Fethullah Hodja and His Community

From the perspective of Islamic movements, the followers of Fethullah Hodja are challenging the spirit of the times. From Algeria and Egypt to Iran and Turkey, the common point of political Islamic movements is declaring war on both Western modernism and local Islamic traditions. Fethullah Hodja's followers oppose this trend. Even more important, they defend these traditions, interpret Islam through them, and oppose political Islam with at least as much power, numbers, and legitimacy as those who follow the other path.

Since they do not resemble Western civil organizations, such social enterprises as educational and social services that are unique to Anatolia are not recognized. However, his followers have gained new life for their activities via traditional foundations, which help legitimize them and represent an important method of linking society's past and culture. It is also an important indication of the culture's requests for unity and modernity.

This breath is legitimizing from a religious perspective. This is equally true for the devout and for those concerned with the importance of interpretation in Islam, its relationship to contemporary dynamics, and the existence of different interpretations. Consequently, it presents Islam's pluralistic character. Within this framework, Fethullah Hodja and others who accept the existence of different Islamic and non-Islamic social segments as natural are the only vehicles for adapting Islam to the age, for strengthening Islam once it has been adapted, and for reform based on analogy and interpretation.

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