Date posted: January 24, 2016
Prof. Mark Wallace, Swathmore College, PA, USA:
Mr. Gulen reminds me of other important figures in the 20th and now early 21st century thinkers like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. who also translate their religious traditions into an idiom that made sense to people who wanted to live peacefully and in harmony with their neighbors and their wider community.
I don’t see Gulen as a narrow scholastic interpreter of the Qur’an or Islamic tradition who is trying to repristinate Islam for the modern world. I see him as somebody who is interested in understanding the broad principles of Islam, principles of inner struggle with the self, of peace and harmony with neighbors, of being fair and compassionate to the less fortunate, promoting democracy and justice at home and abroad. The Qur’an is a complicated text much like the Bible and other holy books that needs to be interpreted in ways that are productive and healthy not in ways that are destructive and sectarian. So I see Gulen is trying to understand the broad humanistic principles of the Qur’an and interpret those principles for the modern world.
I think, Gulen understands Islam not as a global power at war with the so-called West but he understand Islam as a cultural and religious heritage that can help people live in harmony and peace with themselves and with their neighbors. So this to me is really important and it moves us away from the so called clash of civilizations and it moves us toward a more harmonious understanding of the great global tradition of Islam for the modern world.
Source: Spectra Media Youtube Channel , Jan 23, 2016