Mentor Wise recognises the right of parents and children to learn and celebrate their religious belief. It opposes however the imposition of religion on others or even engaging in activity that could be construed as proselytising. Instead, it attempts to work out and make sense of personal beliefs in a non-coercive space, bringing about a religious understanding that is non-judgmental, respectful of religious diversity and non-absolutist.
Mentor Wise will aim to provide a positive experience of religiously justified universal values such as empathy, care, compassion, and social responsibility and can provide a grounding in religious and spiritual learning. It exposes mentees to debate and discussion about God, creation and the meaning of life, helping to deconstruct religious and positivist dogmas. Mentor Wise ensures that exposure to religious teachings is based on critical, reflective and self-reflexive thinking.
Muslim mentees can attend courses such as ‘The Essentials of Islamic Philosophy’ where philosophical questions relating to God, human beings, existence and spirituality are discussed and/or ‘Dialogue in Islam’ which looks at the theological basis for dialogue and positive community relations in Islam in a question and answer format. Mentees are encouraged to explore rich and stimulating approaches to religions and religious values.
Mentor Wise’s interpretation of religion in general and Islam in particular is influenced and informed by the teachings and scholarship of Fethullah Gülen. His key teachings are underpinned by an emphasis on love and compassion, empathetic acceptance of the other, belief that diversity of belief was intended, positive action and positive thought, the middle path in all action, a rejection of a dichotomous worldview and an understanding that promotes free will and choice. Accordingly, any teaching on Islam is primarily based on this approach. Secondary points of influence include Mevlana Jalalledin Rumi, Yunus Emre, Ahmed Sirhindi, Imami Gazali and Imam Abu Hanifa.