(Video Duration: 24 mins. 6 secs.)
Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish scholar and preacher, and the civic movement he inspired in Turkey and ultimately throughout the world. The movement is rooted in moderate Islam and is committed to educating youth, fostering interfaith and intercultural dialog, assisting the needy in society and contributing to global peace. Based on interview data and visits to Gülen-inspired institutions, the book describes the movement from a sociological perspective, especially through the lens of social movement theory. It is the first book, grounded in empirical methodology, to describe the movement to a Western audience. It will be of special interest to social scientists interested in religious movements, religious scholars seeking information on Islamic movements and the general public eager to discover a moderate Islam that promotes humanitarian projects.
"I teach the Sociology of World Religions at the University of Houston, Houston, Texas, and after the events of 9/11 (bombing of the World Trade Center and Pentagon) and the negative stereotypes that many Americans had of Islam and Muslims after that event, I began to look for the moderate voice of Islam and Muslims who would come forward to challenge the so-called terrorists. I saw Mr. Fethullah Gulen's full page ad in the New York Times condemning the bombings and wondered who he was. Then, several years later, two Turkish-Muslim graduate students entered our Sociology Dept and sought me out to take my course and work with me on theses related to the Gulen movement. As a result of my academic work in the area of interfaith dialog, I was also invited to be a keynote speaker at the 3rd. Harran conference in Gothenburg, Sweden, co-sponsored by the Journalists and Writers Foundation. So gradually I began to learn more about the Gulen movement and realized that it promoted interfaith dialogue, education, modernization and peaceful co-existence."
Full version of this TV program [76 mins] is available at: http://vimeo.com/22754924