Date posted: October 27, 2007
As humanity is suffering from a lack of understanding among cultures and widespread hatred and enmity, it is looking for a solution at the same time that will change the course into the opposite direction.
The scarcity of ideas and groups that will respond to such a search render those that are available more valuable. The movement of volunteers inspired by the thoughts of Fethullah Gülen that have flourished in the Turkish-Muslim geography is seen as just such a “solution,” gaining a more global dimension with every passing day. As a result, it has inevitably become a phenomenon that is closely monitored, examined and discussed by even the most successful circles in the world.
The Gülen movement, which has influenced a whole generation of Muslims worldwide and inspired them to play an important role in charitable and educational projects, succeeded in affecting the House of Lords as well. A conference titled “Muslim World in Transition: Contributions of the Gülen Movement,” which is being held in London on Oct. 25-27, kicked off on Thursday at the House of Lords. Many scholars, ministers and journalists flocked to the inaugural session of the conference.
Those participating in similar conferences organized in previous years were all of the same opinion that the inaugural session of the conference attracted more attendees than expected. A Turkish academic said he appreciated the importance attached by the international community to the conference, saying: “Fethullah Gülen seems to be gradually addressing a greater group as he aims at serving people worldwide, regardless of faith, color or national origin. Such conferences and organizations offer a good opportunity to serve to this end. We should all know that the presentation of a conference is not sufficient on its own unless its content satisfies the participants. We are pleased that the Gülen Movement is worthy of an excellent presentation. In our day, the philosophy of the Gülen Movement and its influence on the Muslim world is worth being explored in international conferences.”
A striking aspect of the movement, which will also be explored throughout the conference, is that almost every segment finds something within the movement to deem worthy of respect and appreciation. The English community, like several other Western communities, evaluates the Gülen movement on the basis of its influence on the Muslim world.
Lord Ahmed, in his inauguration speech, described Gülen as “an Islamic scholar with a new and modern vision” and stressed that the movement inspired by Gülen’s thoughts has enabled Muslim Turks to internalize values such as democracy, human rights, pluralism and mutual respect. He also noted that the Gülen movement had a positive influence on British Muslim youth by preventing them from engaging in any radical groups.
Professor Paul Weller, who was among the speakers, said the most significant act of Gülen was his development of a universal discourse that has remained through time which has its essence in the religion, rather than developing a discourse on a short-term basis according to conjecture, which was the most striking analysis of the day in my own view.
Source: Today's Zaman , October 26, 2007