Rumi Forum's blog on Hizmet, Fethullah Gulen, peacebuilding, education and interfaith efforts.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Fethullah Gulen and the Hizmet Movement David Newton, Adjunct Professor at the Middle East Institute

With regard to Fethullah Gulen I’ve never had the honor, pleasure meeting him perhaps someday I will. But, again I go back to my service in the Arab World. The Arab World desperately lacks now, I think, a modern foreign looking scientific education based version of Islam which you find in Arab World are either fundamentalists or traditionalist. And you hardly ever find a prominent modernist. So the ideas of Mr. Gulen I think, I hope, will spread outside the Turkish speaking area and I know there is a great effort in the service movement to do that, and I hope especially know that so much attention to the Syria that will be an opportunity for Arabs to absorb some of the ideas of Mr. Gulen, and the other side of course beside his intellectual appeal is his goal for service in which the movement has already doing a great deal in the Arab World.
The one thing it does concern me is that his ideas will continue after his passing, and I wonder if really there is a possibility of other people following him allowing the same line of modernism, education, emphasis on science and the intellectual vitality which I think Islam in many countries sorely lacks.