Dear guests, esteemed organizers, academics, thinkers, and honorable government authorities of Senegal,
have gratefully received your kind invitation to the conference titled
"Diversity & Cohesion in a Globalized World: Contributions of the
Gülen Movement." It is with deep sorrow that I am unable to join you due
to my unfavorable health conditions.
Diversity is no doubt a
reality of human life, as it is an auspicious and bountiful
manifestation of Divine will in the universe. Our encounter with this
reality has never been as intimate as it is now, as time and space have
shrunk to make us neighbors. Yet, while on the one hand we are being
drawn closer to one another, on the other hand, challenges are growing
far and wide, with consequences transcending political, historical, and
cultural borders. This is where the main theme of your conference, i.e.,
cohesion, comes into play as an indispensable solution for our pandemic
problems of violence, wars, prejudice, lack of character, misguided
education, and weakening spirit of neighborliness.
hope that this conference will substantially contribute to a global
awareness that "there are as many paths leading to God as there are
breaths to take." This awareness starts first in the heart, where we
have to subside our inner hatred, our carnal desire for violence and
hurt. It is a mission to change the world to become an abode of
dialogue. It is a lifetime struggle and caregiving without despair in
the face of all the trouble and suffering we are witnessing around us.
First and foremost, it is our responsibility, to ourselves, to be who we
are expected to be, and second, not to leave any excuses for others who
refuse to assume it.
I am very thankful to the organizers, Ebru
Magazine, ATSA Foundation, and Cheikh Anta Diop University for their
cooperation in bringing this conference together. I wish Ebru Magazine
success on their recently started journey of becoming a voice of peace,
dialogue, and a source of inspiration for hearts and minds. I
wholeheartedly commend the Senegal government, the Senegal Ministry of
Education, and the brotherly nation of Senegal for hosting this event
and for the peaceful hospitality they have been showering over the
teachers and other volunteers of education and dialogue serving at Yavuz
Selim schools and ATSA Foundation as they serve to build bridges of
friendship across oceans and nations.
M. Fethullah Gülen