October 31, 2013 (Thursday)
The president of Rumi Forum, Emre Celik shared, “It’s important that the wider academic world community has access to appropriate information regarding both Gulen himself and the movement, so in regards to peace building activities, we thought this would be appropriate.”
Hizmet, an anti-violence group, is known by professors as a group that uses dialogue and education to achieve its goals.
Dr. Amidu Olalekan Sanni, an academic from Lagos State University in Nigeria explained, “I think the Hizmet group has been very influential in terms of human development, basically in the area of education and health. The first Hizmet university actually began in the Nigerian capital of Abuja.”
A seminar on the perfect universal man, as shown in classical Sufi literature, was presented by Dr. Nazila Isgandarova. The concept was originally written by Mr. Fethullah Gulen, an influential scholar.
Dr. Nazila Isgandarova, who also serves as an Islamic Spiritual Caregiver, said, “Gulen was able to apply this concept of aksiyon insani, which means a “man of action,” and he made it more practical and a gender inclusive concept.”
Dr. Martha Kirk’s presentation, entitled Iraqi Women of Three Generations, proved to be a highlight of the symposium. Iraq has 32 Hizmet schools, all of which teach self-confidence to Iraqi women.
Dr. Pim Valkenberg, an academic at Catholic University of America & Alper Alasag in the Netherlands shared, “Giving God what you have received from God. I think that’s the basic motive that gets at least the religious people from among them going. That’s what I recognized from my Christian perspective that’s very important for Muslims.”
Interfaith initiatives and found solutions to mutual concerns were explained by academics at this year’s Hizmet conference. Attendees revealed their hope to contribute to peacebuilding efforts globally was strengthened thanks to the symposium.