Fethullah Gülen sent a message of peace to the iftar gathering that has been organized by the Turkish Cultural Center in New York. Below is the full text of this message.
Members of the Turkish Cultural Center, distinguished guests, ladies, and gentlemen,
I received your kind invitation to Annual Ramadan Friendship Dinner. I would very much like to be a part of this important gathering, yet, unfortunately, my physical discomfort does not allow me to enjoy the pleasure of your companionship. Please accept my thanks for your invitation and my excuse for not being able to attend.
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 "mutual understanding" 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 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 appreciate the endeavors of the idea architects, those who are with you 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.
Once again, I would like to thank you for your kind invitation, beautiful thoughts, and sincere efforts. I wish that your efforts will be noticed, appreciated, welcomed, and acknowledged by everyone.