Erdogan, Gulen Combat Islamophobia, Extremism


Date posted: October 8, 2013

Nagehan Alci

The main factor fueling Islamophobia in the West is extremist elements in the Muslim world. But non-extremist Muslims as well as religious leaders representing and interpreting Islam also have a share in the problem. Muslim religious leaders, for instance, fail to stand up against extremism as strongly as necessary.

A major exception in this regard is a person from Turkey: Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic leader who has stood up on those issues, sometimes at great risk. During the 2000 intifada, Gulen said he grieved also for the Israeli dead, drawing the ire of extremist groups in Turkey. We could well describe Gulen as the religious leader who has taken the most unequivocal stance in the Muslim world on any type of Islam-associated violence. He is also the religious leader who has worked the hardest for the healthy integration of the Western and Muslim words. Gulen has maintained that Muslims should not hate the West and that many Western values such as democracy and human rights and the principles of the market economy are compatible with Islam and that Muslims, too, should embrace these values and economic principles.

The significance of Gulen’s approach would be better understood if we recall one recent incident. Several months ago, a Kuwaiti parliament member wrote a letter to the Saudi mufti asking whether the construction of a new church in Kuwait would be compatible with Islam. The Saudi mufti replied that Islam required not only the banning of the construction of a new church, but also the closure of existing ones. Both Gulen and Mehmet Gormez, the head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate, openly criticized the Saudi mufti’s stance. And this is how religious leaders should be. This is a valuable attitude.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken an equally important stance, recommending secular and democratic systems to all Arab countries he has visited. That a political leader of Islamist roots maintains that secularism is the guarantee of social peace is significant. Erdogan has given a message to the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist movements in the Middle East and North Africa to abandon the idea of an Islamic state and grasp the importance of the secular state. Only such messages can stamp out Islamophobia.

Note: This is part of the article, click the link below to read the full article.

Source: Al-Monitor , October 7, 2013


Related News

Former Norwegian PM: Our center takes same approach as Gülen

KADİR UYSALOĞLU, OSLO Former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik has said the ideas of Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish-Muslim scholar, and the activities of his movement are in complete harmony with the approach of The Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights, which Bondevik currently heads. Bondevik yesterday paid a visit to the En Verden i […]

UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing on Gülen and the Hizmet Movement

The UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee is examining the bilateral relationship between the UK and Turkey, focusing on rights and freedoms as well as how Turkish foreign and security policies relate to those of the UK. The inquiry is ongoing.

Gülen calls for peaceful coexistence, warns about deceit and oppression

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has called for living together in peace, echoing similar remarks issued by President Abdullah Gül last week against the background of two-week-long anti-government protests in Turkey. “For the love of God, let’s live for a while in a [spirit] of brotherhood,” Gülen said, borrowing a theme from a popular song […]

Toward an Islamic enlightenment

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who has put forward an interpretation of Islam that advocates peace, democracy, secularism (in the sense of freedom of religion and conscience for all), science, education and a market economy, and who has supported interfaith dialogue and mutual understanding and respect for people of different ethnic and religious identities and lifestyles, has been the topic of much curiosity for native as well as foreign observers of Turkey.

Turkey Bars Entry Of Critics By Adding Their Names Next To ISIL Suspects

Turkey has been arbitrarily refusing the entry for foreign nationals of Turkish origin who are deemed critical of the country’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government, citing the national security risks.

PBS airs story on Gulen 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

This man stood up to Trump. In Turkey he was branded a terrorist

Government cuts off funds for disabled child over father’s Gülen links

Kemalo-Islamists versus civil society and Hizmet

Turkish charities dedicate well in Uganda to James Foley

Gülen ‘speechless’ on gov’t action plan against Hizmet movement

European court says Turkey’s Ergenekon arrests legal

African Union and Kimse Yok Mu sign landmark agreement to further aid efforts in Africa

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News