Where: Dialogue Platform, Rue Montoyer 31, Brussels 1000
Date: Wednesday, 10 September 2014
With: Dr. Ismail Albayrak, professor of Islamic Studies
Although a number of conferences have been organised emphasising the social, civic and educational activities of the Gulen-inspired Hizmet Movement, as well as Gulen’s contribution to inter-religious dialogue, very little attention has been paid to his formal and informal education, his scholarly works and his interpretation of basic Islamic sources and disciplines in the modern period. Ismail Albayrak will focus on his scholarship and explore some of the themes and questions below:
- What are Gulen’s credential as an Islamic scholar? What are his areas of particular expertise?
- Why has he had such a disproportionate impact in Turkey but less among the Arabs and the non-Turkish Muslims
- Can Gulen’s views and ideas influence the mindset of the Muslim intelligentsia and grassroots of society? If so, how? What are the stumbling blocks?
- What contribution, if any, has Gulen’s discourse had on Islamic theology and thought?
- How Islamic is the Hizmet movement?
Biography of Dr. Ismail Albayrak
Dr. Albayrak received his PhD degree from Leeds University in 2000. He works on Islamic studies and specifically on Qur’anic Studies, Classical exegesis, Contemporary Approaches to the Qur’an and Orientalism. He is also interested in the place of Muslim communities and their activities in Globalizing World together with the study of interfaith dialogue. He has been working at National Australian Catholic University since 2007 as a professor in the study of Islam and Muslim-Catholic Relations.
Fethullah Gulen was included in Time magazine’s 100 moat influential people of the year. It is true that the Hizmet movement and its inspirational leader has impacted the world in a good way to foster peace and dialogue instead of war and lack of communication. Fethullah Gulen is a remarkable man and opinion leader in that he has devoted all his life to bringing people together to share ideas and inspiration. He eventually found friendly ears in many parts of the world and now can influence people, organizations and governments with his opinions. His most admirable attitude is humbleness, Gulen doesn’t think of himself as an influence player or a leader, but rather a peace volunteer among others.
Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has made it onto Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
This is the 10th year the magazine has listed its 100 most influential people shaping the world.
This year, the magazine put seven cover portraits of “TIME 100” honorees who it said reflect the “breadth and depth of our list.” They include Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, musician and businessman Jay Z, actress Jennifer Lawrence, politician Rand Paul, inventor and entrepreneur Elon Musk, Chinese tennis player Li Na and Bollywood star Aamir Khan.
Turkish muslim scholar Fethullah Gülen has extended condolences for victims of the coal mine blast in western Turkish town of Soma, wishing speedy recovery for injured workers.
“They were working in the most dire conditions to make the ends meet for their families,” Gülen said about the victims, adding that no word would be a consolation and no word would express the pain of separation. “We can do nothing except pray for them and share their pains with wept eyes,” Gülen stressed.
He wished that trapped mine workers will be saved soon.
The urgency of the global environmental crisis can no longer be denied. Climate change, depletion of natural resources, deforestation, desertification and many other ecological problems threaten the quality of life, health and livelihood of all of us. To tackle this multidimensional issue commitment and cooperation at all levels are needed, from the individual to the global. The aim of these efforts is to render the world’s production and consumption patterns ecologically sustainable again, taking into account elements of justice between this generation and the future generations, as well as between rich and poor, between North and South.
In democratic societies, the necessary reforms need the support of the vast majority of the people. They cannot be imposed in an authoritarian way. Citizens have to become convinced themselves that change in lifestyles is necessary. This requires a profound mentality change, and this touches upon the cultural constituents of our societies. For this reason, it is important to investigate which contribution religions, in this case Islam, can make to cultural change in the direction of ecological sustainability.
Islamic religious texts contain various references to the ecological question. It is sometimes amazing how prescient these texts are in light of today’s environmental problems. We also witness today a nascent body of literature on the ecological interpretation of Muslim scriptural sources. However, the relation between Islam and ecological issues is a topic that has not yet received the attention it deserves. We believe that a panel discussion about Muslim perspective(s) on environment could contribute to remedy such negligence.
Date: Monday, 08 November
Venue: European Parliament, Brussels
Subject: Do Muslims have anything to say about Green Politics?
Intercultural Dialogue Platform has organised an international conference in the European Parliament about Muslims and Green Politics with the support of two MEPs, namely Isabelle Durant and Ska Keller.
• ISABELLE DURANT (Greens/EFA), Vice-President of the European Parliament
• FRANZISKA KELLER (Greens/EFA), Committee on Development, European Parliament
• Fazlun KHALID, Director, Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences, (Birmingham, UK)
• Prof. Ibrahim OZDEMIR, President of Gazikent University (Gaziantep, Turkey)
• Dr. Mawil IZZI DIEN, Lecturer, Trinity Saint David, University of Wales, Cardiff-UK
• Prof. Zafer AYVAZ, Director, Foundation for Environmental Protection and Research (Izmir, Turkey)