The Turkish-based movement founded by the American-based preacher Fethullah Gülen now represents one of the most influential and effective Muslim networks in the world, reports The Economist magazine (March 8).
The movement claims to have established 500 schools in 90 countries and has even built up a presence in northern Iraq, with schools, a university and a hospital—no mean feat in an area marked by Turkish-Kurdish conflict. While unpopular among secularists in Turkey, the movement has a wide following in the country’s political and social life, with many Turkish police believed to be sympathizers.
The Gülen message of embracing democracy and upward mobility makes it well received in the West, particularly as its rivals, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, are often seen in a more antidemocratic light.
(The Economist, March 8)