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Rumi Forum

Inspiring Words

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

 Jalal ad-Din Rumi



Turkish Muslim scholar, educator and peace activist, M. Fethullah Gülen, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Leeds Metropolitan at the University's Summer Graduation celebrations for his contribution to education, peace making and intercultural dialogue.

Through his teachings and work, Fethullah Gülen has initiated and inspired a transnational civil society movement to invest in education and dialogue which aims to contribute towards durable peace and greater understanding. Gülen has developed a readership and following amongst those of other backgrounds, religions and no religion, demonstrating that his teachings and work are received as universal.

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in the media: Two Articles About Fethullah Gulen have been published

Turk Who Leads a Movement Has Advocates and Critics - NEW YORK TIMES

Written by Brian Knowlton

SAYLORSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA — Here in northeastern
Pennsylvania, where fertile farmlands yield suddenly to the hauntingly beautiful foothills of the Pocono Mountains, quietly resides one of the most influential men in Turkey.

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Reclusive Turkish Imam Criticizes Gaza Flotilla - wALL STREET JOURNAL

Written by Joe Lauria

Speaking in his first interview with a U.S. news organization, Mr. Gülen spoke of watching news coverage of Monday's deadly confrontation between Israeli commandos and Turkish aid group members as its flotilla approached Israel's sea blockade of Gaza. "What I saw was not pretty," he said. "It was ugly."

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Some Quotes from luncheon guest speakers


"The president made clear that, of course, on the issue of violent extremism, Islam is actually a part of the solution and not part of the problem, once again making the declaration that United States is not at war, and never will be at war, with Islam and Muslims."

"…Terms such as Islamic terrorism, that have been used in the past, or Jihadist, for example, those types of terms can be unproductive in the sense that Islam rejects terrorism…"

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"We are beginning to see a shift away from Islamism or Islamic social and political mobilization occurring according to a conventional model of Muslim brotherhood which is after all, a very hierarchical, formally-organized type of model."

"The current version of the research looks at this phenomenon in relation with two specific case-studies of network based movements. One is set of charities and social activism organized around the  Egyptian popular preacher and television-based figure Omar Halid. And the second involves analyzing network of supporters around Fethulla Gulen, as an example of what I am calling new Islamic social movement."

"The way to proceed is to think about shared problem."

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"There was no discussion whether Turkey was a part of the west. It was. It was with us against the communists. Now in the post-cold war environment the questions began to change. In the post 9/11 environment the US began to see Turkey through a very different lens. The idea that after 9/11 the Bush administration began seeking a partner to wage a war on terror that would not be perceived as a war on Islam, Turkey fit that motive very well. It is a only nation that is a NATO member, the only nation that is with us in Afghanistan."

"Turkey also has been changing. Since 2002 when AKP came to power, whether you like them or not, you have to give them credit – they have helped an economic growth in an unprecedented manner, they have reasserted Turkish pride."

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"The way I think about Turkey is always through the lens of what is going to happen once Turkey is in the EU."

"There is a big risk of populism. Confident Turkey is great and overconfident Turkey is a little bit worrisome."

"Is Turkey really European or not? There are objective criteria that would help us decide whether Turkey is culturally European or not. And I think this is a little bit a wrong question. Culture is not something fixed in time. There are a lot of arguments arguing that Turkey is European there are a couple of arguments to argue that it is not European. This is not a matter of what it is, this is a matter of choice."

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Enrollment has started for Fall Turkish Classes

Learn Turkish in Washington, DC! Experienced teachers are offering Turkish Language Classes at the Rumi Forum in Washington DC. If you are looking for Turkish lessons in DC Metropolitan Area, Rumi Forum is the right place to begin. There are three terms in a year:

Turkish language classes are open to everyone who is interested.
The classes are arranged based on the number of students interested in at any level.
Our teachers are using a Turkish Language Book Set written in Turkish.

For the intensive fall program: A four-hour class per week and eight classes in a month.

Intensive Turkish Classes for Fall 2010

8 weeks (32 hours) intensive program: starts 4 October - ends 26 November

Cost: 300$
Text Book: 30$

For further queries and application form please email:

For more info

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'Meet and Greet' with ABC News and washington post Reporters and Editors

The Rumi Forum Fairfax launched its new 'Meet and Greet with the Media’ series in conjunction with the American-Turkish Friendship Association of Virginia. Reporters, staff writers and editors from ABC News and Washington Post were the guests of the first two meetings where numerous community issues of concern were discussed

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New book: "Islam and Peacebuilding: Gulen Movement Initiatives"

By John L. Esposito and Ihsan Yilmaz

The exploration of the contributions is made with regards to the title in hand by the thought and practice of the global movement associated with the Turkish Muslim scholar Fethullah Gulen. The importance and distinctiveness of teaching of Gulen and the practice of the movement is that it is rooted in a confident Turkish Islamic heritage while being fully engaged with modernity. It offers the possibility of a contextualised renewal of Islam for Muslims in the modern world while being fully rooted in the teachings of the Qu'ran and the Sunnah of the Prophet. It advocates the freedom of religion while making an Islamic contribution to the wider society based on a commitment to service of others.

For more info

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Rumi Forum Internship Program

We are now accepting applications for our summer, fall  and winder 2010 internship program.

Eligibility: All undergraduate and master’s-level students and J.D. and Ph.D. candidates as well as recent graduates are eligible to apply.

Application Process: In order to apply for a Rumi Forum Internship, please submit the following:

· Cover Letter and Resume

· College or University Transcript

· 2-3 References (please provide both the phone and email contact information and please include a Professor or other individual familiar with your work)

Winter: January to March
Spring: March to May
Fall: September to December

*starting dates are flexible

Please send materials via email to 

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From the Archive

Fethullah Gülen: Inspirer of Multi-disciplinary Studies by Kerim BALCI

The work of Gülen's followers in Turkey shows that Islam—as taught by Gülen—seeks tolerance, not conflict; it aims for a better society, not political power; and it manifests itself in prayer and concrete local action.


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