Fountain explores torture, human rights in new edition

Fountain explores torture, human rights in new edition

March 08, 2010, Monday/ 15:21:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

In its latest edition the Fountain magazine features an article by Fethullah Gülen on a believer’s response in times of difficulty as well as an article on torture from the perspective of human rights conventions and Islam by Ayse Meva.

The lead article in the most recent edition describes how a believer is expected to respond in difficult times. Storms are temporal and breezes are eternal in Fethullah Gülen’s worldview, so believers “are neither shaken by the noise and clamor that is being intentionally made around” them, nor do they “panic in the face of the dust that envelopes us.” And for him, believers should trust in God, equip themselves with wisdom and try to live up to their beliefs, God’s good pleasure and distinct cultural values.

What would you do if terrorists planted a bomb somewhere in your city and wouldn’t tell you how to defuse it? This is what is called the “ticking time-bomb scenario,” and some people believe that under such circumstances torture is legitimate, if as a result the terrorist is forced to speak. Drawing on this scenario, Ayse Meva provides an interesting discussion in the current issue, touching on human rights conventions and what Islam says about torture.

The intense rivalry between the magicians in the movie “The Prestige” was fatal. In Veli Keskin’s article in the magazine, the rivalry on the world stage between various power centers is as tragic as that which existed between the magicians; however, the global one has cost millions of lives. Keskin’s analogy has produced an eye-opening essay in which we find both the magicians on the stage in theater and those on the political scene using similar techniques in shaping the perceptions of their audience.

Huseyin Coskun in his article asks you to imagine finding a gift in your mailbox one morning. It is a beautiful shirt perfectly suited to your taste. But who sent you this shirt? How did he or she know what your preferences were? Was the sender a man or a woman? With limited information it is not possible to discover the relationship between the sender and the receiver. But one can easily infer that the sender is someone who loves the receiver and wants to please the receiver. The former perspective, which is positivist, is not sufficient for explaining many things in our lives; but with qualitative inference we can reach some conclusions. Coskun gives this and many other examples and explains how “qualitative inference allows one to address the non-physical or metaphysical aspects of the physical phenomena by freeing all of our cognitive faculties.”

Meanwhile, the magazine was discussed during a conference titled “East and West Encounters: The Gülen Movement,” held in Los Angeles on Dec. 5-6, 2009.


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