In een interview, te vinden op Today’s Zaman 14 augustus 2013, laat de Turkse Islamitische religieuze denker Fethullah Gülen onder meer het volgende optekenen:

  1. Een pleidooi voor meer democratie in Turkije. Letterlijk: “He said Turkey stands in a very important place geographically and politically and it is crucial for the country to preserve and advance its achievements in democratization, thanks in part to its ongoing relationship with the EU.”
  2. Een pleidooi voor meer vrouwenrechten. Letterlijk: “Speaking about women’s rights in Islam, Gülen responded in the negative when asked if women’s rights are limited to mothers’ rights. He said the general opinion about women is that while taking into account their specific needs, it should be made possible for them to take on every role, including the jobs of physician, military officer, judge and president of a country.”
  3. In verband met de scholen, naar hem genoemd: “First of all, he said, he has never been personally involved in the founding or operation of any school. ‘My influence, if any, has been through my sermons, talks and seminars. If I have any credit among the people who listen to my words, I have channeled that credit or credibility to encouraging them to establish institutions of education. I have tried to explain that we can achieve peace and reconciliation around the world only through raising a generation of people who read, who think critically, who love fellow humans and who offer their assets in the service of humanity,” he said.”
  4. In verband met het recht dat hij heeft, zoals iedereen, om filosofisch en theologisch te mogen evolueren. Letterlijk: “Gülen said it is always possible for a person to go through an evolution in his thinking. ‘In an article I wrote years ago I asked: Are you today the same person as yesterday? And are your interlocutors the same people as yesterday? Neither [are you] exactly the same person, nor are your interlocutors, which means tomorrow neither of you will be the same person either,’ he said in an attempt to indicate the evolution of his thinking.”
  5. In verband met de inter-religieuze dialoog: “He said during the interfaith dialogue movement of the 1990s, he had a chance to get to know practitioners of non-Muslim faiths better, and he felt a need to revise his expressions from earlier periods. He said he admits sincerely that he might have misunderstood some verses and prophetic sayings. ‘I realized and then stated that the critiques and condemnations that are found in the Koran or prophetic tradition are not targeted against people who belong to a religious group, but at characteristics that can be found in any person,’ he added.”
    “He also complained about people with “questionable intentions” who took his words out of context and selectively extracted statements from his speeches and writings. He added that his efforts for interfaith dialogue were criticized as softening Muslims’ perspectives on Jews and Christians. He said he has not done anything that he did not believe to be in the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad.”

Het is duidelijk dat bij Gülen een uitstekende basis te vinden is als uitgangspunt voor een interreligieuze dialoog vanuit islamitisch perspectief. Het lijkt me moeilijk om een beter uitgangspunt te vinden, tenzij men elke dialoog wil uitsluiten. Ons uitgangspunt is echter dat dialoog noodzakelijk én wederzijds verrijkend is.


– Johan Leman, bron

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