Gülen movement

Is the Gülen Movement a Cult?

Is the Gülen Movement a Cult?

When looking at the evidence, it’s clear the Gülen movement is the furthest thing from a cult. It is a mainstream Islamic movement, its practices rooted deeply in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, but also confident to engage with members of other rich religious and intellectual traditions of many other cultures. Whereas cults generally disengage from wider society, the Gülen movement has gone out of its way to engage with the world through its schools, dialogue efforts, and businesses.…

Structural and operational concepts of Hizmet

Structural and operational concepts of Hizmet

In the Hizmet Movement collective decision making (istişare) is performed on a consensual basis by participants in a network, activity or project. Gülen is known to apply this norm to his own activities and to encourage his students and friends to follow this practice. In addition, every project, business or activity has a mütevelli heyeti—essentially a board of trustees that comprises managers and financiers who “consistently carry out the responsibilities that fall on (their) shoulders.”…

The Gülen Community – Who to Believe, Politicians or Actions?

The Gülen Community – Who to Believe, Politicians or Actions?

For those who know Mr. Gülen personally or have had contact with the open-hearted and idealistic members of the Hizmet movement, claims of subversive “terrorism,” (in Erdoğan’s words) seem incongruous. I have known Mr. Gülen for over 20 years and find the retired, soft-spoken Qur’an-teacher to be preaching and living a particularly attractive interpretation of Islamic faith.…

Hizmet Movement is not interested in attaining political power in Turkey or elsewhere in the world

Hizmet Movement is not interested in attaining political power in Turkey or elsewhere in the world

[Erdogan] has called Hizmet a state within a state, which to me is a strange characterization. To me, that’s like saying that the Catholics are a state within a state in America, or the Jews, a state within a state in America. Those kinds of statements are derogatory, they’re pejoratives. Catholics have a right to seek influence in America; Jews have a right to seek influence in America, that’s how we operate here.…

Gulen Movement And Transparency

Gulen Movement And Transparency

The transparency of the Hizmet or Gülen Movement has long been a theme of various critics – writers, intellectuals and politicians. In the context of Turkey where secularism is deployed as a means to control religion rather than to separate it from politics, it is not hard to understand why this theme has been so popular.…

Why Is Turkey Targeting Hizmet? Questions about Erdoğan’s Post-Coup Crackdown

Why Is Turkey Targeting Hizmet? Questions about Erdoğan’s Post-Coup Crackdown

But if Hizmet was not involved, then who? The Turkish press has called out all the usual suspects: the United States, Israel, the Vatican, Kurdish nationalists, ISIS. Some have argued, as was noted in articles in Politico and Independent (“in the same way Hitler used the Reichstag Fire to suppress all opposition”), that the coup was stage-managed by Erdoğan himself to create a pretext for destroying Hizmet and suppressing his secular and leftist critics. Certainly, he had the most to gain and has, in fact, gained the most.…

Is the Gulen Movement a Moderate Group or a Cult?

Is the Gulen Movement a Moderate Group or a Cult?

But in the end, this is not just politics. We are talking about a critical issue: what kind of movements will represent Islam’s future? ISIS? Al Qaeda? The Muslim Brotherhood? As Islamic movements go, I would rank Hizmet high on the list of rational, moderate, socially constructive and open-minded organizations. It is not a cult; it sits squarely in mainstream modernizing Islam.…

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