Fethullah Gülen, the prominent Muslim scholar, preacher and peace advocate, today urged people of all faiths to come together to address global conflict at the first-ever US Muslim-Catholic Dialogue Conference, which seeks to promote interfaith dialogue and mutual respect worldwide.
“The Earth has never been free of those who propagate fear, hate, and enmity for different motives,” Mr. Gülen said in remarks delivered by Zeki Saritoprak, professor of Islamic studies at John Carroll University. “However, undeniably, humans are tired of wars, violent conflicts, bloodshed, atrocities, and they are thirsty for universal dialogue and peace. Our globalizing world presents a historically unprecedented ground for developing affinity, integration and mutual acceptance.”
Mr. Gülen is the inspiration behind the international Hizmet movement, a global social movement dedicated to promoting interfaith dialogue, making quality education more accessible, and bringing health care and humanitarian aid to those in need. In his remarks, Mr. Gülen applauded religious leaders across the globe for their efforts to foster peace and understanding, noting: “It would be unrealistic to expect all conflicts on the earth to cease anytime soon. However, it is also not wishful thinking to expect that relations among various communities around the world will become more humane, driven by access to information, the reliance on reason and the increased first-hand knowledge of each other facilitated by dialogue in our increasingly shrinking world.”
Mr. Gülen added: “Fourteen centuries ago, the Holy Quran called for dialogue among Muslims, Jews and Christians, the latter two it referred to as Ahl-Al Kitaab, or people of the book. However, conflicts far outnumbered periods of peace in the intervening centuries due to conditions of those times. Now, however, the following centuries should be defined by mutual respect, love and coalescence.”
The dialogue conference – led by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB), Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (SEIA), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California (ISCSC) and the Islamic Educational Center of Orange County (IECOC) – is the first of its kind to be established at the national level.
Published on Alliance for Shared Values, 18 February 2016, Friday