August 1, 2015

Rabbi Beliak: "Hizmet Movement is a great reflection on Islam"

Fikir Atlasi*, Episode 34 (Full text)

My name is Rabbi Haim Beliak**. I’m pleased to be here today… I live here in Los Angeles, but I also work quite a number of months of the year in Poland with the Jewish community in Poland.

First of all, I have been charmed and intrigued by the wonderful attitudes and approaches of the Hizmet Movement.

July 31, 2015

Channels through which Hizmet disseminates its core teachings

Ozcan Keles and Ismail Mesut Sezgin

In this section, we cover how Hizmet movement popularizes its core teachings, which act as a positive counter-narrative to violent extremist ideologies and mindsets that seek to appeal to Muslims claiming an Islamic justification.

July 30, 2015

The Value of Time in Gulen’s Teachings

Time is a very important phenomenon in Islam where it is seen as an endowment from God as an important dimension of our journey in this world. Time is something relative though, abstract concept which is valuable not by itself but earns value by how it is spent. Beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) drew attention to the importance of time by saying that people do not appreciate health and time. The proper use of time is then instructed in the Quran as follows in the Surah Asr or the Time.

July 29, 2015

The press freedom issue

Ali Yurttagül

It is a farce to discuss freedom of the press in Turkey.

Some unrestrained criticisms can place Turkey in the same category as North Korea, China and Iran. The ongoing debate that focuses on imprisoned journalists falls short of handling the matter in all respects. While the issue is discussed along this scope, the magnitude of the pressure on the press is pushed aside. Even government ministers do not deny the fact that Hidayet Karaca and Mehmet Baransu were imprisoned for their journalistic activities in the same way journalists Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener were imprisoned in the past.

Fatih College basketball court demolished despite ongoing case

Construction equipment entered Fatih College in İstanbul's Merter neighborhood on Tuesday, demolishing a basketball court in the school courtyard, despite the fact that a case regarding a decision by the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality to construct a road through the courtyard is still ongoing.

July 28, 2015

Fethullah Gülen’s Use of Philosophical and Scriptural Resources for Tolerance

Mark O. Webb*

Of the many passages from the Qur’an that Gülen has cited as proof that tolerance is a religious duty, I have selected a few illustrative examples. First:
Tell them: ‘O people of the Book, let us come to an agreement on that which is common between us, that we worship no one but God, and make none his compeer, and that none of us take any others for lord apart from God’. If they turn away, you tell them: ‘Bear witness that we submit to Him’. [1]

July 27, 2015

Upcoming Book: Hizmet Means Service

University of California Press
Hizmet Means Service examines Hizmet, a Turkish-based but global movement dedicated to human service. Inspired by Fethullah Gülen, a Sufi Muslim mystic, scholar, and preacher, it is an international endeavor focused on education, business, interfaith dialogue, science, and efforts to promote tolerance and understanding. One of Hizmet’s main tenets is that religious believers can hold profound beliefs and commit spiritually inspired acts of service without discriminating against or alienating people of other faiths. Even as a ruling party in Turkey has set out to undercut the movement, its international influence continues to grow and attract followers who are devoted to service.

The increasing burden on the shoulder of regular Muslims

Sevgi Akarçeşme

Given the news report coming from Turkey's border with Syria, fears have been realized.

For a long time now, numerous observers have warned the Turkish government of the potential a spillover effect as a result of Turkey's engagement in with almost any opposition group in Syria just to topple Syria's embattled president, Bashar Al Assad. Unfortunately, it is going to be the people of Turkey as a whole who will pay the heavy price of the AK Party's mistaken Syria policy. The deadly terrorist attack in Suruç and the assault by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) against the Turkish army are probably just the beginning.

July 26, 2015

Plot against Gülen movement put into action based on lies, false confessions

An alleged secret plot against members of the faith-based Gülen movement -- also known as Hizmet -- inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, which became public last year, is being put into action step by step based on questionable testimonies obtained from secret witnesses, informants and anonymous complainants leading to criminal prosecutions apparently orchestrated by political authorities.

July 25, 2015

Bank Asya shareholders vow to appeal to ECtHR after Demirbank ruling

In the wake of a recent verdict made by Europe's top judicial body in the Demirbank case, shareholders of Islamic lender Bank Asya have vowed to appeal the decision over its seizure in domestic and international courts.

July 24, 2015

Fethullah Gülen’s Perspectives on Forgiveness

Radhi H. Al-Mabuk

The topic of forgiveness used to be almost the exclusive domain of philosophers and theologians. In the last three decades, however, considerable attention has been paid to forgiveness by a host of professionals including educators, psychologists, therapists and health practitioners.