German view of Hizmet Movement (2)


Date posted: December 18, 2013

İSMAİL KUL

Let us continue from where we left off on SWP’s Gunter Seufert’s report on Hizmet Movement. I tried to outline the report in the previous column. Let me today offer a general interpretation of Germany with reference to the issue.

Seufert writes the Hizmet movement has arrived in Germany 30 years late, homed in on schooling and education rather than mosques; and that, currently, the number of schools and education centers has reached 24 and 300 respectively.

Yet, despite all the educational and dialogue initiatives, the movement remains controversial in Europe too like in its native country, Turkey. Seufert offers three reasons behind:

1-Political atmosphere in Europe has changed. Immigrant-origin people have become to be perceived through a religious perspective. The argument is that the illiberal values of Muslim-origin immigrants disagree with the liberal principles of the host majority.

2- The disputes over the movement in Europe apparently mirror those in Turkey. The movement is politically regarded as one man in Turkey and held as an enemy by majority of ultra-secularists, ultra-leftists and Alevis.

3- The movement’s members are not comfortable with talking about the movement’s internal structure and Fethullah Gulen. They initially deny affiliation of any kind, but, admit it when insisted, which does not inspire confidence in return.

As far as how to handle the movement in Germany, Seufert suggests the attitudes of the German decision making authorities will play a decisive role in the course of the movement’s engagements. He goes on to advise to be at ease in this regard. Unlike in Turkey, the movement has no chances of constituting a politically critical factor in Germany. Therefore, there’s no need for hysterical claims such as “they’re seizing the country,” Seufert argues.

He continues: “Gulen Movement is not a threat in Europe. If it was to pose any form of threat, it would be to its members who submit to authoritarian bodies. Yet, there has been no example of anyone forced to stay within the body against his/her will.”

“The German decision making authorities and institutions should welcome cooperation with Gulen Movement’s initiatives. Yet, structural organization, financial transparency and democratic decisions should be emphasized in any such cooperation. Their positions regarding the content should be defined clearly. A principle-based respect as well should be displayed with regard to religious issues, profundity of which are not really welcome in our secular society.”

Let us conclude with a look into the future. Seufert is suggesting the concepts of secular education and progressing while reinforcing moral standards in society at the same time have adopted a new dimension in the diaspora. The national and religious identity brought along the immigration may hinder Turkish Muslims’ peaceful coexistence with the majority in Europe. Turks are therefore faced with the need to form a religious and national identity which is compatible with their host societies, Seufert concludes.

Finally, I find particularly the following statement interesting:

“Gulen’s proposal that serving society is too a religiously appreciated deed may offer a key to overcome the opposition between the West and Islam in Europe.”

Published [in Turkish] on Zaman Germany, 11 December 2013, Wednesday

Source: Hizmet Movement , December 18, 2013


Related News

Fethullah Gülen’s prospects for inter-religious dialogue

Fethullah Gülen has emerged as one of the most persuasive and influential voices in the Muslim community calling for dialogue as a step toward peace. Indeed, he offers “a way to live out Islamic values amidst the complex demands of modern societies and to engage in ongoing dialogue and cooperation with people of other religions.”

First-Ever Comprehensive Biography on Fethullah Gülen

In the first-ever comprehensive biography, Fethullah Gülen: A Life of Hizmet – Why A Muslim Scholar in Pennsylvania Matters to the World, author Jon Pahl gains unprecedented access to Fethullah Gulen’s inner circle as well as to Gülen himself.

Turkish Airlines discriminates against critical newspapers on planes

THY significantly slashed its number of subscriptions to the aforementioned newspapers following an open disagreement between the government — which had made a decision to shut down prep schools — and the dailies, which held a critical editorial stance against the move. The numbers of these newspapers were lowered in THY’s private “Commercially Important Persons” lounge.

National Development Requires Peaceful Co-existence

Organized by the Ghana-Turkey Co-operation and Development Association (TUDEC), the Great Volta Foundation Dialogue Centre and the Fountain Magazine, in collaboration with the National Peace Council. The conference stressed that peaceful co-existence is possible only when people learn to accept, embrace and respect one another in spite of their religious and racial differences.

Turkey, The great purge – Four lives upturned by Erdogan’s ‘cleansing.’ Episode 2 – Mehmet

Following the July 15, 2016, coup attempt, Erdogan promised to “cleanse” Turkey of a “virus” that has plagued its state institutions. That cleansing has been primarily directed at two organisations: the PKK and the Gulen movement. But the crackdown on both organisations began long before the July coup attempt.

NY Times Editorial Board: Mr. Erdogan’s Reckless Revenge

At such a time, one would hope for a leader willing and eager to unify his people under the rule of law, to reaffirm democratic values and to address the grievances that motivated the plotters in the first place. So far, Mr. Erdogan seems determined to fail this test of leadership.

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

The era of dialogue will never be over

Professor: Carrying out service, Hizmet seeks peaceful coexistence; accusations are manipulative and absurd

Gov’t pressure to shut down Turkish schools sparks outcry

Major Says No One In Erdoğan Assassination Attempt Trial Has Links To Gülen

Erdoğan officially declares his despotism

Kimse Yok Mu offers vocational training for Kyrgyz orphans

The turmoil in Turkey – The terror threat is real and is made worse by Erdogan’s paranoia

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News