It is well known that the institute is inspired by the peaceful teachings of Fethullah Gülen, whose decades-long commitment to education, altruistic community service, and interfaith harmony has inspired millions around the world. Gülen has reinterpreted aspects of Islamic tradition to meet the needs of contemporary Muslims.
We also noted the Turkish people’s respect for each other. Girls in miniskirts mingled easily with those in hijab, and so did people of various faiths. We met priests who appreciated the rights they enjoyed and saw synagogues that were well preserved and attended.
Last week I had the pleasure of accompanying a group of Jewish community leaders on a Niagara Foundation sponsored trip to Türkiye (Turkey). Our mission: to provide the group with windows into the Jewish experience in Turkey. One of the trip participants would describe this as, “not a Jewish trip to Turkey but a group of Jewish people traveling to Turkey.”
MYRA BLACKMON By the time you read this, I will be in Istanbul, as part of a group beginning a week-long tour as a guest of the Gulen Movement. We will visit tourist sites, but also meet with media folks, spend time in schools and universities and enjoy several dinners in private homes. We will […]
Imagine … “a world where people are deeply grounded in a moral and ethical tradition, where humility and service are highly valued and where reason, science and technology are fully utilized for the benefit of all.” Does this sound like some sort of utopia that we would like to choose for the human race? A […]
In Niğde, we visited the schools of the Sungurbey Education Foundation, established by a private businessman-donor, Celal Afşar, whom we were privileged to have as our host. He is also a close colleague of Fethullah Gülen and good friend of Fr. Alexei Smith. Mr. Afşar asked Fr. Alexei to write a letter to Mr. Gülen, […]
Paula Doyle Twelve archdiocesan priests are exploring ancient Christian sites and visiting Catholic faith communities in Turkey this week, as part of a trip organized exclusively for Catholic clergy by an organization of Turkish-American Muslims that promotes intercultural and interreligious awareness. Father Alexei Smith, archdiocesan director of ecumenical/interreligious affairs, and Msgr. Thomas Welbers, pastor of […]
Jennifer Mercado, August 2012 A small group of University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) faculty opened a line of dialogue with educators and professionals during a trip to Turkey last month. Hosted by the Niagara Foundation, a handful of SJMC faculty and eastern Iowa-area professionals travelled to Turkey June 15-24 to […]
Fr. Leo D. Lefebure* 03 July 2012, Tuesday The members of Hizmet have been unfailingly gracious and cordial, respectful of Christianity and mindful of the many values shared by Muslims and Christians. Their concern to build constructive relationships and to collaborate in building interreligious understanding is inspiring. Since the 1990s, I have been involved in […]
Swami Agnivesh, 72, a Hindu social activist best known for his work against bonded labor said on a recent visit to Istanbul that he believed in intercultural dialog and Fethullah Gulen’s liberal ideas. Agnives said he was impressed with the Fethullah Gulen Movement’s work to find fellowship between cultures. Agnives came to know Fethullah Gulen through the […]
Dr. Tariq Rahman May 24, 2012 The hospitality of Turkey, more precisely the Gulen Movement (aka Hizmet movement), started in Pakistan in the form of a call by Harun Koken who looks after the Turkish schools in Pakistan, the Rumi circle and a number of other educational activities in Pakistan. He gave me a book entitled The […]