Fethullah Gülen Chair at Australian Catholic University
The official launch of the Fethullah Gulen Chair in the Study of Islam and Muslim-Catholic relations was held at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Victoria. The President of Victoria, John Brambi, thanked the Australian Intercultural Society for the contributions of Peace in the country.
The Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Victoria hosted the inauguration ceremony of the launch of the Fethullah Gulen Chair in the Study of Islam and Muslim- Catholic relations. The Governor of Victoria, Professor David de Kretser and the Honorary President of the Australian Intercultural Society Mehmet Ali Shengul together conducted the official opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Governor Kretser stated in his inaugural address that the immigrants who increased the population of the country contributed to the multiculturalism of the country.
Prof. Dr. David De Kretser said: “There have been clashes of religious differences between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland, Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq for years. The social researches are very important in terms of preventing such clashes. To quote from Fethullah Gulen:
For a world in peace, dialog is the principal task of the people.” The President of Victoria John Brumby in his message sent to the ceremony said, “This chair is an important contribution to the multicultural structure. I would like to thank the Australian Intercultural Society for their contributions. Also the participants standing up during the azan which is Muslim call to prayer drew attention. Greg Barton of Melbourne Monash University who delivered a speech at the ceremony recalled that in the days following September 11, Muslims experienced great difficulty as they were subject to prejudice and he added that the dialog activities would end these clashes between the different faiths.
Prof. Greg Barton From Monash University Said: Barton who reminds the dialog studies all over the world by Gulen said, “To note his sensitivity to education, all these studies lead our thoughts to name this chair after Mr. Gulen.”
Among the guests were Islamic Scholars, members of the Turkish Parliament, Academicians, members of the media, columnists from international newspapers, also other VIP guests from the UAE, the UK and Turkiye and directors of large companies who support the chair.
Fethullah Gulen Chair will not only be the first in the Catholic world but it will also become a prototype in the Islamic and Turkish speaking nations. The renown Islamic scholar, thinker, poet and peace activist venerable Fethullah Gulen has been proposing solutions to global problems in the name of humanity and the future of the Islamic world for the past 30 years. These days his vision and ideologies are the main focus in many lectures and seminars organized in his name all over the world’s universities. The Chair in the Study of Islam & Catholic-Muslim Relations aims to conduct extensive research in the field and produce thesis in masters and doctorate level. The Chair, first of its kind in Australia already became the focus of the Australian Media. Beginning from 2008, it seems that the chair will play a major role with its academic level of research and projects of building solid bridges between the two religions. The Fethullah Gülen Chair is a newly created position which aims to providing academic lea
dership in research, teaching and community engagement in relation to the study of Islam and has been founded with full recognition of the plurality and diversity of Islam itself. This chair is Named in honour of Fethullah Gülen who is a Turkish-born scholar, educator, spiritual and social leader, and renowned advocate for interreligious dialogue and peace. Gülen’s interpretation of Qur’anic teaching seeks to enable Muslims to live their Islamic faith in modern situations and make a positive contribution to the transformation of society. Gülen is especially noted in Catholic circles for his private audience with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in 1998, which marked an important step forward in Muslim- Christian relations.