The Gülen movement, a charity-based Turkish Muslim educational activist network, went global in the 1990s and has established approximately 1,000 secular educational institutions in more than 100 countries. The movement has an estimated worth of $25 billion, making it perhaps the largest faith-based transnational organization in the world today. However, in the wake of 9/11 and increased global anxiety about terrorism, mistrust regarding Muslims and Islam has grown. Suspicion is not only confined to stereotypes about jihadists, with some commentators arguing that Islam itself is the problem, and that any deeply religious Muslim should be viewed with distrust. The Gülen movement has not escaped this analysis and this outwardly secular educational organization has been accused of secretly proselytizing and indoctrinating students in its schools. This article analyses the popular discourse around the movement in Turkey and abroad and weighs the evidence for and against the allegations. It contends not only that they are baseless, and fail to furnish any evidence, but also that they appear to be part of a broader double standard vis-à-vis reporting and commentary on Christian missionary groups and their activities. In particular, the religious philosophy and activities of the Gülen movement are juxtaposed with those of World Vision.
Field of Research
220403 Islamic Studies
Socio Economic Objective
959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified
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