Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fethullah Gülen calls for ‘bridges of peace' in Eid al-Fitr remarks

30 August 2011, Tuesday / SEZAI KALAYCI, PENNSYLVANIA
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Fethullah Gülen.
Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, currently residing in the US, has issued a call for peace and dialogue, warning that failure to address enmities through dialogue could lead to a large-scale devastation for humanity.
Gülen, speaking at a breakfast with members of the Turkish community visiting him on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr on Tuesday, said some people nurture hostilities towards other people because these people happen to be Christian, or Jewish or Muslim and underlined that such approaches will never bring peace or friendship to the humanity.
He said occasions such as Eid al-Fitr when hearts are filled with warmth should be used as an opportunity to improve dialogue, warning that the humanity would otherwise have to pay dearly. “At a time when … nuclear bombs are used against humanity ... if [dialogue] is not established at a world scale, if those who endeavor for peace in the Muslim world and the world in general do not address this problem, half of the humanity may die,” Gülen said.

He reminded the atomic bombs dropped on Japan at the end of the Second World War and said there was the risk that cluster bombs used only recently against Palestinians could well be used somewhere else, against other people. “Unfortunately there are places where oppression still goes on,” he said.
“Bridges of peace should be built,” said Gülen, adding that occasions such as Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha could be used for such a purpose. “We need to show that we have no prejudice against anyone. We ought to respect all,” he said, emphasizing that this is an obligation under Islam and that this is what humanity needs.
The revered scholar also called on believers to constantly renew themselves. “Appreciating [the holy month of] Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr depends to a certain extent on one's faith. And faith depends on whether or not one constantly renews himself or herself. If a person can renew himself or herself in regard to his or her faith and thoughts, then they can feel the freshness in everything.”

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