Posted August 2008
Foreign Policy: How do you feel about being named the world’s top public intellectual?
Fethullah Gülen: I have never imagined being or wished to be chosen as something important in the world. I have always tried to be a humble servant of God and a humble member of humanity. The Koran says that humanity has been created to recognize and worship God and, as a dimension of this worship, to improve the world in strict avoidance of corruption and bloodshed. It requires treating all things and beings with deep compassion. This is my philosophy, which obliges me to remain aloof from all worldly titles and ranks. However, I am not indifferent to the appreciation of kind people. [The voters were] extremely kind in naming me the world’s top public intellectual, a title to which I can never see myself as entitled.
FP: Do you harbor any political ambitions?
FG: I have never had, nor will I ever have, any [political] ambitions. The only thing on which I have always set my heart is being able to gain God’s good pleasure and, therefore, trying to make him known correctly and loved by humanity.
FP: Where does Islam fit in a Muslim’s political life?
FG: Islam as a religion focuses primarily on the immutable aspects of life and existence, whereas a political system concerns only social aspects of our worldly life. Islam’s basic principles of belief, worship, morality, and behavior are not affected by changing times. Islam does not propose a certain unchangeable form of government or attempt to shape it. Islam has never offered nor established a theocracy in its name. Instead, Islam establishes fundamental principles that orient a government’s general character. So, politics can be a factor neither in shaping Islam nor directing Muslims’ acts and attitudes in Islam’s name.
FP: Why do you believe your movement is suspected by so many Turks?
FG: I do not believe so many Turks suspect my activities. The idea that this movement of volunteers is suspected by many Turks arises in the same way and for the same reasons that the world hears more about those Muslims whom the media call radicals. Since those who give this impression are extremely loud, some observers can be deceived.
....To read the complete interview, please follow the link here.