Fethullah Gülen and the Gülen Movement in 100 questions

Fethullah Gülen and the Gülen Movement in 100 questionsThe Gülen Movement was born at a time when a rapid social change was taking place in Turkey. However, at the same time a parallel movement was taking place in the world: emergence of political Islam or politization of Islam, in response of globalization. What was transpiring in Turkey at the time? As rapid urbanization, class differentiation, and cultural shifts from village and small towns were flocking to the cities, alternative frames of reference were needed. A balance had to be struck between the traditional values that people were socialized in and modern values; these new behavioral patterns would help them to navigate through the challenges of modern city life.

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Who is Fethullah Gülen? Doğu Ergil
What is Fethullah Gülen’s education, both official and unofficial? Doğu Ergil
What are the primary teachings—religious, historical, political, and social—which have greatly impacted Fethullah Gülen’s worldview? Doğu Ergil
What changes took place regarding his world view and at what stages? Namely, what are the mental and philosophical stages in his thinking from the first days of his preaching until he became an opinion leader and held the influence that he holds today? Doğu Ergil
It is often noted that Fethullah Gülen was influenced by Said Nursi and the Nur Movement. To what extent has Gülen accepted the teachings and social projects of Nursi? Can we talk about continuity or are there points where he differs from Nursi? Doğu Ergil
Is the Gülen Movement a continuation of any other previous movement? Doğu Ergil
What are the basic principles of the Gülen Movement? Doğu Ergil
While today there are many Muslim thinkers and practitioners in the name of Islam, what is it in Fethullah Gülen’s teachings that seem to be so attractive to his followers? Doğu Ergil
The ethical considerations of Fethullah Gülen and his movement are made up of what components? Doğu Ergil
Does Fethullah Gülen see himself as simply the representative of an Islamic teaching, or is he the carrier of a philosophy centered on the “human,” which is a larger mission that also includes the former? Doğu Ergil
Compared to the Arab interpretation of Islam, does Fethullah Gülen offer a Turkish interpretation of Islam? Doğu Ergil
What are the role and the function of Sufism in the teachings of Fethullah Gülen? Doğu Ergil
Can the Gülen Movement be characterized as a Sufi order? Is it possible to call it a Sufi order considering the teachings regarding the spiritual realm and practices of daily life? Doğu Ergil
In today’s world, fanaticism is becoming widespread and is overshadowing Islam. Is this an interreligious, intercultural matter or something originating from the Islamic world? If it is the latter, how can it be overcome? Doğu Ergil
The early followers of Fethullah Gülen sought a lifestyle that centered around community and religious values. Solidarity and mutual support were very important to them. How was the role of the individual determined in the structure of community? Doğu Ergil
What is the view of Fethullah Gülen on secularism? Doğu Ergil
In order to have an ethical society and an ethical human, do we have to resort to religion? Isnt it possible to have secular ethics? Doğu Ergil
What is the place of the “state” in Fethullah Gülen thought? How does he interpret the never-ending debate about the concepts of “nation of law” and the “deep state”? Doğu Ergil
How does Fethullah Gülen view the issue of multiculturalism? Doğu Ergil
Does Fethullah Gülen suggest that today’s Muslim has a duty to address those distorting Islam from within or from without and, if so, what is that duty? Doğu Ergil
What kind of a role does Fethullah Gülen attribute to consultation in the framework of rulers and the ruled relationships? Doğu Ergil
Fethullah Gülen’s inspiration seems to represent the secularization of Turkey from within and bottom up, rather than enforcing from top down, and they also provide the intellectual basis for it. Does Fethullah Gülen share this interpretation? Doğu Ergil
How does he view those who find compatibility between Islam and violence, and what is his thesis against the interpretations advocating violence? Doğu Ergil
How does he view suicide bombings? Does he call the suicide bombers “martyrs” in religious terms? Doğu Ergil
How does Fethullah Gülen explain the differences between those who interpret Islamic teachings to justify violence and those who use the same sources but derive peace, brotherhood, and tolerance from them? How does he transcend this dilemma? Doğu Ergil