Paul Jersild

I am a Christian clergyman in the Lutheran tradition who has come to appreciate the efforts of the Rumi Forum to promote understanding between the religions of the world. My wife and I traveled to Turkey in 2007 under Rumi auspices and were impressed to see their significant contributions to Turkish society, particularly in the areas of medicine, education, and communications. The character of their religious devotion and that of their founder, Fethullah Gulen, is irenic and open to people of all faiths. The volunteer movement set in motion by Mr. Fethullah Gulen is truly impressive, contributing to a better Turkish society and having ramifications that stretch well beyond that country. I regret the reactions of some commentators in the U.S. who impugn the motives of the Gulen movement. They only contribute to the fear and misunderstanding that lead people to stereotype Muslims, failing to see the honest efforts that many of them are making today in creating a better world.

Paul Jersild, Th.D.

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