Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Scholars' views on Fethullah Gulen & Gulen Movement - Part 1

(Video Duration: 6 mins 21 secs.)

Logo: Chicago Gulen Conference
This video is the first part of the interviews with many prominent academicians who presented papers at the International Conference on Gulen Movement in Chicago.

Prof. Robert A. Pape: "I think that the position of Mr. Gulen is an important antidote to the kind of fear that has emerged in the era of terrorism... What Mr. Gulen is doing and what the Gulen Movement is doing is working against the restriction of civil liberties. Just sort of build tolerance in an era when we need it most."

Dr. Tom W. Boyd: "Gulen makes a serious statement about how democratization process, which is inevitable, can be contributed to by Islam, if Islam would carefully reinterpret its own self understanding... He is fairly critical of Islam from an insiders position, but he is critical in a creative way; nothing destructive at all..."

Fr. Thomas Michel: "Mr. Gulen defines worship not as a narrow sense of ritual activity, but as everything we do as servants of God. It could be teaching physics in Kyrgyzstan.. it could be giving money so that schools could be built or a dialogue center could be built, it could be meeting people at the airport, it could be preparing lunch for visitors; anything that we do if we do it with an attitude of servanthood that is what we want to do is to please God who is our Master. That's the idea of the worship."

Dr. Phyllis Bernard: "My speech was as much as anything else a 'Thank you' to the Hizmet Movement.. for making an incredible opportunity available for scholars, researchers, practitioners to understand a lot more about what stewardship in business is about. Hopefully as we continue to teach people about how business works in different places around the world, we'll have a lot more respect and understanding for the kind of Islamic cultural values that one finds everywhere. And our entry way for that were the Hizmet Movement businesspeople; they were astoundingly fine."

Dr. Greg Barton: "If we want to understand the business dynamics of the Gulen Movement enterprises, so called the Hizmet enterprises, we want to look at the model of the Nobel Prize winner Muhammed Yunus. He says: 'we start businesses deliberately so meet social need, it is not to make money, these are not-for-profit businesses, but we're trying to have social engagement work in a self-sustaining fashion; so the businesses pay for themselves and keep on expanding'. I think, with the Hizmet schools, we see something strikingly similar..."

Dr. Jon Pahl: "I believe, the Hizmet Movement very clearly is on the side of peacemakers. Because within Hizmet, sacred space is moral space. Wherever people are gathered together doing the good, recognizing the beautiful, speaking the truth, that is a sacred place..."