What explains Gulen’s deep faith in peace, nonviolence, human dignity and inter-faith tolerance and dialogue as the cornerstones of Islam? For answer, we have to know something about the ‘Guru’ who influenced him – Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (1878-1960), one of the greatest Islamic theologians of the last century.
M Behzad Fatmi, a Turkish political expert and commentator, has said that Ankara’s crackdown on Gullen followers amounts to “social and economic genocide” and asserted that the self-exiled scholar had no connection in the coup d’etat aimed at overthrowing the Erdogan regime.
On the 150th birth anniversary of one of world’s greatest leaders and peace advocates, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, I am delighted to join the peace-loving people of India and the world in commemorating the exemplary legacy of Mahatma.
The Indialogue Internship Program which has been conceived to engage with young minds and inculcate the understanding of interfaith and intercultural dialogue in them has been completed successfully. The four months long internship started on February 01, 2017 with four PhD and Mphil scholars .
In collaboration with Sarva Dharma Samvaad (SDS) and Interfaith Foundation, Indialogue Foundation organised the Annual Interfaith Iftar Dinner. The success of this event left us with enormous motivation to continue this tradition of bringing people together.
“I have no family to look after me here, and an arrest warrant has been issued for me in Turkey. All three of my business partners and the CEO of my company have been jailed in Turkey. I lead the life of a fugitive,” he says. Salman is wary of providing details about himself or his family, and refuses to be photographed. “My wife and daughter are still there, I don’t want to put them in trouble,” he says.
There has been no evidence of any terrorist activity by the followers of Gulen in any part of the world including Turkey. In India, they have been running their institutions: schools, coaching Institutes, and dormitories for more than 15 years, but none has been accused of any kind of terrorism and crime.
Since its inception in India, Hizmet is known for its peace activism, interfaith dialogue and counter-extremism. Operating in the country through interfaith dialogue centres, educational institutions and cultural associations, it is articulating an evolving narrative of peace, pluralism and non-violence based on the spiritual ideas and principles of Gülen’s progressive and dialogic narrative of Sufism, as this research paper also elaborates.
Interestingly, Gulen was once an important ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and going by his ideology, comes across as a more moderate figure than Erdogan, who has been pushing an Islamic ideology which has little space for secularism. Till very recently, Erdogan’s policy being criticised for allegedly allowing Turkish territory to be used by terrorists.
It is ironic and tragic that at a time when the world is in dire need of a liberal-moderate Islamic movement in its fight against Wahhabi-Salafi inspired global Islamic terrorism, the Erdogan regime is bent upon destroying the Gulen movement by labelling it as “terrorist”.
More than 400 students from 17 nations assembled here on Saturday for the 14th International Festival of Language & Culture (IFLC 2016) which had the premise ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (The world is one family)’ to spread the message of global peace and cultural harmony.