Between secular education and Islamic philosophy: the approach and achievements of Fethullah Gülen’s followers in Azerbaijan
107 - 116 p.
Fethullah Gülen is the leader of a very influential Islamic community in Turkey, one of the most important and most transnational Islamic movements in the world. In Azerbaijan, inspired and influenced by his ideas, many Turkish businessmen and educators have endorsed and supported his movement, most importantly with a huge network of private high schools. When this community arrived in Azerbaijan just after the end of the Soviet Union, its main objective was to encourage Islamic revival in this newly independent state where Islam had been weakened by Soviet anti-religious campaigns. However, after a few years, the movement has changed its strategy, terminating religious activism and limiting its engagement solely and uniquely to secular and modern education. However, through successful, modern education, the movement is able to promote Islamic philosophy and ethics. If the ultimate objectives of the movement are unclear, it is evident that it wants to contribute to future elites from its ranks and to be influential in Azerbaijan. Because of this lack of clarity, the movement constantly attracts controversy.