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Followers of Fethullah Gülen

by Ali Bayramoglu, Yeni Yuzyil on . Posted in Commentaries

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The aspect that first strikes one regarding the followers of Fethullah Hodja is that its basic understanding differs in important respects from political Islamic movements. In fact, there is a serious conflict between them.

Political Islam is essentially a puritanical movement that includes criticisms ranging from Qur'anic interpretation to those directed against the regime, from nationalist factors to daily symbols. This understanding rejects cultural continuity and is closed to every kind of reconciliation. Expressing a fragmented ideology, it is reminiscent of the official ideology. Such an understanding is very effective in Arab countries, and in both globalist and "imported" versions of Islam.

The essential struggle in the Islamic segment of society derives from this traditional point. The peculiarity of the Fethullah movement, in contrast to the understanding of political Islam, is that it protects cultural continuity within a religious understanding, and calls for reconciliation by emphasizing such factors as the nation, state, and Islamic traditions.

1995-08-07