(Video Duration: 3 mins 5 secs.)
Fethullah Gülen, well-respected Turkish intellectual and scholar, was named for the The EastWest Institute's (EWI) 2011 Peace Building Award at an awards dinner held in New York on 10 May 2011, Tuesday for his contribution to world peace.
Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) President Mustafa Yeşil received the prestigious award on behalf of Gülen. In a message he sent to the ceremony, Gülen said he accepted the award not on behalf of himself but on behalf of numerous volunteers, among whom he sees himself.
Gülen is a Turkish Islamic scholar well known for his teachings promoting mutual understanding and tolerance between cultures. One of the world's most influential Islamic scholars, Gülen came out at the top of the list of “The World's Top 20 Public Intellectuals” by the magazines Foreign Policy and Prospect in 2008. Now residing in the US, Gülen has pioneered educational activities in a number of countries along with efforts to promote intercultural and interfaith activities around the world. He has written nearly 50 books in Turkish, some of them translated into several languages.
John Edwin Mroz, the president and chief executive officer of the EWI, also delivered a speech during the ceremony and said it is an honor for the institution to present the award to Gülen.
A cinevision show explaining why the award was presented to Gülen was aired during the ceremony. The video featured comments from former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former US President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State James Baker and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright about Gülen. The video also underlined that immediately after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks Gülen issued a message in The Washington Post condemning terrorism and offering his condolences to the victims, saying in it that a Muslim cannot be a terrorist and that one engaged in terrorism cannot be a Muslim.
Mroz said the peace award presented to Gülen is a very prestigious one as it is presented once every year. He defined Gülen as a sincere Muslim who practices what he preaches.