Fethullah Gülen

Islamic Calvinism

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Muhammed Fethullah Gülen (born 27 April 1941) is a Turkish preacher, imam, writer, and political figure. Gülen lives in exile in the United States, residing in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.He is the founder of the Gülen movement (known as Hizmet, meaning service in Turkish), which is a 3-to-6 million strong, volunteer-based movement mostly focused on education, interfaith dialogue, and providing primary and secondary education, in Turkey and around the world. Many of Hizmet’s schools, foundations and other entities in Turkey have been shut down by the Turkish government following the 2016 Turkish coup d’état attempt.The Gülen movement (often referred as Gulenists) has been characterized as a civil society group promoting education, religious tolerance, and building social networks. Having shared a major goal of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of empowering religious individuals in civil life officially disenfranchised under then existing law in secular Turkey, Gulen and his movement were aligned with Erdoğan prior to 2013. The alliance was destroyed after the 2013 corruption investigations in Turkey. Erdoğan accused Gülen of being behind the corruption investigations. A Turkish criminal court has issued an arrest warrant for Gülen. Turkey is demanding the extradition of Gülen from the United States. However, U.S. figures in general do not believe he is associated with any terrorist activity, and have requested evidence to be provided by the Turkish Government to substantiate the allegations in the warrant requesting extradition.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.”


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