The Gülen movement (Gülen Hareketi, in Turkish) is an Islamic transnational religious and social movement led by Turkish preacher Fethullah Gülen, who has lived in the United States since 1999.
Fethullah Gülen is mostly inspired by Said Nursi who was believing that modern science and logic was the way of the future. He advocated teaching religious sciences in secular schools and modern sciences in religious schools.
Fethullah Gülen is considered by Recep Tayyip Erdogan by the mastermind behind the Turkish coup attempt.
Education (through a network of private schools extending to 1,300 schools worldwide), Media (with the newspaper Zaman and TV channels), Interfaith dialogue and humanitarian aid are the main focus of actions for the Movement.
GULEN MOvement SCHOOLS
« My name is A. Sultanmorato. I am Kyrgyz and I have been working here for about 4 months as the head master at CEBAT educational institutions. In our institution, there are about 26 schools. Nine of them are primary schools and 17 are high schools. In all our schools there are boarding schools.
We are trying to do better and better every year. It is all about education. We do not have directly religious lectures to students. In our school, it is democratic. For example, such kids’ family can be very religious and if they want for example to obey the rules of their religion and want to pray somewhere, in international schools in Bishkek we do not let them do it. Outside they can do whatever they want.
– But you still have some education on Islam, some teachings?
– Of course. Especially about Gulen’s projects and ideas. We just like his ideas. Gulen’s main mission in the world is to serve, to make something for the better of human being. It is about the dialogue. There should be intercultural, inter-religious, international dialogue. It should be a unity and a friendship. There should not be any kind of conflicts or wars in the world. We respect and receive his ideas. He never says anything about nationalism, fanaticism or radicalism. He just wants us to teach, to educate a person in order to become highly educated and sophisticated or acute. He or she should be a pride person in the world, he or she should never make any harm around him/her. To achieve such goals, we sometimes make lessons, lectures and of course teach traditional values. In Kyrgyzstan, everyone should know this I think.
– Sharia means the way.
– Sharia means the way to govern the country by all religious principles. There should be a secular state. Religion should not be mixed with the country, I mean the government system. Religion is kind of a way in your life, a choice how to live. But the government, how to govern the country, it is different. »
An interview by Fred Daudon in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – December 2016
– What about afterlife?
– I believe in that. We continue our life for eternity.
– Don’t you think that Earth is already a paradise?
– It depends.
– It depends where?
– Yes and on which condition, if you have some money. It is also up to everybody. If you are spiritually advanced, you can see already the paradise. If you are a person who is spiritually very weak and not determined, there is no paradise. But our country is a little paradise.
You should have come in spring or in summer.
– Do you think there are other life in the cosmos/universe?
– Some scientists are trying to find some life on Mars, and different kind of galaxies. Of course why not? We should of course try to find them. If education in the future is more and more improved, and we will succeed in finding different kind of life in different places. I agree with them, it should be.
– So for you, God did not create only humans?
– No no no, God created all these galaxies too. Also he created all these galaxies just for the sake of human being. The person should do everything as they can do.
– And what if you find other kind of humanity elsewhere? And they do the same?
– It is possible. In Islamic sources, it is also said that there are thousands of kind of surroundings, groups of people or creatures. We know maybe just half of them and they are millions we don’t know. It is out of our vision. I believe in metaphysics too.
– Can you conclude on Gulen’s philosophy and main principles?
– Gulen’s main mission in this world is the tolerance. If there is a dialogue, cooperation, I think that the world would be better. Gulen has hundreds of shakirt, followers, murhids. Ten of them are from African countries, 10 of them from Asian, other from America, etc. It means that he conveys a global message, not only about education, but also about way of life. A program which is applicable to everybody, even if the person is atheist. Because there is a good harmony of different kind of lives. »
Interview (continued) – Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan