Kurdish theologian: Gulen’s ideas best antidote to ISIL

Jafar Gwani, an Islamic theologian based in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, has said the ideas of Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic preacher who lives in self-imposed exile in the US, are the best antidote in the fight against the ideology of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Gwani, who wrote about Gulen’s life and ideas in his recently published book “Huzun Dolu bir Kalbin SevdasI” (Love of a Heart Filled with Sor

Jafar Gwani, an Islamic theologian based in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, has said the ideas of Fethullah Ganduumllen, an Islamic preacher who lives in self-imposed exile in the US, are the best antidote in the fight against the ideology of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Gwani, who wrote about Ganduumllenand#39s life and ideas in his recently published book andldquoHanduumlzanduumln Dolu bir Kalbin SevdasIandrdquo (Love of a Heart Filled with Sorrow), said Ganduumllen is the one who explains best that jihad is not only an action of blood-spilling.

andldquoIn todayand#39s world, jihad is perceived as an act of war and spilling blood.

andhellip [Whereas] Hocaefendi [Ganduumllen] sees jihad from a broader perspective by interpreting it as disciplining oneand#39s cravings of the flesh and the education of people. This understanding should be taught to other people.

The biggest antidote to ISIL is Ganduumllenand#39s thoughts,andrdquo said Gwani.

He noted that Ganduumllen was among several Islamic scholars who contended that the 911 terrorist attacks did not serve Islam

According to Gwani, Ganduumllen differs from other Islamic thinkers by the fact that his thoughts can be put into practice by individuals.

andldquoWhen we read [Ganduumllenand#39s] books, we come across beautiful expressions. But Ganduumllen, both in his words and actions, animates his thoughts.

It is a mark of great success that thousands of schools and people are serving voluntarily for the same purpose. We witness that Islam can be practiced in modern times only by looking into Ganduumllenand#39s world of thought,andrdquo he added.

Ganduumllenand#39s teachings have been a source of inspiration for people from Anatolia who opened more than 1,000 schools in 160 countries. The Islamic scholar promotes universal values of peace, dialogue and peaceful coexistence in his teachings.

h2Similar mindset defaming Ganduumllen and Bedianduumlzzamanh2

Gwani argued that the mindsets of the group that is running a smear campaign against Ganduumllen and of those who opposed Bedianduumlzzaman Said Nursi, a prominent early 20th-century Islamic scholar, are similar as both thinkers were accused of reactionaryism and coup plotting.

Since the eruption of a massive corruption scandal in Turkey in December 2013, President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan and his administration coined the term andldquoparallel structureandrdquo to refer to the Ganduumllen movement, also known as the Hizmet movement, a civil society group inspired by the teachings of Ganduumllen, and accused the group of orchestrating the investigations in order to oust the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) from power

Said Nursi, the father of the Islamic Nur movement, was regarded as a threat to the Turkish Republic throughout his life in the 20th century.

Although he repeatedly declared that he was not interested in politics and his only concern was spiritual, he was jailed several times. He was mostly exonerated, but was forced to reside in isolation in small towns in Anatolia He died in 1960, but his body was ordered by the government to be moved from IanlIurfa to an unknown location in another city.

andldquoIn our history, the [Islamic] scholars were always oppressed by the rulers. Maybe it is the scholarsand#39 fate [to go through such difficulties],andrdquo said Gwani.

He noted that although there are some groups in the Kurdistan region of Iraq who defame Ganduumllen, people do not pay regard to their arguments.

Gwani is a member of the Kurdistan Islamic Scholars Union.

His other books include andldquoWomenand#39s Place in Islamandrdquo and andldquoOpen Letter to Baghdadi.andrdquo

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman