European Muslims, Civility and Public Life: Perspectives on and From the Gülen Movement

Tue, 22 May 2012 18:00 in Discussion Forums

Where: John Peek Conference Room, Birmingham & Midland Institute, Margaret Street, Birmingham, B3 3BS

Speakers

  • Professor Paul Weller, University of Derby
  • Naveed Sheikh, Keele University
  • Sean Silver

Abstract

Paul Weller will provide an overview of key themes drawn from within the chapters of his new co-edited (together with Ihsan Yilmaz of Fatih University, Istanbul) book on European Muslims, Civility and Public Life: Perspectives on and From the Gülen Movement, that were written by a range of authors, including Professor Weller himself.

The book, overall, deals with the challenges and opportunities faced by Muslims and the wider society in Europe following the Madrid train bombings of 2004 and the London Transport attacks of 2005. Paul Weller's talk will highlight how the book's chapters explore the challenges to the concept and practice of civility in public life within a European context, together with the evidence presented and arguments made by the authors about how far the thought and practice of the global movement inspired by the Turkish Muslim scholar Fethullah Gülen can make a contribution in these matters.

Professor Weller's overview of the book will touch on key perspectives from Fethullah Gülen on Muslim identity and public life in Europe; on civility, co-existence and integration; on the movement's development in a variety of different European contexts, especially in the Netherlands, France, Germany and Northern Ireland, and on the movement's role in challenging terrorism. He will also provide some insight into the position adopted by Fethullah Gülen in relation to Turkey's possible future membership of the European Union.

Biography of Paul Weller

Paul Weller (Cert Ed, MA, MPhil, PhD, DLitt) is Professor of Inter-Religious Relations at the University of Derby and Head of Research and Commercial Development in its Faculty of Education, Health and Sciences; Visiting Fellow in the Oxford Centre for Christianity and Culture at Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford; and a Trustee of the Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Derby. His current research interests involve issues in the relationships between religion, state and society, and religion or belief, discrimination and equal opportunities, in relation to which he is heading up a national research project within the Religion and Society Research Programme on "Religion and Belief, Discrimination and Equality in England and Wales: Theory, Policy and Practice (2000-2010):" (see http://www.derby.ac.uk/religion-and-society).

His recent publications include:

  • Time for a Change: Reconfiguring Religion, State and Society ( London: T. & T. Clark, 2005)
  • Religious Diversity in the UK: Contours and Issues (London: Continuum, 2008)
  • A Mirror for our Times: 'The Rushdie Affair and the Future of Multiculturalism (London: Continuum, 2009)
  • He has previously also published on "Fethullah Gülen, Religions, Globalisation and Dialogue", in R. Hunt and Y. Aslandoğan (eds.), Muslim Citizens of the Globalized World: Contributions of the Gülen Movement (Somerset, NJ: The Light Inc. and IID Press, 2006).

Biography of Naveed Sheikh

Naveed S. Sheikh holds a First Class BA (hons) in Politics and Modern History from the university of Buckingham, where he completed his degree in two years, received five merit prizes for academic excellence, and graduated with the university's highest honour, the Edgar Palamountain Medal of Excellence, presented to him by Lady Thatcher in 1997.

He also has an MA in International Relations (with distinction) from the University of Durham, where his master dissertation received the highest mark since the founding of the Department of Politics. He proceeded to enrol for a Ph.D. at the Centre of International Studies at the University of Cambridge, working on a thesis on nuclear non-/proliferation and identity imaginaries. He has held fellowships at Harvard University (2001-02) and Hosei University in Tokyo (2003-04). He joined SPIRE as a permanent lecturer in International Relations in September 2005.

Biography of Sean Silver

Sean Silver is a freelancer, working on community facing initiatives. Prior to this, he worked at Northampton Borough Council since 1986, and in the last few years as a Community Development Manager. He chaired the local multi-agency partnership group tackling hate crime for ten years and was responsible for Holocaust Memorial Day activities from 2000. As a freelancer, Sean has been involved in the Government's Prevent agenda at a local and regional level. In a voluntary capacity, Sean chairs the Northamptonshire Rights & Equality Council.

Photos

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