A two-day international conference aimed at proposing a critical reflection for appraising the links between social cohesion and diversity in a globalized world has ended in Dakar, Senegal.
The conference, which was organized by ATSA and Ebru Magazine in collaboration with the Institute Fondamental de l’Afique Noire (IFAN) and the Senegalese Ministry of Education, took place on February 8-9, 2013.
The Senegalese Prime Minister, Abdoul Nbaye, opened the conference, which brought together over 240 delegates from around the world, including America, Europe and Africa. During the conference, several dignitaries presented papers on the significance of the gathering and their experiences in their respective countries concerning the Hizmet Movement.
Some of those who presented include: Dr. Eric Geoffroy, University of Strasburg, France; Dr. Marcia Hermainsen, Loyola University of Chicago, USA and Professor Filip Stanciu, University of Romania.
The others are: Dr. Alkaly Bah, University of Barack Obama, Conakry, Guinea; Dr. Yasien Mohammed, Professor of Arabic Language & Islamic Philosphy, University of Western Cape, South Africa and Dr. Omar Jah, Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration and Finance, University of the Gambia; The Managing Editor and Publisher of the Independent Authoritative Heritage Newspaper, Mr. Mohammed M. Kanneh, Sr., Dr. Walter T. Wiles, Vice President, Institutional Development, University of Liberia, Mr. Ramazan Burak, General Manager, Liberia-Turkish Light International School and Dr. Abbas S.A Kanneh, Chairman, League of Islamic Scholars and Propagators in Liberia attended the conference as observers.
Accordingly, the conference was also devoted to exploring the contribution of Hizmet Movement in mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence in a globalized world. From this perspective, one of the aims of this conference was to understand the involvement of civil society, particularly analyzing the case of Hizmet Movement- the so called “Gulen Movement” – in terms of their contribution to a global peaceful coexistence and mutual understanding of differences.
The conference further examined a transnational and educational movement inspired from Fethullah Gulen’s ideas and views on dialogue, community cohesion, integration, religion in the public space and human rights.
Fethullah Gulen, one of the most influential Muslim scholars in the world, has motivated millions to engage and invest in social development through nondenominational education and betterment of community relations through intercultural dialogue.
Volunteering and donating, often used as indicators of social participation in public life, are core elements of the Hizmet Movement. The movement’s primary objective is to achieve peaceful relations and greater understanding through education, dialogue and charity.
With worldwide activism in diverse fields, Hizmet Movement will be explored with regards to their purpose to achieve a cohesive society, how it is able to motivate people to engage in lasting and positive change with inclusive social relationships.
Published on Heritage Newspaper, 20 February 2013, Wednesday