Saturday, October 27, 2007

A new approach

Gülen movement forms supranational new elite.

On the second day of a conference titled "Muslim World in Transition: Contributions of the Gülen Movement," inaugurated at the British House of Lords on Thursday, academics from around the world focused on Gülen's ideas and the impact of the Gülen movement on the Islamic world.

The conference titled about the Gülen Movement, inaugurated in the British House of Lords on Thursday, attracted hundreds of academicians and scholars.

In the morning session held Friday, titled "The Gülen Movement in Redefining Turkey and Anatolian Muslimness," Marie-Elisabeth Maigre, a researcher at the London School of Economics who presented a paper titled "The Influence of the Gülen Movement in the Emergence of a Turkish Cultural Third Way," said the Gülen movement had built a bridge between opposite poles in Turkey through its activities.

Maigre indicated that Gülen has undertaken a significant role as a "man of compromise and synthesis" to mediate between "local and global concepts" and the "Kemalists and Islamists." Maigre also stressed that the Gülen movement attached great importance to the multicultural tissue of Turkey by backing freedom of faith and expression, democracy and Turkey's EU bid. Urging the audience to question themselves by asking them whether the Gülen movement had an impact on the moderation of political Islam in Turkey, Maigre underlined that the greatest achievement of the movement has been to drag the Islamist movements and their supporters in Turkey to a moderate "third path."

William Park, a lecturer in the Defense and War Studies Group at London University, who presented a paper titled “The Fethullah Gülen Movement as a Transnational Phenomenon,” argued that the Gülen movement had created a new supranational elite through its education and dialogue activities. Park stated that this elite group assumed important responsibility to have a positive impact on relations between states. He also contended that the movement reflected “Turkish values” more successfully than any other groups, saying, “The Gülen movement presents different aspects of Turkey to the whole world successfully.”

Professor Marcia Hermansen from Chicago’s Loyola University presented her extensive ethnographic study that she conducted over the symbols of the Gülen movement in a presentation titled “The Cultivation of Memory in the Gülen Community.” She pointed out that words relating to space and water were selected as names for the companies and institutions that are linked to the Gülen movement, stressing that words connoting inactivity such as a name of a lake were not selected, which she showed as the dynamic character of the Gülen movement.


Journalist Mustafa Akyol, who stressed that Turkish history, experiences and sprit all differed from those of other Islamic countries, said it was possible to talk about a Turkish Islam, which he thought was represented by the Gülen movement. Akyol said the Gülen movement was one with roots that were established in a tradition dating back to Ottoman times and added that it showed how the Islamic world can be modernized in the real sense.
Meanwhile, Gülen sent a message to the participants of the conference thanking them for their contributions to an academic investigation of the problems of humanity and what Islam proposes as solutions. He also expressed his sadness at not being able to attend the conference due to health problems.

In his message Gülen said: “Through the endeavors of worthy people like yourselves, I hope that in the end we will be able to discover common values on which to establish a better world and to bring about peace and cooperation between peoples in the future. I hope that this altruistic movement, whatever it is called, will spread and will carry us to the desired horizon where cultures and civilizations can meet and reach a consensus. It is my perception that these activities, which have been put in action so far under the rubric of ‘understanding,’ ‘tolerance,’ and ‘dialogue,’ would be better if pursued from now on within the framework of emphasizing and gathering around universal human values and a framework of reciprocal respect for the position of those with different perceptions, beliefs and thoughts.”

7 comments:

Sean Jeating said...

Hans,
this reads slightly Akyolesgue.
Has the Director of Fethullah Gülen's "Journalists and Writers Foundation" persuaded you to believe that there is a potter who's first name is not Harry who a few 1.000 years ago took a clot of loam, designed a being, shortly afterwards took a rib of this being and formed him a female (so that he would always have something to beat up?) :)

Or why did you post this uncommented, and without any link?

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

i have problems to log in sean.
can not manage that much now. have to fix it.
kindest

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

article was in zaman

Sean Jeating said...

Found it, thank you, Hans.
It is no surprise that the masters of this "intelligently designed web" would call their followers "supranational new elite". Old trick. Fatuous people like being told they are superior. :)

Hope your "bloglems" will soon be fixed. Have a pleasant and relaxing Sunday.

Bulent Murtezaoglu said...

I quote:

She pointed out that words relating to space and water were selected as names for the companies and institutions that are linked to the Gülen movement, stressing that words connoting inactivity such as a name of a lake were not selected, which she showed as the dynamic character of the Gülen movement.

I certainly hope she got paid well for this amazing insight. Armed with this knowledge, I have renamed my kitchen 'competence room' and my office 'the tidy place'. This, I am now eating gourmet meals, and working in an organized fashion.

Surely this is either a joke or somehow taken out of context? On the other hand, they do seem to call themselves the 'elite' so perhaps this is the way it works and I, as a non-elite obviously lacking in proper piety, cannot understand how this approach is different than the one taken by the various People's Democratic Republics or indeed the fabled Ministry of Love.

Oh look, the glorious leader also spoke:

It is my perception that these activities, which have been put in action so far under the rubric of ‘understanding,’ ‘tolerance,’ and ‘dialogue,’ would be better if pursued from now on within the framework of emphasizing and gathering around universal human values and a framework of reciprocal respect for the position of those with different perceptions, beliefs and thoughts.

And it is my lowly impious 'perception' that 'perception' management is one of those universal human values that gets the most emphasis. But obviously sometimes the wrong thing is perceived by the worng people. Again I quote:

... Maigre underlined that the greatest achievement of the movement has been to drag the Islamist movements and their supporters in Turkey to a moderate "third path." (emphasis mine)

This is the message isn't it? What's being advertised is that Gulen's group are the people to deal with if one wants people dragged. I'm sure the right people perceive this just fine, while the rest are supposed to perceive the grandness of the movement get accepted by foreign elites. No doubt all this happens in lovin' harmony and understanding all that. Oh, and, no doubt, by divine design. I see the design bit alright, at least.

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

Bulent, read the article in its contex. Is there something wrong with finding a third way?
Its a start, and I share your sceptism. But everything bettere than a black/white view.
regards

Bulent Murtezaoglu said...

Hans,

Why do there need to be discrete enumerable 'ways' with Gulen shepherding us to the acceptable one? Why cast things in this manner at all? It isn't a matter of black/white and some color in between that people are to acquire en masse. If you educate people properly you inevitably get a diversity of opinion -- not a 'way'.

I read the article just now. Apparently you saw something in it that I did not. So tell me, what is this 'third way'? What does this bridge consist of? How is a Gulen-educated person different than an ordinary non-elite person?