Fethullah Gülen’s Message on the International Day of Human Fraternity
February 4, 2022– Today I join the international community with my hope and prayers that the International Day of Human Fraternity becomes an occasion for new initiatives and efforts to reach a world where mutual respect and peace prevail.
As we approach the end of the first quarter of the 21st century, humanity needs to learn the art of living together so much more now than ever. Polarization and conflicts based on ethnic identity, political views, ideology or economic class differences, which have never been missing in the history of humanity, continue today. But today’s terrible weapons and destructive technologies are urging humanity to an awakening. As one thinker put it, with such devastating weapons, the loser of a major conflict will be buried, while the winner will be taken to the emergency room. More importantly, humanity will lose the most.
On the other hand, to overcome global problems such as the Covid pandemic, and the water and air pollution that threatens all parts of our world, it is necessary for all humanity to feel our interdependence on each other and act with a sense of fraternity. It is not an exaggeration to think that these global disasters are a warning to humanity.
The realization of the fraternity of humanity requires the spread of the idea of respecting and valuing human beings. Regardless of their worldview and philosophy of life, every human being is inherently worthy of respect. The human is a blessed being, equipped with magnificent faculties, and is the fruit of God’s tree of creation. Not every person may have been able to develop this potential in him/herself. Ideas and behaviors contrary to human dignity cannot be approved. However, it should not be forgotten that every human being is a work of divine art, and such a masterpiece, that is, their humanity, should be respected. Respect for the human is, in a way, respect for their Creator.
Based on this foundation, it is critical to establish bridges of dialogue between people, to establish environments of peaceful coexistence, and to lay the groundwork for meaningful encounters and conversations. As a matter of fact, the International Day of Human Fraternity was announced by the United Nations after such a meaningful meeting. Coming together around the shared values of humanity, meeting at the common ground of shared ideals and cooperating to eliminate common concerns is no longer a luxury for humanity, but a vital need.
People who dedicate themselves to this ideal should open their arms to everyone and go to their door without waiting for them to come. As a result of such a sincere effort, some will be able to achieve mutual respect and love, while others will at least stop harming each other, and there is no doubt that both are very important gains for humanity. Planting seeds of love and respect in people’s hearts and striving to ferment the idea of living together are behaviors that surely will please the Creator of people and the messengers He sent to guide humanity.
On the occasion of the International Day of Human Fraternity, I pray to God Almighty to carry us as soon as possible to the days when the people of the world live in mutual respect and embrace each other.