The emergence in Europe and North America of interest in the thought of Turkish scholar Fethullah Gülen is a phenomenon that demands explanation. Several American universities, such as Rice and Georgetown, have held academic seminars to study the various aspects of his thought.
In Europe, in the Netherlands, for example, at least four universities (Nijmegen, Tilburg, Erasmus in Rotterdam, and Amsterdam) have hosted seminars on “Forerunners for Peace,” which prominently feature the views of Fethullah Gülen and his movement. If modern Muslims want to engage modernity critically and make necessary changes, they must begin with their own selves. Sufism offers the collected wisdom transmitted down through the centuries by which one can move toward a transformed mentality, deeper love, positive character traits, and courage to work for the improvement of society.
The spiritual program offered by Sufism provides a firm basis for purifying modern scientific study from its ethical inadequacies and positivist limitations. In this way, science and humanities, scientific and humane values, a scientific and a religious approach to life, can be reconciled. This is the challenge facing scholars, educators, and religious teachers today.
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