Who was Said Nursi? Why did he become famous?

He was the most important Islamic thinker of the Republican era. Nursi was an Islamic modernist whose writings mapped out an accommodation between the ideas of constitutional democracy and individual liberty and religious faith.

During the First World War Nursi fought against foreign invasion and for independence and spoke out against both modern Islamic authoritarianism and economic and political backwardness and separatism. His ideas for a modern Islamic consciousness emphasize the need for a significant role for religious belief in public life. He objected to withholding knowledge, whether religious or scientific, from the general public, and he embraced scientific and technological development.

Although he was not involved in any rebellions, the Independence Tribunals of the early years of the Republic sentenced him to exile in western Anatolia for his religious activities.

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