Former US Ambassador David Newton praises Gülen

Ambassador David Newton
Ambassador David Newton


Date posted: November 21, 2010

A former US ambassador has said he wishes Turkish intellectual Fethullah Gülen’s ideas will spread to the Arab world. David Newton, former US ambassador to Iraq and Yemen, said last week at an iftar (fast-breaking dinner) hosted by Maryland Turkish-American Inhabitants (MARTI), a non-profit organization established in December 2003, that “the mother of all values is tolerance.”

“Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi is a great example of this [promoting tolerance], and he lived at a time when the world was not known for tolerance. Today, we need Fethullah Gülen’s ideas of tolerance, and I hope his ideas will spread to the Arab world,” he said about Gülen, one of the world’s most influential Islamic scholars. At the same dinner, County Executive Isiah Leggett noted that Maryland’s Montgomery county is unique in its great diversity, with students in their school district speaking 150 languages and coming from “literally all over the world.”

He spoke about the country’s New Hampshire Avenue as being “the houses of worship row” and stated that “diversity is strength for us, but also a challenge.” John Patrick McDonough, Maryland’s secretary of state, conveyed the greetings of Governor Martin O’Malley. “The legislative reception in Annapolis was a tremendous introduction to the Turkish community in the State of Maryland. We look forward to a long and cooperative relationship.”

Peter Kovach from the US State Department encouraged Muslims living in the United States to engage and continue dialogue with all Americans, including those who might not necessarily be friendly towards Muslims. “I’m talking about those who are beating up on Islam; we need to engage in dialogue with those that are not necessarily friends. With the wisdom of the Gülen movement, you have every tool in the arsenal for successful dialogue.”

In 2008 Washington, D.C.-based Foreign Policy magazine ranked Gülen number one in its “The World’s Top 20 Public Intellectuals” list. The survey is closely watched by millions all over the world and was dominated by Muslim intellectuals. The top 10 were all Muslim, among them two Nobel laureates: Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk in No. 4 and Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi in 10th place.

The evening of friendship and good food was capped off with a paper marbling demonstration, a traditional Turkish art form known as ebru. Guests included Montgomery county residents Laura Berthiaume from the Montgomery County Board of Education and Rumi Forum President Emre Çelik.

An iftar marks the end of the fasting day. During the lunar month of Ramadan, Muslims all over the world fast from dawn until sunset. MARTI-Rockville hosts iftars to promote dialogue and friendship in the community. MARTI-Rockville held a similar event on Aug. 12 with several distinguished guests, including Jane Gaffney, retired from the US State Department; Indrani Mitra, a professor at Mount St. Mary University; Jean Pierre LeBouder, a former prime minister of the Central Republic of Africa; Judy Docca and Shirley Brandman, both from the Montgomery county Board of Education; Tom Manger, Montgomery county chief of police; and Montgomery county councilmember George Leventhal.

MARTI has been serving the local community by organizing a variety of activities, including field trips, picnics, banquets, social gatherings, art and crafts exhibitions, and language and tutoring classes. It also conducts trips to Turkey to not only visit historical and touristic places but also to provide a real-life experience and understanding of the Turkish people and culture.

 

Source: Today's Zaman , 31 August 2010


Related News

Former US envoys to Ankara say Erdoğan doing great harm to democracy

“Whatever his achievements over the past decade, Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is destroying his country’s parlous democracy. That is a profound problem for Turks and Turkey’s Western allies. Staying silent, out of fear that speaking out would harm some short-term interests, risks Turkey’s longer-term stability.”

Fethullah Gulen awarded in the Philippines for contribution to peace

The Philippine army chief has honored Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen with a special award for the charity activities and contributions to peace of the faith-based Hizmet movement. Philippine Chief of General Staff Gen. Leonardo B. Guerrero said during a beef-sharing ceremony that the army is grateful for the important activities of the Hizmet movement […]

Kurdish singer Perwer says freedoms should be gained via peaceful means

HAŞİM SÖYLEMEZ, ARBIL Renowned Kurdish singer Şivan Perwer has voiced his support to the ongoing peace talks between the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government and the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to resolve Turkey’s long-standing Kurdish problem and urged that freedom should be taken through peaceful means. In an exclusive with Sunday’s Zaman […]

Peace Islands Institute Honors Remarkable Individuals

Peace Islands Institute’s 5th Annual Award Ceremony was held on June 3rd, 2012. Over 200 guests and many dignitaries joined PII to applaud accomplishments of the honorees. NJ Assembly Speaker Hon. Sheila Oliver said, “It is phenomenal to see an organization (Peace Islands Institute) has so many leaders from the corporate sector, government, non profit sector, […]

Gulen suspect testifies before US Congress on recent coup attempt

An alleged member of the Fetullah Gulen organization was invited on Wednesday to speak to a congressional panel on Turkey, a stunning move that could exacerbate tensions between Ankara and Washington. Ahmet Sait Yayla was added to the original list of speakers to address the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats.

Turkey has not achieved enough democratization for Fethullah Gülen’s return

Kenan Taş Mustafa Yesil: “The possible tension between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Gülen movement is what the pro-guardianship figures desire most. Moreover, it should be recalled how satisfied they were during the constitutional and presidential election crises in 2007 and the AK Party closure case in 2008. Turkey is passing […]

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

EU lends support to mosque-cemevi project

Punjab government and Turk NGO Kimse Yok Mu sign protocol

Turkey harshly criticized by panel in US over press freedom

Enes Kanter Education Fund to award students with scholarship

Global event held to foster harmony

Fethullah Gulen will be awarded the prestigious Manhae Grand Prize

Lebanese-Swedish singer Zain says proud to sing Gülen’s poem

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News