Mr. Gulen is trying to interpret the broad humanistic principles of the Qur’an for the modern world.


Mr. Gulen reminds me of other important figures
in the 20th and now early 21st century thinkers like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King,
Jr. who also translate their religious traditions into an idiom that made sense to people who
wanted to live peacefully and in harmony with their neighbors and their wider community. I don’t see Gulen as a narrow scholastic
interpreter of the Qur’an or Islamic tradition who is trying to repristinate
Islam for the modern world. I see him as somebody who is interested
in understanding the broad principles of Islam, principles of inner struggle with the self, of peace and harmony with neighbors, of being fair and compassionate
to the less fortunate, promoting democracy and
justice at home and abroad. The Qur’an is a complicated text
much like the Bible and other holy books that needs to be interpreted in ways
that are productive and healthy not in ways that are
destructive and sectarian. So I see Gulen is trying to understand
the broad humanistic principles of the Qur’an and interpret those principles
for the modern world. I think, Gulen understands Islam not as a
global power at war with the so-called West but he understand Islam
as a cultural and religious heritage that can help people live in harmony and peace
with themselves and with their neighbors. So this to me is really important and it moves us
away from the so called clash of civilizations and it moves us toward a more
harmonious understanding of the great global tradition of
Islam for the modern world.

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