What is the stance of the Gülen Movement on Islam and secularism?

Fethullah Gülen

Modern Turkey is unique in the Islamic world in its aggressive, totalizing approach to secularism and secularization. Like many in Turkey, the Gülen Movement is deeply critical of the positivistic character, undemocratic impositions and non-egalitarian application and practices of Turkish militant secularism. But it is a major misreading to conclude that it is opposed to secularity and democracy. In fact, the Gülen Movement is precisely the sort of movement that offers Turkey’s best hope of reconciling Islam, modernization, and secular, liberal democracy.

The collective mobilization of the Gülen Movement continues to this day because the actor has succeeded in realizing – and through the course of action continues to realize – a measured integration or harmonization between many contrasting requirements. As long as secularism is understood and practiced in the best way, or at least as it is in the most industrialized democracies of the world, the majority of the Turkish population, including the Gülen Movement participants and supporters, will continue to support it.

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