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Fethullah Gülen's Message to the Conference Entitled "Islam in the Contemporary World: The Fethullah Gülen Movement in Thought and Practice"

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in Messages

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Dear distinguished representatives of the Boniuk Center for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance at Rice University, and of the A. D. Bruce Religion Center University of Houston and of the Institute of Interfaith Dialog, Texas, and the respected members of the organizing committee, and the eminent academics, scholars and speakers who are in attendance here today.

On behalf of knowledge and learning, and speaking for humanity, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the organizing committee of this conference, "Islam in the Contemporary World: The Fethullah Gülen Movement in Thought and Practice," and all the participants for their contributions to an academic investigation of the problems of humanity and what Islam proposes as solutions.

I cannot claim to have made a major contribution to "the Movement of Volunteers for Universal Peace," on which many scholars from all over the world are presenting papers. I take it that the representatives of this movement have assigned a place for me among themselves as an expression of their kindness and good will.

With the endeavors of valued people, like yourselves, who have come together to establish a happy world built on universal values and to set up "peace islands" of the future, I hope that this movement will spread and will carry us to the horizon where cultures and civilizations meet and reach a consensus. It is my perception that these activities, which have been put in action so far under the names of "understanding," "tolerance," and "dialogue," would be better if pursued from now on within the framework of emphasizing and gathering around universal humane virtues, and a framework of respect for the position of those with "different" perceptions, beliefs, and thoughts.

I appreciate the endeavors of the idea architects, those who are with us today and those who are absent, who have committed themselves to realizing this goal, and I believe that future generations will remember them with gratitude. I am deeply sorry that I am not able to participate in such a distinguished symposium for which I feel so much in my heart. I am indisposed; my blood pressure becomes too high with even the slightest excitement. In addition to this, I have not made even one per cent of the effort that you have made towards this meeting.

I believe that "dialogue" and "respect for everyone in their position" are the strongest shelters against any odds that arise from dissensions, differences, and difficulties of agreement which are likely to intrude at every corner on our path to the future as humanity in its entirety; I firmly consider that all efforts directed toward dialogue deserve appreciation.

I would like to thank everybody who has contributed to the organization of this important symposium at such a time when humanity needs mercy, compassion and understanding more then ever. I wish success to all the participants, and I offer them my warmest greetings and deepest respect.

Fethullah Gülen