Hizmet Movement, and the Liberative Power of Education


Date posted: September 4, 2015

Scott C. Alexander

One of the foundational principles of the teachings of M. Fethullah Gulen, and thus one of the animating principles of the Hizmet movement, is the notion that education is one of the primary means by which the human person becomes most authentically human and thus reaches her or his full potential.

This brief essay has three basic aims. The first is to offer a general definition of the Hizmet movement. The second is to highlight some of the major characteristics of the movement that relate to its emphasis on education. The third is to convey the extent to which the teachings of Fethullah Gulen embody an understanding of, and commitment to, education as a liberative force, a commitment which resonates deeply with the role of education in the ongoing struggle for civil rights in the United States.

1. Definition

I define Hizmet (Turkish for “service”) as a global spiritual renewal and social reform movement, rooted in traditional Islamic spirituality, observance, and teachings, but appealing to people of diverse faiths and backgrounds who share its universal values. These values center around the importance of family, education, and personal responsibility for the welfare of others–all within a context of a life lived in loving submission (islam) to God. Such values are oriented towards dialogue and cooperation–both within and across societies and cultures–for the purpose of pursuing greater justice and thus greater peace and solidarity in the human family.

In this respect, Hizmet stands in contrast to other contemporary so-called “Islamist” movements which are primarily political in nature, seeking to pursue a reformist agenda by overtly “Islamizing” the governmental and legal structures of existing Muslim majority nation-states.

2. M. Fethullah Gulen’s teaching of Hosgoru as the dominant ethos of Hizmet

As many of the readers of this publication are well aware, the human spiritual inspiration behind the Hizmet movement is an elderly Turkish gentleman, who mows the lawn and washes the dishes, by the name of M. Fethullah Gulen. He is also known respectfully and affectionately to the millions who deeply admire and love him as a true man of God and eminently wise teacher, myself included, as “Hocaefendi” or “beloved teacher.”

There are many things one could say about this extraordinary man. Indeed multiple volumes could be written about his incredible life story of selfless service to God in the humble service he has always striven to render to others. Countless pages could be written exploring the insightful and profound ideas he shares in his scores of books translated into scores of languages.

To continue reading please click…

Source: The Fountain Magazine , October 2015


Related News

To embrace the spirit of acceptance and tolerance

The world has judged the two attacks in Paris and Brussels, which claimed a number of lives and damaged property, as associated with Islamic-inspired terrorism. The attacks also delivered the psychological message that acts of terror and hatred can occur even in the most prosperous and highly secured countries that respect diversity and human rights. […]

Turkey’s anti-Gulen campaign: Strengthening militants and jihadists

The dilemma for the Pakistani government is stark. Turkish prime minister Binali Yildirim has warned that Turkey would be at war with any country that cooperates or aids the Gulen movement. Yet closing down schools that prepare their students for a modern society and economy is something Pakistan’s deeply troubled education sector can ill afford.

Gülen-linked teachers, businessman detained in Afghanistan

Afghan security officials detained at least four people affiliated with the Gulen movement on Tuesday, according to several media outlets. The incident came hours after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani left the country to attend an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Istanbul, Reuters said.

Gülen’s Statement of Condemnation for Terrorist Attack Against the Coptic Christian Community in Egypt

I have learned with grief about the horrific terrorist attack against two Coptic churches in Egypt during a Palm Sunday mass, killing at least 43 worshipers and police officers. I vehemently condemn this atrocity against the Coptic Christian community.

Incredible achievement by Turkish school in Papua New Guinea

Having won Papua New Guinea its first international medal in its history, the Turkish school in the country achieved yet another success by ranking number one in the national university entrance exams.

Fethullah Gulen’s Statement on Mass Shooting at Pittsburgh Synagogue

I am shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific attack against the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. It is heartbreaking to see such a tragedy happen at a place of worship. I strongly condemn this hate-driven attack on the worshippers.

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

Are Turkey’s torture chambers back?

“A Model for Peacemaking: In the Footprints of Francis & the Sultan”

27th Abant Final Declaration on Democratization of Turkey

Turkey’s Maarif Foundation illegally seized German-run school in Ethiopia, says manager

The Abant Platform: the Arab Spring and Turkey’s role

Ministry dismisses honorary consuls, allegedly for ‘Hizmet’ affiliation

Ankara-supplied clerics spy on Turkish-Australian communities

Copyright 2023 Hizmet News