Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Scholars' views on Fethullah Gulen & Gulen Movement - Part 2

(Video Duration: 7 mins.)

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

Rev. Kenneth M. Locke: “I especially appreciated, in this last presentation, the talk about sacred space within the Gulen Movement and how sacred space begins with the individual and moves out in successive rings to essentially encompass all of humanity and all of the universe that God has given us… Learning that prayer is integral and it is the individual prayer that is the center of the personal sacred space; I find tremendously enlightening and which is something that I’m going to go back and tweak a little bit. With talk to my congregation, ‘if you want to create sacred space, you don’t need to come to church on Sunday morning -but that is integral to our faith- you need to stop and pray. The act of prayer will create the sacred space.’”

Fr. Thomas Michel: “Mr. Gulen is talking about this freedom from the obstacles that prevent us from accepting God’s grace. God wants to turn us all into people who would be lovingly, enthusiastically serving God and want to do the God’s will. We all setup obstacles to this… And what this idea of worship does is to free us from these obstacles that prevent us from accepting the grace of God that’s being offered to us constantly.”

Dr. Radhi H. Al-Mabuk: “Gulen invokes and implores people to forgive because it is what is instructed to do it religiously. If we really claim that we love Prophet Muhammed [peace be upon Him], He forgave, then we should follow His example. And I believe, Fethullah Gulen is a very good example of the example of Prophet Muhammed because he himself personally forgiven those who have wished him ill. He offers a recipe of how to forgive. The language of forgiveness-tolerance he said that in conferences we need to talk about it, in the media we need to talk about it, in music the lyrics should flag tolerance, and wherever we are; it needs to be pervasive, it needs to be everywhere.”

Prof. Scott Alexander: “I really do think that Fethullah Gulen is a world leader of the magnitude of Mohandas Gandhi. Very much rooted in his own tradition, but reaching out to the world with a message that can benefit us all and extending a hand of partnership to the rest of the world, offering models of cooperation that aren’t the typical ones that we turn to.”

Prof. Robert A. Pape: “The American public is only now learning about the Gulen Movement, and I think the Gulen Movement is important for promoting understanding and cross-cultural dialogue, something absolutely crucial in our increasingly interconnected world and also crucial in an era of terrorism.”

Prof. Marcia Hermansen: “How could somebody not be touched about the story of those Turkish teachers who are in Northern Iraq or Nigeria and the personal sacrifice they make, putting their lives in danger and really caring about the students? Even during the war or threat of bombing, Turkish teachers didn’t leave the state beside their students and their families....”

Prof. Leslie Lackzo: “I’ve had a chance to visit Turkey and to see five cities and to see a bit of how dynamic the Movement is in Turkey. I find that in Canada and in the U.S., there are many many things that people can learn from this Movement, and I hope to learn more.”

Prof. John Esposito: “…Gulen is a reformer who brings a vision for both Islam and Islamic reform and relations between Islam and the West. But equally important is the fact that there is a social movement that has been inspired by him, and that has implemented to remarkable way this vision through the network of schools and universities, hospitals, relief agencies.. and done in a way that demonstrates a coming together of the notion of, if you will, Islamic modernity and a vision of Islam in a global world, in a pluralistic world and an engagement of that global and pluralistic world and does it to a remarkable degree.