A Rare Interview: Jamie Tarabay Meets Turkish Scholar Fethullah Gulen


Date posted: January 8, 2014

Fethullah Gulen is one of the most important Muslim clerics alive today. Throughout his life, Gulen served as a model for interfaith dialogue and encouraged ideas to overcome ignorance, prejudice and misunderstanding.

But, one hardly ever sees the world renown scholar in public. Since 1999, he has been in a self-imposed exile in the Poconos. Major media networks and journalists have tried to interview him but were denied.

It’s a rare opportunity that Australian-born journalist Jamie Tarabay managed to secure. Five years ago, Jamie embarked on a project on ‘Muslims in America’ and heard about Gulen’s international movement.

“The idea that he’s been living here and never really introduced himself to Americans I thought was so strange. But I’m glad to have the opportunity to do it,” she said. Her persistence paid off. She is one of the first to have a face-to-face interview with the activist.

“I was extremely happy to have finally gotten the interview. He was very generous. Very welcoming. I was served tea and he was telling me to drink it. I never for a second felt unwelcome there,” she said.

In response to a question about the role of women in Islam, Gulen told Jamie that Muslim women contributed to society. The wives of the Prophet Muhammad even taught men.

“It’s always very encouraging when you hear a leader who is so influential say things that are extremely moderate and encouraging of women. You don’t hear spiritual leaders of movements say those sort of things,” she said.

Jamie discussed Turkey’s political situation with Gulen. “Turkey needs to make use of certain dynamics to take on a more active role in the region. Good relationships and influence depend on love, respect and good will and collaborating around mutually agreeable goals,” Gulen said.

She even had an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Gulen’s simple lifestyle. “His living quarters are extremely modest. It’s a little bed – not even a double bed. He’s not married, he doesn’t have a family but he has a lot of people around him because they love him.”

Gulen’s lectures have inspired business and community leaders to open 135 schools in 26 states. “They’re academically focused. They’re not religious schools. It’s really about building intellectuals, intelligent and business leaders for the future,” Jamie said.

Up until now, Gulen remained a mystery to the public and only appeared on video webcasts. Jamie’s interview has served as a bridge for Americans to become acquainted with the reclusive scholar.

Source: Ebru News , August 20, 2013


Related News

Mr. Fethullah Gülen’s interview for Moskovskiy Komsomolets newspaper

In the interview that was published at one of Russia’s most popular newspapers, Moskovskiy Komsomolets, Mr. Gülen talked about the aircraft crisis between Russia and Turkey, the divided state of the Muslim world, secularism, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and terrorism. “Certain things done [the Turkish government] in recent years were wrong. The downing of that warplane was wrong,” he said.

‘Mr. Gülen is to me simultaneously both incredibly modest and a visionary’

I’m inspired by the Hizmet Movement. I didn’t realize that until I came in contact with the Movement, but all of my life, education and service and dialog have been transformative to me. … This is the work that all of our hearts should be doing. So it remains a source of inspiration for me in my work.

Kofi Annan’s remarks about Gulen Movement

Hon. Kofi Annan said: I think it is extremely important to have institutions like the Gulen Institute (Gulen Movement) bringing people together, getting them to understand that we all are in the same boat and in today’s world you cannot be secure at the expense of the other, you cannot be safe and prosperous at the expense of other.

One blow after another at anti-Hizmet docu’s premier

The Pennsylvania screening of the documentary “The Gulen,” targeting the Hizmet Movement and the Honorable Fethullah Gulen, was met with failure.

Irvine’s new arrivals — Turkish asylum seekers, after a failed coup and a sadly successful purge

The man, who ran a nonprofit that provided humanitarian aid, doesn’t want to be identified because he fears for the safety of the wife and two children he was forced to leave in Turkey. They are hidden in a different city, he said, not far from his hometown. They’ve thrown away their cellphones and erased their social media accounts for fear of being tracked down by a government that no longer welcomes them.

By Extraditing Anti-Erdogan Leader, Trump Would Betray American Values

Extraditing dissident Islamist cleric Fethullah Gulen to Turkey would be a betrayal of American values and should be permanently off the table. President Trump says that handing over Gulen to Turkey is not under consideration “at this point.” But that’s not good enough.

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

Can the West believe in Islamic progress?

Izetbegovic praises Turkish schools and universities abroad

PM Erdoğan also slammed me for my questions on Uludere, says journalist

Proof of the ‘parallel state’

Turkish Language Olympics – Iraq Qualifications

Pak-Turk schools’ 17th anniversary

Oil-rich Nigeria seeks Turkish energy, construction partnerships

Copyright 2023 Hizmet News