US conference discusses Gülen movement contributions to peace

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.


Date posted: November 3, 2009

Officials from the US Department of State, a retired ambassador, academics and others gathered at the University of Maryland, College Park campus, on Thursday to participate in a Rumi Forum Maryland conference on the Gülen (Hizmet) movement’s contributions to world peace.

The “Preventing Violence and Achieving World Peace: The Contributions of the Gulen Movement Conference” was held on Oct. 29, co-sponsored by the Rumi Club, the Rumi Forum Maryland and other organizations at the University of Maryland, College Park. Several distinguished speakers, including a former ambassador, a US State Department official and academics, talked about the contributions of the Gülen movement to world peace.

The conference opened with a keynote speech by Dr. Ori Z. Soltes from Georgetown University, titled, “Socrates, Violence, Education, the Gulen Movement and Peace.” Dr. Soltes noted that like Fethullah Gülen, Socrates emphasized the importance of ethics and the process of dialogue for bringing morality into all facets of life.

Gülen emphasizes that education is the ultimate means through which we can deduce the divine will and thus improve the world. He noted that unlike Socrates, the Gülen movement has been able to put Gülen’s ideas into action through its varied educational programs, media, and cable and Internet programming.

The conference featured two panels, one titled “Preventing Violence & Achieving World Peace” and the other, “The Contributions of the Gulen Movement to World Peace.” Dr. John Davies from the University of Maryland, College Park, opened the first panel discussion by sharing findings from a comprehensive research program that has identified societal factors which strongly correlate with the likelihood or absence of violence and wars within and among nations. Peter Kovach, from the US Department of State, said the Rumi Forum in Washington, D.C., and the Los Angeles-based Pacifica Institute are some of the most effective peace organizations that build bridges between people from diverse backgrounds. David Newton, former US ambassador to Iraq and currently with the Middle East Institute, shared his experience with Radio Free Iraq and stated that the media is an empty vessel, and it can be filled with tolerance or intolerance and incites violence or peace.

The second panel shifted focus to a more complete understanding of how the Gülen movement conceptualizes peace and ways to achieve it. Dr. William Taft Stuart of the University of Maryland, College Park, discussed the social capital that the Gülen movement brings to peace building, including its educational activities, forum activities and media outlets, especially the Zaman newspaper. Dr. Pim Valkenberg from Loyola University Maryland was the final speaker. He stated that Gülen’s notion of peace is based on an analysis of three roots of violence — ignorance, disunity and poverty — and that his eponymous movement’s activities address these through its schools, dialogue groups and charitable organizations, such as Kimse Yok Mu. According to Gülen, for a Muslim, peace cannot be separated from religion because a Muslim desires in his or her daily life to be at peace with all of creation.

Source: Today’s Zaman, 31 October 2009, http://www.todayszaman.com/news-191562-us-conference-discusses-gulen-movement-contributions-to-peace.html

 


Related News

WaPo publishes editorial from Fethullah Gulen on the day Erdogan meets Trump

If nothing else, the timing of this is certainly interesting. Yesterday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Washington for his meeting with President Trump scheduled for later today. It’s an encounter which I already described as problematic at best, given Erdogan’s new status as a strongman and tyrant, and it doesn’t seem to hold the promise of much benefit on our part.

The Erdoğan-Gülen encounter and democracy

It is not normal that the non-political Gülen movement would occupy such a central space in election campaigning; this is why the situation calls for some special scrutiny.

Kimse Yok Mu providing assistance to Ebola victims in Guinea

Turkish aid organization Kimse Yok Mu has been supplying medical aid to Guinea since March, when the lethal Ebola virus struck the West African country, claiming 122 lives to date.

Hizmet movement and Kurdish question in Turkey

Through educational projects, the Hizmet movement helped to alter the social fabric of Turkish people who consciously or otherwise supported the institutional resistance of state and governmental bodies. Through dialogue and face-to-face encounters, Turkish people have had the chance to experience and feel the grievances of their Kurdish brothers and sisters and listen to their stories.

Renowned Kurdish singer Sivan Perwer lauds Gülen’s support for peace process

Famous Kurdish singer Şivan Perwer has said he found the remarks of well-respected Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen on the peace process to end the Kurdish issue “important.” Perwer described the announcement of support from Gülen as a “significant event” as he said people in Turkey listen to what the Islamic scholar has to say. […]

Journalists and Writers Foundation to discuss girls’ education in Afghanistan

The Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) is due to hold a panel on the topic of education of Afghan girls, in New York City on March 18.

Latest News

This notable Pocono resident has been living here in exile since 1999

Logistics companies seized over Gülen links sold in fast-track auction

That is Why the Turkish Government could Pay 1 Billion Euros

ECtHR rules Bulgaria violated rights of Turkish journalist who was deported despite seeking asylum

Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences in the Wake of the Western European Floods

Pregnant woman kept in prison for 4 months over Gülen links despite regulations

Normalization of Abduction, Torture, and Death in Erdogan’s Turkey

Turkey’s Maarif Foundation illegally seized German-run school in Ethiopia, says manager

Failed 2016 coup was gov’t plot to purge Gülenists from state bodies, journalist claims

In Case You Missed It

Hizmet-affiliated schools removed from private school incentive list

TUSKON chairman to Erdoğan: To make fortune, join business world

Interfaith Ramadan Iftar Dinner Held in Montville

Peace Islands Institute Annual Ramadan Dinner

Hrant Topakiyan’s feelings about the Journalists and Writers Foundation

Nigeria – Our students should not be victims of Turkey’s high-handedness and authoritarianism

Intellectuals from West, East agree Gülen movement works for a better world

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News