A Universal Islamic Phenomenon in Turkish Religious Practice: the Fethullah Gulen Case

Jan 7 ’13

A Comparative Approach to Islam and Democracy

Fethullah Gülen Religion, particularly Islam, has become one of the most difficult subject areas to tackle in recent years. Contemporary culture, whether approached from the perspective of anthropology or theology, psychology or psychoanalysis, evaluates religion with empirical methods. On the one hand, religion is an inwardly experienced and felt phenomenon, one mostly related to life’s […]

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Nov 26 ’12

Diversity and Dialogue as Indispensable Prerequisites of Democracy in Gülen’s Thought

LEONID R. SYKIAINEN* Compatibility between Islamic and modern democratic liberal values is not more than theoretical ground to combine the both for success of political reforms in the Muslim world. It will be possible only through the dialogue of different cultures and civilizations. In this respect Fethullah Gülen underlines that for centuries the civilizations of […]

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Nov 20 ’12

Consultation and Human Rights as Key Directions of Political Reforms in Fethullah Gulen’s thought system

LEONID R. SYKIAINEN Explaining the meaning of this principle for the modern Muslim world, Fethullah Gülen states that for the Muslims of today, consultation (shura) is a vital attribute and an essential rule, just as it was for the first Islamic generations. According to the Qur’an, it is the clearest sign of a believing community. […]

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Nov 12 ’12

Democracy and Islam: Are They Opponents or Allies?

LEONID R. SYKIAINEN* Fethullah Gülen stressed that when comparing Islam with democracy, we must remember that democracy is a system that is being continually developed and revised, on the one hand. It also varies according to the places and circumstances where it is practiced. On the other hand, religion has established immutable principles related to […]

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Mar 10 ’12

Ijtihad – Independent Reasoning

Q: The subject of ijtihad (independent reasoning) has been debated in the Muslim world for a long time. Some thought that the door of ijtihad was closed, and of course this caused a stagnation of reasoning. What might be the criteria to use the methodology of ijtihad? Fethullah Gulen: The word Ijthad, independent reasoning, literally means […]

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Mar 9 ’12

Fethullah Gülen on Islam and State

Q: What is the Islamic understanding of “state”? What is the place of “state” in the Qur’an? Many contemporary Muslims have spoken out about the establishment of an Islamic state based on the principles of Shariah — could you kindly give me your thoughts on the subject. Fethullah Gulen: Those who study and put forward opinions […]

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Mar 9 ’12

Fethullah Gulen on Islam and Democracy

Q:Is it possible to reconcile Islam with democracy?  How do you see the lack of democracy in many Muslim countries; and do you see this lack of democracy as a deficit for Muslim nations? On the issue of Islam and democracy, one should remember that the former is a divine and heavenly religion, while the […]

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