Rumi Forum's blog on Hizmet, Fethullah Gulen, peacebuilding, education and interfaith efforts.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ebru News | Service Awards Honor Peacemakers RUMI FORUM ON EBRU TV

Ebru News | Service Awards Honor Peacemakers

Ebru News | Service Awards Honor Peacemakers

In Washington D-C, the 4th Annual 2010 RUMI Peace and Dialogue Awards drew a crowd of supporters dedicated to peace and understanding worldwide.

This ceremony of excellence honored individuals and organizations who've greatly contributed their time, energy, leadership and dedication to the cause of peace.

Held in the ballroom of Washington's National Press Club, the ceremony honored individuals and organizations from all backgrounds and professional achievements.

More than 100 people enjoyed a fine dinner and a video presentation about the RUMI organization.

Founded in 1999, the mission of the Rumi Forum is to foster interfaith and intercultural dialogue under the timeless message of individuals and organizations coming together in harmony and peace.
The awardees included Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, D-C Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, World Famous Soccer Player Didier Drogba, and Alex Kronemer and Michael Wolfe of the Unity Productions Foundation.

Ebru News | Service Awards Honor Peacemakers

National Press Club - Rumi Forum bestows Peace and Dialogue Awards

The Rumi Forum held its 4th Annual PEACE AND DIALOGUE AWARDS at the National Press Club yesterday evening in Washington DC. Below is an article describing the event and some notable words from the numerous guests and awardees.

Photos from the evening will soon be posted on our Rumi Forum Picasa site - STAY TUNED !

Rumi Forum bestows Peace and Dialogue Awards
The Rumi Forum, a think tank established by Turks living in Washington, D.C., to foster intercultural dialogue, has presented its traditional Peace and Dialogue Awards.

Ken Bedell receiving the awards on behalf of Secretary of Education - Arne Duncan

The 2010 Rumi Peace and Dialogue Awards ceremony was held on Tuesday at the National Press Club's Ballroom in Washington, D.C. The think thank gave awards to extraordinary individuals and organizations who have contributed much of their time, energy, leadership and dedication to the causes of dialogue, understanding, peace and community service.

The think tank honored US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan with the Extraordinary Commitment to Education Award. Ken Bedell, a senior adviser of the US Department of Education's Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnership Center, received the award on Duncan's behalf and read out an acceptance message in which Duncan said: “I'm humbled. We still have a long way to go to ensure that our schools are not only safe but also centers of peace. The Rumi Forum is an important partner in our shared work of creating a safe environment by promoting interfaith dialogue where we can all come to a better understanding of each other.”

Bedell also delivered a speech while receiving the award. “At the Department of Education we don't deal with the really big issues of world peace. We deal with the really big issues of making our schools a place at which American children are not only safe but learn to grow academically, learn to grow with each other. [Honorary chairman of the forum and an Islamic scholar] Fethullah Gülen put it extremely well when he said: ‘In schools good manners should be considered just as important as other subjects. If they are not, how can children grow up with sound character? Education is different from teaching.' That's what we believe at the Department of Education. Good manners are different from teaching,” he said.

The Rumi Forum awarded Eleanor Holmes Norton, congresswoman for the District of Columbia, with the Congressional Service Award. “Your mission of improving interfaith and intercultural dialogue makes me want to bring you to the Congress of the United States. I regard the award you've been kind enough to give me as one I can accept only as an inspiration to take back the spirit of [13th century poet and Islamic scholar Mevlana Jelaluddin] Rumi to the House, where I serve,” Norton said in her speech.

Arne DuncanImage via Wikipedia

Professor Ori Soltes from Georgetown University also delivered a speech during the award ceremony in which he made references to philosophy. “Gülen is both a student of Socrates and Plato and a student of Rumi, someone who spent a lifetime trying to negotiate a territory of genuine dialogue of listening, not just speaking, and working together across denominational lines, be they religious, ethnic, national or racial -- all kinds of lines into which we humans tend to carve ourselves up, both really and artificially. Gülen is very much a child of the idea of speaking across lines. The idea that underlies the Gülen movement is an idea not only about talking but action. The Gülen movement is hizmet [service]. It's about action,” he said.

The Rumi Forum was founded in 1999 with the mission to foster interfaith and intercultural dialogue, stimulate thinking and the exchange of opinions on supporting and fostering democracy and peace the world over, and to provide a common platform for education and information exchange. The Rumi Forum endeavors to foster the noble ideals of Rumi, bringing people and ideas together for a more peaceful coexistence.

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 26, 2003) - Aerial vie...Image via Wikipedia

28 October 2010, Thursday

FULL ARTICLE:Rumi Forum bestows Peace and Dialogue Awards

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Journey into America The Challenge of Islam by Akbar Ahmed - Rumi Forum

In case you missed it, Akbar Ahmed's talk on 'Journey into America' can be seen below. A great conversation on the developing Muslim community in the United States and some suggestions on how things may improve. A definite watch !

Remember also that full length videos of our talks can be viewed at Rumi Forum or our VIMEO site

YouTube - RumiForum's Channel

Journey into America The Challenge of Islam by Akbar Ahmed - Rumi Forum
From: RumiForum | October 08, 2010 | 162 views

The most comprehensive study ever done on the American Muslim community, Journey into America explores and documents how Muslims are fitting into U.S. society, seeking to place the Muslim experience in the U.S. within the larger context of American identity. In doing so, it is a major contribution to the study of American history and culture.

Renowned scholar Akbar Ahmed and his team of young researchers traveled through over seventy-five cities across the United States—from New York City to Salt Lake City; from Las Vegas to Miami; from large enclaves such as Dearborn, Michigan, to small towns like Arab, Alabama. They visited over one hundred mosques and visited homes and schools to discover what Muslims are thinking, what they are reading, and how they are living every day in America.

Ahmed illuminates unexplored Muslim-American communities through his pursuit of challenging questions: Can we expect an increase in homegrown terrorism? How do American Muslims of Arab descent differ from those of other origins (e.g. Somali or South Asian)? Why are so many white women converting to Islam? He also delves into the potentially sticky area of relations with other religions. For example, is there truly a deep divide between Muslims and Jews in America? And how well do Muslims get along with other larger religious groups, such as Mormons in Utah?

Much like Ahmed's widely hailed Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization(Brookings, 2007), Journey into America is equal parts anthropological research, listening tour, and travelogue. Whereas the previous book took the reader into homes, schools, mosques, and public places in heavily Muslim nations, Journey into America takes us into the heart of America's Muslim communities in America. It is absolutely essential reading for anyone trying to make sense of America today, especially its Muslim population—the challenges it faces, the challenges it poses, and its prospects for the future.

Ambassador Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University in Washington DC, the First Distinguished Chair of Middle East and Islamic Studies at the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He has taught at Princeton, Harvard, and Cambridge Universities and is considered "the world's leading authority on contemporary Islam" by the BBC. He has advised General David Petraeus, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, and Secretary Michael Chertoff on Islam and foreign policy. He is regularly interviewed by CNN, CBS, BBC, and Fox News and has appeared several times on the "Oprah Winfrey Show", as well as The Daily Show and The O'Reilly Factor. He is the author of over a dozen award-winning books, including Discovering Islam, which was the basis of the BBC six-part TV series called "Living Islam". His books have been translated into many languages, including Chinese and Indonesian. His most recent book Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam (Brookings Press, 2010), is an unprecedented study based in fieldwork of Muslims in America.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Academics: Interfaith dialogue is the only solution to Islamophobia - RUMI FORUM NOSTALGIA

Rumi Forum has been committed to overcoming misunderstanding between communities, another example from 2007.

Academics: Interfaith dialogue is the only solution to Islamophobia

Academics: Interfaith dialogue is the only solution to Islamophobia
Dr. Sidney Griffith of the Catholic University of America delivers a presentation titled
Dr. Sidney Griffith of the Catholic University of America delivers a presentation titled "Abraham in the 'Abrahamic' Religions: Theologies in Counterpoint" during the "Inter-Religious and Intercultural Discourse: Christians and Muslims in Dialogue" conference at the CUA.
In today's enduring atmosphere inter-religious contention, the Rumi Forum picked the American capital Washington D.C. as the venue for last week's conference "Inter-Religious and Intercultural Discourse: Christians and Muslims in Dialogue" at the Catholic University of America with the cooperation of the University's Semitics Department and Institute for Inter-Religious Study and Dialogue.

In his keynote speech, Dr. David Smock, vice president of USIP's Center for Mediation and Conflict Resolution, summarized the attributes that religious leaders and institutions can offer in promoting peace and reconciliation as follows:

Credibility as a trusted institution; a respected set of values; moral warrants for opposing injustice on the part of governments; unique leverage for promoting reconciliation among conflicting parties, including an ability to rehumanize situations that have become dehumanized over the course of protracted conflict; a capability to mobilize communities, nations and international support for a peace process; an ability to follow through locally in the wake of a political settlement; and a sense of calling that often inspires perseverance in the face of major.

Dr. Sidney Griffith of the Catholic University of America delivers a presentation titled

Dr. Sidney Griffith of CUA, in his presentation titled "Abraham in the 'Abrahamic' Religions: Theologies in Counterpoint," said "Islam was born already in dialogue with Jews and Christians," and given their common origin in the prophet Abraham, Christians and Muslims should always approach each other as brothers "united by the same spirit of faith and sacrifice."....

CLICK   Academics: Interfaith dialogue is the only solution to Islamophobia

Saturday, October 16, 2010

'Crashing' Into Each Other - RUMI FORUM Nostalgia

A bit more nostalgia from Rumi Forum's history of interfaith event...

'Crashing' Into Each Other

'Crashing' Into Each Other
Residents discuss fear, bias and human behavior in times of crisis.

An African American FBI agent, a white woman who had formerly served in the Foreign Service, a young white Muslim woman, a white woman from the South and an Indian male Sikh.
Despite their obvious differences, these five people share two things in common — they all live in McLean, and they all sat at the same round table at the McLean Community Dialogue "Bias-Fear-Crisis: How Can Our Community Cope?" on Thursday, April 6.
This was the fourth community dialogue held by McLean Community Connections, a group that was organized in 2003 by local McLean community residents. The goal of the organization is "to promote deeper understandings and conversation within our diverse community, and to strengthen community resilience for times of emergency, unrest or crisis." The dialogues are organized in conjunction with the Fairfax County Community Interfaith Liaison Office in the Department of Systems Management for Human Services.
"This is our fourth dialogue and they have all been hugely successful," said McLean Community Connections Steering Committee member Jackie Eghrari-Sabet, a member of the Baha'i McLean Spiritual Assembly. "Most people describe this as a very worthwhile experience, and a life-altering experience in terms of community awareness.".....
CLICK   'Crashing' Into Each Other

Saturday, October 9, 2010

US concerns about Turkey’s policies wrong, says Fuller - RUMI FORUM LUNCHEON

Rumi Forum recently hosted Graham Fuller, author of “A World Without Islam,” . His views were reported in Today's Zaman (see below). The youtube video is also below - very worthwhile viewing...
US concerns about Turkey’s policies wrong, says Fuller

Islam is not the guiding force behind Turkey’s foreign policy decisions, and concerns in Washington about its NATO ally’s direction are wrong, an expert on Islam has said.

Graham Fuller, a former CIA operative and author of the book “A World Without Islam,” said one does not have to be religious “to fully agree with this 360 degree view of where Turkey’s foreign policy goes.” Fuller, speaking at Washington-based Turkish interfaith dialogue organization the Rumi Forum for a book-signing event on Thursday, said Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was religious but that there were “very good secular and geopolitical explanations” one can give for his proactive policies....  
US concerns about Turkey’s policies wrong, says Fuller

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

John L. Esposito and Ihsan Yilmaz book on Fethullah Gulen and movement - amongst other books that are a must read to understand such a global civic and social movement involved in peace building and education

The Rumi Forum is part of a global civic movement motivated by the ideas of Fethullah Gulen. Though global in nature through various types of organizations - including schools, dialogue centers, media, health and welfare organization - little is know of the movement or the ideas of Fethullah Gulen. Some new books both by Gulen and about Gulen (and the movement) are mentioned below to acquaint you with Gulen's ideas.

Each of these book are a must to better understand the contributions of an important civic movement on the global scale...

NEWSEST BOOK by John Esposito:
Islam and Peacebuilding: Gulen Movement Initiatives Islam and Peacebuilding: Gulen Movement Initiatives (9781935295075): John L. Esposito, Ihsan Yilmaz: Books

The exploration of the contributions is made with regards to the title in hand by the thought and practice of the global movement associated with the Turkish Muslim scholar Fethullah Gulen. The importance and distinctiveness of teaching of Gulen and the practice of the movement is that it is rooted in a confident Turkish Islamic heritage while being fully engaged with modernity. It offers the possibility of a contextualised renewal of Islam for Muslims in the modern world while being fully rooted in the teachings of the Qu'ran and the Sunnah of the Prophet. It advocates the freedom of religion while making an Islamic contribution to the wider society based on a commitment to service of others.

Key Concepts in the Practice of Sufism Vol.4 (Emerald Hills of the Heart) Key Concepts in the Practice of Sufism Vol.4 (Emerald Hills of the Heart) (9781597842136): Fethullah Gulen: Books
Concluding a textually long but spiritually endless journey toward insan al-kamil?the perfect human?this fourth volume approaches Sufism through the middle way, an approach that revives the legacy of the Prophet Muhammad. With an awareness of the social realities of the 21st century, concepts such as tranquility, the truth of divinity, life beyond the physical realm, the preserved tablet, the glorified attributes, and the beautiful names are delicately explained. (3 previous volumes are also available)

The Gulen Movement: Civic Service without Borders The Gulen Movement: Civic Service without Borders (9781935295082): Muhammed Cetin: Books
This book seeks to develop an appropriate discourse for studying the Gulen Movement and phenomena like it. The established discourse concerns itself with social movements as protest, as challenge to the System, as contentious actors looking to alter or even overturn existing structures and/or policies in some field, usually political or economic. Approaching the matter from social movement theory and taking an insider's perspective, the author argues that the Gulen Movement is, as it has always been, non-contentious' it is not a marginalized actor working on the System from the outside. On the contrary, it has always worked within the System - within the boundaries of the laws and public norms that obtain in the different local and national settings where it has set up institutions.

Toward a Global Civilization of Love and Tolerance Toward a Global Civilization of Love and Tolerance (9781932099683): M. Fethullah Gülen: Books

This book has a double purpose. On the one hand, it is a call to Muslims to a greater awareness that Islam teaches the need for dialogue and that Muslims are called to be agents and witnesses to God's universal mercy. On the other hand, the book is an invitation to non-Muslims to move beyond prejudice, suspicion, and half-truths in order to arrive at an understanding what Islam is really about.

A Dialogue of Civilizations A Dialogue of Civilizations (9781597841108): Jill Carroll: Books
Writer Carroll states in the introduction that prior to a trip she made late in 2004 she was unaware that the organizers of the Institute for Interfaith Dialog based in Houston, Texas as well as the organizers of the trip itself were members of a community of people inspired by the notions of Fethullh Gulen, a Turkish Islamic scholar. Reading further we find Carroll's intent in this book is to 'place the ideas of Fethullh Gulen into the context of the larger humanities. Chapter titles are 1: Gulen and Kant on Inherent Human Value and Moral Dignity, 2: Gulen and Mill on Freedom, 3: Gulen, Confucius, and Plato on the Human Ideal, 4: Gulen, Confucius, and Plato on Education, 5: Gulen and Sartre on Responsibility. Kant's belief was that humans have inherent value, Gulen spoke of the transcendent value of human beings. Mills' assertions that the tyranny of the majority must be met head long was presented from his viewpoint of the nineteenth century Briton. Gulen avows that 'freedom allows people to do whatever they want, provided they do not harm others and they remain wholly devoted to the truth.' A Dialogue of Civilizations: Gulen's Islamic Ideals and Humanistic Discourse presents the query 'what is the level of resonance between Islam and the West?' That the twenty-first century has become an episode of heretofore unnoticed quandary is obvious. Up until 9-1-1 few worldwide really gave much thought to anything other than their own viewpoint. Writer Carroll finds significance can be gleaned an awareness of the theoretically divergent views of Gulen, Turkish Muslim scholar and those of Immanuel Kant, Confucius, Plato, John Stuart Mill, and Jean Paul Sartre regarding critical hypothesis including intrinsic ethical pride, creature significance, learning, autonomy, and accountability. The reader may be surprised to find out these figures who are separated by centuries in time, as well as oceans or continents have a propensity toward speaking the same language.

Writer Carroll's attentive writing style has produced a judicious and timely work, she is knowledgeable, presents her thesis in readable manner and holds reader interest. Not for everyone, if you are looking for a lighthearted, 'story' book for a quick afternoon read A Dialogue of Civilizations: Gulen's Islamic Ideals and Humanistic Discourse is not that book. If you would like to learn a little more about Gulen and his notions of education and dialog then A Dialogue of Civilizations: Gulen's Islamic Ideals and Humanistic Discourse will prove an eye-opening read.

Educational read, happy to recommend for those who are hoping to learn something of an interesting thesis. -- Midwest Book Review

More books on Fethullah Gulen: English - fethullah gulen: Books