On May 28, 2011, a two-session symposium titled “Fethullah Gulen and Global Peace” took place at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Uganda. Contribution of the Hizmet Movement and Fethullah Gulen to World Peace was the main theme of the symposium, a Nile Dialogue Platform event. The first was a discussion session on interfaith dialogue and tolerance followed by an in-depth analysis of the role of Fethullah Gulen and the Hizmet (Gulen Movement) in promoting global peace. The second session was a dialogue dinner featuring reflections and remarks that the organization stimulated. Throughout both sessions, numerous academics, intellectuals and officials representing a wide range of faiths and institutions shared their remarks on the symposium with respect to the movement’s overall idea and role in peacemaking.
Some of the prominent attendees and their remarks were as follows:
Dr. Sheikh Anas Kalisa, the Ugandan Mufti and lecturer at Islamic University initiated the series of presentations and remarks by touching upon the religion and its expected place in political sphere. He further added that the concepts of religion and piety come with rights as well as responsibilities toward humanity. He concluded by confirming that religion must be based on love and tolerance as Fethullah Gulen presents it.
Fr. Thomas Michel, appreciative of the movement’s contribution to world peace in his remarks, underscored the central idea of all the movement’s activities “ikhlas”, Islamic belief of sincerity: “Why they do these things is simply in order to gain the pleasure of God. Their works thus come out pure. That is the overriding experience I have had with this community over the years.”
Professor Abdullah Antepli from Duke University drew the attention to the actual problem that world peace is facing today, namely inactivity among peaceful and moderate Muslim, Christian and Jew communities. “There’s a lack of action and passion. As Gulen also says, anybody who loves or claims to love God cannot lack in passion to love humanity.” His remarks called for interfaith dialogue and fight against poverty, disunity and ignorance around the common message of peace of the faiths.
Uganda Deputy Prime Minister Moses Ali expressed his gratitude to the movement and Gulen for promoting peace with its initiatives in Uganda and all over the world. “We, in return, should remind each other the beauty of peaceful coexistence that our brother Fethullah Gulen initiated.” said Moses Ali.
Vice Directorate of Religious Affairs Abudul Hai Mukibi shared his strong belief in Gulen’s view that different classes of people regardless of their colors or religions can peacefully and harmoniously live together.
Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala referred Gulen as a genuine representative of Islam’s core message of peace. Cardinal encouraged all the attendees to take on the responsibility to spread the very same message that was reaffirmed at the conference.
In addition, Rev. Kaiso, Secretary General of the Council of Anglican provinces of Africa said as one of the religious groups that form the Interreligious Council they have always sought to promote tolerance among the different political entities and their followers and they are on course for further initiatives.