Fethullah Gulen has been named as one of TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world in 2013. TIME recognized Gulen for "preaching a message of tolerance that has won him admirers around the world." The 2013 TIME 100 includes other noted world leaders such as Pope Francis, Aung San Suu Kyi, Malala Yousafzai and President Obama. In the past, TIME has honored global leaders such as the Dalai Lama and Pope Benedict XVI in their TIME 100 list.
Gulen is an Islamic scholar, preacher and social advocate who dedicated his life to interfaith and intercultural dialogue, and reinterpreted aspects of Islamic tradition to meet the needs of contemporary Muslims. He is the inspiration behind Hizmet, a civil society initiative that advocates for the ideals of human rights, equal opportunity, democracy, non-violence and the emphatic acceptance of religious and cultural diversity. Hizmet brings to life these principles through the work of its participants in community service, intercultural dialogue and education.
Over the years, Hizmet volunteers have established more than 1000 schools, dormitories and tutoring centers, taught college preparatory courses, mentored students, and provided financial aid to those in need. With a focus on science, math, social science, art and literature, its award-winning schools have been set up in more than 100 countries around the world — from Eastern European and Eurasian countries to Afghanistan and Pakistan; from South East Asian countries to Australia as well as in the United States and in 49 countries across Africa.
"Mr. Gulen has taught us to not only emphatically accept religious, cultural, social and political diversity, but actually celebrate diversity because he considers this diversity divine will," said Alp Aslandogan, president of the Alliance for Shared Values. "Mr. Gulen has dedicated his life to interfaith tolerance and peaceful coexistence with people of all faiths and backgrounds."
About Alliance for Shared Values
Inspired by the work of Mr. Gulen, the Alliance for Shared Values is an umbrella non-profit organization serving as a voice for civic, culture and service groups associated with the Hizmet social movement in the U.S. and serves as information hub for Mr. Gulen's works and views. Dedicated to promoting community service, education and interfaith dialogue, the Alliance works with people and organizations of all backgrounds and faiths to promote greater understanding, cooperate on meaningful projects and build stronger bonds.