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Fethullah Gülen: 'I have no other goal than to please God'
Fethullah Gülen is one is one of the most influential intellectuals on the planet. Born in Turkey, a polymath active in many areas, he was at the origin of an international movement affecting civil society, the economy, and especially education.
Fethullah Gülen is one is one of the most influential intellectuals on the planet. A Muslim, born in Turkey, a polymath active in many areas, he was at the origin of an international movement affecting civil society, the economy, and especially education: "the greatest gift a generation can give to another."
When did you think of transforming your personal experience into an international movement? How would you define the nature and ideals of the Gülen Movement?
Even in this situation in which I am afflicted with serious illnesses, there are still some people who consider me a 'leader of a religious community' or 'sheikh of an order.' These kinds of words hurt me heavily. I have always recommended and urged people who respect my thoughts and have a positive impression about my person to do works that I consider good and benevolent. I have advised them, for example, to open coaching centres for university entry exams and open schools. Then I realized that, as I recommended the opening of schools, many people responded positively, sharing the same vision. I am only an ordinary Muslim and a citizen, and I have done whatever I have done for my people as a citizen. Today, the notion of this movement –or the 'community' as they call it- is comprised of civil people who share the same emotions, similar ideals and join their efforts, searching for best answers and practical outcomes to questions such as "how can we serve best our people? How can we contribute to the advancement of our country both in material and in moral terms? How can we light up minds and illuminate hearts?" As a result of this virtue, these faithful people extended their hands to Asia, Europe, America, and even to Africa, and have built hundreds of schools in the countries to which they have gone. They have established companies and firms that have sponsored the construction of many schools, as they have been done in Turkey. If there has been a role that I have played in this process, and if I am to be credited with serving humanity, it is only by way of the recommendations that I have made. We have no other target than attaining the consent and pleasure of God. I have no other purpose other than the Name of God to be acknowledged in every corner of the word, saving people's faiths and their lives in the hereafter and establishing peace and order for my country and for the whole of humanity. I was, and still am, firmly convinced that real peace and order can only be made possible by the hands of responsible individuals who are highly moral, deeply spiritual, and who determinedly, refrain from any corrupt, abuse, improper or despoiling acts.
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