The Gandhi-King-Ikeda Award for Peace 2015
April 9, 2015 – Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has been presented with a prestigious peace award in recognition of his “life-long dedication to promoting peace and human rights” at Atlanta’s Morehouse College, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s alma mater.
The Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College honored Gülen with its 2015 Gandhi King Ikeda Peace Award on Thursday for promoting ideas shared by the world’s leading peace and civil rights activists. Past recipients of this award include Nobel laureates Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and Michael Gorbachev, as well as Rosa Parks.
Representatives of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, which has presented the award since 2001, say the award is designed to promote the importance of positive social transformation by honoring “those who demonstrate extraordinary global leadership toward reconciling differences.”
Alp Aslandoğan, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Shared Values — an umbrella body for US-based organizations affiliated with the Gülen movement — accepted the award on behalf of Gülen. Aslandoğan said Gülen was unable to come to the award ceremony due to his medical condition.
The Hizmet Movement has spread to more than 160 countries around the world and has a vast network of schools, charity organizations, health institutions, and cultural dialogue centers. The volunteers of the movement often have to confront dire conditions in the countries they serve, ranging from Ebola-stricken nations in Africa to conflict-ridden countries in the Middle East.
In recognition to their sacrifices, Gülen commended the activists, volunteers, and educators in those countries, mentioning in particular Nigeria and Afghanistan, who provide educational opportunities to girls. He also praised the doctors, nurses, and humanitarian relief workers who serve in Somalia and Sudan in difficult conditions as well as entrepreneurs who “compete in donating to charitable causes despite facing economic hardship themselves.”