Gülen not only my hero, also a model for other religions


Date posted: November 23, 2010

Hatice Avcı, Brussels

A leading American minister has said all religions need an adherent like Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish-Islamic scholar whose teachings focusing on interfaith dialogue have been widely lauded around the world.

“He is not only my hero for what he has done for the Muslim societies but also [offers] a model for all other religions,” said Dirk Ficca, executive director of the Chicago-based Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, an international NGO aiming to cultivate better understanding between the world’s religious and spiritual communities by highlighting the similarities while also acknowledging the differences between them.

In an interview with Today’s Zaman in Brussels this past week, Ficca commended the activities of the faith-based movement named after Gülen, who has authored more than 50 books, most of which have been translated into English, French, Russian and Arabic. Gülen is also known for the hundreds of sermons he delivered so far in which he stresses the significance of strengthened communication between people of different religions and cultures. “I have a deep admiration for him. I have read a couple of his works and also have observed the movement he has inspired. This sociable and kind man has become an inspiration for Turkish Muslims and others around the world for shaping Islam’s highest values and blessings,” Ficca noted, adding that Gülen “encouraged Muslims to treat everyone as their Muslim neighbors or brothers,” something, Ficca also said, “all religions should do.”

Businessmen, schoolteachers and academics inspired by Gülen’s teachings — mostly known as Education Volunteers in Turkey — have opened hundreds of educational institutions of all sizes, from kindergartens to universities, in over 100 countries so far. Each year, select students from those institutions come together in Turkey for a traditional Turkish Olympics. Last year, participants from 120 countries around the world took part in the annual cultural and linguistic contest. “Wherever I go, I see a Gülen movement organization,” Ficca said, expressing his appreciation of the initiative’s coverage.

Also lauding the movement’s decentralized and completely non-hierarchic structure, which is completely based on volunteerism, Ficca said the Gülen movement is different in that it is a movement completely between people, whereas institutions serve functional and practical purposes rather than holding a managerial power and authority. “I think that the people should feel that they are in the service of a much bigger thing [than institutions],” the minister explained. For Ficca, the Gülen movement with its said traits is also a model for the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions.

During the interview, Ficca commented on how interfaith dialogue should be understood. He said their council promotes the individuality and uniqueness of all religions and their coming together around a table to communicate with each other under the council’s roof. He further explained that an agreement or consensus in approach to a certain matter is not a requirement to conclude a meeting. Stressing that they would like to receive all participants as they are, with all their differences, Ficca said sometimes the organization’s aim is presented as the uniting of all religions but that “nothing could be farther from reality.” “Dialogue is about mutual understanding whether we agree or disagree,” he added.

Every five years, the council organizes an international gathering of the “parliament” at a different city. Since the early ‘90s, the event has been held in Chicago, Cape Town, Barcelona and most recently in Melbourne last year with a wide participation of representatives from religious and spiritual traditions around the world. The next meeting will be held in 2014, and the candidate cities to host the gathering are Guadalajara and Dallas as well as Brussels.

 

Source: Today's Zaman , 22 November 2010


Related News

Mandela supported mosque construction in Johannesburg, says businessman

Turkish businessman Ali Katırcıoğlu, who sponsored the construction of an Ottoman-style mosque complex, called the Nizamiye Külliyesi, in the South African city of Johannesburg, has said legendary South African leader Nelson Mandela, who passed away earlier this month, extended great support to the construction of the mosque complex.

Turkey needs a new constitution to save its democracy

Until recently Turkey was seen as an example of a country that prospered while maintaining a democratic government run by observant Muslim leaders. No longer. A small group within the government’s executive branch is holding to ransom the entire country’s progress. The support of a broad segment of the Turkish public is now being squandered, along with the opportunity to join the EU.

Objectives of charter schools with Turkish ties questioned

Greg Toppo, USA Today USA Today made a story on some public schools, which are called as Gulen charter schools. Mr. Greg Toppo sent Gulen some questions, which Fethullah Gulen responded through an intermediary. Below are Gulen’s answers to questions. Q: Would he reflect on his connection to the U.S. public charter schools inspired by […]

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.

Erdoğan, Gülen among 10 Turkish figures in Foreign Policy 500 List

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and well-known Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen are among 10 Turkish public figures who made the 500 List of Foreign Policy magazine in its 200th issue, which it dubbed the “Power Issue.” Foreign Policy said it put together the so-called “Power Map” of the planet’s 500 most powerful people, […]

Lawrence Seidman on Fethullah Gulen and Hizmet Movement

Rabbi Lawrence Seidman earned a Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. After retiring from the Boeing Company, he dedicated himself to religious and spiritual studies. Lawrence Siedman was ordained as a rabbi in 2009 by the Academy for Jewish Religion.

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

Turkish President calls for calm as gov’t defuses tension with Gülen movement

Erdogan may keep winning, but it wont’ do Turkey any good

21 NGO’s Address President to Grant Refugee Status to Mustafa Emre Çabuk in Georgia

Why do they lie about Fethullah Gülen?

Pro-gov’t daily proudly announces Gulenists put in ‘concentration camp’

Turkish NGO sends aid to Syrians

Hizmet Relief ends Cataract Campaign, starts Water Well Campaign

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News