On Sunday December 14, 2015, the Turkish police raided the headquarters of Zaman daily, which has the highest circulation in Turkey, and detained Mr. Ekrem Dumanlı, the editor-in-chief, Mr. Hidayet Karaca, the CEO of Samanyolu Media Group as well as other journalists, producers, and scriptwriters. This is another worrying signal for the deterioration of democracy and freedom of expression in Turkey. The independent media has been the target of the Turkish government due to its opposition to increasingly authoritarian policies and laxity against the serious corruption charges.
It is not surprising that these arrests took place just days before the anniversary of corruption scandal which shook the government of Turkey last year. Since then, the government has passed a series of legislations taking the country opposite direction from the democratic values and European Union.
Participants of Hizmet movement remain committed to democracy, fundamental human rights and freedoms. Detention of people in the media reflects a new level of repression by Erdogan’s regime.
We urge the proponents of freedom of expression and the friends of Turkey in Europe to stand against the anti-democratic actions, and raise their voice for the freedom of press, rule of law and fundamental rights to save the democracy in Turkey.
Jesus in Islamic Eschatology
Many people are unaware that Jesus, as a messenger of God, is an integral part of Islamic belief and he is a highly appreciated religious figure among Muslims. Although they do not attribute any divinity, they accept his immaculate birth and revere him as an elite prophet. Besides, Muslims, like Christians, expect him to come again at the “end of the time.” According to Islamic theology, only Jesus, among all other prophets, will come as a messianic figure with an eschatological role.
There are already works that examined Jesus as a prominent personality in Islamic theology and tradition. Dr. Zeki Saritoprak’s book, however, aims to scrutinize particularly the eschatological significance of Jesus from a Muslim point of view. In his book, Dr. Saritoprak, on the one hand, illuminates Islam’s rich theological engagement with the figure of Jesus. On the other hand, he tries to explore what Muslims believe about his (second) coming/descent at the end of time. In so doing, he examines both medieval and modern Muslim exegeses of the pertinent Qur’anic and hadith texts. He moreover observes close convergences between these exegeses and those of many Christians, and this, for him, can lay a(nother) groundwork for interfaith dialogue and understanding.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Saritoprak is associate professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and the Beddiüzaman Said Nursi Chair in Islamic Studies at John Carroll University, USA. He is the author of numerous works on Islamic theology in English, Turkish, and Arabic. Along with his expertise in the filed, his book Islam’s Jesus is also a result of his working and teaching experience in American Christian institutions as well as his enduring and significant involvement in interfaith dialogue.
Date / Time: Monday, 26th January 2015 at 18.00
Venue: Dialogue Platform
Rue Montoyer 31, Brussels 1000 (2nd floor)
Tolerance, inter-cultural dialogue and respect for diversity are more essential than ever in a world where peoples are becoming more and more closely interconnected.
World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it.
No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
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.
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