Monday, July 25, 2016

Educational institutions suspected to be associated with Gulen closed by Turkish govt

Turkey's Erdogan shuts schools, charities in first state of emergency decree, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-security-emergency-idUSKCN1030BC, dated Jul. 23rd 2016

Ravi: The reports are that educational institutions which are either connected with or suspected to have connections with a Turkish Islamic preacher, now living in the USA, Fethullah Gulen, are being closed. The number of these educational institutions which have been closed or face closure, is in thousands, the reports say!!! If the reports are true, this is quite extraordinary!

Gulen is a former ally of current Turkish president Erdogan, which turned into enmity in or after 2013.

It seems that the current Turkish leaders feel threatened by Gulen's movement in Turkey which seems to have many followers/connections in various branches of govt., educational institutions etc. I think religious and spiritual movements need to take a neutral to political parties stance in proper/secular democracies as otherwise those movements will be viewed as threats by some political parties, and action would be initiated against them by those political parties when they come to/are in power.

Some info. about Gulen schools can be seen here: http://gulenschools.org/

Some details about Gulen from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fethullah_G%C3%BClen:

Muhammed Fethullah Gülen (born 27 April 1941) is a Turkish preacher, former imam, writer, and political figure. He is the founder of the Gülen movement (known as Hizmet meaning service in Turkish), and the inspiration figure for its largest organization, the Alliance for Shared Values. He currently lives in self-imposed exile in the United States, residing in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.

Gülen teaches a Hanafi version of Islam, deriving from Sunni Muslim scholar Said Nursî's teachings. Gülen has stated that he believes in science, interfaith dialogue among the People of the Book, and multi-party democracy. He has initiated such dialogue with the Vatican and some Jewish organizations.

Gülen is actively involved in the societal debate concerning the future of the Turkish state, and Islam in the modern world. He has been described in the English-language media as an imam "who promotes a tolerant Islam which emphasises altruism, hard work and education" and as "one of the world's most important Muslim figures."

Gülen was an ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan before 2013. The alliance was destroyed after the 2013 corruption investigations in Turkey. Erdogan accused Gülen of being behind the corruption investigations. He is currently on Turkey's most-wanted-terrorist list and is accused of leading what the current Turkish officials call the Gulenist Terror Organisation (FETÖ). A Turkish criminal court issued an arrest warrant for Gülen. Turkey is demanding the extradition of Gülen from the United States.  However, US figures in general do not believe he is associated with any terrorist activity.
....
Comparing Gülen to followers of the Nursî-inspired Risale-i Nur or "Nur movement," Hakan Yavuz said, "Gülen is more Turkish nationalist in his thinking. Also, he is somewhat more state-oriented, and is more concerned with market economics and neo-liberal economic policies."

His pro-business stance has led some outsiders to dub his theology an Islamic version of Calvinism.

...
His teachings differ in emphasis from those of other mainstream Islamic scholars in two respects, both based on his interpretations of particular verses of the Quran. He teaches that the Muslim community has a duty of service (Turkish: hizmet) to the "common good" of the community and the nation and to Muslims and non-Muslims all over the world; and that the Muslim community is obliged to conduct dialogue with not just the "People of the Book" (Jews and Christians), and people of other religions, but also with agnostics and atheists.
...
The Gülen movement is a transnational Islamic civic society movement inspired by Gülen's teachings. His teachings about hizmet (altruistic service to the "common good") have attracted a large number of supporters in Turkey, Central Asia, and increasingly in other parts of the world.
--- end wiki extracts ---

[I thank Wikipedia and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts from their website on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

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