March 10, 2011

Promoting Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation: Gulen Movement

Jannah Scott*

I was recently privileged to give the keynote address at the 6th Annual Intercultural Dialogue event sponsored by the Multicultural Mosaic Foundation (MMF) in Denver. The address was attended by Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, 25 Colorado state senators and representatives and more than 100 government, faith, community and business leaders.

Inspired by Turkish Muslim scholar, educator and peace activist Fethullah Gulen, MMF is one of 215 volunteer organizations affiliated with the Washington, DC-based Turkic American Alliance. MMF hosts annual events with state and local elected officials, nongovernmental organizations and others to promote dialogue and interfaith cooperation that leads to action.

Left to right: Ismail Akbulut (MMF President),
Larry Trujillo (State of CO Homeland Security Director),
Jannah Scott*, and team member Ibrahim Barlas.
One of President Obama’s key priorities for his Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships initiative is to promote interfaith dialogue and cooperation. The US Department of Homeland Security and its Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships supports this priority through events such as this and other efforts at home and abroad. For example, an important result of the address was that Colorado Director of Homeland Security Larry Trujillo and members of MMF agreed to work together to establish an interfaith/intercultural team of volunteers to promote emergency preparedness and to support first responders in times of crisis incidents.

Director Trujillo said that we are all safer when we work together with the communities we serve, and our partners in the Federal government. He added that he looks forward to expanding the homeland security team in Colorado through partnerships with faith-based and neighborhood groups like the MMF.

Attorney General Suthers said, “Groups like MMF help us build bridges in our community that might not otherwise be built. I applaud the work of MMF in promoting understanding across cultures and faiths for the common good and our federal colleagues for recognizing such efforts.”

MMF Board President Ismail Akbulut said, “Mirroring MMF's own principles of fostering interfaith dialogue, cooperation and understanding, Dr. Scott provided an inspirational vision for the future of our nation and abroad. We believe the alignment of priorities between the Administration, MMF and other similar organizations establishes a social foundation that is ripe for ushering in a new era of collaboration amidst differences.”

The DHS Center is committed to turning dialogue into interfaith service.

* Jannah Scott serves as the Deputy Director at the DHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Published on The White House Blog, 10 March 2011, Thursday
(Some additional links are provided by Hizmet Movement Blog)