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

Fethullah Gulen on individual society sanctity of state

Feb 12 ’16

Fethullah Gulen on individual, society and [sanctity of] state

Fethullah Gulen: There is no such thing as clergy in Islam; the words of religious scholars cannot be Divine decrees and the laws they produce of their own will cannot have any validity. Islam has no place for a clerical elite or a “holy state” that is sanctified by the clergy.

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religion and politics

Oct 30 ’15

Can religion and politics have common goals, work together and overlap in Gulen’s opinion?

In Gulen’s approach to Islam, there is no place for a political orga­nization. He is strongly against using services (Hizmet) as a means to gain worldly or political benefits. Gulen advocates understand­ing Islam as a religion with its basic precepts within the immutable framework.

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is hizmet liberal

Sep 30 ’15

Is Hizmet-Gulen Movement Liberal?

institutions and actors continue to initiate new mediations of liberalism and Islam, even as they simultaneously remain subject to the powers of doubt and suspicion that liberalism engenders.

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Political Implications of the Hizmet-Gülen Movement

Jun 26 ’15

Political Implications of the Hizmet-Gülen Movement

Even though Hizmet views itself as a proponent of civil society, its work certainly has political ramifications. It is a faith-based movement, although scrupulous in presenting itself as having no religious agenda at all; it is strictly a civil society initiative.

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What does Fethullah Gülen say about Islamists Islamism

Jan 30 ’15

What does Fethullah Gülen say about Islamists/Islamism?

In addition, Fethullah Gülen is critical of the instrumentalization of religion in politics, and has no direct participation in party politics because the modern world exists in a pluralistic experience rather than within an assumed homogeneity of truth. He is against those who have created a negative image of Islam by reducing Islam to an ideology. Through words and deeds he underlines the distinction between Islam, a religion, and Islamism, a profoundly radical political ideology that seeks to replace existing states and political structures, either through revolutionary or evolutionary means.

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Gulen Movement Civil Islam and Turkey’s Future

Jan 26 ’15

Gulen Movement, Civil Islam and Turkey’s Future

The Civil Islam of Hizmet once more verifies the movement’s anti-Islamist stance. The politicization of Islam is a dangerous path, one that could lead to totalitarian control of the state by giving ambitious men the religious license they seek to undermine the civil society and the separation of government powers that constrains them. If Turkey is to pull back from its current drift toward Islamist autocracy, then its citizens will need to resist the instrumentalization of religion for worldly power and demonstrate the compatibility of Islam with civil democratic modernity.

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Civil Islam and Democratic Modernity in Gulens thought

Jan 16 ’15

Civil Islam and Democratic Modernity in Gülen’s thought

Throughout Gülen’s teaching, one can see an abiding concern with fostering a communitarian ethos that aims to improve modern society through the revitalization of Islamic spiritualism, individual religious piety and service to others. Gülen’s ideas are effective in practice because they have rationalized religious ideals and shown their core compatibility with secular interests. This is a projection of worldly mysticism onto his understanding of secularism.

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Jan 2 ’15

Understanding the Hizmet Movement – Is Hizmet Islamist?

It is on this basis that the Hizmet movement has competed directly with the revolutionary and authoritarian ideas of Islamists. The religious attitude of Civil Islam rejects the politicized doctrine and the “us vs. them” approach of Islamists, and instead stresses the importance of living Islam through sincerity, honesty, personal piety, and through selfless service to others through modern civil society.

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gulen and state

Feb 28 ’14

Is the Gulen Movement an alternative to the state?

Dogu Ergil  There are some who would like to see the Gulen Movement as an alternative organization to the “state.” Is this realistic? When Gulen hears this skeptical assessment, he is dismayed, on behalf of the volunteers in this movement who work hard in four corners of the world as representatives of tolerance, that such […]

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balanced muslim

Feb 21 ’14

Solving the Paradox: How to be a Balanced Muslim

Maimul Ahsan Khan This is Gulen’s most unique achievement. He did not give up his own religious practice in any areas of his activities and also extended his cooperation and collaboration with many other peaceful groups of activists dedicated to good works of social progress and cultural enlightenment. A major problem with the orthodox Islamic […]

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