The Cape of Good Hope lived up to its name as nearby Cape Town played host to a conference on the potential contributions of the Gulen movement’s ideas and practices to reconciliation in South Africa.
The dialogue-based philosophy of Fethullah Gulen, which has already gained traction in America, Europe and Asia, has lately been discussed by important thinkers from almost every walk of life in Africa. A volunteer movement inspired by Fethullah Gulen that carries out events around the world in the name of peace brought together members of the South African community, which continues to struggle with racism, at a conference titled “Potential Contributions of the Gulen Movement’s Ideas and Practices Toward Reconciliation of South African Society” at Cape Town’s Westin Grand Hotel. Despite ending of the apartheid system and holding democratic elections for the first time in 1994, bringing Nelson Mandela power, total societal reconciliation has still not been achieved in South Africa.
Social scientists, politicians, academics, members of the clergy, bureaucrats, students and other Cape Town notables of different races and religions gathered at the Gulen conference.
Halil Yurtsever, Cape Town director of the Turquoise Harmony Institute, which organized the conference, said: “Despite being born in Turkey, the Gulen movement, which concerns itself with universal problems, has gained an international identity. The ideas and works of Fethullah Gulen are pioneering a new revival in art, literature, thought and knowledge, which have been stuck in a 1,000-year interregnum.”
One of the many speakers at the conference, Father Msizi Gareth Micholson, said in his speech: “I have the same dream as Gulen; no distinction made between the rich and the poor, an end to conflict, peace between East and West and a world where cultures and religions embrace one another and people value other people because they are people.”