|Rik Coolsaet, Ph.D.|
“Renovation has always been important because life itself is changing, time is changing. You cannot live with the dogmas of the past. Should you compare Gulen movement to the ones in other countries or Islamic communities, you’ll notice that the nature of this movement is refreshing for Turkish-Islamic world.”
Coolsaet, who depicts Gulen as a lifeguard in his book, notes that Gulen does not “otherize” anyone:
“In this movement “the other” is put in a position that one should be in contact and dialogue. The motivation of the movement is to enable the person to join the society in a positive way. This movement encourages the person to contribute to the social life which rapidly develops as well as changes. There is no such thought suggesting separation.”
Coolsaet, who underlines that Europe is not familiar with the Gulen Movement, said there are no differentiations among Muslim societies. As one of the leading academics in Europe, he said accepting to live together will determine how the future will be shaped.
* Professor of International Relations at Ghent University, Belgium. He is a member of ENER (European Network of Experts on Radicalisation) and Senior Associate Fellow at Egmont Institute (Royal Institute of International Relations), Brussels.